If Toronto is the Silicon Valley of the North – a thriving international hub of technological innovation – then Michael Katchen is one of its leading figures. “We’re primed for a historic revolution in innovation,” he says. “We just don’t know it yet.” Katchen is the founder and CEO of Wealthsimple, whose easy-to-use service has redefined investing for a young generation, and whose massive success has disrupted the financial services industry. In keynotes, he talks about how an embrace of innovation as an organic, practical process allows companies to solve big problems, to reinvent themselves and their industries, and, of course, to continually grow.
“Wealthsimple is an example of fin-tech at its finest … The success of this business has turned heads all over the world.”— Justin Trudeau
Michael Katchen is the CEO and co-founder of Wealthsimple, an innovative financial services firm operating in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Frustrated by his options as a retail investor in Canada, Katchen started Wealthsimple to make smart investing easy, low-cost, and accessible to everyone, regardless of age or net worth. Wealthsimple launched in September 2014 and quickly established itself as a leader in Canada. In under four years, it has grown to manage $3 billion for more than 100,000 clients. Prior to founding Wealthsimple, Katchen led product and marketing at 1000memories, a Y Combinator startup that was acquired by Ancestry.com. Katchen started his career at McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients in finance and technology.
Katchen has been called an Industry Mover by the Financial Post, a Change Agent by Canadian Business magazine, and one of Toronto’s 50 most influential people by Toronto Life. He won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Canadian Startup Awards in 2017, is a winner of a EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by Caldwell Partners International, and is a member of the Canadian Business Council.
New Canadian Entrepreneurship Bolder and Bigger Thinking for World-Class Companies
Canada is known for many things—donuts, denim formalwear, polite apologies—but not the kind of bold thinking and risk-taking that propels the world’s biggest, most innovative companies. But the ingredients are all here: great schools breeding top talent, government infrastructure, institutional support. So why aren’t people around the world using Canadian products and services? And how can that change? In this keynote, Michael Katchen talks about why Canadian companies should be bolder and think bigger. And why, with the fast growth of companies like Shopify, Wealthsimple, Hootsuite, and more, we’re witnessing the dawn of the new age of Canadian entrepreneurship.
Genuine Innovation How Process, Not Product, Drives Wealthsimple
These days, every company (and person) will tell you they are innovative. They are trying to cultivate more innovation at work. They deeply value innovative thinking. They invest in innovation. But how do we actually “do” innovation? What does it look like in practice? In this informative talk, Michael Katchen describes how truly innovative companies approach innovation like a process, not a product. It’s woven into the very DNA of a successful company (like Wealthsimple, Katchen’s transformative brand). It allows it to constantly iterate, reinvent a sector, enter new markets, and solve problems. And it’s the core element that helps a company grow. With Katchen’s straightforward advice, we can see what innovation looks like in a growing, game-changing organization, and how you can put it into practice immediately.