Waterloo Innovation Summit

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What Drives Leading Innovation Ecosystems

Hear from those who know | Closing Keynote: Steve Blank

Sept 16-18, 2015 in Waterloo, Canada

About the Summit

Join top academic, business and policy decision-makers in one of the world’s leading innovation ecosystems. Hear from influencers, share best practices with enablers and experience first hand what it takes to lift your region into global contention.

The Waterloo Innovation Summit is a partnership between the University of Waterloo and Communitech.

Keynote speakers

Steve Blank

Steve Blank, Godfather of Silicon Valley

A retired eight-time serial entrepreneur-turned-educator and author, Steve Blank has changed how startups are built and how entrepreneurship is taught around the globe. He is the author of the bestselling The Startup Owner’s Manual, and his earlier seminal work, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, is credited with launching the Lean Startup movement.

Steve is widely recognized as a thought leader on startups and innovation. His books and blog have redefined how to build successful startups. Steve’s Lean LaunchPad class at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia has redefined how entrepreneurship is taught, and his Innovation Corps class for the National Science Foundation forever changed how the U.S. commercializes science.

Salim Ismail

Salim Ismail,Global Ambassador & Founding Executive Director, Singularity University

Salim Ismail is a sought-after speaker, technology strategist and entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He travels extensively addressing topics including breakthrough technologies and their impact on a variety of industries and society in general.

Salim has spent the last six years building Singularity University as its founding Executive Director and current Global Ambassador. SU is based at NASA Ames and is training a new generation of leaders to manage exponentially growing technologies. Prior to that, as a Vice President at Yahoo, he built and ran Brickhouse, Yahoo’s internal incubator.

He advises Fortune 500 executives and many world governments on the future of technology, and recently released his first book, “Exponential Organizations."


Our Innovation Ecosystem

Ranked in the Startup Compass report as one of the Top 20 startup ecosystems in the world, Waterloo Region is home to Canada’s most innovative university and a thriving entrepreneurial community. More than 5,000 leaders from around the world visit every year with a view to understanding the causes of its success. This makes Waterloo Region an ideal location to convene global leaders interested in building robust innovation ecosystems.


Waterloo Region is approximately one hour southwest of Toronto and Pearson International Airport. We are a close-knit community of 550,000 people with more than eight million people living within a 200-kilometre (120-mile) radius. Major lifestyle and economic centres such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Detroit are all within a day’s driving distance.

map showing location of Waterloo described in accompanying text

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