PROFIT 500 and STARTUP 50 logos

Growth 500
CEO Summit 2019

Thursday, October 24, 2019
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Fairmont Royal York
100 Front St W, Toronto

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Diamond Sponsor


BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, both online and in-person, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions. For 75 years and counting, BDC’s purpose has been to support entrepreneurs in all industries and all stages of growth. For more information and to consult more than 1,000 free tools, articles and entrepreneurs’ stories, visit

Platinum Sponsor


Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering innovation, prosperity and security through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit

Gold Sponsor

American Express

Through our Global Commercial Services division, American Express offers powerful backing and support that helps companies of all sizes gain financial savings, control and efficiency. We provide a suite of payment and lending products, solutions for travel and everyday business spending, cross border payments, global currency solutions, and business financing.


The 16th annual Growth 500 CEO Summit—formerly known as the PROFIT 500 CEO Summit—is an invitation-only event intended for entrepreneurs who are ambitious, successful and always have an eye trained on growth. The one-day congregation is designed exclusively for leaders featured in the 2019 Growth 500 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies and its companion, the Startup 50 ranking of Canada's Top New Growth Companies.

The Growth 500 CEO Summit offers a unique forum to help you identify promising opportunities, identify and overcome challenges facing evolving companies and forge invaluable relationships with your enterprising peers.

This year's Summit will include the Growth 500 Awards Luncheon, plenty of chances to meet and exchange ideas with fellow entrepreneurs, and a stellar line-up of speakers armed with invaluable advice to boost your profits, efficiency, creativity and culture. The event will conclude with a prestigious cocktail reception where you can toast your company’s achievements and, of course, celebrate three decades of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program.

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"What an amazing line-up of inspiring, motivating and energetic speakers! I thoroughly enjoyed this year's event. It was our second time attending, and we hope to make next year's list just to attend again."

—2017 CEO Summit attendee

Admission Criteria

The 2019 Growth 500 CEO Summit is an invitation-only event. Given its emphasis on peer-to-peer learning, admission to the Growth 500 CEO Summit is restricted only to those chief executives explicitly listed during such on Growth 500 application process. Invitations and paid passes are non-transferable.

Please note the following:

  • Passes are available at an earlybird rate of $449 (plus tax) before August 31, 2019.
  • After September 20, 2019, passes will cost $499 (plus tax).
  • Seating is limited! We can guarantee only 300 passes for sale
  • You must enter your unique registration code to obtain passes for your company. This code was shared with all Growth 500 CEOs via email in early August.
  • Don't delay! The deadline to register for the CEO Summit is Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 5:00pm EDT. Registration will close at that time.
  • Cancellations with full refunds will be accepted until Thursday, October 10, 2019.


Thursday, October 24, 2019
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Breakfast and networking


Opening remarks


Keynote: Rule Your Domain: The Proven Way to Build Your Business Through Kickass Digital Marketing

Speaker: Avery Swartz, founder and CEO of Camp Tech, author of See You on the Internet: Building Your Small Business with Digital Marketing (coming March 2020), tech correspondent in Canadian media, and digital marketing consultant.

Digital marketing is essential to growing a business, and the internet has made it easier than ever before to reach your target customer. But how do you know which strategies are really working for your business? Which ones can be retired, and which ones should you double-down on? In this entertaining keynote presentation, tech writer, consultant, and entrepreneur Avery Swartz will introduce you to her proven framework for planning and executing digital marketing. In five simple steps, you’ll learn to confidently build your brand, increase your customers, and generate more revenue.


Buying a business: How to supercharge your growth

Speaker: Peter Lawler, Executive Vice President, BDC Advisory Services

A boom in transitions is coming up; hundreds of thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs will soon be faced with the decision of letting go of their business as the baby-boomers retire. Join Peter Lawler, Executive Vice President, BDC Advisory Services, as he shares the main findings of extensive BDC research on business acquisition in Canada. Peter will do an overview of the business transition opportunities, a portrait of the sellers and the buyers and will give the key elements of a successful business acquisition.


Networking break


The Growth 500 Idea Exchange

The Growth 500 Idea Exchange features mediated small-group peer-to-peer conversations in which you can discuss, and help to solve, the top issues facing your business today. Come prepared to share, learn and establish invaluable connections with your entrepreneurial peers.


