November 7, 2017 Pipedream, or reality: Can Canada sustain a thriving tech sector?

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

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Political tensions and travel restrictions present a serious challenge to foreign-born tech talent with ambitions of working in Silicon Valley. Boasting over 71,000 companies, Canada’s tech sector has made a public appeal to tech professionals finding themselves misplaced by recent government sanctions. At a time when there is a high need to attract top talent in order to foster the growth of new startup ventures, the U.S. ‘brain drain’ and Brexit could present the Canadian tech sector with a real advantage. At this critical juncture, how can Canada support a thriving and sustainable tech sector? Michael Serbinis, visionary entrepreneur behind Kobo and League Inc., shares his expertise and insight.

Michael Serbinis is the CEO and Founder of League. Known as a visionary entrepreneur, Michael has built transformative technology platforms across several industries. Most recently Michael was the founder and CEO of Kobo, a digital reading company that burst onto the publishing scene in 2009, driving $110M in sales in its first year. Under Michael’s leadership, Kobo became the only global competitor to Amazon’s Kindle with 20-million customers in 190 countries. Michael sold Kobo to Japanese Internet giant Rakuten for $315M in 2012. Prior to Kobo, Michael founded and sold cloud storage pioneer DocSpace for $568M in 2000 to Critical Path, a global provider of messaging services, which ran one-third of the world’s email. Michael also developed network routing technology at Microsoft, and search engine technology at Zip2, which later sold to AltaVista for $300M. Michael is currently the founder of Three Angels Capital, a member of the Board of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Board of the Creative Destruction Lab, the Board of Trustees at the Ontario Science Centre, and is a member of YPO. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University and a Masters of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto.