Propel Energy Tech

Take a look below at the 2022 Keynote Speakers! Stay tuned as we announce our 2023 speaker roster. Be the first to know about new speaker announcements as they are made available and sign up for our newsletter today. 

$100 Million Raise - The Journey From the Ground Up

Jeanine Vany, P. Geo

EVP Geoscience

With a background in Geoscience, Jeanine has been an integral part of Calgary-based Eavor Technologies growth since day one. Actively involved in the fundraising over the last five years, Jeanine shares lessons from her team’s company building journey, including entrepreneurial insights from having raised $100 million to date from marquee investors including BDC Capital, bp, Chevron, Temasek and Vickers Venture Partners.

Silicon Valley Bank Trends & Outlook

Graeme Millen

Managing Director, Technology Banking – ClimateTech & Sustainability Lead

Join Graeme as he shares SVB’s proprietary insights and perspective on the state of the global tech and innovation market. This will include a focus on trends in the Energy Tech and ClimateTech sectors that are fueling a growing worldwide population, while facing increasing pressure to do their part in the reduction of emissions and shrinking the global carbon footprint.

Investors continue to recognize the ClimateTech opportunity and they are doubling down on both fundraising and capital deployment. Graeme will break down what this means for Canada’s innovation economy and the outlook for investment and growth in 2022 and beyond.

ESG Fireside Chat

Catherine Grygar


ESG is an investment in accelerating the transition to a lower-carbon economy. Join us for this fireside chat where we will dive into the driving forces powering the shift to a sustainable energy future.

Not an Aspiration: Using proven air capture technology to produce carbon negative hydrogen at world scale

Ian MacGregor


With a global push for a lower carbon footprint paired with a steadily increasing need for more energy, growing pressure for a real solution is surfacing. The missing key to this seemingly unsolvable issue may lay within the development of CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage) technology.

Get a firsthand look from seasoned entrepreneur Ian MacGregor, Executive Chair of Hydrogen Naturally, a startup building large-scale, proven technology-based facilities to extract CO2 from the atmosphere by converting scrap wood fibre to hydrogen with integrated carbon capture and storage.

Born in Calgary, Ian is an entrepreneur who enjoys technically complex projects. He likes commercial opportunities that permit growth on a world scale. Ian enjoys the challenge presented when the establishment concludes a promising idea is not possible. These interests have led to the founding, development and growth of multiple businesses, including Enhance Energy Inc., North West Capital Partners, Northwest Refining, Qubeiot, Carraig Ridge Inc., Ambyint and Shackleton Exploration. Ian has been doing this for more than 40 years. He calls it “having fun.”



Pathways to Net Zero

Wes Jickling


The world is looking for ways to drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and oil sands producers are among those who have made ambitious commitments to achieve net zero, or near net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

COSIA works with some of Canada’s, and the world’s top scientists and engineers on innovation to reduce greenhouse gases and their impacts on air, water and land. They recognize it is possible to address climate change while meeting growing global energy demand and supporting economic development. To date, COSIA members have developed 168 contributed technologies at a cost of $239 million. Many of these projects are applicable beyond the oil sands, potentially helping to reduce emissions in other parts of the world as well.

As the Chief Executive of COSIA, Wes has first hand experience working alongside these companies trailblazing the path to net zero.

Clean Tech Investing - Lessons in Navigating Global Change Perspective from Australia and Asia Pacific Portfolios

Alexandra Clunies Ross

Portfolio Manager

Alexandra Clunies-Ross is a Portfolio Manager at Artesian, the most active early-stage venture capital fund in Australia which now manages +$300m USD. Artesian is a global alternative investment management firm with staff in NY, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Jakarta, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. They specialize in funds focused on credit arbitrage and relative value strategies across global financial markets. Their VC strategy is designed to access the financial and strategic returns that the asset class can provide and mitigate the risks of the innovation ecosystem, with a focus on the Asia Pacific region.

Alexandra leads Artesian’s ClimateTech VC investment activities and is a Portfolio Manager for Artesian’s Clean Energy Seed Fund. Alexandra is a startup Board member and a member of the expert panel for the Cleantech Group, which releases an annual list of 50 climate startups to watch. Prior to her work at Artesian, Alexandra was a member of SkyNews’ digital team. Alexandra has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business Law from the University of New South Wales.

