Events to foster the entrepreneurial spirit.


September 21, 2018 brian prokopowich0

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Location: Toronto
Elevate is a not for profit platform founded by the Toronto tech and innovation community in 2017.
With a mission to elevate the Canadian tech and innovation ecosystem in September 2018 we will welcome over 10,000 guest to Toronto for a four day city wide festival to experience the best of the our ecosystem whilst celebrating diversity & inclusion.

Diversity is Our Strength

We believe that diversity is a tremendous source of strength and that our communities, workplaces, and governments are made stronger by including the voices of everyone.

Disrupt Together

We believe that collaboration is key to fueling our innovation ecosystem. By partnering with and building off of each other, Canada can win on the global stage.

It’s Our Time

As a leader in artificial intelligence, fintech and blockchain, quantum computing, healthcare, and more, Canada is on the leading edge of the technologies that are shaping tomorrow.

Learn more: Click Here.


September 19, 2017 brian prokopowich0




The case of Hibberd v. Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd. involved various issues regarding many stock options that were not exercised that were part of a consultant contract.



If you read through the 150 paragraphs of this case, you might find that the minutiae of details within the judgement are like the digressions on Targaryen history in Game of Thrones, interesting but not exactly necessary information. So I will summarize:


The defendants, Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd., had engaged the services of the plaintiff, Mr. Hibberd, and his company, for the purpose of raising capital for the defendant to purchase a company in Kazakhstan.  As part of the agreement for the plaintiff’s services, in lieu of money they were verbally offered 100,000 stock options.

A written agreement came into effect for 50,000 with a termination clause that the option may be exercised any time until 60 days after his services are terminated, or before the options expire.

According to the plaintiff – the contractor – who signed off on these options, he was given representations that it was a standard clause and it wouldn’t be exercised.

The plaintiff entered into another agreement for 50,000 stock options that included a termination clause. It was the plaintiff’s understanding that the contract would not be terminated until after the options expired – and this was confirmed verbally, according to the contractor.  Later, the defendant terminated the contract in question. The plaintiff did not exercise his options within the 60 days period of the termination, but he attempted to exercise the option months later.

To finish reading the Clausehound blog: Click Here

This blog was originally posted by Farrah Roahman

Co-authors: Brendan Sheehan and Rajah Lehal

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find where you see this logo.


August 31, 2017 brian prokopowich0

Directors – names are (in most jurisdictions) recorded on the public registrar, role is to protect the shareholders, accept some legal liability, vote on company major decisions. No hands on day-to-day activities.

Executive Director – same as above, but also in an executive role (e.g. President), with hands on day-to-day operational activities.

Advisors – No voting rights, usually are experienced or well-connected business people, guide the founders.


Compensation may vary for directors/advisors 

I had previously written in this article that whether a company has a board of directors or a board of advisors, compensation is flexible.

A company may choose to compensate either a director or an advisor in cash, with options, a combination of cash and options, cash only, or the company may even choose not to compensate such directors. This is not a critical factor for choosing a board of advisors over a board of directors or vice versa. 

Public company board of director positions can receive seven digit compensation.  At the other end of the spectrum, a startup company more likely can offer options for compensation.  When offering option-based compensation consider the following:

To finish reading the Clausehound blog: Click Here

This blog was originally posted by Farrah Roahman

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find where you see this logo.


July 25, 2017 brian prokopowich0

When you’re involved in a contractual dispute, the process for resolving the dispute should be set out in the contract itself.

If the contract is silent on the point and you can’t resolve your dispute, you will have to use the courts. This can lead to disagreement about which courts have jurisdiction, so it is important to include clauses dealing with both governing law (what law applies) and jurisdiction (which courts can decide a case) in your contract.

To finish reading the Clausehound blog: Click Here

This blog was originally posted by Farrah Roahman

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find where you see this logo.


