Special Event - Taking the Bull By the Horns: Being a Startup Leader in a Changing World

Thursday, May 23, 2019, 12:00 – 3:00 AM UTC

▶ Fireside Chat with Rob Purdy: a co-founding investor in Benevity, and one of the top investors in Canada talks about his life story and shares lessons learned. ▶ Executive Master Class in Blockchain: Gain a strong understanding of blockchain technology in the context of your business. ▶ Feature Organization - IQM Education: An education startup focusing on next-generation technologies.

In-person event

About this event

On May 22nd, join us and other startup leaders for a night designed to inspire, educate and grow a community of entrepreneurs in Calgary.

This includes:
Fireside Chat with Rob Purdy: a co-founding investor in tech start up Benevity, and one of the top investors in Canada talks about his life story and shares lessons learned.
An Executive Master Class in Blockchain: Gain a strong understanding of blockchain technology in the context of your business.
Feature Organization - IQM Education: An education startup focusing on next-generation technologies.

Feature Speaker: Rob Purdy
With 26 years in Private Fund and Portfolio Management, early stage structure and finance, and start-up business plan development, Rob Purdy is one of the top investors in Canada. This includes being an early stage co-founding investor in one of Calgary's most visible new companies - Benevity.

Rob is a third generation Calgarian and founded Purdy & Partners Inc. (PPI) in late 2008 – envisioning the opportunities to create a unique local private equity firm focused on start-ups and early stage ventures. Passionate about “Building”, Rob anchors the team with a broad spectrum of business experiences and operational insights across numerous sectors. With a keen understanding of innovative applications centered in the Industrial Infrastructure, Technology & Energy spaces, he has led a successful career of managing portfolios of capital, and direct investments in private companies. Rob is responsible for overseeing the Firm and the Funds as the Managing General Partner.

Prior to launching PPI, Rob spent 16 years in portfolio management at RBC Dominion Securities, Canaccord Capital, and Peters & Co. Focused on private equity finance and public equity investment and trading, Rob built and managed a diversified base of private investors, corporate clients, and institutional accounts. Rob holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary. 

Executive Master Class in Blockchain: Hussein Hallak
Flying in from Vancouver, Hussein Hallak will be providing a condensed version of IQM's Blockchain Executive Masterclass. Discover ways to develop an innovative space within your company and how to present and manage innovative ideas, giving you a business edge using Blockchain innovation. 

The Blockchain Executive Masterclass will help you:
▶ Gain a strong understanding of blockchain technology in the context of business including terminology and applications.
▶ Understand the different blockchain options along with their respective benefits, advantages, and challenges.
▶ Explore blockchain so that you can clearly articulate its application in your industry.
▶ Identify clear business use cases that blockchain technology can solve inside your organization.
▶ Develop frameworks for exploration and implementation of Blockchain solutions.

Hussein is an evangelist for entrepreneurship, tech, lean startups blockchain and decentralized innovation. He is driven to inspire entrepreneurship and unleash breakthrough innovation through connection, collaboration, and community.

A twenty-year veteran startup founder, Hussein has embraced education as a way of leading the development of Blockchain business models and solutions. His mission has resulted in the development of several programs including Intro to Blockchain, The Blockchain Executive Masterclass, and Certified Blockchain Professional as well as LEAP by Launch Academy, a lean startup program for entrepreneurs with notable alumni.

When he isn’t teaching, he is a strategic advisor to several successfully funded tech and blockchain startups including Fintrux, Interfinex, Traction Health, and Peace Geeks.

Hussein holds a BSc in Electronics Engineering, has completed the Oxford Blockchain Strategy Program, and is currently doing his MSc Digital Currency at The University of Nicosia.

Feature Organization: IQM Education - Michele Taylor
IQM Education is a Canadian startup focusing on next-generation technologies for enterprises and university level education. Founded by Michele Taylor, Rama Ibrahim, and Hussein Hallak.

They are currently offering a Blockchain Master Certification classes and Executive Roundtable learning sessions and bringing education about digital transformation into boardrooms and enterprise businesses across Canada and North America. In addition to providing post-secondary institutions with access to world-class educators and foundation learning crucial for re-tooling and entering the workforce.

As a successful entrepreneur since 2004, IQM’s CEO, Michele Taylor, has launched and operated her own startups, in wireless infrastructure deployments, and enterprise architecture advisory and mentoring, and hosted bootcamps and seminars across Canada educating enterprise CIO’s and Architects. Prior to her entrepreneurial journey in tech, in her corporate career Michele was a Principal Consultant, Account Manager and Managing Director with international and domestic technology recruiting, consulting services, advisory and research firms, such as IBM Education, META Group/ Gartner, GSI Group, C-Bridge Solutions & Cap Gemini.

Today, Michele focuses on high tech research, leading industry analyst relationships, development of award-winning teams, business development, eco-system creation, and partnership development. A blockchain enthusiast, hackathon judge, and an ongoing mentor to startups since 2016. Michele is excited to work with IQM Education’s strong leadership team and build a foundation to grow from in Canada.

Check out what happened


  • Rob Purdy

    Founder and Senior Managing Director - Purdy & Partners Inc

    Global Pitch Competition Judge

  • Hussein Hallak

    Next Decentrum

    Founder & CEO

  • Michele Taylor

    IQM Education




Thursday, May 23, 2019
12:00 AM – 3:00 AM UTC


12:00 AMDoors Open/ Cocktails and Hors D'Oeuvres
12:30 AMFeature Organization: IQM Education - Michele Taylor
12:40 AMExecutive Master Class in Blockchain: Hussein Hallak
1:10 AMBreak
1:25 AMFeature Speaker: Rob Purdy
1:55 AMCocktails and Hors D'Oeuvres
3:00 AMEvent Ends


  • Chad Ford

    and Startup Grind Calgary Chapter co-Director

    Director, Founder Institute Western Canada


  • Kelby Price

    XQ Msg

    Startup Grind Calgary Board Member

  • Jason Wang

    Bennett Jones LLP

    Startup Grind Calgary Board Member

  • Jason Byrne

    Jobs Alberta

    Startup Grind Calgary Board Member

  • Eibi Likcani

    BDC Capital

    Startup Grind Calgary Board Member

  • Tara McLaughlin

    Chapter Director