February 21, 8am-6.30pm at Bram & Bluma Appel Salon @ Toronto Reference Library 

2013 Speakers Include . . . 

Roel Vertegaal, Director of the Human Media Lab, Queen’s University
Roel Vertegaal is one of Canada’s top designers of advanced interactive technologies and Professor of Human Computer Interaction at the prestigious Queen’s University , Human Media Lab (www.humanmedialab.org). Roel is also President and CEO of Xuuk, Inc, a startup that founded the digital signage metrics industry, and heads the Computing and the Creative Arts Program at Queen’s. Amongst other things, Prof. Vertegaal invented the use of touch screens for easy sound synthesis (1990), eye input for teleconferencing (1997), the first calibration-free long-range eyetracker (eyebox2, 2003), attention metrics for digital signage (2007), and attention-sensitive Natural UIs using body, head and eyes as input.  He also invented the flexible paper computer, bendable smartphone and thin film tablet pc (PaperWindows in 2004, PaperPhone in 2010 and PaperTab, www.papertab.org in 2012).

Erik Martin, General Manager, reddit.com
In 2012, TIME magazine named Erik to their list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World,” and Adweek named him to their “Adweek 50″ list of top innovators. Prior to joining reddit, Erik advised a wide range of film, music, TV and web video companies on digital strategy, including a role as Head of Digital for the independent film/music label Palm Pictures. Before his internet addiction fully took hold, he worked as a documentary filmmaker, and was a senior agent and videographer for the public pranksters Improv Everywhere. Originally from Chapel Hill, NC, Erik graduated from Tulane University and lives in NYC.

Veronika Sonsev, CEO and Founder, inSparq.com
Veronika Sonsev is the CEO and Founder of inSparq.com, a social commerce technology partner to leading retailers and brands. She is also a Cofounder of Women in Wireless and WIM Accelerator. In her 12-year career as an entrepreneur and executive at AOL and Jumptap, Veronika has built new business lines, developed strategic partnerships and launched international markets. Veronika earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from American University. She was recently honored by Fast Company as one of 60 members to The League of Extraordinary Women. Veronika was also named one of the Mobile Women to Watch 2012 by Mobile Marketer and one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in Tech by Femmeonomics.

Jamie King, Founder, VODO
Jamie King is Founder of crowd distribution platform VODO, which uses P2P to reach a global audience of millions who sponsor creative works directly. Jamie was formerly Media Evangelist at BitTorrent Inc, and is director and producer of STEAL THIS FILM, the most pirated documentary of all time. He is currently developing PRSNL, a new talent recognition platform.

Veronica Holmes 1Veronica Holmes, President, Digital, ZenithOptimedia Canada
Veronica has been in the role of President, Digital at ZenithOptimedia Canada since 2010. ZenithOptimedia is one of Canada’s largest media agencies and is pleased to work with clients including L’Oréal, The Home Depot, Ontario Government, Nestlé, General Mills, and more. In this role, Veronica leads the digital media strategies for clients and for the agency. Prior to ZenithOptimedia, Veronica was with Bell Canada for 15 years, working at the Sympatico portal throughout its evolution, doing everything from launching its first ad-server to developing and implementing video content strategies and managing the English editorial team.

Andrew Macdonald, General Manager, Uber Canada
Andrew is the General Manager for Uber’s Canadian operations. Uber is an on-demand private driver service that you order via your smartphone. It was founded in 2010 in San Francisco and now operates in over 20 cities globally. Uber is a continuation of Andrew’s start-up ambitions – he confounded ShopMyClothes.com in 2011, a resale marketplace for high-end fashion. Prior to entrepreneurial pursuits, Andrew was a management consultant with Bain in Toronto.

Mark Ghuneim, CEO/Founder of Wiredset and Trendrr
An emerging media futurist with expertise in the convergence of television and second screen engagement, technology and behavioral trending. His pioneer spirit, coupled with an extensive knowledge of music, television and brand marketing, led him to found Wiredset in 2004, a real-time digital agency and technology incubator specializing in engagement marketing for Fortune 500 brands, networks, studios, publishing companies, and consumer product groups. Two years later, Mark founded Wiredset’s flagship product, Trendrr – a premium business intelligence service that offers highly customized, proprietary tools for analyzing digital and social media activities.

