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MaRS Discovery District

101 College Street

Suite 100 - CIB

Toronto, ON M5G 1L7


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Join Harvard Business School alumni, entrepreneurs and guests from the startup community at this year's HBS Alumni New Venture Competition, on Wednesday, March 8 at MaRS Discovery District. A very limited number of tickets are available.

Canada's semi-finalist ventures will pitch to an incredible panel of investors. This year's distinguished judges are:

  • Owen Tseng, Quantum Automotive Group
  • Matthew Leibowitz, Plaza Ventures Partner
  • Kathryn Wortsman, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing,
  • Narbe Alexandrian , OMERS Ventures
  • Marcus Daniels, Highline

We are proud to announce this year's semi-finalists:

  • Vention - based out of Montreal, Vention is disrupting mechanical engineering the same way "bootstrapping" disrupted web-site development.
  • Maerospace – based out of Waterloo, Maerospace operationalizes big data from complex sensors for governments and businesses worldwide.
  • Movesnap – based out of Toronto, Movesnap is reimagining the moving experience and making it seamless, efficient, and enjoyable.
  • Tap Medical – based out of Saint-Laurent, uses the latest technology, dedicated staff, and an extensive network to enhance and personalize healthcare.
  • Piearcings – based out of Toronto, Piearcings is making wearable technology invisible giving added connectivity and convenience without compromising on style.

We are also thrilled to announce Sanjay Singhal, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and founder of Audiobooks.com, as guest speaker. In addition to the pitching competition and a talk and Q&A with Sanjay, there will be opportunities for networking with alumni and guests from the start up community.

6:00 PM - Registration, networking and refreshments
6:30 PM - Keynote speaker: Sanjay Singhal, Founder of Audiobooks.com and Partner of 500 Startups.
7:00 PM - Pitches by the Canadian semi-finalist ventures
8:00 PM - Networking and refreshments, Judge deliberation, and Announcement of Canadian NVC winner

HBS Alumni New Venture Competition is an annual global competition that serves as a launch pad for innovative new ventures by HBS alumni. It provides startups with access and exposure to potential investors, mentors, and advisors and the opportunity to win up to $100k in funding. The finalist from this event will represent Canada at the HBS competition on April 25. Learn more HERE.

Keynote Speaker:

Sanjay Singhal, founder of Audiobooks.com and Venture Partner at 500 Startups

Sanjay Singhal is the Canadian Venture Partner for 500 Startups, the most active seed investor in Silicon Valley, and aiming to be the largest in the world. Sanjay has personally started five businesses, and has been an angel investor in over 30 others. Joining the world of early-stage venture capital, he hopes to help other Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their own dreams of success.

Sanjay’s largest entrepreneurial win has been as founder of Simply Audiobooks, aka Audiobooks.com; however, he has had his share of failures as well, the results of which include a divorce, personal bankruptcy, and chronic paranoia. Sanjay is a founding board member of Angel One, one of Canada’s most prolific Angel investment groups, and also serves on the boards of a number of companies in which he is an investor.

Sanjay has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from UNB and UBC respectively, and an MBA from Cornell University.


Owen Tseng, EVP & COO, Quantum Automotive Group

Owen Tseng is the Chief Operating Officer of Quantum Automotive Group, where he brings with him over 16 years of international luxury automotive experience. As Director of Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Greater China he led initiatives for business development and CRM and was a finalist for the President’s Award in the categories of Best Individual and Best Team in the Asia Pacific region. Owen’s wealth of knowledge of luxury brands in conjunction with his MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business and alumni status from the Harvard Business School provide experience and focused leadership to the Quantum Automotive Group.

Matt Leibowitz, Partner, Plaza Ventures

Matthew Leibowitz

Matt is a seasoned early stage institutional tech investor having originated, managed and completed dozens of equity and debt transactions. He has arranged significant private placement financings in private equity and VC settings. Matt is a frequent public speaker at conferences in the technology and clean-tech VC industries and a regular contributor to business schools, accelerators, incubators, selection committees, etc. Matt earned an LLM from Oxford University, an MSc from the University of New South Wales, and an H.BA from the University of Toronto.

Marcus Daniels, Founding Partner, Highline BETA

Marcus Daniels

Marcus Daniels is a digital product entrepreneur, pre-seed investor and corporate innovation architect that helps startups accelerate growth. Marcus is a Founding Partner of Highline BETA which is a Startup Co-Creation company launching new ventures with corporations. Co-Founder & CEO of HIGHLINE, a pre-seed VC that helps digital startups get follow-on capital. Backed by leading VCs with offices in Vancouver & Toronto, HIGHLINE has 37 active companies, 13 exits and $136 million of follow-on capital. Marcus holds an MBA from Queen's School of Business, a BA in Psychology & Economics from McGill University and completed the Venture Capital Executive Program from UC Berkeley.

Kathryn Wortsman, Fund Manager, MaRS Catalyst Fund


Kathryn started her career Investment Banking at RBC Dominion Securities and then went on to spent most of her 20 year career investing and managing venture capital and private equity in small to medium sized businesses both in New York and Toronto. Most recently, in 2012, Kathryn co-founded Crest Capital Corporation, a search fund in Toronto and purchased two companies in the infrastructure cleaning and repair sector. Kathryn was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

Narbe Alexandrian, Senior Associate, OMERS Ventures

Narbe Alexandrian, CPA, CA

At OMERS Ventures, Narbe Alexandrian is responsible for researching and executing investment opportunities in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector. Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Narbe worked as a Senior Strategy Manager at TELUS, developing and shaping their Internet of Things (IoT) segment. Narbe has also worked with a number of Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, developing operational and go-to-market strategies. Narbe began his career at Deloitte, within the Corporate Strategy and M&A Advisory groups, primarily working with private equity, pension funds and large corporates on a number of strategic initiatives. Narbe has taught courses in technology entrepreneurship and accounting at the Schulich School of Business, and has also been an instructor for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants. Narbe is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and has a BBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Many thanks to our sponsors Quantum Automotive Group and MaRS Discovery District.

Event Chairs: Colin Lynch (MBA 2011), Suzanne Kwok (MBA 2015)

Date and time


MaRS Discovery District

101 College Street

Suite 100 - CIB

Toronto, ON M5G 1L7


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Organizer HBS Club of Toronto


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