• The Parenting Playbook: How Tech Companies Can Design Parent-Friendly Workplaces

    Join us for a special edition of Girl Geeks Toronto co-hosted with our friends at #DevTO! With tech's core millennial workforce now aging into the parenthood years, family friendliness is the new way to attract and retain talent. How do you create a truly parent-friendly workplace? Joins us as we hear from co-creators Amanda Munday (CEO of parent-friendly co-working space The Workaround) and Anna MacKenzie (Software Engineer at PartnerStack), who will will walk us through The Parenting Playbook, their handbook for leaders of all kinds who want to help tech and startup folks create truly parent-friendly workplaces that balance work and life. Check out this feature on The Parenting Playbook in the Globe & Mail! https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/small-business/talent/article-in-a-tight-labour-market-employers-need-to-pay-attention-to-the-needs/ Special thanks to our sponsors Rangle.io and TalentMinded for their support on this event! Amanda Munday Amanda Munday is the founder and CEO of The Workaround, and the author of the upcoming release Day Nine: a postpartum depression memoir. She is an advocate for women-identified rights. Her 14-year career has been rooted in technology, community building and education. In 2012, Amanda was awarded the Toronto Community Foundation Vital People Award for her work with women and technology in the non-profit sector. Her work has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and Quartz in the U.S. Anna Mackenzie Anna Mackenzie is a Software Engineer at PartnerStack who is dedicated to increasing the participation of women in tech. In 2017, she co-wrote "The Expecting Playbook", which is a toolkit that helps start-ups roll out supportive parental leave policies regardless of their size and stage. 2018's follow-up, titled "The Parenting Playbook", provides start-ups with the necessary tools to support parents upon their return to work. Anna is an advisory board member for #MoveTheDial and both a freeCodeCamp and FITC speaker. She is one of DMZ’s 2018 Top 30 Women in Tech Making a Difference and a Top 25 Women of Influence for 2018. By attending this event your are also accepting the Code of Conduct at http://devto.ca/coc. Drinks and healthy eats will be served at this event.

  • A Radically Courageous Conversation: How Can we Really Show up as Allies?

    **THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT! TICKETS WERE ONLY AVAILABLE ON OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-radically-courageous-conversation-how-can-we-really-show-up-as-allies-tickets-44968805909) - SO IF YOU HAVE ONLY RSVP'D ON MEETUP YOU DO NOT HAVE A TICKET.** Join Girl Geeks Toronto (https://www.meetup.com/girlgeekstoronto/) on May 9th at TWG, as we gather for an interactive evening of courageous and radically candid conversation about allyship, inclusion and moral courage in the era of #MeToo. The #MeToo movement has been a powerful force which has brought many people’s lived experience of harassment, microaggressions and toxic workplace cultures to the forefront. Many of us have been compelled more strongly than ever to learn to be better allies, and we strive to attend talks and read about how we can be better. But do we have enough examples in our lives and workplaces of courageous behaviour? Where are the examples of courageous conversations, modelled for us, that we can learn from? How can we show up--and we mean really show up--and stand up for what we believe in? How do we get up from the sidelines and have the difficult conversations that can drive real change in the behaviour of other? What does the nuts and bolts of allyship look like in our everyday lives? We have two powerful facilitators lined up for a truly thought-provoking, interactive evening designed to put allyship into action. Note: If you're looking for another sit-in-your-chair-all-night speaking event this isn't for you -- get ready for some interactive, challenging, fun & insightful activities designed to flex your empathy muscles! Avery Francis - Senior Consultant at Bright+Early, Founder of the Bridge Program, and DITTO (Diversity and Inclusion Talks TO) Always looking to what’s next, Avery works with leading startups to navigate the world of talent acquisition and build a creative culture worth being a part of. A champion of diversity, inclusion and belonging, Avery is a founder of the Bridge program (https://rangle.io/bridge/) for female engineers as well as DITTO (Diversity and Inclusion Talks TO). Formerly the Head of Talent at League and Director of Talent at Rangle.io, Avery leads Bright + Early’s recruiting and inclusion projects. Avery was recently named to the Hot List 2018, an annual list recognizing the HR leaders “to watch” in Canada, by Human Resources Director Canada magazine. Jeff Perera - Founder of HigherUnlearning.com, Healthy Masculinities and Mindful Manhood Speaker and Writer For close to ten years, Jeff has been a speaker and facilitator who has delivered keynotes, talks and workshops for tens of thousands of people across North America from all walks of life--from organizations and community spaces, to grade school, high school, college and university students--on how society’s unattainable and harmful concepts of masculinity impact people of all genders. From Rogers Media, Vidyard, Canada Post, to numerous post-secondary spaces, Jeff has created space for people of all genders to explore being ‘the lesson in action’! He has delivered two TEDx talks on Masculinity and men’s troubled pursuits of identity: Words Speak Louder Than Actions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBlQJFe_Ik) and The Ladder of Manhood (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH4PDQ2-qcE). Jeff started HigherUnlearning.com as an online space to explore how ideas of gender and masculinity impact us in everyday life. Jeff previously worked at White Ribbon Campaign, organized dozens of gender/masculinity-related events, founded the annual ‘What Makes a Man’ Conference and was event director for the first TEDxWomen event in Toronto, Canada. He was named to Racism Free Ontario’s Top 100 Person of Colour list spotlighting anti-racism activists. Agenda: 6:30-7:00 - Doors open, registration & food. 7:00 - Event begins 9:00 - Event ends

  • Ethical AI: What kind of society do we want to have?