June 3, 2017 brian prokopowich0

Except for few specific circumstances, it is almost considered ancient to have parties to a contract physically meet up to a sign a contract in a boardroom. With the fast-paced lifestyles of most high-level executives, a more efficient method of signing contracts has been introduced: the e-Signature.


Although convenient, do e-signatures really create a valid and binding contract? Can e-signatures really replace hand-written signatures?

To finish reading the Clausehound blog: Click Here

This blog was originally posted by Farrah Roahman

This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find where you see this logo.


March 6, 2017 Meg Marshall0

Welcome to the Toronto Waterloo Corridor. And guess what? Startup Tech Unleashed is certainly right smack in the middle of it. Both of our current Ontario monthly meetups are a part of this integral concept.

What is the TOWR Corridor?

It is a geographical segment of Ontario that stretches from Toronto and surrounding area to the Waterloo and surrounding area. According to Google Maps, the distance is 114 kilometers from city centre to city centre. Driving by car, it is a reasonable 90 minute trek down the 401.

It has been adopted by mayors of all cities, which include John Tory of Toronto, Berry Vrbanovic of Kitchener, and Dave Jaworsky of Waterloo. In fact, all 3 mayors visited Silicon Valley in April 2016 to entice American companies to expand operations in the Toronto Waterloo Corridor. The Toronto Star reported that Tory talked up, “…maternity leave, healthcare and Toronto being a safe city with mention of the diverse politics currently embroiling the US contrasted to Canada’s barrier-breaking and down to earth political leaders”.

What to Expect?

Innovation lives here in the Toronto Waterloo Corridor with 16 colleges and universities producing top talent.

All cities involved have created many programs and resources for startups and small businesses. In Toronto, the City has launched Enterprise Toronto and Startup Here Toronto. In Waterloo, hubs called Velocity and Communitech exist embracing talent and innovation.

The talent pool is enormous, diverse, and extremely well educated. notes that 6 million people make up this talent pool. With a total of 16 colleges and universities in the Toronto and Waterloo cities, the studies and programs of graduates is quite broad yet also very specialized. Many companies introduce themselves to schools and student before graduation to scoop up some amazing graduates. Alternatively, many people with fantastic work experience also reside in these areas.

Join in the movement like that of big organizations like Google, Facebook, Shopify, Amazon, Sales Force or begin the journey of building a startup here. This is where you want to be!


February 27, 2017 brian prokopowich0

Welcome To StartupTech 2017 Winter Roadshow: Toronto

We invite all tech enthusiasts and business founders to come out to our StartupTech 2017 Winter Roadshow in Toronto. This is an intimate event that will give you a chance see some great startups in all different fields, to learn from other founders, partake in great speaker sessions, demos and much more. We don’t want you to just attend the event but be part of it and get value! So come out to network, learn about some great companies and meet some great people.

Our 2017 tour is designed to highlight and showcase innovative talent in the Toronto & Waterloo Startup and Tech communities. We help bring local founders, tech enthusiasts, and investors together to enable opportunities to showcase talent, new ideas, and foster innovation. This is StartupTech’s inaugural launch of roadshows and summits as we are on a mission to promote and help foster growth and support talent in the North American tech eco-system. StartupTech Unleashed started out as a simple group to help share ideas, foster support and help fellow business owners. It has evolved from a small business group to a large organization with members and events in multiple cities.

What We Offer During The Roadshow

Keynote Speakers: We have a full day of speakers planned that will provide expert advice, education from founders and top professionals in their field. Covering topics such as navigating the funding ecosystem, scaling your product, marketing and so much more.

Demos: Get a chance to see some great products, get an opportunity to connect with the founders and learn why they do what they do!

Startup Showcase: This is a list of local startups that will be showcasing their business for all to see.

Open networking, craft beer sampling, and light snacks

Get involved and be part of our mission of inclusion & support for our startup community!


Dr. Bradford Britton: Business Development, OCE

Discussion Topics: TBD

Bio: Business Development professional at OCE specializing in solutions which enable technology commercialization.