Rhonda McEwen, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Rhonda teaches and conducts research on New Media, spending most of her time at the Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology at UTM. Rhonda’s research and teaching centre around information practices involving new media technologies and she actively engages with questions on how we use, seek, share, and create information. Rhonda also examines the ways that we perform identities in both ‘real’ and virtual worlds through avatars; how we integrate location awareness in our interactions; and considers the consequences of the uses of technologies on our communication, sociality, and humanity. Her current research is in phase two of a study examining touch technologies, including the iPod Touch and iPad. Her studies put these technologies into Toronto classrooms and worked with students with autism.

Brian Eoff, Data Scientist, Bitly
Brian David Eoff is a data scientist working for Bitly. Brian holds bachelors degree in Computer Engineering and a masters degree in Computer Science from Auburn University. His research is focused on determining the quality of data, and understanding how and why it propagates through online networks. He has an almost unhealthy fascination with Hadoop, game theory, and all things big data related. Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, he currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Jeffrey Remedios, President and Co-Founder, Arts & Crafts
Toronto based president and co-founder of Arts & Crafts, one of the top independent music companies representing artists including Broken Social Scene, Feist, Stars, Dan Mangan, Timber Timbre and many more. Jeffrey oversees all aspects of the company’s business, establishing A&C as a global music brand, and remains a front line manager for Broken Social Scene and Timber Timbre.  Rolling Stone Magazine recently cited Jeffrey as a key insider shaping the future of the music business.

Peter Vessenes,  Chairman & Executive Director, Bitcoin Foundation
Peter started his first technology company at 13 — he claims he needed money to take a girlfriend on dates, and didn’t want to work in fast food — and since then has launched nearly a dozen businesses.  He refers to entrepreneurship as ‘a sickness,’ and his enthusiasm for new technologies and business models is infectious. His operations staff think of him as ‘special,’ and he is congenitally unable to hear a business plan without offering ‘improvements.’  He’s always happy to make a new friend, hear about a new technology or imagine a new company. He’s convinced that Bitcoins can change the world, and has taught all three of his children how to keep up on the Bitcoin-Dollar exchange rate, just in case.

Rob Segal, Co-Founder, Get Set Games
With over 10 years of experience in developing software, Rob is a co-founder of Get Set Games, whose smash hits Mega Jump and Mega Run have topped the charts with a combined total of 40 million downloads over the iOS and Android platforms. He is a co-founder of the Toronto Video Game Jam, one of the largest and longest running game development jams in the world.

Deborah Hall, Head of Mobile, Torstar Digitaldebhall
Named by Mobile Marketer as one of the Mobile Women to Watch in 2010, Deb has made it her mission to take our online experiences from the desktop to the mobile device. Her visionary leadership in mobile product development and strategic marketing has made her a sought-after speaker and collaborator in the North American mobile technology industry.  Deborah has helped shape the digital and mobile marketing space in Canada, as chairperson of 3 consecutive Digital Day conferences for Marketing Magazine and the CMA.  Her team has won several industry awards across North America for their breakthrough work in mobile, recognized by the Mobile Marketing Association in NYC (2012 awards) and Marketing Magazine (2012 Gold & 2011 Gold & Silver).

Paul Kontonis, GM, Magnet Media Originals and Chairman of the Board of Directors, International Academy of Web Television
Paul is a leading voice in the shaping of the digital video industry with over 15 years of interactive media experience. Paul is the GM of next generation studio, Magnet Media Originals, which combines the best storytelling with the best of social engagement into high quality web series originals and video content networks. Paul is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Web Television, a non-profit organization founded in 2008 to promote and recognize excellence in web video.

Ipsa Desai, Strategic Partnerships, Google
Ipsa manages strategic partnerships for YouTube, focusing on TV, music, sports and news. She also helps drive Google product launches in Canada and associated partnerships. She was previously a Principal in the Business Operations and Strategy group at Google based out of Mountain View, California.

adamAdam Clarkson, User Experience Lead, Chartbeat 
Adam is the User Experience Lead at Chartbeat where he brings eight years’ experience in media publishing to the evolution of Chartbeat Publishing – the leading real-time analytics service for online publishers. Collaborating with newsrooms as diverse as Gawker to New York Times to Slate, Adam has helped make analytics dashboards a fixture on the screens of editors, bloggers and writers who want to better understand and connect with their audiences. Prior to Chartbeat, Adam worked at Newsweek.com as Director of User Experience and CBC.ca in Toronto, Canada as Creative Team Manager.

Corey Vidal, Founder and President, ApprenticeA Productions
Corey is the founder and president of ApprenticeA Productions. He directs and produces most of the company’s productions, and appears in many of the videos. Joining YouTube in 2006, Corey has been making videos for over 6 years.