    *** OUR FIRST EVENT OF 2018 IS COMPLETELY SOLD OUT! THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST! IF YOU DON'T HAVE NOT PURCHASED A TICKET ON EVENTBRITE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ethics-of-artificial-intelligence-tickets-41523988367) YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED FOR THIS EVENT** **PURCHASE A TICKET ONLY ON OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ethics-of-artificial-intelligence-tickets-41523988367) - RSVP'ING ON MEETUP WILL NOT GUARANTEE YOUR SPOT** We've teamed up with the new Toronto chapter of Humans For AI to bring you an exclusive panel discussion on the ethics of AI featuring some of Toronto's top women in the AI space. AI is accelerating its pace and with it, bringing us incredible benefits… but also vulnerabilities to individuals and society, real and yet to be revealed. This panel will discuss how AI has dramatically improved convenience, access to information, communication and expectations for everyone and society at large. But are we, as humans, slowly ceding control to the machines we’ve programmed? How will AI change the way we think about how our information is used in exchange for the things we want? OUR AMAZING PANEL: Moderated by Hessie Jones, CMO of Humans for AI and Co-Founder of Salsa AI Inmar Givoni - Autonomy Engineering Manager at Uber Advanced Technologies Group Inmar leads a team of research and software engineers at Uber Advanced Technology Group, Toronto, working on self-driving technologies. Her mission is to bring cutting-edge deep-learning based solutions from the Toronto research team into Uber's self driving fleet. Inmar led machine learning and research engineering team in various Toronto based companies (Kindred, Kobo), worked as a research scientist (Kobo, Intel, Microsoft Research) and prior to that completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, specializing in machine learning. She is a regular speaker at big data, analytics, and machine learning events, and is particularly interested in outreach activities for young women, encouraging them to choose technical career paths. Karen Bennet - VP Engineering at Cerebri AI Karen is an experienced senior engineering leader with more than 25 years in the software development business in both open and closed source solutions. She is currently focusing on AI / machine learning at a new startup company. Previously she worked as a senior engineering leader at IBM, Yahoo, Trapeze and as well with two startups: Cygnus and Red Hat which have grown into sustainable businesses. Anna Goldenberg - Member of the Vector Institute, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Department of Computer Science, and Scientist at the Genetics and Genome Biology Lab at SickKids Research Institute Anna is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and a key scientist in the Genetics and Genome Biology Lab at Sickkids Research Institute. Her research focuses on high-throughput experiments that facilitate data collection. In her laboratory, she works on creating machine learning methods that make such data useful for clinical diagnosis. Her goal is to use machine learning to decipher human disease heterogeneity. Anna earned both her Ph.D. in Computational and Statistical Learning and Masters in Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining at Carnegie Mellon University. **PURCHASE A TICKET ON OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ethics-of-artificial-intelligence-tickets-41523988367) - RSVP'ING ON MEETUP WILL NOT GUARANTEE YOUR SPOT!**

