Gifty Serbeh-Dunn founded Shea Butter Market in 2003 to create an all-natural beauty product while supporting widows and their families in Ghana to climb out of poverty. Gifty believes that her business is a force for “good” and by doing business right means that everyone benefits; from the widows in Ghana who make the Shea Butter for a premium price, to the consumers who buy her high-quality products.
Matias Marquez founded Buyatab in 2008. He has since received numerous awards and recognition for his entrepreneurial success, including: being named a BC Business Top 30 Under 30 recipient in 2016; winner of the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of The Year award; and being named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2017. A digital gift card industry pioneer, Matias has been instrumental in driving Buyatab’s growth and customer-focused success. He is also an active advisor to early-stage technology companies. Matias holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University and the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Phil Hemmings is the Sales Manager at Ross Chocolates in Port Coquitlam. His experience stems from starting and running two food related companies as well overseeing sales for other natural food companies. Phil will be in charge of spear heading the product launch in the US and to work closely with his team at Ross Chocolates to ensure all areas of the company are ready for launch in late May. Ross Chocolates have been making Canadians No Sugar Added Chocolates for over 20 years.
Pavel Bains is the CEO of Bluzelle – the decentralized database for the new internet. An expert in digital media having worked with Disney, Microsoft, Warners Bros, and DreamWorks. Pavel is also a frequent contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post and Fast Company, writing articles in the areas of finance and digital media. In less than one year he led Bluzelle to projects with the world’s biggest banks, to being named Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, to becoming one of the most influential blockchain projects in the world.
Zeeshan Hayat is the CEO and Co-founder of Prizm Media Inc., a digital health agency that services some of the fastest growing mail-order pharmacies and durable medical equipment providers in North America. His new start-up, Kudo Technologies, is developing mobile applications that integrate both healthcare product delivery and IT tools for patients to manage and transform their chronic conditions. Amongst all things, Zeeshan is equally passionate about being a family-man and giving back to the community in Vancouver.
Troy Assoignon has been an entrepreneur for 10 years, starting off as an interior contractor in Winnipeg to working in the technology scene in Vancouver. Now he is a full time strategic marketing and business advisor for business owners & corporations alike. Last year him and his girlfriend spent 8 months in Bali, and this year they are living full time in Thailand. Troy’s satisfaction comes from seeing a change and a shift inside people, and that’s what wakes him up every single day.
Spencer Sheinin, a CPA, CA, has a unique background with over 15 years as an Entrepreneur combined with extensive financial experience as an investment banker. He is the Founder and CEO of Shift Financial Insights, providing ridiculously simple accounting and financial insights for businesses on the rise. Spencer has previously owned businesses in manufacturing, construction, cold storage and Real Estate. He has also been recognized as winner of the Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40 awards and finalist for the Surrey Business Excellence Awards.
Izzie Egan is the founder of BLANKSLATE Partners. In 2015 Izzie started her company to allow SMBs and scaleups access to enterprise-level management HR services – supporting growing companies with a unique blend of HR, training, recruitment, and immigration expertise. She has extensive experience building fast-paced, high-yield management teams, paying particular attention to the strategic needs of the company. She’s committed to bringing purpose-fuelled employees into businesses that are aligned from both a values and a strategic, bottom-line perspective.
Aliya Amershi is the CEO and Founder of AskaTechie.com, a tech talent 2.0 marketplace that intelligently matches companies with a supply of vetted technical contractors specializing in Web 3.0 and advanced technologies, such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and complex App Development. Since they launched in 2017, AskaTechie has bootstrapped their way to six figures in sales, which only the top 10% of female founders have been able to achieve. They were also selected to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Silicon Valley and was a finalist for NextAI Canada. In addition, Aliya recently served as a Director at the Founder Institute in Vancouver and is currently a contributing member to YEC Next – which is part of the Forbes Business Council.
Aliya is also launching soon a couple of new ventures, first is the Techie Concierge, an online tool that helps tech startups easily create better technical job descriptions. The second is Stiletto Startup, which supports female founders by empowering them with the necessary technology business basics via their customized online tech startup workshops.
Aliya has over 20 years of technology experience and 10 years of international enterprise experience working on award-winning products at Viacom Networks, Codemasters and Electronic Arts as a Software Engineer, IT Manager and Technical Lead.