Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Symposium at Osgoode Hall Law School, Feb. 11

Giuseppina D’Agostino
Giuseppina D’Agostino

IP Osgoode, the intellectual property (IP) and technology law program at Osgoode Hall Law School, and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will co-host the Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Effective Strategies for IP Commercialization and Success symposium on Monday, Feb. 11 at Osgoode Hall Law School on York University’s Keele Campus.

This unique symposium will feature IP experts and accomplished entrepreneurs who will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn more about IP law, best practices for starting a business, and how an IP strategy can contribute to business success. The day will be capped by an afternoon of mentorship breakout sessions and networking opportunities with women entrepreneurs, experts and mentors.

Pina D’Agostino

Co-chaired by Osgoode Professor Pina D’Agostino, founder and director of IP Osgoode and the Innovation Clinic, and Darlene Carreau, director-general, Business Services Branch, CIPO, the symposium will bring together an impressive group of successful women entrepreneurs, business leaders and IP practitioners who will reflect on their own experiences and mentor the attendees on how to recognize, protect and commercialize their IP.

The symposium features a keynote presentation from Jessica Rawlley, the co-founder of MaaS Pros and TIEIT Inc. Rawlley has been recognized for her outstanding entrepreneurship and contributions to the country’s innovation ecosystem. She is the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year and TIEIT also received the Innovation of the Year award at the same event.

The morning panel, titled “IP & Commercialization – Protecting and Leveraging Your Most Valuable Assets: You and Your Ideas,” will focus on the importance of having an IP strategy and best practices for leveraging some of the main areas of IP. The panel will also focus on key issues to identify and act on as well as the realities of starting a business. Chaired by D’Agostino, the panel features Carreau (CIPO), along with Karima Bawa, former chief legal officer and general counsel at Research in Motion (Blackberry) and senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation, and Jacqueline (Jackie) Cooper, chief revenue office, Muse.

Following a networking lunch, attendees will break into smaller groups and circulate through four IP-themed mentorship sessions. These sessions offer an interactive networking opportunity for the participants to ask questions, connect with leading experts and entrepreneurs, and receive mentorship directed at their professional and business goals. The four mentorship session themes are structured around pivotal aspects of the commercialization cycle: 1) IP identification and protection, 2) IP commercialization and strategies, 3) IP and financing, and 4) growing and scaling.

Carreau will be joined by Reshika Dhir, associate, Bereskin & Parr LLP, and Rita Gao, lawyer and patent agent, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, to discuss how entrepreneurs should recognize the value in their ideas and inventions and protect them via various forms of IP law.

During the IP commercialization and strategies sessions, Karima Bawa will be joined by Allison Hayman, partner, Cassels Brock, to discuss how IP can be effectively leveraged and commercialized in many ways.

The IP and financing mentorship sessions will give attendees insight into the importance of having and leveraging IP to secure external funding. Michelle Lochan, regional innovation officer, Innovation Canada (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) and Teresa Moore, CPA, CA, Baker Tilly Vaughan LLP, will draw from their experiences in areas such as entrepreneurship and manufacturing to guide attendees forward.

Recognizing the important role that scale-ups play in Canada’s economy, Jackie Cooper and Vanessa Grant, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, will speak to the unique challenges that entrepreneurs and start-ups face as they move towards the scale-up level.

The Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Effective Strategies for IP Commercialization and Success symposium continues the efforts of IP Osgoode and CIPO to encourage and empower entrepreneurs across Canada. IP Osgoode and CIPO staff will be on hand to connect with attendees looking to access services and tools such as IP Osgoode’s Innovation Clinic and the CIPO’s new IP Hub.

Founded in 2010, the Innovation Clinic is the largest pro bono IP legal clinic and the first of its kind in Canada. In collaboration with Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and Bereskin & Parr LLP, the Innovation Clinic provides experiential learning experiences for Osgoode students in the areas of IP and technology law while at the same time providing pro bono one-to-one IP law information and support to inventors, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies in Toronto, York Region, Waterloo Region and beyond.

CIPO’s IP Awareness and Education Program serves as a one-stop shop that helps connect Canadians with the IP tools, resources and experts they need at every stage of their IP commercialization journey.

The symposium is free of charge and open to all members of the York University community and anyone interested in learning more about IP law and the role of IP in commercial success.