  • Bro Culture: How To Survive + When To Call It


    HOW TO REGISTER: **TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT FOLLOW THIS LINK TO OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bro-culture-how-to-survive-when-to-call-it-tickets-38817736896). RSVP'ING ON MEETUP WILL NOT RESULT IN SECURING YOUR SPOT** Join Girl Geeks Toronto on Tuesday, November 7th at BrainStation for a conversation around how you can survive to thrive in a bro culture and when it’s time to say “enough is enough” and call in the experts. WHAT IS IT? Let's be clear -- it's not that we think the responsibility falls solely on women. But in a world that’s not changing fast enough, we want to provide you with guidance on how you can protect yourself. We want you to walk away from this conversation... • With a better sense of your boundaries • Feeling empowered to give feedback and asking for what you need • And when to know that it’s time to call in the experts HOW IT'LL WORK Mic Berman and Tara Rhodes will open the conversation with a mini values session so that everyone has a clarity around what they stand for and then provide you with guidance to form new responses - now that you know, what will you do about it? Melissa Nightingale will close the conversation with a panel who can talk about when it’s time to bring in the experts - who do you call and why? *PANEL OF EXPERTS HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED; SEE BELOW* Each presentation will go for 45 minutes including Q+A with time built in for networking. AGENDA • 6:30 - Doors open. Grab some food (veggie/vegan options available) & network with your fellow geeks! • 7:00 to 8:30 - Talks by Mic, Tara and Melissa. • 8:30 to 9:00 - Networking RULES OF ENGAGEMENT Stories stay in the room, but learnings can leave. An event like this requires honesty and vulnerability to share your experiences, and this is a safe space to do just that. Follow your gut about what feels right to share. It’s more important to connect with the people around you and share lessons than to disclose a lot of personal information. “It’s all love and all respect in this house.” (paraphrased from one of our favourite movies of 2016, Moonlight) We expect everyone to follow this mantra and show kindness and respect to each and every attendee in the room. PRESENTER BIOS Mic Berman - Leadership Development Leader at Grossman Dorland (@micberman (https://twitter.com/micberman)) Mic leads the Grossman Dorland leadership development practice, which is focussed on growing people’s leadership capabilities and accelerating a company’s ability to scale and win. Mic has over twenty years experience in the US, Canada, and Internationally. Since 2012, Mic has coached numerous leading startups & leaders to transform their impact, to create alignment, clear goals and plans, and ultimately achieve higher performance. Her last operating role was COO of Freshbooks, a leading SaaS accounting software company. She has also held leadership roles in marketing, business development, and product at Mozilla, Yahoo, and CGI, and spent her earlier career at McKinsey & Company. Tara Rhodes - Leadership Coach at Grossman Dorland (@coachtararhodes (https://twitter.com/coachtararhodes)) Tara brings a passion for all things self development and leadership. Combining her career in digital media plus and her experience in coaching emerging leaders, she has unique insight into the mindset and strategies required to build a solid foundation for growth. She stands for the positive transformation of her clients, and the subsequent impact that they will have. Tara earned her Bachelor of International Business from Carleton University in Ottawa, and is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from the Coaches Training Institute and an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaches Federation. Melissa Nightingale - Co-founder Raw Signal and Author of “How F*cked Up Is Your Management?” (@shappy (https://twitter.com/shappy)) Melissa’s been a startup warrior since the first dotcom boom and has the branded t-shirt collection to prove it. She has held senior leadership roles in marketing, pr, and strategy at several fast paced startups, including Wattpad, Edmodo, and Mozilla. Melissa cut her teeth in the agency world at OutCast Communications, SparkPR, and Edelman. Melissa moved to Toronto after more than a decade of working in senior tech roles in Silicon Valley. She is gradually adjusting to seasons. PANEL OF EXPERTS: Lorena Pacheco Scott - Head of People at Ritual (@lorenapscott (https://twitter.com/lorenapscott)) Lorena Scott is a Colombian born entrepreneur and investor. Having relocated north almost 8 years ago, Lorena is now a proud member of the Canadian tech community. She is Head of People of Operations at Ritual.co. Prior to Ritual, Lorena was VP of Operations at 500px, leading their People, Customer Support, Finance & Accounting, Legal and Operations teams. Lorena was bit by the startup/tech bug after founding MommiesFirst, a monthly subscription service supporting expectant and new moms across the US and Canada. Lisa Stam - Employment Lawyer at SpringLaw (@lisastam (https://twitter.com/lisastam)) Lisa Stam is founder of Spring Law,​ a virtual law firm advising exclusively on workplace legalissues for employers and executives. She practices all aspects of employment, labour, privacy,human rights, and benefits law, with a particular interest in technology in the workplace issues. Kiran Rana - Digital Editor at The Globe & Mail (@kirannikita (https://twitter.com/kirannikita)) Kiran Rana is a digital editor with The Globe and Mail, where she helps shape the online priorities for the news organization and manage The Globe’s social-media strategy. She is also the columnist for a new initiative called Help Desk, where she tackles the under-35 readership’s questions regarding their workplace. She previously worked as a reporter and digital editor for The Globe’s Report on Business section. TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT FOLLOW THIS LINK TO OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bro-culture-how-to-survive-when-to-call-it-tickets-38817736896). RSVP'ING ON MEETUP WILL NOT RESULT IN SECURING YOUR SPOT.

