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Making Canada the ‘world’s leading innovation economy’: Canadian Dream Summit

Anthony Lacavera (Chairman and Founder of Globalive), Claudio Rojas (Founder, Canadian Dream Summit) and Amanda Lang (Anchor, BNN Bloomberg) at Canadian Dream Summit 2019.
Anthony Lacavera (Chairman and Founder of Globalive), Claudio Rojas (Founder, Canadian Dream Summit) and Amanda Lang (Anchor, BNN Bloomberg) at Canadian Dream Summit 2019.
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Transforming Canada into the world’s leading innovation economy is at the heart of the first-ever Canadian Dream Summit.

Claudio Rojas, Canadian Dream Summit Founder
Claudio Rojas

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

Having just wrapped-up the first edition of the Canadian Dream Summit in Toronto, Ontario on Tuesday, Founder Claudio Rojas provides insight into the Canadian Dream, how to grow companies globally, and two big announcements for Canada’s innovative dreamers.

The Canadian Dream Summit is a tech conference focused on energizing Canada’s innovation economy by connecting scale-ups to the capital, talent and customers they need to grow. All of this is in service of making the Canadian Dream more accessible and achievable.

The Sociable reached out to Rojas to find out how the Canadian dream is being awakened at home and abroad.

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

I’m passionate about solving Canada’s unicorn problem. In a world with over 300 unicorn companies, Canada is reported to have only two.

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

This matters to me because unicorns are not only the new economic power, they influence how live, how we interact, and how we work. Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Google, Amazon, and many others – are shaping every aspect of daily life.

Read More: Investors poured $1.62B into Canadian SaaS companies in 2018: L-Spark report

Canada is significantly under-represented on the global stage, particularly when considering all the advantages, including world-class research institutions, top engineering talent, and a diverse and highly educated workforce.

What is the Canadian Dream Summit?

Canadian Dream Summit convenes visionary leaders in tech, 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 Harbour, in the heart of Toronto, the summit brings together senior leaders in technology, business transformation, and innovation in an intimate environment for powerful networking around a common aspiration – helping Canadian startups and scale-ups to reach the global stage.

Read More: Ottawa’s demand for tech talent surges as multinational brands continue to expand 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 welcomes global perspectives on issues of national significance in the economy and beyond.

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

Last year in preparing a keynote Building the Canadian Dream, I discovered that the loudest voice bringing the “Canadian Dream” to life was American – Chevrolet with their CanadianDream.ca campaign.

“I started this conference, the Canadian Dream Summit so that Canadians would own the Canadian Dream”

Delving further, I found that the term “American Dream” wasn’t 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 year as a country. With the Canadian Dream now coming into focus, it seems we are at an inflection point that parallels America’s cultural journey in defining itself as a nation.

Read More: ‘The global stage is finally waking up to all that Ontario has to offer’: Neha Khera, 500 Startups Canada

I started this conference, the Canadian Dream Summit so that Canadians would own the Canadian Dream – and those invested in the fourth industrial revolution would be in a position to define it. This was the genesis of the Canadian Dream Summit.

What are some of the technologies you are most excited about, and where do Canadian scale-ups stand in competition on the global stage with these technologies?

I’m most 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 every aspect of how daily life. Canada’s advantages in these fields provide our companies with an opportunity to rise to the global stage and shape the future.

Can you give me a recap of the conference highlights?

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

Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and Founder of Globalive, kicked off the day with a talk about How We Can Win as a country.

This was followed by a magnificent panel moderated by Amanda Lang, Anchor at BNN Bloomberg on how Canada can better cultivate an environment for growth.

Jennifer Jackson, President of Capital One Canada delivered an inspiring keynote on how we can address and account for our biases when building a team.

Michael Denham, CEO at Business Development Bank of Canada, delivered a rousing keynote on 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 CAD $8 billion, and Mike Wessinger of PointClickCare, with an estimated value of over CAD $2 billion.

Do you have any big announcements?

We have two big announcements!

“The best way to grow companies globally is with collaborative global partners in countries with shared values”

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

Having Anthony’s passion for building global champions and experience in founding and co-founding massively 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 are announcing our theme for Summit 2020 – Unicorn Country: Breeding Startups and Scaleups for Hypergrowth. We intend to host forums around the country and in global destinations.

The best way to grow companies globally is with collaborative global partners in countries with shared values. It’s going to be a BIG year!

The Canadian Dream Summit is the world’s only tech conference focused on energizing Canada’s innovation economy by bringing together a cross-section of visionary leaders. The event is organized by Canadian Dream Initiative, an organization with the mission of transforming Canada into the world’s leading innovation economy.

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co