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Canada's Innovation Ecosystem: Seeding, Scaling and Going Global

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Register Now!

When? Friday, June 24th from 1:30-3:30PM with a Mixer to follow
Where? Granite, 115 Duckworth Street
Cost: None 

What is the current state of Canada's innovation economy and the prospects for our technology companies in a global context? Join NATI and Optimized Insurance on Friday, June 24th at 1:30pm at Granite for an engaging talk and interactive Q&A session with Waterloo based Neil Desai, an executive with Magnet Forensics, one of Canada's fastest growing technology companies. This sessions topic will be Canada's Innovation Ecosystem -Seeding, Scaling and Going Global.

At this session, Neil will present on the current state of the Canada's innovation economy and the prospects for our technology companies in a global context.  He will provide an overview on some the strategies and tactics being utilized by some of Canada's fasted growing technology companies to position themselves for export-led growth. His reflections will come from both from his current role serving on the executive of one of Canada's fastest growing technology companies and his previous role as a senior official with the Government of Canada.    

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and discussion on any of these subject areas.

Click here to register to attend. 

Sponsored By:

Optimized Insurance


Neil's Bio

Neil Desai is an executive with Magnet Forensics, one of Canada's fastest growing technology companies. The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm provides digital forensic software tools to police and security agencies around the world.

He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of International Development (Canada). He was appointed by the Minister and Prime Minister in 2011 and was successfully re-appointed to the post in 2012. Neil led a team providing strategic advice on policy, communications, grants totalling $3-billion annually, operations, stakeholder and parliamentary affairs to the Minister on Canada's international development portfolio and other Government of Canada priorities. He put forward and led the implementation of a transformative agenda for the Canadian International Development Agency that included private sector led development initiatives and the merger with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He was named one of the top Canadians influencing Canadian foreign policy by Embassy Magazine and one of the top 99 young foreign policy professionals by the US-based Diplomatic Courier magazine.

Prior to his return to the Government of Canada, Neil served as a Director at the Munk School of Global Affairs located at the University of Toronto. In this role, he supported the development of the school's research agenda and public affairs efforts. He led practical workshops on international affairs for students in the school's signature, Masters of Global Affairs program. He also directed various research projects on behalf of the school.

Previously, Neil served with the Government of Canada as Manager, Strategic Initiatives and Stakeholder Relations to the Prime Minister of Canada from 2007-2010. In this capacity, Neil led projects on behalf of, and provided political advice to, the PM on issues pertaining to foreign affairs, immigration, international trade and competitiveness.

Neil is a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is also a contributor to the Globe and Mail's editorial page. He holds a master's degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics and a bachelor's degree with honours from Carleton University.