The Renewables Opportunity Landscape: Navigating to a Profitable Low Carbon Economy

Tibor Toth

Managing Director of Investments

Tibor has over 20 years of private equity & venture capital investment and entrepreneurial experience, including closing new investments in over 30 cleantech startups since joining the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) in 2013 to lead the Investments Division. 

MassCEC invests equity and debt in early-stage and growing clean energy and climate technology companies, provides incentives for the adoption of renewable energy, and develops programs to prepare workers for the next generation of clean energy jobs. 

Tibor has focused in the clean energy sector since early 2010, when he joined a clean energy company, QGEN, as its CFO. Previously, Tibor has worked at Babson Capital, Ascent Venture Partners, Lee Capital and Berkshire Partners. Tibor is an Adjunct Professor at Brandeis University’s International Business School and serves on several corporate and non-profit boards. Tibor holds business and engineering degrees from MIT and Northwestern University.


Scaling with Strategics: Your Guide From Either Side

Shawn Murphy

Co-Founder, CEO / CTO

Shawn is an experienced entrepreneur, innovation practitioner and technologist with over 25-years of experience. Shawn has founded four start-ups, created an innovation engineering center for Royal Dutch Shell (Shell TechWorks), and deployed instruments and spacecraft for NASA during his tenure at Draper Laboratory. His technical and business experience intersects multiple industries such as Aerospace, Energy, IT Security, Consumer Electronics, and International Commodities Trading, providing a unique and global perspective.

Shawn’s education is as varied as his background. He was formally educated in astrophysics and history (classics) from UMASS Amherst and holds an MBA from MIT however, his journey led him to the creation of new and innovative companies.

Since October 2016, Shawn is the co-founder and CEO/CTO of Titan Advanced Energy Solutions.  At TITAN, Shawn leads a team of 25-people working to decarbonize and electrify the world by maximizing the utility of batteries using ultrasound, machine learning, and edge computing. TITAN is backed by strategic partner Schneider Electric and the private venture fund Energy Innovation Capital.


An Electrified Energy Future

Rodolphe Héliot

VP Business Incubation

Rodolphe Héliot leads the global Business Incubation initiative at Schneider Electric, connecting the company with worldwide innovation ecosystems and launching disruptive business initiatives in the fields of buildings, energy, and industry. Prior to joining Schneider Electric, Rodolphe was an Investment Manager at Aster Capital, where he supported the Aster portfolio of companies in their growth, developed partnerships, and delivered strategic insights. Rodolphe’s key areas of expertise include energy markets, smart grids and smart buildings, and data analytics. He is particularly interested in technology that is accelerating the convergence between information technology and operational technology.

In his talk, Rodolphe explains how to identify, nurture, and support innovations that are making a contribution to future sustainability and energy efficiency. Disruptive technologies in energy are leading to an electrified energy future – find out how at #PROPEL2020!

The Magic Box Paradigm: A Framework for Startup Acquisitions

Ezra Roizen

M&A Startup Advisor, Accomplished Entrepreneur, Founder & Author

Ezra Roizen is passionate about entrepreneurs, startups, and the investment community. As an accomplished leader in the tech startup world, from co-founding two tech companies (including one that is now part of SAP) to leading his own startup advisory firm, Ezra plans to share his unique insights on M&A and exit commercialization pathways at #PROPEL2020.

His book, Magic Box Paradigm: A Framework for Startup Acquisitions, has been recognized as the most comprehensive, straight-talking book on startup M&A that you could possibly read.

“What if I told you that the last thing you want from a potential acquirer is a term sheet? Or, that the casualty of a bidding war is most likely going to be you? Or, the presentation you use when you meet with investors is almost the opposite of the one you should use with strategic partners? Or, that acquirers’ efforts to reduce their risk when making an acquisition can often increase the likelihood of their failure? Startup acquisitions are counter-intuitive.

Ezra is handing you the keys. Are you planning for the future? Do you know what your exit pathway looks like? This talk demystifies the process and provides founders with a frame of reference and an actionable M&A game plan. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn about Ezra’s holistic approach to developing relationships with potential strategic partners, sparking inbound acquisition interest, and ultimately optimizing and closing the deal. 


Changing the Mindset Behind Fossil Fuels

Alex Epstein

Best-Selling Author, Energy Thought Leader, Industrial Policy Expert
Founder | Center for Industrial Progress

Alex Epstein is a philosopher who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of industrial and environmental progress. He founded Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) in 2011 to offer a positive, pro-human alternative to the Green movement.