Cocktails and networking


The Growth 500 Awards Luncheon

Over a three-course lunch, Canadian Business will celebrate the entrepreneurial successes of this year’s Growth 500 and Startup 50 winners, and give special recognition to companies for achievements in such areas as revenue growth, international trade and job creation.


Networking and dessert break


Keynote: Unlocking the Power of AI to Turbo-boost Your Business Objectives

Speaker: Mike Davison, Data and AI Architect at the Microsoft Technology Centre

AI has the capacity to empower the whole world to achieve more. From empowering technical development teams to mobilizing an entire organization to unlock the true potential of AI, enterprises need to think strategically about AI – and they need to start today. Mike Davison, Data and AI Architect at the Microsoft Technology Centre, explains how to take AI from an overwhelming concept to an accessible tool for Canada’s business leaders.


Growth Clinics

It’s time to go deep and learn from your peers, as well as experts in the field. These interactive workshops will be chock-full of proven advice and useful takeaways you can apply to your business. Three workshops will run concurrently. You’ll have a chance to attend one of the three sessions.

  • Workshop A: Making AI work for you
    With the automation and artificially intelligent revolution well under way, businesses are being challenged to evolve with technology — or risk getting left behind. But how can interested companies best integrate the tech-of-the-future in effective ways, tailored to their mandate? In this session, our panel of experts will discuss how AI can be applied to any business, how to balance the draws of deep tech with human utility, and where AI-based innovations are going.
  • Workshop B: Master the Direct-to-Consumer model
    It’s a plight shared by countless up-and-coming entrepreneurs: you have an idea for a great product and an identified audience that could benefit from your creation — but how to get it to them? The direct-to-consumer business can be a boon for entrepreneurs — greater control of product image and branding, tight-knit ties to your customer base, and (crucially) increased profitability. In this session, our panel of experts will divulge how they built their DTC business from the ground up, best practices for maximum success, and how this channel can lead to rapid expansion, in Canada and beyond.
  • Workshop C: How to Magnetize Great Hires
    Finding the perfect, hardworking hire can be like finding a needle in a haystack, and it becomes all the more challenging outside of major urban centres. Still, many of our Growth 500 winners have created effective (and creative!) strategies for sourcing exceptional talent — even having A+ hires seek them out. In this session, our panel of experts will share their recruiting struggles, how they solved them, and how to ensure you end up with an enviable talent pool once interviews are long over.

Keynote: Winners’ Traits: How to Take Your Team to Gold Medal Success

Speaker: Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan, performance consultant to the NHL, NBA, and Olympians.

As one of the leading mental performance consultants in the field, Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan has coached and trained some of the world’s top athletes and teams. Throughout her career, she has witnessed what habits and behaviours are required for success and will share her expertise on how you can create an environment that is more conducive to achieving success, winning and excellence. Whether you’re on the rink or in the boardroom, Kimberley will share universal traits that are possessed by those that experience the most success in their field and how you can replicate it within your own careers, teams and organizations. Interspersed with real life examples from her Olympic, NHL and NBA championship experiences, Kimberley will ensure you leave this session armed with the recipe for success.


Summit closing remarks, door prizes

* Agenda is subject to change. More speakers will be added as we get closer to the event date; please check back regularly for updates!

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Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Canadian Room
100 Front Street W
Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

Room Reservations

If you require hotel accommodations we have secured a corporate rate of $309 + applicable taxes and fees per night at the Fairmont Royal York for a limited block of rooms. Reservations must be made before Monday, September 23rd, 2019. To make your reservation please call the Fairmont Royal York in-house reservation team directly at 1-800-663-7229 and quote the group code ROGE1019 OR online at


Guests can make use of the Fairmont Royal York's daily valet parking. A self-parking option is available at 79/66 Wellington St.


The Fairmont Royal York is located immediately adjacent to Union Station, and is easily accessible by TTC, Go Transit, VIA Rail and the UP Express. A full list of directions is available here.

Dress Code

Business attire.

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Having Trouble?

If you need assistance with registration, please contact Adrian Li at 416-818-0645 or