RBC sponsors young leaders from SHAD and entrepreneurs from the University of Toronto Impact Centre to attend SingularityU Canada Summit

TORONTO, September 14, 2017On October 11 and 12, young leaders from the SHAD program and entrepreneurs from the University of Toronto Impact Centre will join more than 1000 business, community and government leaders from across Canada at the inaugural SingularityU Canada Summit. As a Founding Member, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) will sponsor this group of young Canadian innovators to attend the Summit.

“RBC believes tomorrow’s prosperity will depend on the power of today’s youth and entrepreneurs to imagine and build the future of Canada,” said Sumit Oberai, senior vice president, digital technology, RBC. “We are proud to be a Founding Member of the SingularityU Canada Summit and to support the next generation of Canadian innovators in building a more robust future for all.”

In keeping with the SingularityU Canada’s vision to create a diverse and inclusive pan-Canadian community, Founding Members are committing 25 per cent of their tickets to enable young innovators and entrepreneurs from across the country to attend the SingularityU Canada Summit in Toronto.

“SingularityU is known around the world as the premier destination for exponential thinkers and innovators who are leveraging technology to tackle the world’s biggest challenges,” said Prof. Cynthia Goh, Director of the Impact Centre. “As a strong supporter of the University of Toronto, RBC has consistently demonstrated its deep commitment to enabling Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs to explore, grow and succeed, both at home and around the world.”

“SHAD participants are young people who are committed to using their talents and passions to make the world a better place’, said Tim Jackson, President and CEO, SHAD. “Thanks to RBC, select SHAD alumni from across the country will have the opportunity to come to Toronto to learn from the best in the world, and connect directly with Canadian leaders and innovators from every sector.”

SHAD participants will also be attending SingularityU Canada Summit Satellite events in more than a dozen communities across Canada. These Satellite events, which are open to all, will leverage the Summit live-stream and will enable students, young entrepreneurs and other local curious minds to come together to discuss the exponential technologies and the future of energy, the environment, healthcare, citizenship and prosperity. Further, the local partnerships provide an opportunity to profile and share the stories of local leaders who are driving innovation every day in communities across Canada.


SingularityU Canada Summit is the premier launch event of a new movement in Canada seeking to bring together the leading Canadian and International thought leaders to inspire Canadians to shape the Future of Canada and drive global impact. A forum for true debate and uncommon conversations about how technologies like artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and digital medicine will impact the way we live and work.

The inaugural SU Canada Summit will take place on October 11 – 12 at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, Ontario and will move to different cities every year.

Building the Canadian platform of Singularity University was made possible when a grassroots movement of Canadian SU alumni brought together a visionary group of founding members including ATB, BMO, CIBC, Canadian Medical Association, CN, Deloitte, FairVentures, Goodmans LLP, Google, the Government of Ontario, RBC, Rogers Communications, Scotiabank, Suncor, TMX and TD Bank Group. Together this initial group is on a mission to share SU’s exponential mindset and bold thinking with Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The group is working closely with leading edge innovation hubs, academic institutions, and NGOs across the country to create a pan-Canadian network of partners who wish to come together and discuss Canada’s role in shaping our collective future.


Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have approximately 81,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. For more information please see: http://www.rbc.com/community-sustainability/.


The Impact Centre is a research institute at the University of Toronto that strives to bring science to society through a unique network of industry projects and partnerships, entrepreneurial companies, and unique training programs. We connect exceptional research, talent, innovative companies, and government to create products and services both for existing industry partners and in support of innovative startups. Over the past 15 years more than 140 startups have participated in Impact Centre programs and are transforming fields from assistive devices, drug discovery, energy storage, and synthetic biology. Learn more about our programs at impactcentre.ca or follow us on Twitter @ImpactUofT


SHAD is a registered Canadian charity that empowers exceptional high school students – at a pivotal point in their education – to recognize their own capabilities and envision their extraordinary potential as tomorrow’s leaders and change makers. Each year, SHAD provides the opportunity for hundreds of students from across Canada to attend a month-long summer program, in-residence at a leading Canadian host university, focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math). There are currently more than 16,000 SHAD Fellows including 32 Rhodes Scholars, Top 40 Under 40 & Top 20 Under 20 award recipients, and many other accomplished professionals, all sharing the transformational SHAD experience and able to leverage their SHAD network for life. Founded in 1980, SHAD is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Students selected through the rigorous, competitive process for places in the summer program are top performers who are also well-rounded emerging leaders demonstrating initiative, creativity and flair. They are leaders in their schools, volunteers in their communities, and are often gifted musicians, artists and athletes.


