Hunter Centre Speaker Series

Hunter Centre Speaker Series

Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (HCEI)

The Hunter Centre Speaker Series is an ongoing series of interactive dialogues showcasing Calgary’s entrepreneurial leadership.  The series provides students, faculty and alumni, and the Calgary business community the opportunity to expand their networks, address real-life entrepreneurial challenges, learn from the personal experiences of business innovators and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in Calgary.

The Future of University Research: Lessons from the United Kingdom


The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recently held a special event honouring the legacy of Dr. Cooper H. Langford and his passion for entrepreneurship and innovation within higher education. 

What is the role of university research for post-pandemic recovery, and how can Canadian universities evolve to address these and other pressing societal challenges? This was an engaging discussion about the future of university research with Professor Jeremy Hall, Director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex Business School. 

Drawing on the United Kingdom’s experience over the last 50 years, Jeremy discussed how their policies have resulted in universities playing a key role in the country’s national system of innovation.

Questions? Please get in touch with us!


About Dr. Cooper H. Langford (1934 - 2018):

Cooper H. Langford was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Calgary. He was widely respected across Canada and worldwide as a teacher, researcher and mentor. He was a working scientist to the end of his life, as he wished to be.

Click here to donate to the Dr. Cooper H. Langford Graduate Scholarship.

About Jeremy Hall:

Jeremy Hall (D.Phil., University of Sussex, MBA and B.Sc., Dalhousie University) is the Director of SPRU, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, a technology and innovation management journal with a 2018 impact factor of 2.159. Prior to joining University of Sussex Business School, he was Chaired Professor of Social Innovation and Director of Centre for Social Innovation Management at Surrey Business School, and Director of the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR), University of Nottingham. He also held a Professorship at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), an Associate Professorship at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary (Canada), and a Lectureship at SPRU, University of Sussex (UK).


Past Speaker Events

  1. Vijay Govindarajan November 17th, 2020

    The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted NYT and WSJ Best Selling Author Vijay Govindarajan.  VG was named by Thinkers 50 as a Top 3 Management Thinker in the world and received the Breakthrough Innovation Award in 2011. He is a two-time winner of the prestigious McKinsey Award for the best article published in Harvard Business Review. VG was inducted into Thinkers 50 Management Thinkers Hall of Fame and was given the Distinguished Achievement Award for most contributions to the understanding of innovation in 2019.   VG will be presenting as a part of Corporate Entrepreneurship Day, five online events for all those with an interest in innovation-driven value creation.


    Vijay Govindarajan presented on the Three Box Solution: a simple, accessible and powerful framework for exploring innovation-led growth opportunities.  The presentation provided ideas on how to balance the competing and uncertain realities of their past, present and future.  These innovation strategies revolve around      

    • Executing your core business model at peak efficiency (Box 1) 
    • Avoiding the inhibiting traps of your past successes (Box 2) 
    • Exploring new innovations that will provide your organization with opportunities for growth and future success (Box 3)   
  1. Mariana Mazzucato Part 1 & 2

    The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the School for Public Policy thank you for joining us in a two-part online discussion on the opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurial thinking in government.  The first part of the event was a live online discussion with Mariana Mazzucato, a global thought leader on innovation and one of Bloomberg’s ‘50 ones to watch’ for 2019. The discussion explored how entrepreneurial public actors can work to ensure strategic innovation-led growth and economic value creation, and conversely, what can hinder them from doing so? Part two of the series examined how we foster long-term economic growth in Calgary and Alberta. The panel presented concrete ideas on how the public sector and policy innovators can work together to help spur a value-added economy in a tough climate of low oil prices and post-COVID recovery.   

    Tuesday, September 22, 2020  Presentation and Q & A with Professor Mariana Mazzucato

    • Moderator - Dan Wicklum, President and CEO, The Transition Accelerator


    Thursday, October 1, 2020  Expert panel discussion  

    • Moderator - Dan Wicklum, President and CEO, The Transition Accelerator
    • Jim Dewald, Dean, Haskayne School of Business and Associate Professor, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, University of Calgary
    • Carol Ann Hilton, CEO, The Indigenomics Institute
    • Marcia Nelson, Board Member, Alberta Blue Cross, and Executive Fellow, Haskayne School of Business and School of Public Policy, University of Calgary
    • Jason Ribeiro, Director of Strategy, Calgary Economic Development

In November 2019, students enjoyed “An Evening with a Dragon, featuring Vince Guzzo”, where they heard directly from the entrepreneur and newest dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. As the President and CEO of Guzzo Cinemas, Quebec’s largest chain of independent movie theatres, Guzzo shared his experience of building a business empire, one that now includes branches in the construction, real estate and hospitality sectors.

During a Q&A session, led by RBC Teaching Professor in Entrepreneurial Thinking, Derek Hassay, Guzzo spoke candidly to the crowd of UCalgary students about his life as an entrepreneur, highlighting the highs and lows and sometimes lonely side of running a business. Guzzo also stressed the importance that his post-secondary education has had on his career; he has a bachelor’s degree in economics as well as a law degree, which have been particularly useful to him during business negotiations.

Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in the New USMCA Trade Agreement Featuring USA Ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft

Signed October 1st 2018, the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was negotiated to replace NAFTA. Many Canadian entrepreneurs want more insight as to what this trade agreement could mean for their venture.

This latest Wayne Henuset Entrepreneurship Speaker Series featured a conversation between Ambassador Craft and Mr. Henuset about:

  • Some of the key content within the USMCA and how it differs from NAFTA
  • Advice to entrepreneurs for potential upcoming opportunities

Entrepreneurial Leadership in the Energy Sector Featuring Pat Carlson

Where does Calgary's energy sector go from here?

Serial energy entrepreneur Pat Carlson discussed the nature of Entrepreneurial Leadership, and how it can be applied to approach difficult challenges in the energy industry relating to performance, stakeholder relations, and sustainability. As Pat says, all business is about innovation.

TechTalks: Tales from the Tech Sector

What does it take to grow a technology based startup from initial concept to acquisition?

As Calgary continues down the road to economic recovery, technology and innovation are taking centre stage and driving growth in our city. Leading-edge tech entrepreneurs and community leaders, Mark Blackwell and Alice Reimer, shared their experiences, learnings and advice for navigating the world of tech startups.

Exploring Healthcare Innovation through Entrepreneurship

Leading-edge Calgary medical entrepreneurs, Breanne Everett and Ken Moore, took the audience through their unique entrepreneurial journeys of pairing medical expertise with sharp business acumen.

At this Wayne Henuset Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, the audience got a view of the entrepreneurial world through the lens of two passionate individuals who have dedicated their careers to creating innovative solutions to real-world problems faced by the medical field, to improve the lives of others.

Lessons from Chip Wilson: UCalgary Alumnus, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Business Leader

This special invite-only “fireside chat” featured Chip Wilson, one of the University of Calgary’s most accomplished alumni. 

Chip Wilson, BA (Econ)'80, best known as the founder of lululemon athletica, returned to the campus for a special Wayne Henuset Entrepreneurship Speaker Series event. Chip shared stories of his leadership journey and his thoughts on entrepreneurship and education today.

The conversation with Chip was moderated by Jim Dewald, dean of the Haskayne School of Business and author of Achieving Longevity: How Great Firms Prosper Through Entrepreneurial Thinking.

Unstoppable Ideas with Jeremy Gutsche

Why do some ideas succeed while others fail? What does it take to create a project, product, or process that could actually change the world?

University of Calgary alum, award-winning entrepreneur and the brilliant mind behind, Jeremy Gutsche presented ideas behind is best-selling book, Better and Faster at this latest Wayne Henuset Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.

Jeremy’s engaging, humorous, and educational lessons are drawn from the untold tales of reclusive billionaires, and ordinary people who achieved the unthinkable by simply seeing the opportunities that others overlooked. He shared how to see patterns and clues that will lead you to become a better innovator and changemaker.

Entrepreneurship in Unexpected Areas featuring Michal J. Sofia, PhD

Biotechnology has rapidly emerged as an area of innovation where billions of dollars are invested every year into new medical research alone. But how does groundbreaking research go on to become world-changing medication and treatments? Michael J. Sofia, PhD, joined us for an engaging conversation about his unique journey as a scientist turned entrepreneur who transformed a breakthrough hepatitis C treatment into entrepreneurial success.

Insights from a Dragon featuring W. Brett Wilson 

W. Brett Wilson is a legend in the city of Calgary who has had a diverse career from building entrepreneurial roots in Calgary to becoming a ‘fan favourite’ across the nation on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. This up-close and personal conversation with Brett gave us an exclusive look at his challenges and successes in building various businesses, and the real business that took place behind the Dragon’s Den camera. 

Turn up the Heat on your Ambition featuring N. Murray Edwards

From business student to prominent investor and NHL deal-maker, Murray Edwards is a true pillar of the Calgary business community. We learned how this accomplished entrepreneur channelled his creativity and entrepreneurial thinking into success as heard through stories about startups, growth, change and competition. 

As president and CEO of Imaginea Energy Corp., her fifth company over the past 15 years, Suzanne West is building a new kind of energy company that values all three of Planet, People and Profits – to discover a better way of developing our resources while creating “AND” solutions with new possibilities of doing business for good.

A recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40, Michelle Scarborough has over 20 years of experience in the startup field leading several clean energy and technology companies. She currently serves as the Chairman of the National Angel Organization of Canada.

R. Scott Hutcheson is a recognized leader who belongs to the World Presidents’ Organization. His accomplishments have led him to be named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people by Alberta Venture magazine.

A recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award and named a Business Leader of Tomorrow by Business In Calgary magazine, Lori Bacon leads Swimco, the business her family grew from a small home-based mail order business, as its Owner and President.

Take Off with WestJet Founder, Clive Beddoe

A founding shareholder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of WestJet, Clive Beddoe has been instrumental in making WestJet one of the most successful airlines in recent aviation history. As former CEO and President, he transformed WestJet into one of Calgary’s most talked about, award winning companies.