Dalhousie University (LaunchDal) is pleased to invite you to the annual conference of the Canadian Council for SMEs and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE), from May 3 to 5, 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Keynote Speakers

Saras D. Sarasvathy

Professor of Entrepreneurship at University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Professor Saras D. Sarasvathy is a member of the Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Ethics area in the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. In addition to MBA and doctoral courses in entrepreneurship at Darden, she teaches in doctoral programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. In 2007, Sarasvathy was named one of the top 18 entrepreneurship professors by Fortune Small Business magazine.

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In 2013, Babson College awarded her an honorary doctorate for the impact of her work on entrepreneurship education. In addition to the Jamuna Raghavan Chair at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Sarasvathy currently holds a chair professorship from Nankai University in Tianjin, China and a jubilee professorship from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. In addition to teaching awards from other universities, she won the 2015 Mead-Colley Honored Faculty Award from UVA for active engagement with students.

A leading scholar on the cognitive basis for high-performance entrepreneurship, Sarasvathy serves on the editorial boards of top management journals and as Associate Editor of top entrepreneurship journals. Her scholarly work has won several awards, including the 2001 William H. Newman Award from the Academy of Management and the 2009 and 2015 Gerald E. Hills Best Paper Awards from the American Marketing Association. Her book Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise was nominated for the 2009 Terry Book Award by theAcademy of Management.

Effectuation is widely acclaimed as a rigorous framework for understanding the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. The research program based on effectuation involves over a hundred scholars from around the world whose published and working papers can be found at www.effectuation.org. Sarasvathy has also developed several cases and other instructional materials to teach effectuation. Her co-authored textbook, Effectual Entrepreneurship won the Gold Medal in the 2012 Axiom Business Book Awards

Bill Aulet

Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management

Bill Aulet is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught and practiced around the world. He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his 25-year successful business career first at IBM and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur.

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During this time, he directly raised over a hundred million dollars and, more importantly, created hundreds of millions of dollars of shareholder value through his companies. Since 2009, he has been responsible for leading the development of entrepreneurship education across MIT at the Trust Center. His first book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship, released in August 2013, has been translated into over 18 languages and has been the content for three online edX courses which have been taken by hundreds of thousands of people in 199 different countries. The accompanying follow on book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook, was released in April 2017. He has widely published in in places such as the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, the Boston Globe, the Sloan Management Review, the Kauffman Foundation, Entrepreneur Magazine, MIT Sloan Experts and more. He has been a featured speaker on shows such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, BBC News, Bloomberg News as well as at events and conferences around the world.

He has degrees from Harvard and MIT and is a board member of MITEK Systems (NASDAQ: MITK) and XL Hybrids Inc. (Private) as well as a visiting professor at University of Strathclyde (Scotland). On July 1, 2017, Bill was named a Professor of the Practice at MIT Sloan, the first at the school in the area of entrepreneurship since Alex d’Arbeloff was in July 1, 2003. Bill has earned external recognition as well for his efforts which include Boston 50 on Fire, 2017 Favorite MBA Professors from Poets and Quants, and 2018 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University.

Longer addition to bio with more detail: Disciplined Entrepreneurship has been converted to versions in (as of July 2017) Arabic, Audio (via Audible), Chinese Orthodox, Chinese Simplified, Croatian, Danish, German, Farsi, Japanese, Korean (where it was named one of the top Economics & Business books of 2014 by the prestigious Kyobo Book Store), Mongolian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese. It has been a best seller in many countries including Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. It has also been the basis of a series of highly successful MIT edX online classes Entrepreneurship 101, Entrepreneurship 102 and Entrepreneurship 103 as well as the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamps which have been held at different locations including MIT, Seoul (South Korea) and Brisbane (Australia).

Alex F. DeNoble

Ph.D. Executive Director, Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Professor of Management

Alex F. DeNoble is a Professor of Management and Executive Director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Business at San Diego State University. He currently also serves as the Chair of the College of Business Steering Committee.

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Prior to his role in the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, he served for 3 years as the Chair of the Management Department in the College of Business.

His primary areas of expertise include entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, technology commercialization and strategic management. He has conducted research in these areas and has taught related classes in the University’s undergraduate, graduate and executive MBA programs. He has published articles in such journals as IEEE Transactions on Management, the Journal of Business Venturing, the Journal of High Technology Management Research, the Journal of Technology Transfer, International Marketing Review, and Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice.

His other professional activities encompass both executive training and strategic consulting. Recent assignments have included business plan development consulting for new and existing entrepreneurial firms, market research and analysis for technology-based companies and entrepreneurship training for Taiwanese, German, Russian, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Finnish, Danish and U.S. executives. Over the past several years, he has conducted training programs or consulted with such companies as Qualcomm Inc., Siemens Corporation, Delta Electronics (Taiwan), the U.S. Russia Center for Entrepreneurship, Banco Nacional de Commercio Exterior (the National Export Bank of Mexico), NEC Electronics USA, Shell Technology Ventures, and Orincon Technologies (now a part of Lockheed Martin).

