Making Canada the “World’s Leading Innovation Economy”: The Canadian Dream Summit

Making Canada the world’s leading innovation economy is at the heart of the very first Canadian Dream Summit.

Claudio Rojas

“Our mission is to transform Canada into the world’s leading innovation economy”

After wrapping up the first edition of the Canadian Dream Summit in Toronto, Ontario on Tuesday, founder Claudio Rojas provides an overview of the Canadian dream, how to grow businesses globally and two big announcements for Canada’s innovative dreamers.

The Canadian Dream Summit is an energy-focused technology conference from Canada the innovation economy by connecting scale-ups to the capital, talent and customers they need to grow. All of this is in the service of making the Canadian dream more accessible and achievable.

The sociable contacted Rojas to find out how the Canadian dream is awakening at home and abroad.

Can you start by telling me a bit about yourself and your passions?

I am passionate about solving the problem of Canada’s unicorns. In a world of over 300 unicorn businesses, Canada would only have two.

“Canada is significantly under-represented on the world stage”

This matters to me because unicorns are not only the new economic powerhouse, they influence the way we live, interact and work. Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Google, Amazon and many more shape all aspects of daily life.

Read more: Investors invested $ 1.62 billion in Canadian SaaS companies in 2018: L-Spark report

Canada is significantly under-represented on the world stage, especially when you consider all the advantages, including world-class research establishments, top engineering talent, and a diverse and highly educated workforce.

What is the Canadian Dream Summit?

The Canadian Dream Summit brings together visionary leaders in technology, innovation and global business. Our mission is to transform Canada into the world’s leading innovation economy. Our annual gathering attracts leading voices committed to shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Hosted at Telus Harbor, in the heart of Toronto, the summit brings together top leaders in technology, business transformation and innovation in an intimate environment for powerful networking around a common aspiration – to help startups and scale-ups. Canadians to reach the world stage.

Read more: Ottawa’s demand for tech talent grows as multinational brands continue to grow in Canada’s capital

The energy in the room is vibrant and the day is filled with interactive learning opportunities. Foreign delegations join each year and the event hosts global perspectives on issues of national importance in the economy and beyond.

If I’m not mistaken, this was the first Canadian Dream Summit. Why now?

Last year, while preparing for a Build the Canadian Dream talk, I discovered that the strongest voice bringing the “Canadian Dream” to life was American – Chevrolet with its CanadianDream.ca campaign.

“I started this conference, the Canadian Dream Summit for Canadians to own the Canadian dream”

As I dig deeper, I discovered that the term “American Dream” was not coined until the 1930s, when America was 155 years old. The term was coined by James Truslow Adams, author of “The Epic of America”.

Recently, Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary as a country. With the Canadian dream looming now, it seems we are at an inflection point parallel to America’s cultural journey to define itself as a nation.

Read more: “The world stage is finally waking up to all that Ontario has to offer”: Neha Khera, 500 Startups Canada

I launched this conference, the Canadian Dream Summit, so that Canadians could own the Canadian dream – and those who invested in the Fourth Industrial Revolution could define it. This was the genesis of the Canadian Dream Summit.

What technologies are you most passionate about and where are the Canadian scale-ups to these technologies on the world stage?

I am very excited about the intersection of Fintech and AI. Fintech is a transformative disruption in financial services that harnesses the power of increased financial inclusion.

AI will change all aspects of everyday life. Canada’s advantages in these areas provide our businesses with the opportunity to step up on the world stage and shape the future.

Can you give me a recap of the highlights of the conference?

Anthony Lacavera (President and Founder of Globalive), Claudio Rojas (Founder, Canadian Dream Summit) and Amanda Lang (Anchor, BNN Bloomberg) at the Canadian Dream Summit 2019.
Anthony Lacavera (President and Founder of Globalive), Claudio Rojas (Founder, Canadian Dream Summit) and Amanda Lang (Anchor, BNN Bloomberg) at the Canadian Dream Summit 2019.

Anthony Lacavera, President and Founder of Globalive, kicked off the day with a talk on How We Can Win as a Country.

This was followed by a wonderful panel moderated by Amanda Lang, presenter at BNN Bloomberg on how Canada can best cultivate an environment conducive to growth.

Jennifer Jackson, President of Capital One Canada, gave an inspiring speech on how we can approach and accommodate our biases when building a team.

Michael Denham, CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada, gave an inspiring speech on the Canadian success story Hopper, founded by Fredric Lalonde.

The grand finale of the day was a fireside chat between the Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion with two Canadian unicorn founders – David Ossip of Ceridian valued at over $ 8 billion. Canadian dollars and Mike Wessinger of PointClickCare, with an estimated value of over C $ 2 billion.

Do you have big announcements?

We have two big announcements!

“The best way to grow businesses globally is to collaborate with global partners in countries that share values”

First, Anthony Lacavera, President and Founder of Globalive, has agreed to be a special advisor to the Canadian Dream Summit.

Anthony’s passion for building global champions and his experience in building and co-founding successful companies will allow us to fully realize the vision of this conference: to shape the culture and influence the trajectory of our great country.

Second, we’re announcing our theme for Summit 2020 – Unicorn Country: Breeding Startups and Scaleups for Hypergrowth. We intend to organize forums all over the country and in global destinations.

The best way to grow businesses globally is to collaborate with global partners in countries that share values. It’s going to be a BIG year!

The Canadian Dream Summit is the world’s only energy-focused tech conference from Canada innovation economy by bringing together a sample of visionary leaders. The event is organized by Canadian Dream Initiative, an organization whose mission is to transform Canada in the world’s leading innovation economy.


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