CampFire Sessions

What is a campfire session?

Campfire Sessions are a mix of a more traditional presentation and a discussion group. The session will start with one or two leaders presenting an idea or concept to the group, and sharing their experiences. After 15 minutes, the focus will shift to the audience as the presenter turns into a facilitator. They will invite insights and comments from the group in an effort to learn from others’ experiences and expertise.


Session 1

Building the next-generation of Canadian talent

This session will focus on hiring for potential, including ways companies are reaching students and universities not traditionally included in the tech sector discussions through targeted hiring programs.

Brittany Forsyth, SVP of HR at Shopify, shares the Shopify strategy for growing and accelerating talent internally and investing in the next generation through first-of-their-kind partnerships with universities.

Rahim Fazal, Founder and CEO at SVAcademy, shares his story of entrepreneurship as he built a company to help high-potential individuals from underrepresented talent pools build careers in Silicon Valley.

Co-led by: Brittany Forsyth (SVP of Human Relations, Shopify) & Rahim Fazal (Co-Founder & CEO, SVAcademy)

Hosted by: Yen Lee (Former Chief Growth Officer, Ebates)


Session 2

Are distributed offices and teams the future?

With talent scattered across the U.S., Canada, and further afield, is it necessary for offices and teams to be distributed in various cities? How have companies done this successfully and what are the potential pitfalls?


Session 3

Cultivating a high-end enterprise sales team

Lessons learned from increasing revenue ten fold in under a year by refocusing a team on big deals. Oleg Rogynskyy, CEO & Founder of people.ai, shares his story of spinning up a world-class enterprise sales function as a startup and finding their stride.

Led by: Oleg Rogynskyy (CEO & Founder, people.ai)

Hosted by: Deborah Surrette (CRO, Tulip)


Session 4

Going North: Considerations when opening a Canadian office

Whether a patriotic endeavor or just good business, why opening an office in Canada makes sense. This session will focus on many of the facets of opening a Canadian office including immigration policy concerns.

Learn from Nilam Ganenthiran, Chief Business Officer at Instacart who is leading the charge to open Instacart’s second headquarters in Canada. Irfhan Rawji, Founder & CEO of Canadian start-up MobSquad, will share how to efficiently open a “virtual” Canadian subsidiary, enabling your firm to gain the advantages of being in Canada, including front of the line access to the Canadian immigration system, without the complications, hassle and fixed costs.

Co-Led by: Nilam Ganenthiran (Chief Business Officer, Instacart) & Irfhan Rawji (Founder & CEO of MobSquad)