Vision to reality conference 2013 – Speaker Biographies

Keynote speaker

Stewart Butterfield
Stewart Butterfield
Co-founder of Flickr

 

Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, Stewart is a founding father of participatory media. The co-founder of Flickr, the popular photosharing website, and Tiny Speck, his latest social gaming startup, he looks at how social media and the participatory web continue to reinvent both business and culture.

Alongside the giants of social media — Facebook, MySpace and YouTube — Flickr has produced a seismic shift in the way people use technology in their everyday lives. Stewart grew Flickr from a tiny Canadian operation to a worldwide phenomenon. As "The Eyes of the World," Flickr boasts over 50 million users a month, and is the largest repository of publicly available photographs, with over 3 billion pictures and over 2.5 million new photos uploaded every day. In 2005, he sold Flickr to Yahoo!, where he continued to work, before leaving in 2008 to pursue his next project: entering the growing world of massively multiplayer online gaming.

Stewart is the co-founder of the gaming startup Tiny Speck, whose debut title is an ambitious massively multiplayer online game called Glitch. Glitch hopes to revolutionize online gaming the same way Flickr revolutionized online photo sharing. Butterfield has been nominated for the Chrysler Design Award, and has been named a Best Leader by Business Week, and one of the Top 35 Innovators Under 35 by MIT. He also founded the 5k Awards, a competition highlighting the best use of simple design solutions.


Speakers

Allan Lau
Allen Lau
Co-founder, Wattpad

 

Allen is the co-founder and CEO of Wattpad, the world's largest community of readers and writers.

With years of experience building successful mobile tech companies, Allen first started prototyping a mobile eReading app in 2002 on an old grey-scale Java phone that could only display 5 lines of text. He wanted to solve a problem he was facing — how to read while on the go. So for the past 10 years Allen has been exploring the power of mobile/social collaboration, online communities, and user-generated content.

Wattpad now serves over 13 million people a month and with over 10 million stories uploaded, Allen is leading a team that's building a new reading experience on the web and across every mobile device.




Brice Scheschuk
Brice Scheschuk
Co-founder and CFO, WIND Mobile

 

Brice is the co-founder, Director, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Human Resources of Globalive Communications & WIND Mobile. He has been with Globalive & WIND for nine years in a senior finance capacity and is responsible for all aspects of finance, facilities, business planning and human resources including direct responsibility for raising in excess of $1.4 billion in capital.

Globalive / WIND is a leading Canadian telecommunications service provider with a national fixed and wireless footprint and 1,500 employees. Brice is the CFO of Globalive Capital and AAL Corp as well as Co-President of Brave Investment, investment holding companies focused on private and public company and fund investing and manages approximately $100 million in assets across a number of investment classes including alternative funds, private and public equity, venture capital, angel, real estate, CPC’s, SPAC’s and RTO’s.

He is the Chairman and Director of Samba Days, a gift experiences company, and a past director of a number of public and private companies including Web Host Industry Review, iLookabout, Hy-Drive Technologies and Varicent Software. A passionate entrepreneur and investor, Brice has been involved in some of the most exciting start-ups in Canada over the past 18 years.




Mike McDerment
Mike McDerment
Co-founder and CEO, FreshBooks

 

Mike McDerment is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, planet earth’s #1 cloud accounting specialist for small business owners. In 2003, Mike built FreshBooks for his design firm, scratched his own itch then moved into his parent's basement for 3.5 years to get FreshBooks off the ground. Since then over 5,000,000 people have used FreshBooks to save time billing and collect billions of dollars. Mike and his team dedicate themselves to executing extraordinary experiences everyday for small business owners who want to focus on the work they love, instead of on their paperwork.

 

 

 



Ben Yoskovitz
Ben Yoskovitz
VP Product, GoInstant

 

Ben started his first company in 1996 while attending university. He has 15+ years of experience in web-related businesses. In 2007 he co-founded Standout Jobs, a B2B software company in the recruitment space. The company raised $1.8M from venture and angel investors. Ben then went on to start Year One Labs, an early stage accelerator, which invested in five startups. Three of those went on to raise follow on financing, and one of them, Localmind, exited to Airbnb.

Currently, Ben is VP Product at GoInstant, a company building co-browsing and shared web technology. The company was acquired by Salesforce in late 2012.

Ben has been blogging since 2006. The "Instigator Blog" is recognized as one of the top blogs on startups and entrepreneurship. He is also an active mentor to numerous startups and accelerator programs. Ben recently co-authored and published Lean Analytics, a book on how to use data to build a better startup faster (by O'Reilly).




Steven Woods
Steven Woods
Co-founder of Eloqua

 

Steven cofounded Eloqua in 1999 and has held the position of Chief Technology Officer since that time. He brings to Eloqua years of experience in software architecture, engineering and strategy, and is responsible for defining the product strategy and technology vision at Eloqua. Steven's insights into the application of technology to the marketing profession have been key to Eloqua's consistent record of client satisfaction. He was recently named as one of Inside CRM's Top CRM Influencers and recognized by Frost & Sullivan with their GIL prize for Innovation.

 

 

 



Dan Martell
Dan Martell
Co-founder, Clarity

 

Dan is the co-founder of Clarity a funded startup that enables anyone to get paid for their advice. Previously he co-founded www.Flowtown.com, a social marketing platform for small businesses, that was acquired by DemandForce.com. An award-winning Canadian entrepreneur, at 25, Dan formed his first start-up, Spheric Technologies Inc., and watched it grow by an average of 152% per year before he sold the company 4 years later in mid-2008.

Now living in San Francisco, Martell spends the majority of his time looking at ways to build a bridge between Silicon Valley and his home province of New Brunswick, Canada. As an angel investor, he's invested in over 15 companies, advising them on growth hacking to acquire customers. Martell is also a marketing advisor to Startup Weekend and Kiva.org.



Jevon MacDonald
Jevon MacDonald
Co-founder of GoInstant

 

Jevon is the co-founder of GoInstant, a Halifax-based startup that was acquired by Salesforce in 2012. He’s been solving problems with code since grade 7, and has founded and operated a half dozen startups since then. He's also the co-founder of, and a regular writer for, Startupnorth.ca, the leading voice of the start-up community in Canada, and as a VP at Salesforce, he’s focused on bringing GoInstant to the next level.