Our Story

At Elevate, we unite the world’s innovators to solve society’s greatest challenges as Canadian leaders of change.

Elevate eCommerce North Hero

Our Mission

Our mission is to unite Canada’s innovators to solve society’s greatest challenges. We believe technology holds the incredible potential to transform the world for the better. Elevate connects global icons, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, policymakers and students to help solve complex social problems.

Want to work with us? Browse career opportunities at Elevate here

Diversity is our Strength. We believe our ecosystem is made stronger by including the voices of everyone.
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Founding Story

Founded in 2017 as a not-for-profit organization, Elevate produced its inaugural tech and innovation festival in under 90 days. Over 95 partners – community, corporate, investors, founders and government – came together to unite the brightest minds around the world looking to build a better future for society.

The Elevate Technology Festival became the world’s fastest-growing tech and innovation festival. In 2019, the third annual festival saw 30,000 guests, 350 speakers, and 150 partners, welcoming global icons like former first lady Michelle Obama, businesswoman Martha Stewart, Commander Chris Hadfield, VP Al Gore, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Technology has the potential to solve the world's problems, but we know that innovation alone isn't enough. We believe that a collaborative effort among world leaders, celebrities, innovators and students, and policy makers and entrepreneurs, is the key to addressing and finding solutions to complex issues.

Lisa Zarzeczny |
CEO & Co-Founder of Elevate

Looking Ahead

When we came together with the Design Exchange in 2019, we cemented our vision as a non-profit organization at the intersection of technology, innovation, and social impact. Together, we operate 37,000 square feet of historic real estate in the heart of Toronto’s financial district to deliver social impact programs.

Our Founding Board

Chris Hadfield
Elevate Co-Chair & Astronaut
Helene Hadfield
Elevate Co-Chair
Razor Suleman
Co-Chair
Rizwan Khalfan
EVP, Chief Digital & Payments Officer, TD
Lisa Zarzeczny
CEO & Co-Founder
Garrick Tiplady
Managing Director, Facebook and Instagram Canada
Claudette McGowan
Global Executive Officer, TD
Christopher Wein
President & COO, Lanterra Developments
Margaret Stuart
Country Manager, Salesforce
Angela Brown
President and CEO
Sasha Krstic
President, Mastercard Canada

Meet Our Team

Lisa Zarzeczny
CEO & Co-Founder
Kevin Barton
General Manager
Alana Azaria
Vice President of Finance
Robyn James
Senior Director of Marketing
Sen Sachi
VP, Innovation
Gbemi Akande
Director, Innovation
Helena Bandayrel
Success Advisor
Andrew Budd
Director of Partnerships
Nafisatu Bukari
Intake & Community Engagement Advisor
Mark Dunn
Customer Success Advisor
Emilie Estrada
Graphic Designer
Blake Farquharson
Associate Director, Innovation
Merrill Fernandes
Facilities Supervisor (DX)
Calvin Mitchell
Festival Director
Tobie Pilloy
Senior Manager - Program Design and Development
Alex Rayment
Director of Partnerships
Mahnoor Shahid
Web Designer
Cameal Soverall
Senior Manager, Programming
Fareed Virk
Director of Strategy
Dan Waldie
Director of Product
Vithu Vijayaratnam
Manager, Innovation
Heather Orr-Mullings
Senior Human Resources Manager
Tristen Schneider
Indigenous Community Engagement Manager
Zeynep Guler Tuck
Senior Content Manager
Tiye Walcott - Brand Marketing Manager
Tiye Walcott
Partner Marketing & Accounts Manager
Asha Mullings
Asha Mullings
Social Media Specialist
Kaydian Plummer
Success Advisor
Chanelle Linton
Chanelle Linton
Manager, Employment Engagement and Talent Placement
Angela Smith
Project Manager - Festival
Courtney Frizzell
Operations Associate Director - Festival
Alexander Whitfield
Alexander Whitfield
Paid Media Specialist - Marketing
Nicole Abbiento
Production Associate Director - Festival
Amarachi Onuorah
Intern, Partnership Coordination
Winnifred Atimango
Intern, Partnership Coordination
Gregory Reinoso
Intern, Business Technology Program Design
Ricky Dang
Intern, Business Technology Program Design
Ellen Kim
Manager - Programming (Festival Talent/Speaker Relations)
Madison Winters
Manager- Events & Venue, Design Exchange
Rida Rizwan
Manager, Program Operations - Elevate Talent