Alex’s philosophy as “anti-pollution but pro-development” immerses audiences in his eye-opening thoughts into how fossil fuels and technology will improve the lives of people—safely, cleanly, and effectively—for years to come. Epstein draws on cutting-edge research and original insights which earned him the title of “most original thinker of the year” by political commentator, John McLaughlin in 2014.

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His New York Times best-selling book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, argues that fossil fuels, despite popular perception, have improved every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water. Believing that the public only hears one side of the story, he discusses how we are programmed to only concentrate on the risks and side effects of fossil fuels rather than their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy to a world of seven billion people, most of who are in developing countries and have no access to alternatives.

He has made his moral case for fossil fuels at dozens of campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Duke (his alma mater). He has also spoken to employees and leaders at dozens of Fortune 500 energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Phillips 66, Valero, Enbridge, and TransCanada.

A New Era of Cleantech is Emerging: Trends, Drivers, Opportunities and Challenges

Peter Tertzakian

Executive Director | ARC Energy Research Institute

Peter is an economist, investment strategist, advisor, author and public speaker on issues vital to the future of energy.

He has clocked over 30 years of experience in the business of energy, spanning all systems from oil and gas to renewables. Peter’s passion is studying how society evolves its energy use and applying the lessons of the past into today’s strategic business issues. His holistic knowledge of physics, innovation, finance and economics allows him to give audiences thought-provoking advice on how to think about pressing issues on the transition to sustainable energy solutions.

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An accomplished author, Peter’s two best-selling books, A Thousand Barrels a Second (McGraw-Hill, NY 2005) and The End of Energy Obesity (John Wiley & Sons, NY 2009) provide insight into the dynamic world of energy transitions through a thoughtful and highly readable examination of economic, environmental and geopolitical pressures. He has written over 600 weekly columns, current issues of which are distributed through various media channels.

In 2015 Peter was seconded to the four-person Royalty Review Panel for the province of Alberta – the world’s 8th largest producer of oil and gas – where he led the redesign of the fiscal policy.  In 2016 Peter was inducted into the Alberta Petroleum Hall of Fame.

Peter has an undergraduate degree in Geophysics from the University of Alberta, a graduate degree in Econometrics from the University of Southampton UK, and a Master of Science in Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. In addition to his principal roles at the ARC Energy Research Institute and ARC Financial, he is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary and has lectured at many leading universities and conferences around the world.

Dual Keynote: Bridging the Gap Between Corporate Leaders and Emerging Tech Companies

Audun Abelsnes

Managing Director | Techstars Energy Accelerator

Audun Abelsnes is the Managing Director of Techstars Energy in partnership with Equinor, Kongsberg and McKinsey. For several years, Audun Abelsnes has been part-responsible for the master-level course “New Venture Creation” (5th year) at BI Norwegian Business School (one of the Top50 business schools in Europe). He also founded and sold one company and he has been instrumental in funding and scaling up a medical diagnostic company. Audun Abelsnes has spent several years in PWC management consulting and holds a Master of Science in International Marketing from BI Norwegian Business School and City University in London.

Dual Keynote: Bridging the Gap Between Corporate Leaders and Emerging Tech Companies

Jens Festervoll

Equinor’s Corporate Liaison | Techstars Energy Accelerator

Jens Festervoll has 17 years of experience in the energy sector as a consultant and professional across the energy value chain, primarily in oil and gas. He has worked as a Program Manager to set up Statoil’s recently established Digital Centre of Excellence. Prior to that, Festervoll was Vice President for Corporate Strategy in Statoil. In addition, he has held a number of positions from gas trading, business development and analysis in Norsk Hydro and Statoil. Festervoll has a keen interest in innovation, digitalization and change management; and holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Oslo and University of Essex. Festervoll sits on the Board of Subsea Valley Cluster, a Norwegian Centre of Expertise technology cluster delivering world leading engineering from subsea to space.


Our Species & Technology at a Crossroads

Jim Gibson

Author | Tip of the Spear
Co-Founder | Rainforest Alberta

Veteran Entrepreneur, Active Innovation Leader and Author Jim Gibson to Keynote at #PROPEL2018

Calgary-based entrepreneur Jim Gibson is an active leader in the Alberta innovation ecosystem. With 30 years of experience at the forefront of technology and change, Jim is a passionate advocate for “paying attention” to what’s coming and providing concrete examples of how we can all be leaders and role models for change. His talk will take themes from his forthcoming book, Tip of the Spear, and challenge the #PROPEL2018 audience to understand and respond to a new world that sees infinite possibilities meeting serious global problems head on.