  • Our First Ever Mentor Mixer: Startup Founders & Leaders

    HOW TO REGISTER: **TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT FOLLOW THIS LINK TO OUR EVENTBRITE PAGE . (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/our-first-ever-girl-geeks-mentor-mixer-startup-founders-leaders-tickets-37838383624) RSVP'ING ON MEETUP WILL NOT RESULT IN SECURING YOUR SPOT** Join Girl Geeks Toronto on Thursday, October 5th at OneEleven to help us kick off a NEW event series dedicated to connection, mentorship and amplifying your ability to inspire and champion your fellow women in tech. WHAT IS IT? Come connect with a select group of women mentors who are trailblazing startup founders and leaders in a fun, facilitated networking event. WHO IS IT FOR? You'll benefit most from attending this event if you're a current OR aspiring startup founder, or a startup employee or leader who wants to maximize your impact. HOW IT'LL WORK: This event will be interactive, insightful, inspiring and most of all, a really fun way to build your network. The evening will consist of facilitated networking, with attendees breaking off into small groups to get face-to-face time with each of our mentors to ask questions, drive group discussion, and spark new connections. The best way to prepare is to read through the bios (below) of these amazing founders and come ready to discuss your toughest challenges and most pressing questions. TELL ME MORE! This is the first of a new series of facilitated networking events from Girl Geeks Toronto that will connect attendees with targeted industry peers as well as trailblazing mentors who can provide insights and advice about their career journey. We've built a pay-it-forward mantra into these interactive events: every participant takes the pledge to help and be helped by at least one new contact, so come ready to impact and be impacted by a new connection. THIS MONTH'S MENTORS ARE: Nancy Peterson - Founder & CEO of HomeStars (@nancyaths (https://twitter.com/nancyaths)) (https://twitter.com/nancyaths) Eva Wong - Co-founder and COO of Borrowell (@eva_toronto (https://twitter.com/eva_toronto)) Iliana Oris Valiente - Founder of ColliderX (@Iliana_OV (https://twitter.com/IlianaOV)) Janelle Hinds - Founder of Helping Hands (@MobileAppQueen (https://twitter.com/MobileAppQueen)) Stephany Lapierre - Founder & CEO of tealbook (@slapierreceo (https://twitter.com/slapierreceo)) Anna Hu - Co-founder & CEO of Brizi (@uh_anna (https://twitter.com/uh_anna)) RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (Shoutout to Jen Gonzales, Director of Student Life at Ryerson University, for helping us craft these.) Stories stay in the room, but learnings can leave. An event like this requires honesty and vulnerability to share your trip-ups and failures, fears and hopes, and most critical startup challenges. Mentors or peers may share personal stories with you to and we want you to walk away with lessons and takeaways, but you must leave the personal stories that served them up in the room so this can continue being a safe, positive space for our community to share and grow. Follow your gut about what feels right to share. It’s more important to connect with the people around you and share lessons than to disclose a lot of personal information. We want you to connect and continue relationships - but what that means depends on what you’re capable of giving. If you meet someone at this event and take a pledge to continue a conversation, we encourage you to connect in whatever amount you're capable of. Answering an email still counts as connecting! You don’t have to commit to lunch, coffee, or more if you don’t feel you have the bandwidth to do so. Give as much attention to your peers as your mentors. Studies have shown that we learn as much or more from our peers than from a more experienced mentor. Make an effort to be friendly and curious to the other attendees at the event. “It’s all love and all respect in this house.” (paraphrased from one of our favorites movies of 2016, Moonlight) We expect everyone to follow this mantra and show kindness and respect to each and every attendee in the room. MENTOR BIOS: Nancy Peterson - Founder & CEO of HomeStars (@nancyaths (https://twitter.com/nancyaths)) Nancy founded HomeStars in 2006 to help homeowners find reputable home improvement professionals by sharing their experiences with fellow homeowners. HomeStars was the first review site in Canada focused exclusively on home improvement and it has raised the bar on the accountability and quality expected of contractors, repairmen, renovators and retailers ever since. Nancy grew HomeStars into a successful company that has been recognized for the past five consecutive years on the Profit 500 List of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies, and she has been named to the Chatelaine W100 List of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs. In February 2017, HomeStars was acquired by US-based HomeAdvisor, an IAC company and the world leader in digital home services. Passionate about the power of online reviews, Nancy sits on the global ISO committee to create standards for online reviews that will improve the quality of reviews while protecting consumers against fraudulent practices. Eva Wong - Co-founder and COO of Borrowell (@eva_toronto (https://twitter.com/eva_toronto)) Eva is Co-Founder and COO of Borrowell, a Canadian fintech lender that offers personal loans, free credit scores and personalized product recommendations. Her career has spanned both the private and not-for-profit sectors, including leadership roles at The OTF Group (a Monitor spin-off), Maple Leaf Foods, UNDP and Oliver Wyman (formerly Mercer Management Consulting). She has studied or worked in the US, Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe. Eva was named one of "9 Canadian Women Changing The Game" by Elle Canada magazine, one of "30 Women in Canadian Tech Worth Following" by BetaKit and a finalist for "Fintech Woman of the Year" by LendIt, the world’s biggest show in lending & fintech. She holds degrees from Harvard University and Queen’s School of Business. Iliana Oris Valiente - Founder of ColliderX (@Iliana_OV (https://twitter.com/IlianaOV)) Iliana Oris Valiente, CPA, CA, CBP (Certified Bitcoin Professional) is widely credited for being a trailblazer in the blockchain space, having been among the first to recognize the tremendous impact of this traditionally "hacker" technology on the enterprise world. Her focus has been on exponential technology, entrepreneurship and bridging the gap between the corporate world and the start-up communities. Prior to founding ColliderX, Iliana was the catalyst in getting Deloitte actively involved with all things blockchain, and founded the Rubix by Deloitte Blockchain practice in 2014. Iliana has experience providing advisory services and has overseen projects to conceptualize and prototype proof-of-concepts related to the impact of blockchain technology across industries, with a focus on FSI, Healthcare and the Public Sector. Iliana has strong views on how the network effects of this technology will impact multiple industry verticals, and how it will radically change status quo business models. Iliana is a sought after speaker, having presented at a number of North American and European conferences and events. Janelle Hinds - Founder of Helping Hands (@MobileAppQueen (https://twitter.com/MobileAppQueen)) Janelle is the founder of Helping Hands, a platform to youth volunteer and get civically engaged while building skills for their future careers. She is the Program Coordinator with a youth-led initiative that deliver workshops to newcomer and racialized youth to build leadership skills and more to ensure all youth are active citizens. While working on her B.Eng with majors in both Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, Janelle realized her passion for STEM education, entrepreneurship and diversity issues. She founded HackItMac, now called PhaseOne, a collaborative technical community and organized deltaHacks, the first student-run hackathon in North America with a focus on enabling positive social change. She has worked on integrating efforts to increase diversity in many of her endeavours and always looking for more opportunities to help others in their efforts. Janelle is an advocate for social innovation and encouraging others to pursue entrepreneurial endeavours. Previously, Janelle had a role at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health where she utilized her engineering knowledge design a platform to help youth find mental health and wellness resources. Stephany Lapierre - Founder & CEO of tealbook (@slapierreceo (https://twitter.com/slapierreceo)) Stephany is the founder and CEO of tealbook. Prior to tealbook, she spent 10 years building a successful strategic sourcing consulting firm and helping Fortune 500 and emerging companies efficiently find and identify qualified global suppliers able to meet their demand. Based on her experience, Stephany built and launched tealbook in 2014, a cloud-based platform that allows enterprises to take disparate sources of data and aggregate them, reducing process and user friction through accelerated access to qualified incumbent and trusted new suppliers. Stephany is a regular guest on popular procurement podcasts and blogs such as the Art of Procurement, Buyers Meeting Point and Procurious. She speaks at conferences on procurement's ability to positively impact their organization through access to collective intelligence and accelerated supplier discovery. She has been recognized as an influencer by PharmaVOICE 100, was selected as a 2017 Provider Pro to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Magazine, and has won several awards for her innovative approach to aggregating trusted supplier intelligence. Anna Hu - Co-founder & CEO of Brizi (@uh_anna (https://twitter.com/uh_anna)) Anna is the CEO and Co-Founder of Brizi, a company building remote-controlled robotic cameras that offer brands a new way to engage sports fans. The Boston and Toronto based Techstars company licenses their proprietary technology to premier sports properties in 7 countries globally including customers within the NBA and Grand Slam Tennis. Anna was born into an entrepreneurial family where she saw the definition of struggle first-hand growing up. She gained experience at big companies like Apple, Microsoft, BMO Financial, Lexus, and Roche. Then, Anna worked with her co-founder to build the first social camera system for drones and scaled it to $100,000 of revenue in its first year. With the market landscape shifting fast and drones continuing to be a nascent technology, Brizi pivoted to fan-controlled camera systems for sports stadiums and landed their first customer with the CFL. Since then, Anna has grown the team to double digits and Brizi has won numerous awards from the industry on its way to over 100,000 memories captured around the world.

