Wrapping Up Inventures 2024: Highlights and Insights


Innovate Calgary had the pleasure of participating in this year’s Inventures conference, a gathering that brought together leading minds and innovators from various industries. Our team was actively involved in several panels and sessions, sharing insights, fostering discussions, and connecting with the entrepreneurial community in Calgary and beyond. Here are some highlights from the event.

Day 1: Valuations Unveiled: Navigating the Numbers

The conference started with great enthusiasm, and Day 1 set a high standard with an engaging panel titled “Valuations Unveiled: Navigating the Numbers.Peter Santosham was a featured speaker on this panel, which delved into the critical concept of valuation—essential knowledge for founders seeking investor funds.

The session was incredibly popular, with a standing-room-only crowd eager to learn about this crucial aspect of fundraising. Attendees gained valuable insights into how valuations are calculated and how to leverage them effectively during negotiations with investors. Peter was joined by an impressive lineup of panelists, including Kristina Milke from Sprout Fund, Lise Birikundavyi from BKR Capital, and Kimberley Nixon from Open Venture Capital. We extend our thanks to the panel for delivering an outstanding session on such an important topic for founders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Day 2: Intellectual Horizons and Ingenuity Pitch Prize

Kevin Dahl, Director at ElevateIP Alberta, led an eye-opening session titled “Intellectual Horizons: Crafting Global IP Strategies for Quantum, Cleantech, and AI Scaleups.” Kevin was joined by Lisa Desjardins, Manager of Business Services Design and Development at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, and Erin Pisko, Vice President of IP Strategy at Innovation Asset Collective. This session emphasized the importance of a robust IP strategy in scaling globally and driving success for innovative companies.

Another highlight was the “UCalgary x TC Energy Ingenuity Pitch Prize” session. This event, in partnership with TC Energy and the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking – UCalgary, showcased top innovators from the University of Calgary. Inês Bartilotti, Director of New Ventures at Innovate Calgary, participated alongside Colin Dalton, Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. The session marked the culmination of extensive training and development aimed at turning innovative concepts into commercial realities. Inês shared valuable insights, highlighting the importance of open communication and research in fostering innovation.

Day 3: Empowering Immigrant Founders

The final day of the conference featured a particularly inspiring panel discussion titled “Empowering Immigrant Founders: Overcoming Cultural Barriers in the Investment Landscape.” Raissa Espiritu and Nikhil Bedi, both Executives-in-Residence with UCeed Investment Funds, led the conversation to a full house. They were joined by angel investor Neeraj Gupta and C.M. Samala from Unshackled Ventures.

This panel addressed the unique challenges and opportunities faced by immigrant founders. The speakers shared their personal experiences and provided invaluable perspectives on navigating the cultural barriers within the investment landscape. Their insights were aimed at inspiring and empowering the next generation of immigrant entrepreneurs, highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion in fostering innovation and economic growth.

That’s a Wrap!

Innovate Calgary was honoured to have a strong presence at Inventures this year, with numerous panels and sessions hosted by our team. The conference provided an incredible opportunity for our colleagues to connect with the growing entrepreneurial community in Calgary and the province. It was a platform for sharing knowledge, fostering collaborations, and driving forward the spirit of innovation.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and to Alberta Innovates for organizing such a remarkable event. We look forward to continuing these important conversations and working together to support and empower innovators and entrepreneurs.