Innovation Salon: Scaling Up

May 18, 2021 | Calgary, AB


About Innovation Salon

Innovation Salon is a new series of discussions with founders and startup specialists, presenting their expertise to students, potential and current founders, and the Calgary innovation community. The panellists are changemakers with considerable success in founding, building, promoting, and selling companies. Our inaugural session, Innovation Salon: Scaling Up, brings together trailblazing serial entrepreneurs to share their experiences starting and leading high-growth companies: the challenges and the growing pains associated with a rapidly growing venture, the importance of scaleups to Canada’s future prosperity, and what innovation communities supporting startups can do to help enable more successful scaleups.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021
7 – 8 p.m. MDT



Alice Reimer BSc’99, MBA’03, Site Lead, Creative Destruction Lab-Rockies

  • Alice is a successful tech entrepreneur, and dedicated community mentor and leader. Currently she is the CEO of Fillip and the Site Lead for Creative Destruction Lab. Alice also co-founded Calgary-based Evoco and was the CEO of Chaordix, a pioneering software leader in the crowdsourcing and open innovation space. Alice also sits on a number of public and private boards, using her experience in tech entrepreneurship to guide promising new startups and established businesses to success

Charles Plant Founder, the Narwhal Project

  • Charles Plant is a serial entrepreneur, scale-up advisor, author and innovation economist. As founder of the Narwhal Project, he is working with scaling tech companies to accelerate their acquisition of capital and growth. This work is based on six years of research and over 35 papers and two books written on what it takes to create world-class technology companies. He has been the founder or co-founder of four, CEO or Board Chair six, and CFO of eight emerging technology companies. He has worked on numerous financing and M&A transactions in investment banking and venture capital. A CPA, Plant has an MBA in marketing and is currently pursuing a PhD in Innovation Economics.

Brad Zumwalt Co-Founder, Rainforest Alberta

  • Brad has been growing technology companies for over 30 years. He led Image Club, Eyewire, and Veer to acquisition by Adobe, Getty, and Corbis, respectively. Today, Brad is leading initiatives to support other entrepreneurs and innovators. He co-founded Rainforest Alberta, a collective working to improve Alberta’s innovation ecosystem, and collaborated with the city to build Platform, an innovation centre in Calgary’s East Village. Brad is a former member of the boards of the Alberta University of the Arts, Science Alberta Foundation, University Technologies International, Norlien Foundation, Viewpoint Foundation, and Social Venture Partners Calgary.

Hanif Joshaghani Co-Founder and CEO, Symend

  • Hanif is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about building high performing teams that deliver results to clients. Currently, Hanif is focused on growing Symend, an endeavor he ardently believes in since it represents an intersection between disruption, value creation and social good. Hanif’s background includes 15 years of senior roles in capital markets, energy finance, business development and entrepreneurship in a broad range of industries including investment banking, energy and technology. He has raised over $150M across the four companies he has founded with several exits to date. Hanif is also committed to helping other entrepreneurs through mentorship and is an active angel investor in several technology companies. Hanif was named to Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40, Class of 2020. Symend was named Tech Deal of the Year by Start Alberta and was featured in LinkedIn’s 10 Top Startups in Canada list in 2020. Symend was also named CIBC FinTech Startup of the Year by the Digital Finance Institute in 2019.


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