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  • October 8, 2020
    1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

We’re going virtual!

Join us for an afternoon of
inspiring stories & education! 



Dr. Loutfy Circle 290x300 - Launch n' Learn: Investing in Canadian InnovationWhy Every Organization Has to Become More Entrepreneurial

Dr. Rafik Loutfy, Director of the Entrepreneurship Leadership Program (ELP) with the Canadian Society of Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CSEI)

Innovation is the engine of economic growth in terms of contribution to GDP, employment, export and intellectual property.  Innovation is a critical competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive global economy.  So, why is it so hard for organizations to build and adopt a culture of innovation and what are some of the best practices to build a sustainable innovation culture?

In this webinar we’ll discuss some of the building blocks necessary to enable a culture of innovation. We’ll share why it’s important to support innovation in Canada; the impact of innovation on our economy; the driver of innovation, and the next wave of disruptive technologies that will change the world & how you can take advantage of them. Takeaway new practices, models, and approaches of doing business in the new world economy!


Dr. Rafik Loutfy, currently serves as Director of the Entrepreneurship Leadership Program (ELP) with the Canadian Society of Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CSEI), attracting international entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s to Canada.

Dr. Loutfy spent 61/2 years as Director of Centre Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CEIE) at Ryerson University, establishing its faculty of Engineering & architectural Science sustainable entrepreneurship eco-system.

He had a long and distinguished career with Xerox Corporation. Loutfy joined Xerox in 1974 as a researcher and held a variety of project and managerial positions at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) including Centre manager. He was appointed vice president in Xerox’s Corporate Research & Technology organization in 1991 and held a variety of VP positions, including vice president of strategy planning and innovation. Loutfy became a corporate officer in 1997 and served as the chief technical officer (CTO) and senior vice president of Xerox Business Group Operations, and vice president of the Wilson Center for Research & Technology in Webster, New York – one of Xerox’s largest research centers, and Director of Corporate Business Strategy.

Loutfy possesses a BSc and MSc in chemistry from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, a PhD in Photochemistry from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Toronto. He holds 32 US patents and has published more than 182 scientific articles.


Ignite - Launch n' Learn: Investing in Canadian Innovation

Ignite Speakers

An opportunity to be inspired by local business owners/organizations who will share their experiences using innovation & creativity to adapt and grow in our new reality.

Camp Couchiching – Ross McIntyre

Camp Couchiching is one of only a handful of camps in North America that uses community engagement and social innovation in a year-round capacity. Ross McIntyre, Director of Community Initiatives, launched this focus in 2011 and it has evolved in ways that are both socially and financially valuable. The community initiative work ranges from social justice issues of food security and character-building, to experiential education offerings through outdoor education, play-based tutoring, “Camp-in-a-Box”, and, most recently, the development of the Camp Couchiching Learning Centre. This recent project is a real-time, ongoing innovation that is currently happening! 

Drawing on his experience in this role, his work as faculty at Georgian College, and his post-graduate work in social enterprise and community engagement, Ross will outline the pathways to innovating within a non-profit setting for the betterment of your organization and the people you serve.  


The Northern Joinery – David Shaw     

Sometimes having a superior product just isn’t enough. Even with all of our time, knowledge and dedication, we found ourselves getting lost in the crowd. It wasn’t until we started to delve into the passion behind the business that we felt we were making a difference with the business. We knew what we wanted to do – rather what we had to do to be seen, we had to rise above the crowd – push limits on creativity and innovate the pieces we produced.  We started to partner with like minded people, those who could envision the finished product of an inspired 3:00 am sketch.  

Now we feel we have found our niche in our industry, being seen as creators of practical art, innovating design and making truly one-of-a-kind quality products. Yet, there are pros and cons of being an innovator in your field – imitation isn’t flattering when you see others re-producing your ideas. This is the drive behind the next design, and the next great idea.


Quayle’s BreweryCatherine Pearson

Quayle’s Brewery has been a four-year dream project for Catherine Pearson and her partner, Graydon Lau. Scheduled to open its doors in March to welcome customers into their craft brewery with multiple varieties of beer on tap, COVID-19 immediately required a change of plans. Tanks were full but there was no way to serve customers. As an experienced entrepreneur, Catherine was ready to pivot.

Recognizing that safe, outdoor recreational experiences are in high demand during the pandemic, Quayle’s turned their focus to this opportunity. They reconfigured their space, implemented PPE & partnered with Humdinger Bicycle Tours to offer a custom experience for cyclists. The business planted sunflowers to enhance walking tours & started hops tours, and there are plans to expand local partnerships & add new outdoor activities to enhance a winter experience.

All this, in addition to a robust canning & curbside pick-up initiative, has produced higher sales than forecasted, broader markets, and an increase in staff from a team of 5 to 30 employees.


Oro Station and Oakleigh Developments – Geoffrey Campbell

Geoffrey is the founder of Oro Station and is recognizable to area residents as the Managing Partner of Oakleigh Developments, the firm behind Matchedash Lofts. With $250 million in planned projects in Simcoe County over the next 5 years, he is committed to the region and working closely with all levels of government to develop the area. As the son of an architect, he has spent his life in the construction industry. His previous experience includes residential, resort and hotel development in the Caribbean, and ICI construction throughout Canada. 

Geoffrey will be sharing exciting news about the new Oro Station Automotive Innovation Park, a research and innovation hub for the automotive sector, planned to bring 700 jobs to our area.


*PLEASE NOTE: Webinar details will be emailed closer to the event date.
If you do not see them in your inbox, please check your junk mail before contacting us. 


Thanks to our sponsors:

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