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Introducing the Innovation Economy Council and the Post-COVID-19 Pivot

May 8 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm









How Canadian startups can drive the country’s economic recovery.

About this Event

This May 8, the IEC invites you to its first official event: a special discussion on how Canadian startups can renew the country’s economic standing post-COVID-19. Hosted by CBC’s Manjula Selvarajah, the event will also showcase the IEC’s founding members, each advising on how policymakers across Canada can lay the foundation for sustainable recovery.

This event is an opportunity to help shape the future of Canada’s innovation economy; it’s also a chance to meet and learn from some of the country’s most influential tech leaders. It is the first of an ongoing series led by the IEC and its partners.

Download the report: The Post-Viral Pivot


  • Startups
  • Members of the Canadian innovation community
  • IEC stakeholders and their networks
  • Media


– Presentation: The Post-Viral Pivot with Barrie McKenna, former Globe and Mail columnist, with data and analytics by Nigel Biggar

– Panel Discussion: The need for an industrial innovation policy. What should governments do to shape recovery? How can we use this moment as an opportunity to lay the foundation for the future economy?

  • Annette Verschuren, chair and CEO of NRStor
  • Blake Hutcheson, president and incoming CEO of OMERS
  • Deborah Yedlin, Chancellor of the University of Calgary
  • Gord Nixon, chair at BCE and former CEO of RBC
  • Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS

– Naheed Kurji, president & CEO of Cyclica on shifting gears to offer its expertise to drug companies scrambling to find COVID-19 treatments

– Three entrepreneurs on what is required to survive the pandemic:

  • Stephany Lapierre, CEO, tealbook
  • Rob Douglas, chairman & CEO, Bioconnect
  • Jeremy Hedges, president, InkSmith

– Live Q&A with a few members of the Innovation Economy Council: MaRS, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Communitech, DMZ, CCRM and Invest Ottawa.

Host: CBC’s Manjula Selvarajah


On April 29, Canada’s largest innovation hubs announced the formation of the Innovation Economy Council (IEC), a coalition of tech-sector leaders dedicated to shaping Canada’s innovation policy. Led by MaRS, OCECommunitechDMZInvest Ottawa and CCRM, the IEC produces key reports and hosts events with the goal of advocating for startups and the tech community; fostering thoughtful conversation; and growing the economy at large.