Get to know your Judges
CEO of District Ventures Capital
Arlene Dickinson is the CEO of Venture Communications and the General Partner of District Ventures Capital, a venture fund focused on helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies in the food and health space.
She is a two-time best-selling author, accomplished public speaker, and is best known for her role as a Dragon/Venture Capitalist for over ten seasons on the multi-award-winning television series Dragons Den.
Ms. Dickinson’s leadership has been recognized many times, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners. She is also a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. Dickinson serves as an Honourary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy.
She sits on several public and private boards and is actively involved in supporting the community.
Managing Director of Facebook Canada
Garrick Tiplady is the Managing Director of Facebook Canada where he is responsible for leading and managing all of Facebook and Instagram’s commercial operations in Canada.
Previously he was the CEO of Vemba Corporation, an enterprise platform for premium video distribution. Prior to that, Garrick was the SVP of Customer Experience at Rogers Communications. While at Rogers, he also served as the SVP Strategy and SVP Chat’r Wireless. Before joining Rogers, he was a Principal at the Boston Consulting group within the Technology and Communications Practice.
Garrick serves on the Board of ThePowerPlant and International Board of Right to Play. He received an M.B.A from the Richard Ivy Business School and a B.Sc. in Physiology from McGill University.
VP, TELUS Small Business Solutions
Suzanne supports high performance and highly engaged teams nationally and internationally that support customers for small business solutions, including face-to-face, inside sales, outbound and retention. Suzanne also leads marketing functions including small business products, pricing, customer marketing and business intelligence.
With her results-driven and inclusive leadership style, Suzanne has a passion for seeing her teams succeed and seek out new opportunities for development. She is invested in TELUS recognition programs to develop talent that spreads throughout the organization.
She has an ongoing commitment to give back to the communities she is connected to. Suzanne has served as a board member on our Toronto Community Board for the past six years, and is actively involved in the Princess Margaret OneWalk and is passionate about the education of children and young women around the world. One of her greatest memories from a volunteer perspective was the opportunity she had to travel to Kenya with the WE organization to build a school in the Maasai Mara.” It will be an experience I will never forget.” She continues her support and commitment to diversity within our organization and has been the Global Executive Co- Chair for Connections for the past four years and also the GTA Executive Co-Chair for our Spectrum resource group.
Vice President, Sales and Product Management, Mobile Samsung Canada
As Vice President of Sales and Product Management for Samsung Canada’s mobile division, Jennifer Safruk is a veteran technology and mobile communications executive with extensive experience at some of the world’s largest technology companies.
Jennifer is responsible for overseeing the mobile sales and product management teams for Samsung Canada, including the company’s integral relationships with carriers and retailers.
Prior to joining Samsung, she spent more than three years as Vice President at HTC working in Canada and the U.S., oversaw North American Sales for Symphony Teleca, and was instrumental in the launch of Palm’s webOS. Jennifer began her mobile career with Openwave in Canada in the early days of the industry, where she helped launch the first WAP gateway and location-based services in Canada.
Jennifer earned a Master degree in Political Science from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Managing Partner TELUS Ventures
Rich leads TELUS Ventures, Canada’s most active corporate venture capital fund. Rich was named one of the Top 100 Corporate Venture Capital Investors in the world by Global Corporate Venturing Magazine in 2017.
His board responsibilities include Beacon, Fortius, integrate.Ai, Moj.io, Right Health, ScaleUP Ventures, Vision Critical and Zenedge.
Before joining TELUS Ventures in 2016, Rich was the founder and Managing Partner of RecapHealth Ventures, a leading Canadian-based investor in North American healthcare companies. Previously he was a Partner in both a mid-market LBO fund and a private VC fund investing in US and Canada. He started his career as an entrepreneur in the enterprise software sector.
Rich is a strong believer in using financial tools to effect positive social change. He founded BC Social Venture Partners, one of Canada's first social impact funds was an investor in Canada’s first social impact bond and acts as an advisor to a number of social impact funds including Deetken and MaRS.
He is also an Associate at CDL, a Board Member at LifeSciences BC, AGE-WELL and an angel investor in over 20 companies across US and Canada.
Rich earned degrees at UBC and Queen’s University and has completed Executive Leadership courses at Harvard.
Founder and President of InnoVision Holdings Corporation
Kevin is the founder and President of InnoVision Holdings Corporation, a Canadian based group of international apparel brands.
Nobis Inc., InnoVision’s primary subsidiary, is a global premium brand that develops adaptive outerwear by marrying innovative technical functionalities with its fashion forward designs. Nobis is distributed in over 35 countries, at premium department stores, authorized dealers, flagship stores and is embraced by celebrities and athletics around the world. Nobis also collaborates with other international brands such as BMW and Paris St-Germain football club to develop exclusive collections.
Kevin is also the President of the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACCE), a leading national Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs’ organization with business members residing coast to coast in a diverse base of industries. Each year, ACCE promotes entrepreneurship by providing inspirational and educational content through hosting of various events such as its signature Awards Gala, networking luncheons, winner clubs and business forums.
Kevin holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and computer science both from the University of Toronto.