NORCAT Hot Topics Series

The NORCAT Hot Topics series engages leading thinkers from around the world to share their insights with our entrepreneurial and innovation community on topics that are relevant now and in the future.

What are people saying about NORCAT Hot Topics?

“Thank you to Karen for all your sharing – it was quite a moving experience! I took it all in, took copious notes and anxiously await to further my planning process. The NORCAT venue was perfect.”

Generously Supported by:

Glencore Sudbury INO


“What’s ahead for 2016” featuring Karen Schulman Dupuis – February 16th, 2016

Join KarenSD for her third visit to NORCAT where she’ll be sharing her insights on the trends to be aware of, and learn how you can ready yourself and your business to take advantage of them.


“Social Media Trends for 2015” featuring Karen Schulman Dupuis – February 26th, 2015

Karen Schulman Dupuis returns to NORCAT with insights into the latest social media trends, tools and applications to help build your brand awareness and build your markets.


“How to Rock the Social Interwebz” featuring Karen Schulman Dupuis – June 24th, 2014

Using social media to build your brand, your business, your life — can be chaotic and overwhelming! Understanding the latest trends in social media and knowing what works for you and your business can be a difficult task. Every year social media substantially increases its presence within businesses, organizations, and thought leaders.

So why is it important to stay up-to-date, and understand the latest online social media trends, tools, and applications? For many start-ups this is what you need to be thinking about to grow your brand awareness and build your markets!


“Lived it Lecture” featuring David Murdoch – January 8th, 2014

In this “Lived it Lecture”, David Murdoch discusses his journey as an entrepreneur, his experiences, and how technology is currently changing the education system.

David is an accomplished entrepreneur and business development executive, most recently in the education technology sector. He is involved in a number of education technology start-ups including: ClevrU Corporation – a World Class Learning platform focused on delivering North American education into emerging markets, with over 500,000 followers in China and Chinese partnerships with China Telecom, China Unicom and Renren (China’s Facebook) and is a graduate of the Digital Media HUB in Kitchener; Rayku Corporation – Focused on the North American Online Tutoring Market and established within the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University and MaRS.


“Lived it Lecture” featuring Lance Laking & Michael Atkins – December 11th, 2013

Lance Laking (IT, Comminications & Entertainment Advisor – MaRS) and Michael Atkins (President – Laurentian Media Group) offer advice to first-time entrepreneurs and discuss how they first started as entrepreneurs, unexpected challenges they have experienced and how to stay motivated during difficult times.


“Translating research into a multi-billion dollar global company” with Sherwin Greenblatt (Co-founder, former president, Bose Corporation) – October 9th, 2013
Supported by Bianco’s Supercenter, Goodman School of Mines and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce

Research is often defined as turning money into knowledge whereas innovation is considered the process of turning knowledge back into money. For academic institutions and companies that invest in research, this NORCAT Hot Topics event will focus on the exciting and challenging process of looking at research through a “prospective commercialization” lens. Does this research have a commercial application? How do I assess the market opportunity? What is the end goal? So many challenging yet important questions!


“What does it mean to be an Angel Investor?” with Randall Howard (General Partner, VERDEXUS), Lance Laking (Director, IAF) and Karen Grant (Executive Director, Angel One Investor Network) – September 17th, 2013

Supported by DiBrina Sure Group, Freelandt Caldwell Reilley, Northern Ontario Angels and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce

Over the past ten years angel investing has become an integral part of the investment capital landscape in Canada. What is it? Why should you care? How much money do you need to get involved? What role can angel investors play beyond just giving money? For many Canadians, angel investing presents an exciting opportunity to leverage your experience and networks to help a start-up venture become a global business.


“How, Why and When To Raise Venture Capital” featuring John Ruffolo, Chief Executive Officer, OMERS Ventures – June 5th, 2013
Supported by Fisher Wavy, Pioneer Construction, Canadian Digital Media Network & the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce

Entrepreneurs are consistently faced with difficult questions related to capital. Do you bootstrap your business or raise capital through angel investors or venture capital firms? What are the pros and cons? What are investors looking for? This Hot Topic event will focus on the key questions related to venture capital – when is the right time, how do you approach sources of venture capital, and why even consider raising equity capital?


“How to Sell to Big Companies” featuring Bill White, former President of DuPont Canada – February 28th, 2013

As an entrepreneurial venture or a small / medium enterprise, understanding how to engage, connect, and potentially sell to large corporate customers is often challenging and time consuming! This Hot Topic Event will focus on how to identify the right corporate partners, determining the role they can play in assisting with the growth of your business, and the“do’s and don’ts” when trying to sell to big companies.


“Social Media and Online Marketing” featuring Stuart MacDonald, Founder of Expedia.ca – February 13th, 2013

Understanding your market, the latest trends, and what others are doing is difficult even on the best of days! This event will focus on helping you understand the latest trends in social media and online marketing and what you need to be thinking about to grow your brand awareness and build your markets.


“Innovation for Greater Sudbury” featuring Tom Rand, Cleantech Investor / Entrepreneur – November 30th, 2012

An engineer, environmentalist, venture capitalist and philosopher, Tom Rand is a highly-sought after Canadian speaker. His ambition is to bring clean technology to life, using an optimistic and pragmatic approach. Drawing examples from his own successful ventures and global leadership, Tom reveals concrete solutions to carbon emission problems. Currently, Rand is the Cleantech Lead Advisor at MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, where he helps the next generation of cleantech companies grow to global leadership.