Hany Rashwan is the co-founder & CEO of Ribbon, a payments company enabling transactions to occur inside of whatever platform the buyer already is on, whether that’s directly on the Facebook news feed or within the Twitter stream directly. Was part of the youngest team to ever get accepted to AngelPad. He studied Computer Engineering at The Ohio State University.

Asif R Khan, Founder & President, TheLBMA.com
Asif, a proud Canadian, is a veteran tech start-up, business-development and marketing entrepreneur with nearly 15 years experience. He is currently focused on working as a consultant, speaker and venture capitalist to the location-based marketing services community.  In support of this, Asif recently formed the Location Based Marketing Association - an international group dedicated to research and education in the space. Prior to launching The LBMA, Asif has worked with companies as diverse as Limited Brands, IBM, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, Molson-Coors, Communispace, BestBuy, American Airlines, Cineplex Entertainment, ING Bank and Vroom & Dreesman.

Tony Walsh, Founder, Exec. Producer & Creative Director, Phantom Compass
Tony Walsh is a multi-disciplined creative leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the Canadian interactive digital media industry. During his career, he has been a contributor to a number of award-winning and award-nominated digital productions including Xenophile Media’s “Regenesis” and “Fallen” transmedia / alternate reality games, and Marblemedia’s “Splatalot” games. He founded Toronto-based game studio Phantom Compass in 2008 and helped raise over $400k in third-party financing for the studio’s original game products in 2011 and 2012.

Paul Sparkes, Executive Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder, Difference Capital
Mr. Sparkes is an accomplished business executive with over 20 years experience in the public and private sectors. For the past decade he was a leader in the broadcast and new media industry for Canada’s premier media company where he most recently served as CTVglobemedia’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs. Mr. Sparkes also held senior positions in the public service, including with the Government of Canada as Director of Operations to then Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as a senior aide to two Premiers; Clyde Wells and Brian Tobin.

Laurie Mirsky, President, 3DPhacktory

Laurie Mirsky is the President of 3DPhacktory, a collaborative 3D Printing and Design studio. With over fifty films as a Producer or Assistant Director he sees the similarities in the intersection of art and technology between filmmaking and 3D Printing. 3DPhacktory functions like an independent film studio, provides access to multi material 3D printing technology for Designers and Makers to bring their works from concept to reality.

Jeff Brenner, Co-Founder and CEO, Pressly
Jeff Brenner is helping brands and publishers create the world’s best content experiences on mobile. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Pressly, Jeff leads a team dedicated to unlocking the full potential of media in the post PC era. Jeff speaks on a variety of topics, from the future of mobile and HTML5, to best practices for content marketing on mobile.

MinnowH_head_squareMinnow Hamilton , Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder, SavvyMom Media
Minnow Hamilton holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters in political science from University College, Dublin. With a background in marketing and promotions, Minnow has an insider’s understanding of how to build a brand and develop trust and loyalty, two of the fundamentals of the success of SavvyMom. She has extensive experience working with consumer packaged goods companies including family-targeted organizations such as Colgate Palmolive and SC Johnson.  A mother of two teen-age sons, Minnow’s strong instinct for what moms need and want helps her sift through the hundreds of editorial submissions regularly submitted to SavvyMom.  She is a founding board member of the Toronto Toy Tea, which, since 2005, has provided over 10,000 Christmas gifts a year to children in shelters across the GTA.

Ross Davies, Director of Member Engagement, BBMross
For more than thirty years Ross has held key programming, operations and senior management positions in Canadian radio with some of the country’s largest broadcast companies. Ross started his career in Western Canada with Moffatt Communications and since moving to Toronto has worked with Standard Radio, Canadian Satellite Radio, Astral Media Radio and CHUM Ltd. Today Ross is the Director of Member Engagement – Radio for BBM Canada, the leading provider of TV, Radio and consumer audience research for Canadian broadcasters, advertisers and agencies.

Gavin_smGavin McGarry, Co-Founder, Jumpwire Media
Before founding Jumpwire Media in 2009 Gavin worked for online video start up Joost and was the Head of Cross Platform Business Development at global television production company Endemol. His past experience includes positions at major television networks as well as owning and operating a television production company and a boutique advertising agency. He is invited to speak at media industry conferences on a regular basis including: MIPCOMHarvard Business Club of New YorkNAPTEXmedia Lab, etc.