The Summit attracted investors, partners and industry leaders from around the world and is the flagship event for the Canadian Angel Investor community.

We built on the international focus introduced at the 2017 Summit in Montreal, making this the largest and most international gathering of Angel investors in Canadian history. This was the first time that NACO partnered with a larger event to ensure our community added direct and immediate value to the local startup ecosystem.

NACO partnered with the Elevate Tech Fest, offering both premium content for our attendees, as well as collaborating with Elevate to run their Financing track and cohost keynote speakers. Consequently, the 2018 World Angel Investment Summit was the culmination of years worth of NACO’s efforts to build Angel communities across the country, and catalyzed a more dynamic early stage capital ecosystem.


For a full recap of the 2018 World Angel Investment Summit, head over to our Blog!




One of our Keynotes...

Why This is the Hottest M&A Market Ever: What you Should do About it

Speaker: Basil Peters (Angel Investor and Exit Educator)

This is the hottest M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) market in history. Companies are being acquired at valuations that are double what we were seeing just a few years ago. This has created a ‘golden era’ for entrepreneurs and angels that are exiting now. But we’re also investing at valuations that are similarly elevated. This talk describes why this is happening now and what history suggests we can expect for the next year or two. It explores strategies for our portfolios over the next decade. Three recent Canadian exits are described to illustrate the current market.









Meet the NACO Speakers


Speakers at the Elevate Main Stage

Al Gore

Al Gore

Chairman, Generation Investment Management

Whitney Wolfe Herd

Whitney Wolfe Herd


Yung Wu

Yung Wu


Julie Rice

Julie Rice


Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Acclaimed Artist & Producer

...and more!


Where the 2018 World Summit Took Us



Tuesday, September 25th: Investor Zone, NACO Academy and Elevate Tech Fest

7:30 AM - 6:00 PM World Summit Registration (Hilton Lobby, Sony Centre)

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Elevate Main Stage (Sony Centre)

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

NACO Annual General Meeting and Keynote Address (Hilton Hotel - Governor General 2nd Floor)

Opening Keynote Address: "Company Survival and Economic Impact from Angel Investing", Dr. Kenneth A. Grant (Ryerson University)

AGM Presentations and Proceedings

Closing Keynote Adress: "How we can help entrepreneurs drive meaningful change in our society", Adeo Ressi (Founder Institute)

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Elevate Investor Zone: Investor to Scale Up Meetings (Sony Centre)

10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

NACO Academy & Education Workshops (Morning)

NACO Academy Option 1: The Art of Valuation (Hilton Hotel - Governor General 2nd Floor)

Presenter: Pieter Dorsman

Panelists: Daniel Ma (BDO), Lily Lam (OCE), Lauren Epstein (OMERS), Nicolas Jacques-Bouchard (


NACO Academy Option 2: Exit Execution (Hilton Hotel - York East Lobby Level)

Presenter: Basil Peters

Panelists: Charles Sidman (ECS), G. Scott Paterson (CEO of Paterson Partners), Sunil Sharma (BDO), Mike Volker (Vantec)


NACO Academy Option 3: Leading Investment Rounds (Hilton Hotel - York West Lobby Level)

Presenters: Karen Grant, Blake Laufer


NACO Academy Option 4: Angel Academy 101 Presented by Female Funders and BDC Capital (Hilton Hotel Simcoe Room Lobby Level)

Presenters: Benton Leong, Jill Earthy

Facilitator: Lauren Robinson (Highline Beta)

Panelists: Andrea Drager (Azure Capital), Candice Faktor (Faktory Ventures), Michelle Scarborough (BDC Capital), Brigitte Boumann (Rising Tide Europe)

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Boxed Lunch (Hilton Hotel - Governor General, York/Simcoe)

12:45 PM - 2:30 PM

NACO Academy & Education Workshops (Afternoon)

NACO Academy Option 1: The Art of Valuation (Hilton Hotel - Governor General 2nd Floor)

Presenter: Pieter Dorsman

Panelists: Markus Schreyer (Chile Global Angels / GaneshaLab), Sophie Forest (Brightspark), Kevin Sterling (Kieretsu), Matt Leibowitz (Plaza Ventures)


NACO Academy Option 2: Exit Execution (Hilton Hotel - York East Lobby Level)

Presenter: Basil Peters

Panelists: Dave Samuel (Freestyle.VC), Gerry Pond (East Valley Ventures), Peter Cowley (EBAN), Garron Helmen (Venbridge)


NACO Academy Option 3: Leading Investment Rounds (Hilton Hotel - York West Lobby Level)

Presenters: Karen Grant, Blake Laufer

Panelists: Dennis Ensing (SWOAG), Blake Laufer (Angel One),  Probal Lala (Maple Leaf Angels), Michael Badham (Georgian Angel Network), Lilly Lam (OCE)


NACO Academy Option 4: Angel Academy 101 Presented by Female Funders and BDC Capital (Hilton Hotel Simcoe Room Lobby Level)

Presenters: Benton Leong, Jill Earthy

Facilitator: Jill Earthy (Female Funders)

Panelists: David Dufresne (, Kim Yeung (BDC Capital), Raymond Luk (Hockeystick)

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

NACO Welcome Reception at Casa Loma

Join us at Casa Loma for the official launch of the World Angel Investment Summit. Network with investors and industry colleagues at this exclusive reception that introduces attendees to the NACO Summit.