  • Pulse on VR: The Present & Future of Canada's Vibrant VR Landscape

    Join Girl Geeks Toronto on Thursday, September 21st and we welcome back to our stage the incredible Ana Serrano. Chief Digital Officer and Founder of the CFC Media Lab, Ana is at the helm of a unique, collaborative study examining Canada’s VR landscape - defining where it is today and where it’s going - launched in summer 2017. Come hear this sought-after speaker tell us all about her work with Pulse on VR at this special fall edition of Girl Geeks Toronto at the DMZ! VR lovers, you won’t want to miss this… About Pulse on VR When will VR hit the mainstream? How fast is it growing? Will this emerging industry live up to all the hype surrounding it? What sorts of things are VR companies in Canada building? Launched by CFC Media Lab and OMERS Ventures in collaboration with Nordicity , Pulse on VR: A Living Ecosystem represents an ongoing snapshot of the Canadian Virtual Reality (VR) ecosystem as it evolves. The first results of this groundbreaking study were announced in June 2017. Presenting data gathered from an ongoing survey of the Canadian VR ecosystem, the study is a living and continuous research project. It examines workflows and tools, and challenges and opportunities that VR creators and technologists face as they seize the potential of this transformative medium and shape the future of the VR ecosystem. It also looks at VR’s market potential. Pulse on VR has so far presented information from jurisdictions across Canada and has reached more than 200 companies across Canada employing almost 1400 people working on VR projects. This work is intended to benefit companies, funders, investors and content creators working in VR that are seeking to understand where they fit into the ecosystem. Full and up-to-date information on the study can be found at the website, pulseonvr.ca (http://pulseonvr.ca/). AGENDA: 6:30 PM - Doors open at the DMZ. Your ticket includes a healthy dinner spread & refreshments! (veggie/vegan options available) 7:00 PM - Ana's talk starts 8:00 PM - Networking About our speaker: Ana Serrano (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/anaserrano1) - Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and Founder of CFC Media Lab (Twitter: @acserrano (http://twitter.com/acserrano), @cfcmedialab, (http://twitter.com/cfcmedialab) @cfccreates (http://twitter.com/cfccreates)) Ana Serrano is the Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned institute for interactive storytelling created in 1997. Serrano is driving the digital transformation of the CFC into a unique blend of talent, product and company accelerator and creative production house. She also launched Canada's first digital entertainment accelerator IDEABOOST and serves as its Managing Director. To date, Serrano has directed the development of over 140 digital media projects, mentored over 70 start-ups, and has received numerous awards from the digital media, film, and theatre industries in both Canada and the U.S., including a Digital Media Trailblazing Award in 2015 from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Here's other SYPA (Stuff You'll Probably Ask): You: What time do the presentations start? Us: Doors open at 6:30pm and we begin the talks at 7:00pm sharp. Before and after the talks, there are opportunities for conversations, and the enjoyment of refreshments and a light dinner. You: Dinner, you say? Us: Yes! Your $10 ticket includes food and refreshments. Veggie and vegan options will be available. You: Your name is Girl Geeks - but is everyone welcome? Us: Definitely! We welcome everyone and inclusion is an important part of our values, which is compatible with our core mission of creating a welcoming and empowering environment for women in tech. You: Why the $10 fee? Us: All fees collected go directly to bringing you a top tier experience with notable speakers each month. Some months we get help with sponsorship and others months we do not, so the small fee balances out over the year and ensures that the events can continue to grow. Food and refreshments are provided each month and vary based on the venue. Your $10 directly goes towards covering the costs of food, drinks, hosting of our web spaces and other costs incurred to run events. We are a non-profit group run by volunteer organizers and we do not make money through this group. You: Are you taking pictures at the event? Us: We may take photographs or videos of the event, including attendees, individually or in groups. These photos or videos may appear in future publications, on our website, social media channels, or other promotions. By participating in the event, attendees consent to have their photograph taken or for any video to be recorded and subsequently shown.

