We’re pleased to introduce the following presenters for Interaction, our annual conference for the entertainment and media industry, held in B.C.
Partner, Entertainment & Media, PwC
Rick Griffiths is a Chartered Accountant and an incorporated partner in the Technology, InfoCom, Entertainment and Media Group in Vancouver, as well as the leader of the firm’s Entertainment & Media practice in BC.
Rick is recognized as a leading financial professional serving the entertainment and media industry in BC and Canada, possessing a strong knowledge of developing industry issues, both nationally and internationally. His experience has also been sought by Canadian and foreign governments considering economic development around these industries.
Rick is very active at a policy and industry development level, having represented the entertainment and digital media industries on both federal and provincial issues. He has been a member of the board of directors of New Media BC (now part of DigiBC), the New Media Innovation Centre, the Motion Picture Production Industry of British Columbia and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Rick currently sits on the Board of DigiBC and serves as Treasurer.
CEO, w media ventures
Dr. Boris Wertz is one of the leading tech angel investors in North-America and the founder and CEO of w media ventures. His portfolio encompasses over 25 early-stage consumer internet, SaaS and mobile companies, including Chloe & Isabel, Edmodo, Flurry, GoInstant, Indochino, Suite101, Sparkbuy (acquired by Google), Summify, Tynt, Wattpad and Yapta. He is also a venture partner with Acton Capital, a late-stage consumer internet fund, and one of the founders of GrowLab, a Vancouver-based start-up accelerator.
Previously, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of AbeBooks, the world’s largest marketplace for books which sold to Amazon in 2008. He joined AbeBooks in 2002 after JustBooks, the company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by the company.
Boris successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. He was named the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner in 2005, a Top 40 under 40 nominee by Business in Vancouver in 2011 and BC Angel Of the Year in 2011.
Co-Founder and CTO, MetroLeap
Following an early passion for technology, Milun Tesovic was led to create MetroLyrics.com, the most popular online lyrics property in the world. MetroLyrics.com was acquired by CBS in September 2011. At the time of acquisition, MetroLyrics.com had 48 million unique visitors and 100+ million page views each month.
Milun began his entrepreneurial career in high school with an Internet hosting business, and, by following market trends, learned that song lyrics were one of the most popular search terms on the Internet but not well represented for consumers. He then developed a script to create a powerful and comprehensive database of song lyrics, sold his hosting business, and began focusing his technical skills on MetroLyrics.com.
Today, Milun combines his role as CTO of MetroLeap Media with his work as a business student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. He continues to evolve MetroLyrics.com with innovative lyrics applications and services that appeal to the site’s large user base.
Milun has received numerous awards. He was named the 2009 National Student Entrepreneur Champion by Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) Canada, and received the Simon Fraser University Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008. MetroLeap Media has been recognized as a Red Herring Canada Top 50 company, and was awarded the Burnaby Business Excellence Award in 2008. In 2009, MetroLeap Media Co-Founders Alan Juristovski and Milun Tesovic were finalists in the Canadian Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Co-Founder and CEO, Elastic Path
Harry Chemko is co-founder and CEO of Elastic Path Software. Since 2000, he has grown the company to become a leader in enterprise e-commerce software, transacting billions of dollars for its clients each year. Elastic Path provides a robust e-commerce platform, consulting and implementation services to some of the world’s largest companies, including Symantec, Time Inc., Google, Telus, Virgin Media and Sony Ericsson. As an extension to Elastic Path’s core software business, Harry negotiated the exclusive rights to e-commerce operations for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Elastic Path employs over 150 staff in Vancouver, BC and London, UK and has customers in over a dozen countries.
In 2008, Elastic Path won the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Young Entrepreneur Award and the Export Development Canada’s Export Excellence Award. Mr. Chemko has led the company to receive the Canadian Youth Business Foundation’s National 2005 Best Business Award. He also received the 2005 Young Entrepreneur Award for being the youngest CEO on the Profit Hot 50. For the last 3 years, Elastic Path Software was listed at #23, #25, and #26 on the Profit 100, the definitive guide to Canada’s fastest growing companies.
Harry sits on the Board of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering aspiring young Canadian entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ACSBE), a private sector committee created to advise the Government of Canada on a wide range of issues affecting small and medium business.