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San Francisco Event - How Canadian talent can help your start-up grow

San Francisco Event - How Canadian talent can help your start-up grow

Date & Time:
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325 Vermont Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Event Contact:

Carm Vespi
905.525.9140 x.24906

Join us for an evening of networking, inspiration and innovation at our McMaster Engineering Innovation Forum in San Francisco. Hosted by Dean Ishwar Puri and Founder of Tonal, Aly Orady, B.Eng. ’98 (Computer Engineering)


Panelists will talk about challenges and opportunities for Canadian talent.

How can Canadian post-secondary institutions support entrepreneurship and a culture of innovation?
What advice can we share about innovation and design thinking to prepare a new generation of talent?
What are the trends in hiring successful employees for start-ups?
Who are the leaders in training and hiring talent?


Fatema Abdulhussein Guest
Mohammad Abou shaar B.Sc. '04 (Computer Science), M.B.A. '09
Devan Angra B.Tech. '17 (Process Automation Technology)
Ahmed Belal B.Eng. '18 (Mechatronics Eng.)
Teresa  Chong  B.Eng. '06 (Civil Eng.)
Nitin  Chopra B.Eng. '05 (Electrical Eng.)
Nilay Desai B.Eng. '13 (Computer Eng.)
Amninder Dhillon B.Eng.Mgt. '17 (Electrical Eng.)
Gurbir Dhulla B.Eng. '16 (Software Eng.)
Brock Dubbels Department Psychology, Neuroscience, & Behaviour -McMaster University
Mohamed El Mahallawy B.A. '14 (Economics)
Arka Ganguli B.Eng.Mgt. '17 (Software Eng.)
Eugene Hyun B.Eng.Mgt. '05 (Computer Eng.)
Waguih  Ishak M.Eng. '75, Ph.D. '78 (Electrical Eng.) 
Hope Ishak B.Eng. '78 (Electrical Eng.)
Mitchell Kos B.Tech. '17 (Automotive & Vehicle Tech.)
Layan Kutob Guest 
Faizel  Lakani B.Eng. '93 (Electrical Eng.)
Hasnain Lanewala B.Eng. '11 (Mechanical Eng.)
Eunice Lee B.Eng. Biosciences '16 (Chemical Eng.)
Geoff MacDonald B.Eng. '12 (Mechanical Eng.)
Bhavin Mehta B.Eng. '09 (Electrical Eng.)
Kevin Mikrut B.Eng. '14 (Materials Eng.)
Terry  Milson  Faculty Advancement Officer 
Wasib Muhammad M.Eng.Design '11
Dipen Nagpal B.Eng.Mgt. '14 (Mechanical Eng.)
Arush Naithan B.Eng. '12 (Materials Eng.)
Aly  Orady B.Eng. '98 (Computer Eng.)
Dr. Ishwar  Puri Dean of Engineering 
Mitchell Ross Student
Saman Sarraf Guest 
Gavin Schulz B.A. '13 (Economics)
Ala Shaabana Ph.D. '18 (Computer Science)
Nadeen Shaabana Student 
Mukul Shekhar B.Eng.Mgt. '07 (Electrical Eng.)
Eve Sohn Student 
Zhemin Su B.Eng. '15 (Electrical Eng.)
Melia Susanto B.Eng. '05 (Mechnaical Eng.)
Aman Thakral B.Eng.BioSci. '08 (Chemical Eng.), M.Eng.Design '09
Amy Woodward B.Eng. Society '99 (Computer Eng.)
Erin Young B.Eng. '99 (Materials Eng.)
Amin Zia Ph.D. '08 (Electrical & Computer Eng.)

Co-Hosts & Panelists


Ishwar Puri Picture

Moderator and Co-Host:
Dr. Ishwar K. Puri, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, Ontario

Ishwar Puri is dean of engineering and professor at McMaster University. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), and of AAAS and AIAA. His technical area of expertise is applied engineering science, translating fundamental research into applications and engineering practice.

His contributions range from developing more efficient combustors, enhancing fire safety to designing thermal logic devices and developing magnetic inks for 3D printing. As an academic leader, he has initiated a digital learning and research strategy across engineering disciplines in the McMaster University Faculty of Engineering. He chairs the Canada-wide National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science.

Ishwar earned his B.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering) University of Delhi, 1982; M.S. (Applied Mechanics) University of California San Diego, 1984; and Ph.D. (Applied Mechanics) University of California San Diego, 1987

In 2013, he helped found and mentor of Nanospin, a start-up that developed a cooling system for computers and electronic devices using a liquid dispersion of magnetic nanoparticles to dissipate waste heat that led to the formation of the McMaster Engineering Computational Infrastructure Research Centre.