  • Startup Stress Management & Mindfulness Workshop

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    We’re interrupting our summer break for a special workshop that we hope will bring some zen to your month! As many of you know, working at a tech startup can be incredibly rewarding, intellectually satisfying and a lot of fun - but it can also be stressful. Join Girl Geeks Toronto on Monday, August 14 at Brainstation (https://www.blankspace.io/) to experience a workshop aimed at helping you develop some useful stress-management techniques that will help you get through those hectic days with more ease. This special 75-minute workshop will be led by Nayna Trehan of Toronto startup BlankSpace (https://www.blankspace.io/), and will include yoga games, workplace yoga techniques, breathing exercises and guided meditation. Nayna will aim to educate and provide you with practical techniques for managing high-stress environments and to enable you to reach higher productivity and a sense of joy in your daily life. With a team that has already been in your shoes, BlankSpace understands the dynamics of working in a tech startup and provides high quality workshops to get teams feeling at their optimal. * SPACE IS LIMITED TO 40 PEOPLE SO RSVP ASAP TO SECURE YOUR SPOT! * __________________________________________________________________ AGENDA: 6:15PM - Doors open, grab some light refreshments and settle in 6:45PM - Workshop starts at 6:45 sharp. 8:00PM-8:30PM - Refreshments & networking WHAT TO BRING: - Clothing you'll feel comfortable to sit & move in - Something to sit on (we suggest a yoga mat, small blanket or a small pillow) Note: This workshop requires that participants are able to do physical activity (like some light yoga) and be comfortably able to sit on the floor for an extended period of time. If you need any special accommodations, please let us know when you purchase your ticket ([masked]). ____________________________________________________________________ About Nayna Trehan & BlankSpace: With several years of experience working with non-profits, wellness centres and most recently as a recruiter for tech startups at gdR in Toronto, Nayna Trehan founded BlankSpace (https://www.blankspace.io/)in 2016. The organization is on a mission to transforming the way companies empower their employees to handle their daily stresses through the practices of yoga and meditation. Nayna’s specialties include teaching yoga, meditation and pranayam, and she has received training as an Ayurveda Massage Therapist. Passionate about entrepreneurship, Nayna earned her Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia and a diploma in Marketing Management from British Columbia Institute of Technology. ** Exclusive to Girl Geeks Toronto, refer BlankSpace to your workplace and receive a 10% discount on your first month of workshops.** About BrainStation: BrainStation (https://www.blankspace.io/) is a global leader in digital skills training, empowering individuals and organizations to achieve digital success through courses, workshops, events and corporate training. We teach hands-on, project based courses in Marketing, Development, Design, Product, and Data. Our 20,000 square foot Toronto campus in the heart of King West is home to Quantum Coffee, our state of the art cafe, and four floors of classrooms, student lounges, and event space. ** Until August 31st, Girl Geeks Toronto members get $1,000 off Part-time Courses this September. More info at [masked] .**

