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Vicki Saunders Guest Hosts Michelle Scarborough & Jennifer Evans


Michelle Scarborough & Jennifer Evans with guest host Vicki Saunders

Where are all the female Founders and Funders? That is the question that we will explore in this themed Fireside Chat featuring:

Michelle Scarborough, Smart Ventures, Chair, National Angel Capital Organization

Jennifer Evans, Chief Strategist, (Founder of Sequentia Communications acquired by Environics).

Guest Host: Vicki Saunders, on behalf of Dr. Wendy Cukier

Event Leader: Charu Jaiswal
Women's Groups please contact Charu for a discount code.
Ryerson students admitted free. Contact Charu for discount code.
We want to recognize investors who are interested in these issues. You can have your name published on the event pages.
Please contact Charu for details.

Michelle Scarborough Michelle is an experienced entrepreneur and investor with a track record of business achievement spanning more than 18 years. Currently Managing Partner of Smart Ventures, she oversees investments and professional management in high potential early stage technology companies with co-investment partners and is growing a team of seasoned entrepreneurs who work with investee companies to accelerate value creation. She is also an active board director of several early stage companies ranging from energy to publishing. Active in the investment community, Michelle led the establishment of a $250 million early stage fund and founded the Capital Angel Network, designed to foster networking and deal syndication among the high net worth investor community. Michelle is Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization in Canada and an active committee member of the Canadian Innovation Exchange, Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and the Quebec City Conference. She is a Top 40 Under 40 Recipient and a regular speaker on topics related to early stage and small cap investment, entrepreneurship and building global businesses.

Jennifer Evans Jennifer Evans has been a pioneer and leader in the digital space for over a decade. She founded Sequentia Communications in 2002 and transitioned into the role of CEO and Chief Strategist when Sequentia joined the Environics family of companies in 2008. Jen is a globally sought-after digital strategist with patents pending on many of her methodologies including The Sequence, Sequentia’s groundbreaking approach to community engagement, and the company’s content measurement framework. Jen has also established herself as an innovator in digital metrics with the development of Squeeze, the world’s first content marketing measurement platform. Along with her roles at Sequentia, Jen has also written for The Globe and Mail and She recently coauthored an article with Environics co-founder Michael Adams on social media and employee engagement. She regularly appears on BNN and other media outlets to discuss the current state of technology. Represented by the Brickenden Speaker’s Bureau, she’s been a keynote speaker at various conferences and events across North America and guest lectures at a variety of colleges and universities. An avid volunteer, Jen was the co-chair of the White Ribbon Campaign for six years and was recently appointed the Chair  of ITAC. She is also an advisor for DigitalJournal.

Vicki Saunders Vicki is a serial entrepreneur, passionate mentor and advisor to the next generation of change makers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world. Vicki has co-founded and run 4 ventures in Europe, Toronto and Silicon Valley including Zazengo (an online platform for consumer and employee engagement sold to Fortune500 companies focused on sustainability), KidsNRG/The NRG Group (which went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2000) and Impactanation, a global consulting firm focused on engaging youth to tackle the grand challenges we are facing. Most recently Vicki’s passion to create a strong ecosystem for social entrepreneurs in Canada has her advising MaRS (Canada’s leading innovation centre), the Office of Social Enterprise with the Ontario Government and Ryerson University with the aim to drive wealth creation and positive social change in Canada and beyond. In 2001, Vicki was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. She has spoken regularly at events around the world including; The World Economic Forum in Davos, Women of Influence Series in Canada, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs events and the Tallberg Forum.


6:30 Networking and Food
7:00 Fireside Chat
8:30 Networking


Hosted By Michael Cayley, Director of Startup Grind Toronto

Hi I'm Michael Cayley, Founder of Cdling (pronounced "seedling"), a platform that builds trust between investors, startups and mentors. I'm also Founder of the Ontario Cross-border Technology Innovation Ecosystem (OCTIE) Study. I've been doing the startup grind my whole career across Canada, the US, in Europe and China over the years. I hope that helps add some value to this conversation!
Email: [masked]

Global Partners

Google App Engine

Google is offering startups $1,000 of credit to start building applications on Google App Engine. App Engine is a development platform that makes applications easy to write, simple to scale, and trivial to manage. Use verification code: SGAE-02

Local Partners

Cdling Capital Services Inc.

Cdling is ratings agency that builds trust between investors, startups and experts.

We are grateful to the Office of the Vice President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University and her team for their support of our June Female Funders and Founders event.


What is Startup Grind?

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. We host monthly events in more than 40 cities and 20 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Our monthly fireside chat interviews, startup mixers and annual conferences provide ample opportunities to connect with amazing startups and the people behind them, tap into a strong support network, form meaningful connections and gain inspiration for the startup journey ahead. For more information visit or follow us on twitter @StartupGrind.


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  • Debra C.

    Thanks – just to reiterate: business is the most competitive sport on the planet and entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Let's not lose sight of building a sustainable business; finding mentors should be gender neutral: if you understand your fit in the market, the customer pain you are solving, then go find a Mentor who has these relationships/contacts and/or functional skills like contract negotiation skills that can help you attract/close/maintain customers b/c at the end of the day the only proof point that you have a valid business model is someone is signing a PO for your company solution & is writing your business a check. Let's not loose site of what entrepreneurship is about. Perhaps, brush up on sales skills like cold calling to reach out to a female mentor - but not understanding your market first and who are the female thought leaders in your space is a mistake. People will help, but help yourself first and know your ask!

    1 · June 28, 2013

  • Kaz

    Thanks for setting this up for us women, Michael. It is encouraging to hear that the opportunities are there, the mentors are showing up, and women are starting to stand in their own power. I'll need to put my thinking cap on for how to interest angels for The payback is not in $ directly, but in the future of our children and the planet. Not sure how to put a price on that! If there are any investors out there who are "Earth" angels, or any one else who has a woman not waiting screaming to come out, I would love to hear from you.

    June 28, 2013

    • Kaz

      Oh and guys, if you are a woman not waiting screaming to come out, that is fine by me too. :-) Have a super Canada day everyone (and 4th of July for our US Grinders)

      June 28, 2013

  • Kiran S.

    Thanks for organizing the event. I made the comment about the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. My site is

    Lokafy connects travellers with locals who want to share their passion for their home city. I just completed the website a few weeks ago. I'd love to hear your feedback/questions.



    June 28, 2013

  • shailu

    I am a startup entrepreneur , with some great ideas for business , looking forward to get info on funding resources for my business.Wanna know any canadian govt. funding resources available for startup entrepreneurs and more. To LEARN and CONTRIBUTE!

    June 19, 2013

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