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

  • November 21st, 2017 Date
  • 5:00pm 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.

What will you learn about:

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


• To highlight the success of women endeavor in the 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.


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.

Opening remarks:

Berenice Díaz Ceballos

General Consul of Mexico in Vancouver

Designated to be the authority of Mexico in Vancouver in May of 2016. Berenice has experience in bilateral issues and multilateral in the political, economic, financial, social, environmental, migration, transnational organized crime, corruption and human rights fields. She was born in Mexico City. The consul received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Universidad Iberoamericana.

Katherine Dhanani

General Consul of the U.S. in Vancouver

Katherine S. Dhanani is a career Foreign Service Officer working in Vancouver. She began her career working on western hemisphere issues, with tours as an Economic Officer in Georgetown, Guyana, on the Mexico desk, and in Mexico City, as well as in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere.




Journalist and entertainment

"Loop: The Technology of Giving Back"

Monica is the leader of force of The Fabulist Latin America for E! Simultaneously she is highly personality recognized within social media. Since 2007, Monica is part of the Environment ambassadors for the United Nations. Linked to different social and philanthropic projects as: Spokesperson for the Millennium Development Goals, member of the board of directors of the Natalia Ponce De León Foundation and ambassador of the JuanFe Foundation.


Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr

"Collaboration is the New Competition"

An entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. Jill 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. She serves on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University (SFU), and as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre. Recently she co-founded The RAISE Collective, to engage more women to invest in early-stage companies.


Sr. IT Project Manager

"How to Become a Leader in Canada as an Immigrant Woman"

She is Project and IT Management, Non-profit Board Director. With a passionate leader and strategic thinker with over 25 years combined industry and advisory services experience, in corporate management roles and on non-profit boards. Works at UBC Sauder School of Business and is the Vice-Chair of the WEB Alliance of Women’s Business Networks in BC Fariba gained international experience in technical and leadership positions with diverse teams. In 2017 she was selected as one of the 150 Women Leaders to be engaged in a 3 years national project to promote diversity and gender equality.


CEO at Astra Systems/I4C Innovation Center

"Thriving: The Perspective of a Latin Woman in Technology"

Senior Executive with over 20 years experience in business operations, project management and executive roles in a variety of industries. Currently, she works as CEO of Astra Systems/CCD, a cleantech startup developing a platform using IoT and Big Data to achieve prescriptive analytics using sustainable techniques. She has worked in strategic environments translating business drivers into actionable and measurable results. Pilar has deep understanding of structures and SLAs and has successfully fully developed the implementation of software projects with teams across multiple time zones in complex environments. Her role as CEO of Accelerate Okanagan allowed her to connect and understand businesses in BC’s Interior and their approach to success.


Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce at The National Academy of Sciences

"Women’s Economic Empowerment: How Can Higher Education Play a Constructive Role?"

Mr. Rudin works with a distinguished group of educators and researchers to provide government, academic and industry leaders with analyses, insights, and recommendations designed to inform action on issues in higher education and the science, engineering and medicine workforce. CWSEM coordinates, monitors, and advocates actions to increase the participation of women in science, engineering, and medicine. He has been an executive-level manager of both small and large advocacy and government relations teams. Tom expertise include: federal and state public policy and advocacy, leading, and mentoring both large and small staff teams, public speaking (writing policy briefs and reports) and Human rights and social justice - both domestically and globally.



Deborah BL Farias, PhD

Acting Head of Trade Promotion Sector, Consulate General of Brazil in Vancouver

Deborah BL Farias is currently the Acting Head of the Trade Promotion Sector in the Consulate General of Brazil in Vancouver. After ten years in Canada, she will be leaving Vancouver next June, to begin her new position as Lecturer in International Relations and Global Governance at Sydney's University of New South Wales.

Kelly Marciniw

CEO of BrightGo Solutions

Kelly Marciniw is a business management consultant and the CEO of BrightGo Solutions.She is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), holds a global executive MBA from University of Toronto, Canada and St. Gallen University, Switzerland and prides herself in keeping up-to-date with Canadian and international business trends.