Dr. DeNoble is the recipient of several awards including the 2008 Monty Award from SDSU for Outstanding Faculty Contributions, 2004 Educator of the Year award from San Diego’s T-Sector Magazine; the 2001 Gloria and Edwin Appel Award from the Price-Babson Fellows program for excellence in entrepreneurship education, and the 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (in the supporter category).

He received a B.S. in Accounting from Monmouth University in 1975, a M.S. in Accounting from Virginia Tech in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Virginia Tech in 1983.

Michel Bergeron

Senior Vice President Marketing and Public Affairs, BDC

Michel Bergeron was appointed Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs in 2012.
He oversees branding and advertising, client experience, economic analysis, corporate communications, marketing, public and media relations, research, and digital experience.
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Mr. Bergeron has over 20 years of private, public and parapublic experience, dealing with financial sector issues, strategic planning, communication, branding and international trade matters.
He joined BDC in 1999 and has held a variety of field and corporate positions during his career with the bank, including Senior Manager, Loans; Director, Corporate Planning; Director, Strategic and Business Solutions; and Vice President of Corporate Relations.
Mr. Bergeron began his career in the federal government, where he worked in international trade negotiations for the Department of Finance.
He is a board member of Futurpreneur (formerly the CYBF) and IC2 Technologies Inc. He was appointed in January 2016, president of the marketing group, a CEO network of Québec.
Mr. Bergeron holds Law degrees from Laval University and Dalhousie University, and a Master of International Relations degree from Laval University. He also holds the Corporate Director (ICD.D) designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Alex Bruton

Co-founder of the Straight Up Business Institute, Senior Instructor at the University of Calgary

Alex Bruton (PEng, MBA, PhD) is an award-winning educator, several-time entrepreneur, researcher, and proud father. He is president of The Innographer (theinnographer.com/about), a practical open education and innovation design firm with the mission of “helping people (learn to) innovate”. He’s faculty director of the Spark School for Innovation by Design, Western Canada’s first innovation design school (sparkschoolforinnovationbydesign.com). And he is the co-founder of the Straight Up Business Institute (straightupbusiness.institute/roadmap), a pioneering new venture that delivers online education and gaming experiences that help people become more creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial.

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Alex was a tenured associate professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Calgary’s Mount Royal University where, during his seven years there, he led the faculty team that developed a new curriculum and minor in innovation and entrepreneurship, made the case for a new institute in that area, and raised the money to sustainably fund a director’s position and budget. And he recently began a job as a tenured faculty member in engineering entrepreneurship at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Before first becoming a professor in 2007, he spent 11 years as an innovator and entrepreneur in various industries in Calgary and Toronto, Canada: he has been an engineer; an inventor; a product and project manager; the vice president and co-founder of start-up companies; a senior business consultant; a co-donor of scholarships for innovative university students; a member of boards and councils; and an invited speaker.

He was named the 2012 Entrepreneurial Educator in Canada (by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation), and in 2011 he was named one of his city’s Top 40 Under 40. Both of these awards were for his significant contributions to entrepreneurship education. He has been the winner of several other awards for his work enabling people to learn how to innovate, including the Top Workshop Award at the international USASBE conference in 2014 for a workshop helping educators encourage big ideas through idea modeling. Also at USASBE, he has been on the faculty teams that helped develop the certificate programs in Social Entrepreneurship and Technology Entrepreneurship and regularly delivers modules in those contexts, and he is the VP Pedagogy and Learning.

He conducts research into topics related to innovation, ideation, idea modeling, deliberate opportunity design, competency modeling, and the scholarship of teaching and learning for innovation and entrepreneurship. He’s proud of being a regular “specialist facilitator” at the Experiential Classroom now held in Gainesville FL every year, and has taught many hundreds of entrepreneurship teachers and faculty members in similar venues including a recent experience through the Center for Entrepreneurship in Moscow, Russia.

Alex loves teaching, public speaking and engaging an audience, and has presented to groups ranging in size from five to 500 people on over 60 occasions in six countries, his favorite being an invited talk during an innovation week at Google. Through the courses he teaches, he aims to create learning environments in which people can flourish. Through his workshops, he aims – simply – to inspire people into action by sharing incredible ideas. He looks forward to meeting you!

David Upton

Managing Director at Common Good Solutions CIC.

David is the Co-founder of Common Good Solutions, a company that helps social enterprises start and grow. From market research to impact measurement their team of social enterprise experts help entrepreneurs and organizations build businesses that makes a difference. 

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He works with community partners and stakeholders to build the social enterprise ecosystem provincially, nationally and internationally. He believes social enterprise has the power to change the social fabric of communities for the better.
In his more than 25 years working with community-based organizations, David co-founded Common Good Solutions, became a founding member of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia, and was appointed as a member of the national Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-creation Steering Group. He is a past member of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Social Innovation Committee, and teaches social finance as an adjunct faculty member in the University of Fredericton MBA Program.

Important notice concerning entry requirement in Canada 

New entry requirement are now in effect in Canada. All foreigners except U.S. citizens are now expected to have either an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa to enter Canada.