Aly Orady Picture Co-Host:
Aly Orady, B.Eng. '98 (Computer Eng.) - CEO at Tonal, California
Aly Orady is the Founder & CEO of Tonal, the company behind the world’s most intelligent fitness system. Inspired by his own journey, having lost 70 lbs and navigated his way from technologist to fitness enthusiast, Aly is drawing both his new-found knowledge and 20 years of deep technology expertise to help everyone be their strongest. Aly started his career at Hewlett-Packard’s Computer Systems Laboratory designing super-computers, followed by technical leadership roles at a series of startups, including Pano Logic (now Samsung)  and Kealia, Inc. (now Sun/Oracle). Armed with an M.S.E.E. from Stanford, and a B.Eng. from McMaster University, and a broad set of roles, Aly’s expertise includes business, technology, and operations.  

Kaylee Astle, Co-Founder & Head of Communities, MobSquad

Kaylee Astle is a Co-Founder and the Head of Communities of MobSquad, an innovative Canadian start-up that forms remote teams of high-caliber developers in Canada that are paired with US-based clients on an exclusive, long-term basis, effectively rendering the remote developers their full-time employees.  MobSquad’s Canadian-based developers obtain the opportunity to work with the most compelling start-ups in the world, backed by globally recognized venture capitalists and be mentored by leading serial entrepreneurs – all from Canada. 

Prior to joining MobSquad, Kaylee Astle focussed her career on technology, both as a consultant and entrepreneur.  While at Deloitte Consulting, Kaylee advised some of Canada’s fastest growing start-ups as well as governments and large scale public organizations.

Her work specialized in assisting her clients embrace and implement leading edge technology solutions to the benefit of their respective organizations.  Most notably, Kaylee led the project management office and financial analysis of a $250MM technology enabled transformation program. 

Following her time at Deloitte Consulting, Kaylee joined ShareDesk, a fast-growing technology start-up focussed on workplace automation and efficiency.  Kaylee led the North American go-to-market strategy, developed partnerships with key strategic players in the industry and managed investor relationships.  Her work directly contributed to ShareDesk’s revenue growing over four times during her tenure.

Kaylee holds a BCom with High Honours in Accounting and International Business from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

Nitin Chopra Picture

Nitin Chopra, B.Eng. '05 (Electrical Eng.) - Principal at Shasta Ventures, California
Nitin Chopra is a Partner at Shasta Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. Nitin is passionate about enterprise software and invests in infrastructure software, particularly in security and data technologies. He serves as a board director of Stealth Security, SlamData, FogLogic and Kubit AI, and is actively involved with Shasta Ventures’ investments in LucidWorks, Data.World, Lightbend, Entelo, Aquera, Macrometa and ValiMail.

Nitin routinely interacts with Fortune 500 IT Executives and holds executive roundtables with enterprise IT executives and venture-backed start-up CEOs. Prior to joining Shasta Ventures, Nitin spent a number of years in Product Management, and worked across Canada, Germany and the USA. Nitin earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from McMaster University, where Nitin is a member of McMaster University Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board.

Waguih Ishak Picture

Dr. Waguih Ishak, M.Eng. '75, Ph.D. '78 (Electrical Eng.) - Corning West Technology Center, California

Dr. Waguih Ishak joined Corning in 2007 to head the newly formed Corning West Technology Center in Palo Alto, California. From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Ishak was the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Avago Technologies, where he led the R&D efforts for new products in Consumer Electronics.

From 2003 to 2005, Ishak was the Vice President and Director of the Photonics & Electronics Research Lab at Agilent Labs responsible for the R&D programs in photonics, high-speed electronics, sensors, semiconductor tests, wireless communications and consumer electronics. From 1987 to 2003, Ishak was the Director of the Communications & Optics Research Laboratory (CORL), working on photonics and integrated electronics.

Ishak has authored approximately 100 journal and conference papers, and four chapters in the Handbook of Electronic Instruments.

He is a Fellow of the IEEE and was named an inventor on seven US patents. He is on the Technical Advisory Boards of USC, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Santa Clara University, McMaster University.

Ishak received a B.Sc. E.E. from Cairo University in 1971, a B.Sc. Math from Ain Shams University, Egypt, in 1973, and M.Sc. E.E. and Ph.D. E.E. from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in 1975 and 1978, respectively. In 1999, Ishak completed the Stanford Executive Program at Stanford University. In 2018 Ishak received the Honorary D.Sc. Honoris Causa from McMaster University.

Faziel Lakhani Picture    

Faziel Lakhani, B.Eng. '93 (Electrical Eng.) - CEO Guavus, California

Faizel has extensive experience in data security, network security, switching, routing in both enterprise and service provider markets. Prior to Guavus Faizel was the President, COO and Board Member at SS8; a network intelligence company, where he grew, driving to profitability with 3 new market segments engaged. Prior to SS8, Faizel was the vice president of Data Loss Prevention at McAfee, where he was responsible for the DLP business worldwide, growing the business 100x in 3 years, scaling worldwide. Faizel joined McAfee through the acquisition of Reconnex, where he was the vice president of products and marketing. Prior to Reconnex, Faizel held executive leadership roles in product and marketing at ConSentry, Caspian Networks and Nortel Networks. Faizel holds an MBA from The University of Ottawa, a Masters in Engineering from Carleton University, and a Bachelors in Engineering from McMaster University.