Highlights from iNovia’s 2015 CEO Summit & AGM

by on July 2, 2015

inovia agm 2015 - 016-16iNovia CEO Summit

Highlights from iNovia’s 2015 CEO Summit & AGM

June 10th and 11th 2015, in the beautiful setting of Menlo Park California, iNovia Capital held its 3rd annual CEO Summit and its 8th AGM.

This year’s theme was Hitting Key Milestones, which included providing insights, learnings and best practices around scaling a business, managing exit opportunities, maximizing returns and forming lasting relationships.

Both the AGM & CEO Summit presented a welcoming environment where speakers shared the challenges they faced within their respective industries, new emerging ideas and best practices for many entrepreneurs. Alignment and transparency are two important subjects that came to light throughout the AGM and CEO Summit. A resurgence of high growth tech companies across Canada was made obvious. iNovia’s commitment to carrying out and supporting the next generation of high growth startups in both Canada and in the USA was made clear. There is an increasing amount of optimism regarding the future for Canadian startups.

iNovia’s CEO Summit and AGM stand out because of the content shared and the quality in which many of the speakers delivered their presentations, always adding a personal anecdote or experience, and making the concepts and themes all the more tangible. The speakers truly captured the essence of storytelling which then becomes the basis for the discussions throughout the day.

We would like to thank Joe Poulin and the whole team from Luxury Retreats for treating two lucky winners from our attending CEOs and LPs to an incredible gift certificate: US $7,500 each as a credit toward any Luxury Retreats destination of their choice. Are you curious? Check out www.luxuryretreats.com.

Here are some highlights from the quality content that was showcased this year:


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“What makes a great CEO: Execution and vision”

-Scott Bonham, Venture Partner, GGV Capital

With 15 years of Venture Capital experience, $2.7B under management, 27 Unicorns and 26 IPOs, the fire-side chat between Scott and Chris was insightful and full of valuable learnings and anecdotes.

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-Robbie Kellman Baxter, The Membership Economy

Robbie passionately explained the impact that technology has on traditional business models:   formal relationships over one-time transactions are now thriving and companies are creating a sense of  ‘community’ through their services. It is a business model of infrastructure and trust, which helps customers feel self-actualized and improves their self-esteem.

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“Category designers condition the world to see things as they do”

– Christopher Lochhead, Co-Founding Partner, Play Bigger Advisors

Christopher Lochhead inspired us all by drilling deep into the notion of “Category design”, a discipline focused on creating and monetizing new markets. It’s based on the idea that the company that designs a space is best positioned to dominate it.

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“Everyone has to run the one hundred meter dash. Get out and understand the sales role or you won’t hire the right talent”

– Greg Wolfe, Founder, Emalex

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Larry Latowsky, Chairman of well.ca, Mike Silagadze, founder of TopHat and Doug Johnson from Drivewyze.ca

Larry Latowsky explained exactly how NPS is the metric that everyone can relate to because questions are made anonymously, and it favours customer and employee retention. With a 75% customer satisfaction NPS, Well.ca is well established in optimizing customer service and retention. Mike Silagadze, sees the importance of NPS primarily in Education and its impact on interactive content in a collaborative environment.

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“Your strategy has to fit both the investors and align with everyone around”

-Jef Holove, General Manager, Basis (an Intel company)

Jef is an iNovia Alumni Entrepreneur and CEO — he provided the attendees with a “from the battlefield’’ view of strategies, tactics and experiences to a successful exit.

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“Convey the level of trust to the buyer:  it only makes sense if the buyer is dedicated, you are not there to leave and go once an acquisition is made.”

– Villi Illtchev, Sr. Vice-President., Strategy & Corp. Dev., Box.com

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“Always be aware of the ecosystem and don’t rely on people visiting the website. Get a sense of what your technology looks like.”

Patrick Manion, Managing Director, Pagemill


Thank you to our partners and co-investors who joined us for a terrace networking cocktail, we had a blast!

For more photos, check out: CEO Summit Cocktail 2015



“Low interest rates, high profile venture successes, larger funds and improved performance have rekindled an interest in venture capital again.”

– Adley Bowden, VP, Pitchbook


“We look for quality of market, quality of product and quality of team execution”

-Ajay Royan, Managing General Partner, Mithril and Daniel Saks, President & Co-CEO, AppDirect


“The way we view robotics is that it has the potential to create economic impact on the scale of the Internet or the personal computer. I think that in the future we will measure the impact of robotics in GDP.”

– Matthew Rendall, CEO, Clearpath Robotics


“We want to try and make manufacturing SEXY!”

– Alexandre Leclerc, Co-Founder and President, Poka

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“All startups require a leap of faith. If you wait until the market proves things out, it will be far too late to build a business around it”

– Chris Sukornyk, founder and CEO of Chango, now Head of Buyer Cloud, Intent Marketing Group at Rubicon Project

In summary, the iNovia CEO Summit and AGM are humbling events. We are truly grateful for having the opportunity to partner with such great entrepreneurs and investors alike. When hosting events such as the CEO Summit or our CTO and CMO Summits, we realize how much value can be created by simply having great people share their experiences and challenges, all in confidence. This trustful environment has already proven extremely valuable as we witness many new best practices implemented and new relationships built across our active portfolio of 37 companies.

Thank you!

The iNovia Team

P.S. For more insights on past events please check out the links below.

2015 CEO Summit Agenda

2014 CTO Summit blog

2014 CEO Summit blog

2015 AccelerateMTL blog