Propel Entrepreneurship

WesternU Startup Summit

WesternU Startup Summit

Entrepreneurship.  Insight.  Motivation.

On Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 5-7:30 p.m; Five guest entrepreneurs will visit Western to provide a unique, hands-on opportunity for students and alumni. The evening will kick off with a compelling keynote from Founder and CEO of, David Ciccarelli, followed by interactive breakout sessions and networking.

Each workshop will run twice. Registrants are invited to attend TWO (2) workshops of their choice.


5:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Keynote, David Ciccarelli, Founder & CEO, 

5:30 – 6:15 p.m. – Concurrent workshops #1

6:15 – 7:00 p.m. – Concurrent workshops #2

7:00 – 7:30 p.m. – Optional networking

Register Here

 *Please note, there is a $15 fee to reserve your seat at this event. This fee is fully refundable when you attend*

About the Keynote:

David Ciccarelli, Founder & CEO,
David Ciccarelli HeadshotJoin David as he speaks about "How to Get Your Business to Its First Million Dollars." In this keynote, David will go over 3 to 4 ways startups can make it happen, pulling on's history of success. 

David is an entrepreneur at heart, and his business insights have been published by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. For the last decade, David, with the help of his team, has grown from the ground up to become the leader in the voice-over industry. As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy, creating a vibrant culture, and managing the company on a day-to-day basis.

Session 1: Intro to Startup Financing and Funding for Aspiring Founders and VC's

Nick VitielloThis workshop, presented by Nick Vitiello, will focus on delivering a practical understanding of startup financing and startup management, from the point of view of both entrepreneurs, as well as venture capitalists.

Nick is an Associate at Tandem Expansion, with 4 years of experience in startup management and venture capital. Tandem Expansion is a $300M venture capital and growth equity fund based in Toronto and Montreal. As an Associate at Tandem, Nick has led transactions representing more than $150M in total value, financing Canadian startups in software, clean-tech, consumer internet, and IT. Nick received his HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and an Msc in International Business from HEC Paris.

Session 2: Telling Your Story: Digital Marketing for Startups 

Corey ShelsonIn this interactive and tactical session, Corey Shelson, MBA Founder @ 44 North Digital Marketing will reveal the in-house digital marketing strategy 44 North Digital Marketing uses to help their clients generate high quality sales leads and then teach you the steps that need to be taken to implement this strategy within your own business.

In this session you will learn: How to identify and target your ideal customers; How to find these individuals online and drive them to your website as cheaply as possible; How to engage these visitors and capture them as sales leads; How to automate & optimize the sales follow-up process in order to maximize the chances of converting the lead into a paying customer.

Upon completion of this session, you will understand how to generate sales leads using your website and how to calculate some key performance metrics to measure your success.

Session 3: The Art of Crowdfunding: Kickstarter Campaigns and More!

Tanya Van Luven HeadshotKickstarter and Indiegogo have gone from "nice to have" to essential social networks for startups, on par in importance with having a website and an email address. Join Tanya Van Luven in this session as she shares her experience launching a successful Kickstarter for LOUD on Planet X, a campaign that reached 106% of the targeted goal. Using LOUD on Planet X as a case study, Tanya will highlight tips and tricks on how to create a successful Kickstarter campaign. She will also illustrate how to use Kickstarter as a beneficial marketing and PR tool.

A proud regular in the Toronto music sector, Tanya Van Luven spent six years working at Warner Music Canada. Joining the Loud on Planet X team as the Marketing and Community Manager in 2014, Van Luven directed all phases of both the creative and technical elements of marketing initiatives including a successful Kickstarter campaign raising 106% of the targeted goal. The game launched into market in April 2016, with coverage in over sixty online publications including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Polygon and VICE UK. LOUD on Planet X was also featured in the ‘Best New Games’ category in the Apple App Store the week of release, where it brazenly sat at number one. The game was also nominated for 'Best New Mobile Game’ at this year’s 7th annual Canadian Videogame Awards in Montreal.

Session 4: Sales: The Foundation of all Business 

Sarah Landstreet HeadshotSarah Landstreet is founder & CEO at Georgette Packaging, a Waterloo-based startup. Sarah has sold hundreds of thousands of cupcakes, one business, and about $2 million worth of boxes, cups, and bags. She is building a sales team of new grads at Georgette. She'll talk about why it's so critical to learn sales skills as early as possible (beyond the fact that 1 in 12 jobs are in sales), the skills you need to demonstrate to be hired for sales (which they don't teach at school), and how much $$$ you can make in one of the best paid careers in the world.

Sarah holds a degree in mechanical engineering from McGill University, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business. She worked as an engineer in Hawaii and England before launching the first cupcake bakery in Northern Ireland, which she sold in 2011. Three years ago, she started Georgette Packaging. The purpose of Georgette is to power the relationship between small businesses that need custom-branded packaging, and state-of-the-art manufacturers. Many small businesses struggle to find and understand branded packaging suppliers, and manufacturers lack the flexibility and systems to serve such clients. Georgette Packaging acts as a layer of intelligence between the two groups, enabling transactions in a highly underserved market.