Join us on Wednesday March 30th from 5 to 6pm ET for an engaging discussion on investing in innovation and the future generation.
  • 5:00 – 6:00pm ET
  • Virtual
  • Our speakers will discuss their unique experiences working with women-led startups in various areas with a focus on those innovating climate change mitigation and sustainable technologies. They will also discuss and explore Canada’s startup funding ecosystem from a governmental and private perspective and canvass beneficial comparative international approaches.  

    We are excited to be joined by three inspiring leaders in the cleantech sector:  


     Susan McLean | VP, Program Operations, Venture Services 

    Susan is VP, Program Operations with MaRS Venture Services, where she is responsible for operational effectiveness, client service orientation and the implementation of strategic priorities across the Venture Services team. 

    Susan brings a wealth of experience in the innovation sector to her role, most recently with Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation/Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MRI/MEDEI) as Manager of Innovation Strategy and Programs for the Commercialization Branch. She was previously with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), as Regional Director of Partnerships, and with TMX — leading their efforts in Cleantech Business Development and Strategic Initiatives. 

    She is an active advocate of social finance and cleantech, and has held roles on the Advisory Board of SVX, at Corporate Knights and on the Board of Directors of the Access Community Capital Fund. Susan is currently on the Board of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and is Toronto Chapter Chair of the Manning Innovation Awards. 

    Her career began in finance and strategy roles, building on Susan’s McGill BA. She also earned a CFA and MSc in Economics from the University of London. 


    Malaika Kapur | Associate Director of Programs, Creative Destruction Lab 

    Malaika is the Associate Director of Programs at the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), an objective-based program for seed-stage science and technology startups.  

    She leads the Global Pedagogy (entrepreneurship education programs for university students) and the CDL Apprentice ( a program to address the gender gap in STEM through educational modules for young women-identifying students in high school).  

    Her work has seen hundreds of university and high school students flourish in their knowledge of the deep-tech and entrepreneurship ecosystems across 10 sites in 4 countries and counting.  

    Malaika graduated from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in Organizational Behaviour. With roots in Africa, she has previously chaired an international conference aimed at promoting growth in Africa’s emerging economies and has delivered a TEDx talk on the importance of youth-led entrepreneurial action to drive change. 


    Amber Batool | Vice President and Chief of Staff, Sustainable Development Technology Canada 

    As Vice-President and Chief of Staff, Amber leads SDTC’s strategic initiatives in areas spanning intellectual property, innovation and governance and communications. In addition to her role as Chief of Staff, Amber Batool leads our strategic initiative on intellectual property to ensure we continue to support more climate and clean technology companies to build robust intellectual property strategies. 

    In addition to roles in the private sector including in the oil and gas sector, Amber spent over 10 years working for the UK Government in London. Her posts included Chief of Staff to Ministers of State and speechwriter to multiple HM Treasury ministers (including during the financial crisis.) Amber was also a member of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and during her time at the Cabinet Office supported No10 Downing Street on briefing the Prime Minister for Question Period. Amber has a law degree and a postgraduate diploma in law. 




    Elizabeth S. Dipchand | Founder, Partner, Dipchand LLP 

    At Dipchand LLP, Elizabeth has created a place purposeful about embodying the values of excellence, integrity, ingenuity, and fun every day. 

    Elizabeth practices intellectual property law and litigation, focusing on acquiring, managing, and enforcing intellectual property rights and intangible assets for clients that rely heavily on intellectual capital in their business. 

    Elizabeth is also an active member of several professional associations and has the pleasure of serving as on the Board of Directors for the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) and the Dalhousie Law Alumni Association. 

    Beyond her legal practice, Elizabeth is proud to be actively involved with and support several organizations focused on making our world a better place. She sits on the Board of Directors of FORA (formerly G(irls)20), an organization dedicated to advancement through the leadership of girls and women globally. Elizabeth also sits on the Board of Directors for the Shaw Festival Theater in Niagara-On-The-Lake and is pleased to promote the theater’s strong tradition of rebellious rabble-rousing. Finally, Elizabeth has been recently appointed to the Board of Governors of OCAD University. 


    Closing Remarks 


    Shahrzad Esmaili, Gowling WLG, Partner 

    Shahrzad Esmaili is a partner and registered Canadian and US patent agent in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office. With over 15 years of experience, Shahrzad focuses her intellectual property (IP) practice primarily on high-tech inventions – specifically those related to computer software, computer hardware, business methods, mechanical and electronic devices, biomedical arts and artificial intelligence (AI).  

    Shahrzad brings to her position an advanced engineering background, having completed two masters degrees at Ryerson University in both electrical and computer network engineering before assuming engineering roles at some of the world’s largest tech companies. She complements this technical background with a sophisticated understanding of patent law, as well as an extensive knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the global tech sector. 

    Harnessing this experience, Shahrzad works closely with inventors and in-house counsel to deliver innovative and cost-efficient patent prosecution strategies – both domestic and cross-border – that reflect the pace and competitiveness of today’s global IP market. Her high-tech clients particularly appreciate her nuanced understanding of software and business method patent protection in Canada, the US and around the world.  

    Shahrzad’s patent practice focuses on patent drafting and prosecution for emerging technologies including AI and machine learning inventions, with respect to self-driving cars, e-commerce, smart monitoring devices, voice-controlled personal assistants and fintech. Her interest in such technologies has stemmed from her master’s thesis relating to machine learning based audio classification techniques. 


    Sponsor | The session is sponsored by Dipchand LLP.  


    Hosts | Event hosted by the Toronto Chapter Leadership Team: Dr. Georgette Zinaty (Corporate Class), Shahrzad Esmaili (Gowling WLG LLP), Isi Caulder (Bereskin & Parr LLP), Jasleen Chahal (Gowling WLG LLP), Jeilah Chan (Bennett Jones), Elizabeth S. Dipchand (Dipchand LLP), Victoria Heppell (Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.), and Nina Moritsugu (Workday Inc.).