Samiksha Khanna: Consultant

Discussion Topics: Sales & Marketing, laying the foundation and metrics for early startups. From revenue and lead generation, knowing what to measure, to how to build your go-to-market strategy.

Bio: With over 15 years of experience in building metrics for sales to running operations at technology companies Samiksha, has been instrumental in helping companies increase their revenue and customer satisfaction. She’s worked for a broad range of companies and has been the second-in-command to many Senior VP’s and Executives. Working closely with Marketing, Finance, Sales and Product Samiksha knows how to work inter-departmentally to avoid the internal struggles that occur from rapid growth.


Nira Lall: Founder, Leadership Coach & Speaker at BD Transformational Services

Discussion Topics: Retaining and inspiring millennials. This session will take you on a journey of understanding how to engage and motivate millennials to become your company’s ambassadors.

Bio: Nira can be likened to an interpersonal Swiss Army knife for leaders and their teams. She transforms behaviours in the 6 fundamental categories that hinder leaders, teaches new leaders how to lead, enables communication excellence for maximum efficiency, and moves beyond “training” into creating lasting success habits.



Maya Medeiros: Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Discussion Topics:

Intellectual Property – Practical tips with big impact

Bio: My law practice focuses on the creation, management, monetization and enforcement of all types of intellectual property assets in Canada, the United States and around the world. I work with a variety of organizations from global enterprise businesses to start-ups, growth ventures, and not-for-profits. I have a background in computer science and mathematics, and am proficient in a wide range of technologies, including computer hardware and software, financial and payment system, mathematical, video and image processing, memory management, mobile and wireless, natural language processing, telecommunication, gaming, green, electronic learning, business system, vehicle computing system, healthcare and medical device, wearable and micro-electronic device, cryptography, social and peer to peer networking, energy, building and advertising innovations.


Adarsha Datta: Startup Lead & Technical Evangelist | Microsoft Canada

Discussion Topic: Bots/AI/Cognitive Services “Create your first bot in 30 minutes!”.

Everyone is talking bots. What is a bot? Is it an App? Is it actually a robot? Well, no & yes to the latter. Let us get together in this session and understand what actually is a bot and how is it changing existing business models, engagement patterns and introducing a new paradigm of AI into our lives. In this session, we will start with the basics of AI & bots and build a simple bot – showing the different parts/components of constructing a bot from scratch and making it go live.

Bio: Adarsha Datta is the National Startup Lead & Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Canada. He is passionate about (and loves talking about) startups and technology, currently focusing on the cloud, machine learning, AI, and internet of things!

As an evangelist, he enables and supports developers, students and startups with Microsoft technologies and services. He considers himself an educator, a community developer and engages through consistent involvement in events/ camps/ hackathons/ conferences and other online/social channel.


Vito Marchese: President at Whiteboard Studio Inc.

Discussion Topics: Email marketing and best practices

Bio: Vito Marchese is President and Founder of Whiteboard Studio Inc., a creative advertising agency located in Toronto, Canada. The company specializes in all areas of creative work including strategy, creative, production and communication services. Since 2006, the company has served numerous corporate clientèle and non-profit organizations.
Vito Marchese is also an Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact. He provides resourceful training, seminars and workshops related to topics including: email marketing, social media and event marketing.

StartupTech Toronto Expo List

Arck Innovative: ARCK Innovative Consulting Corporation has been in operation since 2006 and specializes in offering SR&ED tax incentive services to clients all across Canada.

Arvuu: We are all about bringing Augmented Reality products to the masses. At ARVUU we offer a full suite of Augmented Reality services, products and solutions.

ClauseHound: Is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents that make businesses more productive.

ConferenceCloud: Is a virtual attendance platform specifically designed for conference organizers to scale and monetize their events to digital audiences, creating a hybrid conference, and adding a new revenue stream for organizers.

Coosha: Is a FREE calendar that offers an effortless way to share, organize and manage your life with family, friends and colleagues?