  • Meet 1 of Canada's Top Tech VCs: Michelle McBane Talks StandUp Ventures

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    It’s our last event before we take our summer break for July and August, and it’s a big one! Tuesday June 13th, we’re delighted to be hosting one of the leading women in venture capital (VC) in Canada - Michelle McBane of MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF), the top seed stage investor in Ontario, investing in IT, health and cleantech companies. This is an exciting time to hear from Michelle. In May, MaRS IAF and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) launched StandUp Ventures Fund I. This fund will invest exclusively in Canadian pre-seed and seed-stage high-growth, capital-efficient ventures which have at least one woman founder in a C-suite role and who holds a significant ownership position. Michelle will tell us about the inspiration behind StandUp Ventures, the problem it seeks to solve for Canadian women entrepreneurs, and her experience as an influential woman in the industry (and maybe even teach us a little about how to evaluate a tech startup like a VC). Statistics have shown that woman-led ventures tend to be underfunded by the predominantly male world of tech investors. In fact, one recent study (https://hbr.org/2017/05/we-recorded-vcs-conversations-and-analyzed-how-differently-they-talk-about-female-entrepreneurs)found that even the language used to describe male and female entrepreneurs was radically different, and these differences have very real consequences for those seeking funding. StandUp Ventures is an exciting new way that Canadian investors are tackling the gender bias in tech investing. Agenda: 6:30PM - Doors open. Grab food, a drink & meet your fellow guests! Every $10 ticket includes a healthy dinner (vegan/veggie options available) and refreshments. 7:00-8:00PM - Michelle's talk and audience Q&A 8:00-9:00PM - Networking Introducing our speaker: Michelle McBane - Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) Michelle McBane is passionate about working with amazing technology entrepreneurs. As a Director at the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (http://www.marsiaf.com/), she leads investments in early-stage technology companies. Michelle is a skilled business professional with over 25 years of combined operational and venture capital experience. Her background includes 15 years of venture capital investing early-stage companies as well as sales and marketing roles in both engineering and scientific industries. Since 2010, she has led over 20 investments in her role at IAF. Notable investments include Rubikloud (http://www.rubikloud.com/), Figure1 (http://www.figure1.com/), Sampler (http://www.sampler.io/), OMX (http://www.theomx.com/), Nudge Rewards (http://www.nudgerewards.com/), Rank Software (http://www.ranksoftwareinc.com/), gShift Labs (http://www.gshiftlabs.com/) and Profound Medical (http://www.profoundmedical.com/). Past exits include Cytochroma (acquired by OPKO) and Locationary (acquired by APPL). Prior to IAF, Michelle was a venture investor with VG Partners and Primaxis Technology Ventures. She is active in the technology community and is an advisor at the Biomedical Zone at Ryerson, a volunteer with the Next 36 and CIX and an instructor in the entrepreneurship department at Ryerson University.

  • Red Hot Topics in Digital Marketing & Content Strategy: The Bot Boom & More!

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    For the warming spring temperatures of the month of May, we've enlisted two industry leading marketing experts to dig into some of the hotter-than-a-hot-potato digital and content marketing trends that you should know about! Join us for an evening of intriguing insights, friendly networking & yummy snacking, all with you favorite community of geeky gals! Adenda: 6:30PM - Doors Open (come in, grab a bite & meet your fellow geeks) 7:00PM-8:30PM - Two amazing talks + Q&A 8:30PM-9:00PM - Hang out with our speakers & more networking time Erin Bury - Managing Director at Eighty-Eight (http://eightyeightagency.com/) (@erinbury (http://twitter.com/erinbury)) Erin is the Managing Director at Eighty-Eight (http://eightyeightagency.com/), a Toronto-based creative communications agency. Prior to Eighty-Eight she was the Managing Editor at startup publication BetaKit, and director of communications at Sprouter, which was acquired by Postmedia in 2011. Erin is a frequent speaker with the National Speakers Bureau, writes a monthly column for the Financial Post, and is a tech commentator on CTV News. She has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and Canadian Business, and was named one of Marketing Magazine's top 30 Under 30 marketers. Her claim to fame is being retweeted by Oprah - twice. Erin’s Talk: Bot boom: What you need to know about chatbots now Chatter about chatbots reached a fever pitch in 2016, with brands including Sephora, Taco Bell, and KLM jumping on the bot bandwagon. This presentation is designed for anyone who is struggling to understand how to use bots for their business, highlighting what they are, why they’ve become so popular, and how to leverage them for customer service, content delivery, e-commerce, promotions, and branding. It also highlights a case study of TIFFBOT, a movie-loving chatbot built in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival, offering takeaways based on its success. Judi Handelman - Freelance Content Specialist, Digital Media & Transmedia (judihandelman.com (http://judihandelman.com/)) Judi is an award-winning content creator across media platforms. She is passionate about telling stories and promoting brands using technology in creative ways. Her toolbox of skills includes creative directing, producing, writing, copywriting for web, directing, TV development and content strategy. Judi’s roots are in education and television. After teaching junior high for a few years, she shifted into working in children’s media. For over seven years, she gained experience in all types of media for children – magazine (Chirp and Chickadee), newspaper (Toronto Star), textbooks (Nelson), web (AOL and Better the World) and predominantly television. With stints at TVOntario, Astral Media, Corus and marblemedia she performed a variety of roles in television including producing, directing and writing as well as developing several TV shows for kids. In 2008, she made the transition from TV to cross-platform media/transmedia, where she worked as Creative Director/Producer for Xenophile Media. There she created award-winning interactive experiences to accompany television and film. Since 2011, Judi has been working almost exclusively as a freelancer in the digital agency realm with a focus on digital copywriting and content strategy. She has worked at several digital agencies, including Idea Couture, Blast Radius, Critical Mass, Black Digital, Havas Worldwide, Tribal DDB and others. Her clients have included Citibank, Clorox, Visa, Rogers, Infiniti Motors, Corus Entertainment and more. She also worked on several video projects and helped to created an augmented reality, interactive, animated TV pilot for kids. In the fall of 2016, Judi created and taught a brand new course called Advanced Digital Media in the Broadcast Department at Centennial College. Outside of work, you can find Judi chasing after her 3.5-year-old daughter, dancing barefoot, swimming and cooking. She’s an admitted urbanite snob – but one who can’t live without time in the country, preferably in the water. Judi's Talk: WTF is Content Strategy?! Clients ask for them, plenty of people claim to be them, agencies hire them and the whole interdisciplinary team depends on them. But the majority of these people have no idea what Content Strategists do, nor why they’ve become the latest buzz. This talk will help to demystify the often misunderstood, yet increasingly necessary role within the digital project team.

