Female Founder Symposium at Rotman - An Action-Focused Discussion on Champi...

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Rotman School of Management

105 St. George St

Desautels Hall (Second floor, South Building)

Toronto, ON M5S 3E6


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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


An action-focused discussion on championing women in entrepreneurship.

6:00–6:20pm Check-in and Networking

6:20–6:25pm Opening Remarks

6:25–6:50pm Fireside Chat on "Perspectives on the State of Women Entrepreneurship"

  • Candice Faktor - Managing Partner, Faktory Ventures

  • Michael Helander - President & CEO, OTI Lumionics

6:50–7:30pm Female Founders Panel

  • Moderator: Angèle Beausoleil - Assistant Professor, Rotman School of Management

  • Eva Wong - Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Borrowell

  • Kate Taylor Martin - Owner, Nutbar

  • Sahar Saidi - Founder & CEO, LUS Brands Inc

  • Marnie Consky - CEO & Chief Anti-Chafing Champion, Thigh Society

  • Sarah Gillin - Co-Founder and COO, Olli

7:30–7:55pm Keynote Address by Whitney Rockley, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, McRock Capital

7:55–8:00pm Closing Remarks

8:00–9:00pm Networking (food and drinks will be served)

Scroll below for full speaker and panelist bios!

Presented by: Rotman Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Association (REVCA) and Rotman Women in Management Association (WIMA) and Rotman Career Centre

Special thanks to our community partners: Canadian Venture Capital Association, Creative Destruction Lab, Rotman Admissions and Alumni, #MovetheDial, Our Wave, MITACS, The Biomedical Zone, Hatchery, SheEO

Dress Code: Business casual

Tickets: This event is open to the public. Rotman students should register through RWorld.

Want to get involved? Sponsorship and collaboration opportunities are available. Get in touch with Amarpreet Kaur, Co-President of REVCA, at or

Speakers and Panelists

Keynote Speaker

Whitney Rockley, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, McRock Capital

Twitter: @WhitVC |

Whitney Rockley is the Managing Partner of McRock Capital, a venture capital fund focused exclusively on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Whitney co-founded McRock Capital after investing in high growth tech companies targeting industrial markets for the past 20 years. She and her co-founder show a lot of personality through their entrepreneurial video series, McRock Talk and blog postings. She currently serves on the boards of mnubo, Invixium , Decisive Farming (Chair), Serious Integrated and Miovision. In addition to being the first female Chair of the Canadian Venture Capital Association (CVCA), Whitney also serves on the Boards of the Venture Capital Association of Alberta and Ryerson's Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She served on the board of RtTech Software (acquired by Aspen Technologies) and was one of the key investors behind RuggedCom (acquired by Siemens). She previously served as a Director of PPIC (acquired by Pure Technologies and later acquired by Xylem), SpectraSensors (acquired by Endress + Hauser), Senscient (acquired by MSA Safety), TerraLUX, DeepFlex, and Novinium and was an early investor in Silicon Energy (acquired by Itron).

Fireside Chat

Candice Faktor, General Partner, Faktory Ventures

Twitter: @thecfaktor |

Candice has a passion for disruptive tech and is a strong advocate for putting Toronto's tech ecosystem on the global stage. Recently, she was the GM of Wattpad, where she helped scale Wattpad to be one of the world’s largest storytelling platforms with over 50MM users. Previous to this, Candice co-created Torstar Digital, a disruptive digital venture arm for Torstar, one of Canada’s largest media companies. She invested in, launched and scaled over 20+ ecommerce, saas, adtech and network effect businesses over 7 years. Candice was the founder of an early network effect platform,, where people shared their favourite things at places. Before Torstar Digital, Candice worked for Monitor Group, a boutique strategy consulting firm for 5 years. Candice is on the Board of one of Canada's largest enterprise AI companies, Coveo. Candice is the founder of an education program, Get Curious Now, designed to help people of all ages develop essential skills for the future. She sits on the Advisory Boards for Baycrest's Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation, Sick Kid's Tech Council and #MoveTheDial. She is an Associate of the Creative Destruction Lab and was a co-founder of the Elevate conference.