MBM IP Law LLP: The process of invention is complete only with the IP protection provided in law. That’s where MBM comes in. We match our clients’ creative thinking with the creative protection needed to achieve their goals.

Microsoft: Bizspark– Software, service, support, and Microsoft Azure cloud services. Your startup qualifies if it is less than 5 years old, is privately held, and earns less than $1 million annually.

Radcon: Is equipped to take concepts from basic design to reality, handling all the technical details while you focus on innovation. Including: Electronic Design, Mechanical Design, Project Management and so much more.

SkyPhone: Is a smart business phone number in the cloud that manages all incoming calls into your startup or small business.

StartupTech Unleashed: Come and learn what StartupTech  Unleashed has to offer startups, founders and tech enthusiasts.

Your KW Host: Are you are recruiting new employees, impressing clients, or entertaining visitors?  Your KW Hostwill create a custom tour that shows the very best of what the Region has to offer.


Events Structure:


Events Structure:

10:00am-10:30am: Registration & Open networking .

10:30am-11:00am: opening session & Dr. Bradford Britton from OCE

11:00am- 11:45am: Speaker: Shamisha Khanna

12:00pm-12:45pm: Speaker: Nira Lall

12:45 -2:00pm Light lunch break out session

Expo opens: 2:00pm

2:00pm-2:45pm: Speaker: Maya Medeiros

2:45- 3:15pm: Speaker: Adarsha Datta

3:15pm-3:45pm: Speaker: Vito Marchese

4pm-6pm: Snacks, Coffee, and Open networking


We would like to thank all our sponsors for helping make the StartupTech Unleashed events possible.

Verkspace: One of Toronto’s newest coworking experience in collaborative/community/shared workspaces located in Old Town. The beautiful space features a lounge and great areas designed to get work done and concierge services.

Conference Cloud: Is a next generation virtual attendance platform specifically designed for conferences to scale audiences and monetize their content. ConferenceCloud gives you a simple way to stream your conference live and help recover foregone revenue. Provide a truly unique digital attendee experience and with ConferenceCloud.

Skyphone: SkyPhone is a smartphone number in the cloud that manages all incoming calls into your business and directs them to the right person on your team regardless of their location or what type of phone they’re using.

Arvuu Inc.: An interactive marketing company focusing on Augmented Reality and traditional marketing. The launched their own augmented reality viewer called ARenginePRO so that anyone can create their own projects.


Disclaimer: By signing up for any STU meetup event, you agree that StartupTech Unleashed may record or photograph the Event, (including You, your likeness, voice and any guest you bring), and use it publicly or privately in any form of media, including for commercial purposes. By attending, You consent to the recording and photographing and grant StartupTech an unrestricted, perpetual, non-exclusive and sublicensable license, to take, use, display, perform, distribute for any lawful and commercial purpose.

The date, time and locations are subject to change without notice. We do not offer refunds however if you are unable to attend we may be able to provide you a ticket to another event. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


November 23, 2016 Meg Marshall0

T-A-X-E-S. This word can often make people cringe. Whether you have begun the journey of creating a startup business or are involved in an established business, taxes are something that legally and legitimately can not be avoided. Many individuals are not comfortable doing their personal taxes so business taxes can become a whole different ball game. We are here to hopefully make things a little less scary and provide some tips and suggestions to help make taxes a little less of a chore.

We got the chance to sit down with Erik Douglas. Erik is a tax accountant who focuses on helping small business and start-ups with their tax and accounting needs. He owns and operates a tax practice located in Liberty Village.

Q: When should individuals or businesses start planning for their taxes?

Photo of watch.
There is no time like now to start preparing and organizing your taxes. Photo taken by Meg Marshall.

A: When it comes to tax planning I really don’t think there is any better time than now. Even if you’re in the start-up phase it’s still important to start thinking about the future. I also believe that if you reach out to an accountant and give him some re-assurance that you’re not shopping around for opinions, they will most likely help you get started free of charge.