(Shuttle buses departing from Hilton Toronto)

Wednesday, September 26th: The Era of Dynamic Disruption

7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

World Summit Registration (Hilton Lobby, Sony Centre)

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Breakfast (Hilton Lower Foyer)

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Opening Remarks

NACO Remarks:

Sandi Gilbert (NACO Chair)

Jess Joss (Summit Chair)

M/C: Erin Bury (eighty-eight)

8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

Keynote: Becoming an Invested Investor - four decades of elation and heartache (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Speaker: Peter Cowley (EBAN)

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Fireside Chat: Bridging the Funding Gap for Canadian Startups: Enabling Innovators to Thrive and Scale (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Moderator: Erin Bury

Speakers: Honourable Mary Ng (Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion), Abdullah Snobar (DMZ), Sandi Gilbert (NACO Chair)

9:45 AM - 10:30 AM

Fireside Chat: The Disruptive Impact of Technology on our Future Sponsored by BDC Capital (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Moderator: Jérôme Nycz (BDC Capital)

Speakers: Duncan Stewart (Deloitte), Carolina Bessega (Stradigi AI), Brad Templeton (Singularity University)

10:30 AM - 10:40 AM Networking Break Sponsored by Startup Calgary (Hilton Lower Foyer)
10:40 AM - 11:40 AM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions. Theme: Industrial Disruption

Option 1: Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 3)

Moderator: Bill Hennessey (The Blockchain Society)

Panelists: Bruce Silcoff (Shyft Network), Laurel Touby (Supernode), JB Sloan (NuArca), Mike Brown (ATB Financial), Juliana Cunha Assad (Coinwise)


Option 2: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Sponsored by Stradigi AI (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 1)

Moderator: Prashant Matta (

Panelists: Carolina Bessega (Stradigi AI), Helge Seetzen (Tandem Launch), Roy Periera (Zoom.AI), Cameron Schuler (Vector Institute), Yevgeniy Vahlis (Borealis AI)


Option 3: Technology As a Catalyst for Naturally Derived Products & Materials Sponsored by Natural Products Canada (Hilton Hotel - Varley)

Moderator: Shelley King (Natural Products Canada)

Panelists: Andy Wilkes (Tech North), Natasha Dhayagude (Chinova Bioworks), Pierre Laborde (BioTEPP), Pieter Dorsman (Oceaneos), David Gauthier (Natural Products Canada)


Option 4: How Automation and Innovation are Changing the Future of Transportation (Hilton Hotel - Jackson)

Moderator: Ted Graham (GM)

Panelists: Amar Varma (Ford), Brad Templeton (Singularity University), Sherry Shannon-Vanstone (Profound Impact), Nima Ashtari (X-Matic)


Option 5: Opportunities for International Investment and Growth (Hilton Hotel - Tom Thomson)

Moderator: Charles Sidman (ECS)

North America Panel: Luke Krueger (Canada), Adan Bernal (Mexico), Sandra Glasgow (Jamaica / Caribbean)
South America Panel: Markus Schreyer (Chile), Javier Hasbun (Chile), Marcos Alves (Brazil)
Europe Panel: Peter Cowley (UK), Peter Braun (Switzerland), Catherine Bischoff (Berlin), Kaspar Hanni (Estonia)


Option 6: The Business of Legal Cannabis (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 2)

Moderator: G. Scott Paterson (Paterson Partners)

Panelists: Michael Klein (Miraculo Inc.), Kiran Sidhu (HALO Labs), John McMahon (Thought Launch Capital & Advisory), Rory Millikin (Drive Foods Co.)