  • Living healther, happier lives in a connected world

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    The health and wellness space is growing rapidly with the help of technology. The ability to live healthier, happier lives – from monitoring the quality of the air we breathe to seeking help with a mental health crisis – is within reach because of the proliferation of mobile devices, data and sensors all around us This month, we’re bringing you two of Toronto's coolest woman-led startups in the health and wellness space to ask: how can we live better in our connected world? Agenda: 6:30PM - Doors open, networking & food (veggie & vegan options available) 7:00PM-8:30PM - Talks 8:30PM-9PM - Networking & wrap-up Introducing this month's speakers: Chakameh Shafii - Co-Founder & CEO, TranQool Chakameh is the Co-founder and CEO of TranQool, an online platform designed for people living with mental distress. She’s an engineering graduate from University of Toronto who founded the Women In Science & Engineering (WISE) national conference in 2013. It was Chakameh’s personal struggles with anxiety that triggered the idea for TranQool. She was inspired to build a solution after hearing from others and experiencing first-hand the challenges of access to mental health resources. Before launching TranQool Chakameh worked at a fortune 500 company in a leadership program. Chakameh's talk: Chakameh decided to do her part to address the world's anxiety problem by facing her own fears. With TranQool, she built a company focused on increasing access to mental health care after overcoming her own anxiety with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Chakemeh will share her story and how tech can be a positive force for people in a mental health crisis. Nisha Sarveswaran – CEO, Ambience Data Currently CEO of Ambience Data, Nisha is an entrepreneur and engineer with over 10 years of engineering experience in a wide range of fields including Aviation, Nuclear and Simulation. As an Aerospace Engineer she has a proven ability to develop complex project solutions in data analysis, optimization and hardware/software systems integration. She has extensive experience in service delivery, business development, strategy, operations and software development. She previously worked for Atomic Energy of Canada and Atlantis Systems. At Ambience Data, her responsibilities include overseeing the company’s overall strategic development, direction, planning and execution. She is directly involved in the development of the real-time software monitoring platform and the development of the advanced air quality sensor systems. Nisha's talk: When thinking of air quality, most people will start thinking of the air in the outdoor environment. However, indoor air quality is extremely important to the health of individual workers in an office building as well. The standard workday for an employee is 8 hours in the office, that’s approximately 33% of the entire day. If an employee is spending a third of their day in the office five days a week with poor air quality, potential health concerns will arise. Here's other SYPA (Stuff You'll Probably Ask): You: What time do the presentations start? Us: Doors open at 6:30pm and we begin the talks at 7:00pm sharp. Before and after the talks, there are opportunities for conversations, and the enjoyment of refreshments and a light dinner. You: Dinner, you say? Us: Yes! Your $10 ticket includes food and refreshments. Veggie and vegan options will be available. You: Are guys allowed to come? Us: Yes. We have many great guys in our community who love our talks, but our focus is creating a friendly, welcoming environment for women in technology where they're not only one of two/a handful of ladies in the room (which is all too often the case at tech Meetups). You: Why the $10 fee? Us: All fees collected go directly to bringing you a top tier experience with notable speakers each month. Some months we get help with sponsorship and others months we do not, so the small fee balances out over the year and ensures that the events can continue to grow. Food and refreshments are provided each month and vary based on the venue. Your $10 directly goes towards covering the costs of food, drinks, hosting of our web spaces and other costs incurred to run events. We are a non-profit group run by volunteer organizers and we do not make money through this group. You: Are you taking pictures at the event? Us: Please note that we may take photographs or videos of the event, including attendees, individually or in groups. These photos or videos may appear in future publications, on our website, social media channels, or other promotions. By participating in the event, attendees consent to have their photograph taken or for any video to be recorded and subsequently shown.