Q: What are some ongoing things that individuals and businesses can do throughout the year to make taxes less stressful and chaotic?

A: For those individuals who don’t enjoy filing and taxes I would say the smallest thing that will go a long way is keeping your documents centralized and organized by category. Don’t be overly concerned about the categories, just something that makes sense. The reason I say this is that if you bring a box of receipts to your accountant that is incomplete and disorganized you will end up paying for it. It will end up costing you by increased billings due to the extra time, or increased taxes due to something missing that your accountant doesn’t know exists. After all, we are only human.

Q: Are there any credentials that should be considered when choosing a company or organization to do taxes?

A: I think the logical answer here is you want to find a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). This is because CPAs have to follow a strict code of ethics (there is a 193 page manual of dos and don’ts!) and have an annual responsibility for continued education. It’s not to say an accountant who doesn’t have a CPA isn’t able to provide the services, it’s more of a safer bet when choosing a CPA.

The thing is there are a lot of accountants who are CPAs so that might not help narrow the search. Instead I think generally the best bet is to find someone that you fit with. You really should feel comfortable talking to your accountant so you really want someone you trust and are not afraid to go to when you need help. It may be a bad generalization but I really think that most accountants will do a good job with your taxes, accountants don’t get into tax to do a bad job. What I am trying to say is choose the accountant that feels right. Focus less on the qualifications, and focus more on the personality match.

Q: What are some of the common expenses that can be “written off” that people often overlook?

A: Every time I see the phrase write off I can’t help but think about Kramer explaining write offs to Jerry.

The infamous Seinfeld episode where Jerry tries to explain taxes to Kramer.
The infamous Seinfeld episode where Kramer tries to explain tax write-offs Jerry. Photo courtesy of

Seinfeld aside, 3 of my favorite business expenses that are overlooked are:

  • Home-use-of-office expense. This allows you to deduct rent, utilities, mortgage interest, etc. as a % of business use (to a reasonable limit!).
  • Vehicle Expenses. There are a few ways to handle vehicles, usually choosing the calculation that brings the most benefit.
  • Business losses! If you’re in start-up phase and working at the same time it’s possible the costs of your side gig can reduce your taxable income from your employer potentially generating a refund (sole proprietor only)

Although those expenses are great the big overlooked way to save on taxes is income to partners, spouses, and adult children. If you’re making money and starting to think about taking a salary there are ways to distribute the income that could potentially save you a lot on taxes.

Q: Is there an optimal amount a company should donate to charity that will give a tax advantage?

A: Honestly tax shouldn’t impact your decision to give to charity, but the things that you should know is that you can only donate to charity up to 75% of your profit. In a business any donations over this limit can be carried forward.

What I would say though is that you should ensure that the charity you are giving to is registered and in good standing. You can search all registered charities, and even charities that have been terminated or suspended by CRA here: Find one that fits your cause and don’t let tax affect your decision to donate.

Q: What are some common mistakes that individuals make that can be avoided?

Photo of a calculator and writing utensils.
Stay organized for your taxes. This will help save you time and money. Photo taken by Meg Marshall.

A: This is a perfect ending question as it allows me to really try my best to help those who are starting a new business.

The biggest mistake made, which causes all the other common mistakes, is not contacting an accountant early on. I see too often clients coming to me that have really missed out on things in the past because they got advice from their friend or was referred to “their guy/girl”.

Just last month I was talking to a friend of mine and brought up the topic of HST (as I write this I realize it sounds pretty lame talking about tax with friends). Regardless, I asked if he was using the quick method for HST. He wasn’t! I couldn’t believe it as it really is easy money for freelancers in the tech scene. We were lucky but we had to file the return that night to be eligible. However the problem was he was getting advice from another tech friend up until that night.

What I am trying to say is. As an accountant who does a lot of start-up networking and works with a lot of tech companies I see all too often people getting advice from the wrong source. Take the time to find an accountant who works for you when you’re starting a business. Even if you’re your still in the planning stage it could still be worth a small fee (if they charge you) to have peace of mind knowing the information is more likely correct.