11:40 AM - 1:00 PM

Lunch and Keynote Speaker (Hilton Toronto Ballroom - Lunch served in Hilton Lower Foyer)

Keynote Topic: What I Learned About Risk Capital and How It Has Helped Me as an Angel Investor

Speaker: Howard Lindzon (entrepreneur and investor)

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

Fireside Chat: Unlocking the Power of Generational Wealth (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Moderator: Sarah Tang (RBC Wealth Management)

Speakers: Philippe de Gaspe Beaubien III, Brendan Holt Dunn, Reetu Gupta

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions. Theme: Disruption of Risk Capital

Option 7: Venture, Founders and the Early-Stage (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 1)

Moderator: Andrew Goldner (GrowthX)

Panelists: Helge Seetzen (Tandem Launch), Owen Matthews (Alacrity Foundation), Asra Nadeem (Draper U Ventures), Adreo Ressi (Founder Institute), Raphael Christian-Roy (Front Row.VC)


Option 8: Crowdfunding and Investor Platforms (Hilton Hotel - Jackson)

Moderator: Alex Norman (Angel List)

Panelists: Brigitte Bauman (Go Beyond/Rising Tide Europe), Kaspar Hanni (EstBAN), Peter-Paul Van Hoeken (FrontFundr), Cato Pastoll (Lending Loop)


Option 9: Not-So-Traditional Venture Capital (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 3)

Moderator: Will Hutchins (Espresso Capital)

Panelists: George Rossolatos (Canadian Business Growth Fund), Patrick Lor (Panache.VC), Sophie Forest (Brightspark), Lauren Robinson (Highline Beta)


Option 10: Tokenized Securities & Cryptocurrency (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 2)

Moderator: Peter Braun (EBAN)

Panelists: Dusan Stojanovic (True Global Ventures), Derek Manuge (Corl), Carol R. Van Cleef (Leclairryan), Tanner Philp (Kik Interactive)


Option 11: International Stage: Opportunities for International Investment and Growth (Hilton Hotel - Tom Thomson)

Moderator: Charles Sidman (ECS)

Africa & Middle East Panel: Rodrigue Fouafou, Ozan Isinak (Turkey), Duplexe Tchoffo
Asia Panel: Tony Wang (China), Paul Ark (Thailand), Casey Lau (Hong Kong)
India Panel: Ashwin Sanzgiri, Amit Bhagchandani, Vikram Khurana, Hari Eppanapally

2:50 PM - 3:20 PM Networking Break (Hilton Lower Foyer)
3:20 PM - 4:00 PM

Fireside Chat: Disrupting the Social Contract (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Moderator: Elamin Abdelmahmoud (Buzzfeed)

Speakers: Kathryn Myronuk (Singularity University), Adeo Ressi (Founder Institute),  Ann Cavoukian (Ryerson), Jesse Brown (Canadaland Podcast)

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

Concurrent Breakout Sessions: Disrupting the Social Contract

Option 12: Privacy and Big Data (Balance of good) (Hilton Hotel - Jackson)

Moderator: Zane Schwartz (The Logic)

Panelists: Guillame Bouchard (CONTXTFUL), Sean Kidd (CAMH), Ann Cavoukian (Ryerson)


Option 13: Influence in the Age of Technology (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 1)

Moderator: Elamin Abdelmahmoud (Buzzfeed)

Panelists: Douglas Stolys (BetaKit), Clifton van der Linden (Vote Compass), Sarah Harris (Civic Action), Peter Armstrong (CBC)


Option 14: Sharing Economy – Fad or Future? (Hilton Hotel - Tom Thomson)

Moderator: Eva Lau (Two Small Fish Ventures)

Panelists: Aisha Addo (DriveHER), Andy Anthony (Instacart Canada), David Albert (Foodora Canada), Rob Khazzam (UBER Canada)


Option 15: Linking People and Prosperity: Inclusion in the new economy (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 3)

Moderator: Michelle McBane (Standup Ventures / Investment Accelerator Fund)

Panelists: Philippe de Gaspe Beaubien III, Jake Hirsch-Allen (LinkedIn), Lucia Gallardo (Emerge), Lauren Robinson (Female Funders / Highline Beta)


Option 16: Overcoming Barriers to Cross-Border Investing & Adding Value through International Investment (Hilton Hotel - Toronto 2)

Moderator: Charles Sidman (ECS)

Panelists: Prashant Pathak (Ekagrata Group), Regina Noppe (Dream2Be), Ozan Isinak (Keiretsu & GITA), Victor Zhao (CCAA / New Fund), Kaspar Hanni (Estonia), Ian Palm (Gowlings)

5:45 PM - 6:30 PM Gala Networking Reception (Hilton Lower Foyer)
6:30 PM 9:00 PM

Gala Awards Dinner & Keynote Address (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Attendees are invited to join us for our annual Gala dinner, featuring our keynote speaker and the presentation of three awards recognizing the success of our Angel community in 2018.

The Awards will be presented to: NACO’s Canadian Angel of the Year, NACO’s Most Promising Start-Up of the Year, NACO’s Exit of the Year

Keynote Fireside Chat: "Investing Early in the next Global Leader" with Wesley Chan (Felicis Ventures)
Interviewed by: Randall Howard (2014 NACO Angel Investor of the Year), introduced by BDO

9:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Elevate King West Social (Multiple locations on King West Street)

After our gala dinner NACO Summit attendees are invited to join Elevate King West and explore multiple activations, parties and private receptions in association with Toronto Life.