Singularity University is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build an abundant future for all. SU’s collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. SU was founded in 2008 by renowned innovators Ray Kurzweil and Peter H. Diamandis and has partnered with leading organizations including Google, Deloitte and UNICEF. To learn more, visit SU.org, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @SingularityU, and download our SingularityU Hub mobile app from the App Store.

Krista Pawley
SingularityU Canada Summit

Jillian Vernic
Royal Bank of Canada


Prof. Cynthia Goh


M. Cynthia Goh is a professor, entrepreneur, researcher and educator dedicated to transforming science to society. She received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles, and carried out postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, prior to taking a faculty position at the University of Toronto. Currently, she is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Material Science and Engineering, the Institute of Medical Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs.

In addition to being the founding director of the Impact Centre, Cynthia also serves as the academic director of the University of Toronto’s Office of Entrepreneurship. In collaboration with her students she has founded 7 companies, including biosensor company Axela, agri-tech company Vive Crop Protection and the charity Pueblo Science, which is dedicated to improving science literacy in low-resource settings. In 2004 she founded the Entrepreneurship 101 training program, which was eventually run by MaRS and has trained thousands of people in the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. In 2010, she introduced the Impact Centre’s Techno program, an intensive hands-on training workshop specifically geared for university scientists intending to build a tech-based company.

Ryan Doherty

• PhD in Medical Biophysics from U of T
• Former Junior Fellow at Massey College

Company Description:
iamsick.ca is changing the way Canadians access healthcare. The iamsick.ca website and mobile apps show nearby healthcare options when and where they are needed. The iamsick.ca healthcare visit management platform includes a virtual waiting room with live wait-times for walk-in clinics, as well as online/mobile appointment booking. iamsick.ca’s framework will remove barriers that currently exist in the healthcare system – from language barriers to long wait-times.

Pooja Viswanathan

Following her passion to help those with accessibility needs, Pooja completed trans-disciplinary doctoral and post-doctoral research in robotics and assistive technologies, publishing several peer-reviewed conference and journal articles on “smart” wheelchairs that prevent collisions and provide wayfinding assistance (featured in international newspapers, and Canadian radio and TV shows). Pooja also has industry experience in various sectors including banking, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and automotives. She has secured competitive grants and earned prestigious scholarships/fellowships from NSERC, Google, Precarn, Alzheimer’s Society, Ontario Brain Institute, and the AGE-WELL Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), totaling over $325,000.

Company Description:
We are dedicated to increasing independence, safety, and overall quality of life for people living with mobility impairment. We engage with our end-users throughout the design process in order to create accessible and innovative technologies that are affordable and easy to use. 1 in 5 powered mobility device users experience at least one major collision within a year. 11% of these people end up in a hospital. We have developed an add-on system that can detect obstacles and provide feedback to you and to others in your environment.

Hanif Montazeri


A scientist with an entrepreneur’s personality, Dr. Hanif Montazeri obtained his PhD in Computational Physics from the University of Toronto and his expertise has been vital in developing this technology. He has also worked with several international engineering and design companies, including Canadian and European Space Agencies, Altair Engineering and Bombardier Transportation, giving him the knowledge and experience of operations in a professional environment. Dr. Montazeri has raised ~ $500K from private and governmental organizations such as OCE, NSERC, Northumberland CFDC, Dubai Expo 2020, Grand Challenges Canada and IRAP-NRC.

Enersion provides cooling solutions that use 70% less electricity and no harmful refrigerants. Our chiller uses any thermal energy, such as solar energy or low-grade wasted heat, to produce cooling power. Unlike conventional compressor-based chillers, our chillers have a reduced environmental impact, as they use water as a refrigerant as opposed to commonly-used substances which increase global warming and cause ozone depletion. Enersion has secured its first pilot test with a multi-billion dollar manufacturing facility in Ontario. Also, Expo 2020 has selected and supported Enersion to showcase its technology in the prestigious 2020 Exhibition in Dubai.

Jonathan Lung

• PhD Candidate in Computer Science at the University of Toronto in human decision making
• Awarded Ontario Brain Institute Entrepreneurs Fellowship

Our company is focused on improving urban transportation. We are designing vehicles for people living in cities that combine the convenience and safety of car travel with the health and economic benefits of riding a bicycle. We will provide affordable, beautifully designed and crafted vehicles that will make cities greener and friendlier places to be.