Michael Helander, President & CEO, OTI Lumionics

Twitter: @mghelander |

Michael Helander is president and CEO of OTI Lumionics Inc., an advanced materials company he cofounded during his PhD at the University of Toronto in 2011. The company commercializes disruptive materials and process technology for OLED displays and lighting, from headquarters in Toronto and offices in Asia. OLED is the leading display technology used in virtually all high-end consumer electronics and is the next generation of design-driven lighting. The company’s technology, based on more than a decade of intensive research and development and backed by a robust intellectual property portfolio, offers substantial savings and performance and lifetime improvements. Dr. Helander received a BSc in Engineering Science and a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Toronto. During graduate school, he published 104 peer-reviewed publications, eight patents, and two book chapters. He was a visiting scientist at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and was a Governor General Gold Medal winner, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, and Chorafas Prize winner. He has raised financing from top venture capital, corporate partners, and government and has forged strategic partnerships and key customer relationships with leading multinational electronics, chemical, material, and consumer electronics companies. He is also an alumni of the Creative Destruction Lab, the Next Founders, and the Canadian Technology Accelerator.

Female Founder Panel

Moderator: Angèle Beausoleil - Assistant Professor, Rotman School of Management

Twitter: @angelsun | Web

Dr. Angèle Beausoleil is a 'pracademic' who teaches design methodologies for business innovation and leads field (action) research inside organizations on innovation process design, navigation and management. A former communications designer, senior strategist and innovation lab executive, she applies her 25 years of business experience to crafting high impact teaching and student-centred learning experiences. At Rotman, Dr. Beausoleil is evolving the Business Design Major for MBAs, teaching commerce students Business Design and Creativity for Business Innovation and leading custom executive programs on design led innovation leadership. Prior to Rotman, she taught at UBC's Sauder School of Business and remains a visiting lecturer at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Dr. Beausoleil is Canada's first PhD to focus on innovation literacy (innovativeness/innovatorship) using business/strategic design (design thinking) processes and methods.

Eva Wong - Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Borrowell

Twitter: @eva_toronto |

Kate Taylor Martin - Owner, Nutbar

Instagram: |

Sahar Saidi - Founder & CEO, LUS Brands Inc

Twitter: @LUSBrands |

Sahar Saidi is the founder and CEO of LUS Brands, a Toronto-based beauty brand backed by Y Combinator, Comcast, Sound Ventures and others. The company's first product line, Love Ur Curls, launched as a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand in January 2017. Since then, the company has shipped over 200,000 orders to customers all over the world, and achieved over $13MM in gross revenues. Sahar graduated from Rotman's Omnium Global Executive MBA program in 2015.

Marnie Consky - CEO & Chief Anti-Chafing Champion, Thigh Society

Twitter: @thighsociety |

Marnie Consky is the founder and Chief Anti-Chafing Champion of Thigh Society, a specialty underwear brand offering moisture-wicking, breathable, and discreet slip shorts for women to prevent inner thigh chafing and provide modesty coverage.

Without any apparel, marketing, or e-commerce experience, Marnie built a direct-to-consumer online brand that has been self-funded and profitable since launch. She grew Thigh Society to six-figure annual revenues as a solopreneur while working a demanding full-time job, before deciding to focus on it exclusively in late 2016, taking the company to seven figures.

Thigh Society undergarments are globally recognized for their high-quality fabric, fit, and inclusive sizing. The brand is changing lives beyond simply reducing discomfort by advocating in support of body positivity.

Before Thigh Society, Marnie worked for large organizations including Accenture, the Ontario Government, and the Rotman School of Management in a variety of senior strategic talent management roles within consulting, recruiting, and career coaching.

Sarah Gillin - Co-Founder and COO, Olli

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Date and Time


Rotman School of Management

105 St. George St

Desautels Hall (Second floor, South Building)

Toronto, ON M5S 3E6


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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