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GeekWire Studios Virtual Event: Calgary -The city of disruptors, not the disrupted, sponsored by Calgary Economic Development
Join us for a GeekWire Studios Virtual Event: Calgary -The city of disruptors, not the disrupted, sponsored by Calgary Economic Development.

Why Calgary? As the city of choice for the world’s best entrepreneurs solving global challenges in energy, transportation, food, and health, there is a thriving innovation ecosystem with highly-skilled talent, poised to embrace digital transformation, adapt and prosper.

Hear from panelists: City of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Virtual Gurus Founder & CEO Bobbie Racette, and Builders VC-Canada Investing Partner Mark Blackwell who will share their insights on why Calgary is quickly becoming Canada’s most adventurous TECH city. This session will be moderated by GeekWire Co-founder John Cook.

Registration is free, availability is limited; register in advance to submit your question to the panel.

Thanks to our presenting sponsors Calgary Economic Development https://calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/.

Dec 10, 2020 01:30 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Naheed Nenshi
Mayor @City of Calgary
City of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was sworn in as Calgary's 36th mayor on October 25, 2010, and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. Prior to being elected, Mayor Nenshi was with McKinsey and Company, later forming his own business to help public, private and non-profit organizations grow. He designed policy for the Government of Alberta, helped create a Canadian strategy for The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, and worked with the United Nations to determine how business can help the poorest people on the planet. He then entered academia, where he was Canada's first tenured professor in the field of nonprofit management, at Mount Royal University's Bissett School of Business. For his work, Mayor Nenshi was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, was awarded the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners, and received the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association.
Bobbie Racette
Founder and CEO @Virtual Gurus
Bobbie Racette is the Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus, a Talent as a Service platform that matches its users with Canadian and US-based virtual assistants and freelancers via a proprietary matchmaking algorithm also known as smart-matching. Bobbie is in the process of also launching a slack app called askBetty which is a task-on-demand service app for any slack user in the world. The platform provides work to marginalized folks. 98% of its contractors identify as female, 65% are people of color, while 35% identify as LGBTQ+ with the majority of Virtual Gurus’ contractors being stay at home moms. Recently named both Canada’s Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, by Startup Canada, Bobbie is an unstoppable force in the Canadian startup community. In addition, Forbes announced Virtual Gurus as being one of the top 19 Innovative Tech Startups to watch in 2019. She is a Cree-Metis woman who prides herself on building an inclusivity-first company.
Mark Blackwell
Investing Partner @Builders VC -Canada
Mark Blackwell is an Investing Partner and lead of the Canadian Office at Builders VC. Previously, Mark was a Product Manager at SolarWinds, which develops IT monitoring and network management tools. Mark joined SolarWinds when it acquired GNS3 Technologies ($30MM), an enterprise networking startup where Mark was the Chief Operating Officer. While there, Mark contributed to over 1MM monthly active users, 16MM downloads, and a customer-base that included the US Department of Defense, AT&T, Walmart, Google, and Facebook. Prior to GNS3, Mark was an Investment Manager at Cenovus Energy’s corporate venture fund, where he led the financing in HiFi Engineering and Skyonic Corporation and was a Board Observer for both. Earlier in his career, Mark worked in the technology investment banking division at CIBC World Markets and as a Business Development Analyst at Enbridge, an energy transportation company; both roles were based in Calgary. Mark is a graduate of the University of Calgary.