Jim has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, a B.Comm from the University of Toronto, and holds his Certified Management Consulting Designation. Jim lives in Calgary, Canada with his family, and travels the world sharing his experience, business acumen, and start-up wisdom.

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Tip of the Spear

Passionate, experienced, and an infinitely curious entrepreneur, Gibson shares his cautionary tale of innovation and disruption in a human world. Tip of the Spear is the product of his life’s work – spanning over 30 years at the forefront of technology and change. Tip of the Spear is a comprehensive study of the state of technology and its impact in the near term on the fate of our species. The three Laws of Disruption are at the center of the story which recognizes that:

  • The slope of the technology curve is dramatically increasing;
  • The technology genies never go back into the bottle; and
  • Our linear systems of organization are not prepared.

It takes a look into the future through the eyes of two thirteen-year-old girls from very different parts of the world. And concludes with a message of hope that is focused on creating a new social contract with those around us and a new definition of innovation that speaks more to Innovation of Ways than to Innovation of Things.

Don’t miss Jim Gibson Keynote #PROPEL2018 – Register today!

Tip of the Spear is a comprehensive study of the state of technology and its impact in the near term on the fate of our species – Pre-Purchase online now

Closing the Energy Innovation Gap

Jean-Michel Gires

Former President & CEO | Total E&P Canada
CEO | NextTier Energy Solutions

Oil Patch Exec turned Innovation Leader, Jean-Michel Gires Keynotes #PROPEL2018

With over 25 years of experience in the energy, mining, heavy oil, and sustainable development industries – innovation has always been top of mind for Jean-Michel Gires. Best known as the man who led Total E&P into the oil sands, this O&G executive is now in the business of breakthrough innovation, investing in new technologies that aim to radically disrupt the energy sector. A born leader, Jean-Michel is set to change the way we think about the innovation economy.

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Over two decades, he’s been a sustainability leader around the world and was instrumental in creating best practices for Total’s projects, specifically in the area of environmental responsibility. Gires was also named a Chevalier of the Legion d’ Honneur, in 2003, one of France’s highest civilian honours.

In 2009, Jean-Michel Gires launched the Total Ecosolutions label as his strategic vision to further support Venture Capitalism. The program offers customers ecologically efficient solutions, to help better control their environmental impact by consuming less and consuming better. At the end of 2016, over 90 products and services had received the “Total Ecosolutions” label and the sales helped save 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 over the product life-cycles.

This former co-chairman of the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) and former founding member of the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) stepped down from CEO at Total E&P to pursue a long standing passion for Energy Innovation.

Don’t miss Jean-Michel Gires Keynote #PROPEL2018 – Register today!



Titans of Technology Talk Clean Hydrocarbons

Clean Hydrocarbons: A Great Idea or the New Business Model?

Join us at #PROPEL2017 as these O&G heavyweights discuss their respective company mandates for adopting and developing clean hydrocarbon technologies. The global market for a cleaner hydrocarbon is ever growing. These companies are tasked with minimizing energy inputs to maximize output, in a low carbon economy. The answers lie in tech-driven innovation.

Hear it straight from these Titans of Technology as they share their new solutions, creative methods, and tangible approaches to clean hydrocarbons.

Jeff Jones

Reporter, Business Report

Suzanne West

President & CEO

Tom Corscadden

Vice-President for Marketing, Engineering and Operations

Judy Fairburn

Executive Vice-President
Business Innovation


The Digital Revolution is Happening - Business needs to embrace it or risk being left behind

Elyse Allan

President & CEO

In her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Canada and Vice President GE, Elyse is a passionate champion for Canada’s competitiveness, advancing the country’s science and technology base and competitive fiscal policy.

She actively engages in developing and shaping public policy through industry groups, research and advocacy organizations. Elyse serves on the Board of Directors for the C.D. Howe Institute and the Conference Board of Canada. As well, she recently completed her Board term at the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, where she also served as Chair. Elyse has participated on a number of federal and provincial government advisory boards focused on Canada’s competitiveness, energy strategy, economic development, transportation strategy and access to credit.

Read more on Elyse Allan here.