Women in the Americas: Leading the Path to Innovation and Entrepreneurship – 3rd Edition

  • November 21st, 2017 Date
  • 5:30pm Time
  • Fasken Martineau
    550 Burrard St, Vancouver
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Who will attend:

• Local government representatives.
• Members of the consular community.
• Start-up and Innovation sector representatives.
• Academics and students.


• To highlight the success of women endeavour in the current start-up sector.
• To strengthen Canada, USA and Latin American connections with successful start-ups from all over the Americas.
• To promote start-up and innovation ecosystems.

What will you learn about:

• Women participation in business in the Americas.
• Tech and innovation position in the Latin-American and Canadian scenario.
• Political and cultural issues.
• The diversity of women participation in society across the Americas.


With the great growth of startups in our economy, the world turns its eyes now to the characters who are increasingly leading innovation and technology companies around the world: women.

When it comes to owning a business, women hold over 36% of small companies in the US, according to a report published by the Office of Advocacy. However, participation rates of women in tech are still lower than expected (around 9%).

The 3rd edition of ExpoPlaza Latina Start-up and Innovation opens its doors to an extensive discussion on actions we can take to expand the participation women on innovations and entrepreneurship.

We will review successful cases in all the Americas, from North to South, motivating women and men to work together in the development and implementation of innovative solutions.


ExpoPlaza Latina is the premier platform connecting Western Canada and Latin America for business exchange through panel discussions, with high-profile speakers and networking events. As part of the larger Latincouver umbrella, ExpoPlaza Latina aims to tap into trade opportunities between companies and organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Latin America.

ExpoPlaza Latina explores the most relevant topics of today’s global economy and environmental responsibilities that shape the business dialogue between diverse entities and countries. The “Leading the path to innovation and entrepreneurship” event series has attracted over 900 attendees and 35 high-profile speakers from the government, education, and industry sectors.


Pilar Portela

CEO of i4C Innovation Center

Pilar Portela is a senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in enterprise business applications, technology start-ups, and economic development. She has held executive roles in a variety of industries including emerging technologies, facility management, manufacturing, wholesale/retail and non-profit organizations. Chief architect applying agile methodologies to all areas of an organization.

Tom Rubin

Director, Board on Higher Education & Workforce; Director, Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine National Academy of Sciences

Tom Rudin is the director of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) and director of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) at the National Academy of Sciences. BHEW provides government, academic and industry leaders with analyses and recommendations designed to inform action and public policy on issues in higher education and the workforce. CWSEM coordinates, monitors, and advocates actions to increase the participation of women in science, engineering, and medicine.

Prior to joining the National Academies, Mr. Rudin served as senior vice president for career readiness and senior vice president for advocacy, government relations, and development at the College Board from 2006-2014. He was also vice president for government relations from 2004-2006 and executive director of grants planning and management from 1996-2004 at the College Board. Before joining the College Board, Mr. Rudin was a policy analyst at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

In 1991, Mr. Rudin taught courses in U.S. public policy, human rights, and organizational management as a visiting instructor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. In the early 1980s, he directed the work of the Governor’s Task Force on Science and Technology for North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., where he was involved in several new state initiatives, such as the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University, and he holds master’s degrees in public administration and in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jill Earthy

Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr

Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. She is currently the Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform connecting entrepreneurs and investors. She has built two companies and sold them, and then spent 8 years in nonprofit leadership roles supporting entrepreneurs. Jill serves on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University (SFU), and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre. She recently co-founded The RAISE Collective, to engage more women to invest in early-stage companies. She is an active mentor and was recently named one of 35 Most Influential Women in BC by BC Business Magazine.