Checkout the impressive line-up for the event here:


Thursday, September 27th: Building an Innovation Ecosystem

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

World Summit Registration (Hilton Lobby, Sony Centre)

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Breakfast and Plenary: Why This is the Hottest M&A Market Ever: What you Should do About it (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Speaker: Basil Peters (Angel Investor and Exit Educator)

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Concurrent Sessions: Small panels + Brief Presentations by Industry Leaders (20-40 min ea.)


Stream 1: Best Practices for Incubators and Accelerators: Looking Back and Moving Forward (Hilton Toronto 2)

  • 10:00am – 10:40am: The For-Profit Accelerator: Making a Business of Helping Startups
  • 10:40am - 11:20am: The Non-Profit Model: Incubators as an Economic Development Engine
  • 11:20am – 12:00pm: Incubators-Accelerators and Government - What does the future hold?


Stream 2: Building & Growing Angel Networks (Hilton Toronto 1)

  • 10:00am – 10:40am: Building Sustainable Angel Networks (Funding + Leaders)
  • 10:40am - 11:20am: Building Diversity into the Angel Ecosystem
  • 11:20am – 12:00pm: Understanding your Angel Members


Stream 3: Funding Innovation Through Angel Funds (Hilton Toronto 3)

  • 10:00am – 10:40am: Building Angel Funds with a Greater Purpose (Activating Angels and Building Community Through Angel Funds)
  • 10:40am – 11:20am: Structuring Venture Funds to Support Angels: Understanding the different models and structures for Angel Funds and Angel Side-Car Funds
  • 11:20am – 12:00pm: Strategies for Leveraging Debt Fund Options


Stream 4: Investing Like a Super Angel (Hilton - Tom Thomson)

  • 10:00am – 10:40am: Investing with the exit in mind (Aligning with founders on exit strategy and then supporting execution)
  • 10:40am – 11:20am - Investing in Teams that Execute (Doing deep diligence on teams and founders + Supporting them as investors)
  • 11:20am – 12:00pm: Strategies for Building Angel Portfolios
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM


12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Lunch & Keynote: Success Story, Building a Co-ordinated Ecosystem (Hilton Toronto Ballroom - Lunch Served Hilton Lower Foyer)

Speaker: Sean Sheppard (GrowthX)

Topic: Building a Co-ordinated and Supportive Startup Ecosystem

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Stakeholder Roundtables: How can NACO support you in 2019? (Hilton Toronto Ballroom)

Roundtable Facilitators: John MacRitchie, Rob Douglas, Randall Howard, Ziad Moukheiber

10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Elevate Talent (Multiple locations throughout city)

This is your opportunity to explore the local ecosystem. Join Elevate Talent and gain access to 250+ companies across Toronto who will be opening their doors.

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM NACO Board of Directors Meeting (Hilton Hotel Opus Room)

NACO Awards

NACO Canada is happy to present three awards every year to recognize the success of our community. NACO members are able to nominate who they think should receive each award. The three awards are; Exit of the Year, Most Promising Startup of the Year, and Angel of the year.

This year the awards were presented at our annual Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday September 26th.

NACO's 2018 Awards Page


Hilton Toronto

145 Richmond Street West,

Toronto, ON


The World Angel Investment Summit took place in the heart of Toronto at the Hilton Toronto hotel. Within walking distance from Union Station, the financial district, city hall and connected to all major office towers via the PATH. NACO contracted a limited number of guestrooms for Summit attendees at the special group rate of $299 per night (plus taxes).




Air Canada – the Official Canadian Airline of the World Angel Investment Summit

Attendees booked their air travel at and received up to 15% discount on their flights with Air Canada when flying into and out of Toronto for the 2018 NACO World Angel Investment Summit.




Elevate Investor Zone


Elevate brought together Canada’s top StartUps with top tier investors from Boston, Silicon Valley, New York and across Canada for curated 1:1 meetings. This was the time for investors to come together with StartUps in an environment built to facilitate match-making, and productive deal-making.


Created by: NACO

Programed by: DMZ

Date: Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Location: Sony Centre For Performing Arts

Time: 10:00AM - 5:00PM



About Elevate:

Mission: Elevate’s mission is to elevate the Canadian tech and innovation ecosystem.

Values: Diversity Is Our Strength | Disrupt Together | It’s Our Time



Elevate Agenda



World Summit Sponsors & Partners

As a Summit supporter, not only do you gain visibility with this exclusive group of business savvy and high-net-worth individuals and the companies they invest in, but you also help support Canadian innovation, which is at the backbone of Canada's economic growth.