There you have it! Some great tips and suggestions to help make the daunting task of taxes less intimidating.

Photo of Erik Douglas
Erik Douglas – The friendly and extremely helpful accountant.

A big thank you to Erik Douglas for providing answers and insight to the questions. If you want to connect with him, visit his website, follow him on Twitter and Facebook or check out his blog.


November 9, 2016 Meg Marshall1


Booking your next hotel for your next travel destination just got extremely handy and simple. Gone are the days of scavenger hunting on the Internet looking for that diamond in the rough of a deal. SnapTravel has come to save the day and time for all of us!

How Does it Work?


Caption: Message SnapTravel to find some of the best hotel deals out there for your next vacation! Photo taken by Meg Marshall.

Utilizing messaging technology on a couple of the most platforms like Facebook, Slack or sending them a basic SMS text will start the process. SnapTravel then prompts the user to answer a few preliminary questions like the destination dates, price, and star rating of the hotel they would like to stay in. Chatbot technology is used to get the query started. If the user has specific needs or requests, then a human will step in and take over. With so many of us glued to our smartphone devices, this service seamlessly integrates into our already busy lifestyles.

The Snap Travel Advantage

Working already well-established sources like Trip AdvisorExpedia, and, they do the hard work for the user. Many times, SnapTravel is able to obtain even better pricing that what the more common sites can generate. And if upgrades are up your alley, then they will book and negotiate early check-in and other amenities. Don’t worry about maximizing loyalty points because they take care of that too on the user’s behalf. One of the best advantages of SnapTravel is that they have a free cancellation policy.


Brains and Inspiration of SnapTravel


Caption: Henry Shi and Hussein Fazal are the dynamic duo who created SnapTravel. Photo taken by Meg Marshall.

Meet Hussein Fazal and Henry Shi. Both of these intelligent, friendly and awesome guys are no strangers to the startup and technology world. Fazal previously founded AdParlour, while Shi was an engineer at Lend Up and Google. Fazal was looking to create another startup venture and began ideating in San Francisco. After speaking with some successful travel technology veterans including former executives from and Expedia, he discovered that there was an opportunity to create something for travelers using messaging technology. Shi was a perfect fit for this new business because of his past engineering and development experience.


Toronto Headquarters


Caption:  The SnapTravel Team, work out of the Cossette facility in Liberty Village. Photo taken by Meg Marshall.



Caption:  A great perk about having an office in Liberty Village is that many workspaces welcome 4 legged furry friends. Just don’t take away his stick. Photo taken by Meg Marshall.

SnapTravel is located within the Cossette building in the Liberty Village neighborhood. Nine people work out of the space, with five employees working on the technical side and four others working on various other operational aspects. Surrounded by many other interesting and entrepreneurial firms, it is the perfect area to grow and thrive in. The commercial and residential population of Liberty Village is comprised of many Millenials, which is the prime demographic to be using this service, and creates an optimal testing ground.

Give SnapTravel a try and you will be amazed at the results for your next hotel booking. Follow the company’s progress on Facebook and Twitter.


July 26, 2016 brian prokopowich0

What is Techweek100: The Formula

Announced annually in each Techweek city, the Techweek100 celebrates individuals and companies for their leadership, innovation, and support of the local tech ecosystem. Selected by the Techweek community, the list recognizes the most distinguished members of the burgeoning tech community in each city.

In 2016, the Techweek100 will be divided across 3 key categories (comprising 25 individuals and 75 organizations) that embody key roles within the community.

Ambassadors (25 individuals) — Founders, influencers, and prominent voices who act as positive representatives for the tech community

Cultivators (25 organizations) — VCs, incubators, educational institutions, and other organizations that support and enable the tech ecosystem

Innovators (50 companies) — Companies, both established organizations and rising startups, shaping their industries via innovative technology