The Academy (accessible with Expo PLUS+ Ticket)

Deep learning + new connections


Finding the time for professional development can be hard if you're a busy entrepreneur. Enter the Academy at the Small Business Calgary Expo, and over the course of one day you'll learn tangible tips you can apply to your business the very next day.

All the sessions have been hand-selected to cover topics relevant to your business, right now. Here's what you need to know:

  • To access these workshops, you must purchase an Expo PLUS+ ticket.

  • There will be 6 learning sessions happening throughout the day you can choose from, plus you get lunch.

  • These sessions are all about giving you tangible takeaways from subject-matter experts you can action in your business the very next day.

  • Session topics include digital marketing, PR, business valuation, raising capital, leadership, and building your digital design toolbox.

Note: Session topics and schedule are subject to change!


  Main Stage Academy – Room 1 Academy – Room 2 Digital Tools Stage
10:00 am
Doors open
 10:15 am – 11:00 am

10:30 am - 11:30 am

Meditation Sessions at ATB Lounge  

When the boss is away, the mice will play
The 5 W's of Business Valuation
10:45 am: Cybersecurity for your business - Microsoft
11:00 – 11:30 am    

11:00 am: What to consider before starting your business, and understanding the approval process & The New online service application - City of Calgary 

 11:15 am: Solutions for Small Business - Canada Post

11:30 am – 12:30 pm Keynote: Kristen Wood, Founder and CEO of THE TEN SPOT      
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Chair Massages at ATB Lounge  

Lunch break for Expo PLUS+ ticket holders

12:30 pm: Government of Alberta

12:45 pm: Government of Canada

1:00 pm: Diagnostic Rocket

1:15 pm: Postmedia

15 min break

1:45 pm: Microsoft

2:00 pm: What to consider before starting your business, and understanding the approval process & The New online service application - City of Calgary  

2:15 pm: Solutions for small business - Canada Post

Digital Tools Stage closes at 2:30 pm

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm 5 Things you must be doing in marketing
Raising capital in the private market
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Keynote: Justine Barber, Co-founder of Poppy Barley      
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm  Power networking begins Building your digital design toolbox PR on a shoestring budget  
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm  Last 30 minutes of power networking before Expo closes

When the boss is away, the mice will play

HOSTED BY Rich Grof from Stoke Growth

Learn how to effectively manage each employee to eliminate stress on both you and your team. Learn tips to use your employees to increase your bottom line profits. Eliminate the worry on both yourself and your employees with tips on how to ensure employees are set up for success.

You'll learn:

  • How to avoid the “#1 BIG Mistake” in managing people that could take you two years to recover and could cost you $10,000 or more!

  • How leading and training employees effect the bottom line of your company.

  • What you need to focus on to hire and raise up great team members.

The 5 W's of business valuation

Hosted by Dave Laycraft from Catalyst

When speaking with business owners, we find many say they have thought about having their business valued professionally, but never pursued it. The reasons vary, but generally it comes down to not understanding what a valuation is, and how it can help them make informed decisions about their businesses future. Join Dave Laycraft, Partner with Catalyst’s Corporate Advisory Services and Chartered Business Valuator to learn:

  • What a business valuation is,
  • Who performs it,
  • When you should consider having your business valued,
  • Why you might want to have it valued, and once you decide to,
  • Where you go from there.

5 things you must be doing in marketing

Hosted by Kevin Wilhem from POD Marketing

Your customers are spending more time online than ever before.  Their purchase decisions are derived from what they are finding, researching and learning about you and your competitors.  This lecture will walk you through the 5 most important things any business needs to be doing online in order to attract new customers and grow revenues.

You'll learn how to:

  • Be proactive rather than reactive with your marketing.
  • Create a digital marketing strategy.
  • Measure your marketing ROI.

Raising capital in the private market

Hosted by Neil Hutton from McLeod Law

As a private company one of your top concerns is capital and how to raise it to take your enterprise to the next step. In this session McLeod Law will share how to raise capital in the private market and meet the requirements for compliance with securities regulations and understand the advantages of using prospectus exemptions.

You will learn how to:

  • Recognize qualified investors.
  • Disclose your investment opportunity fairly.
  • Navigate the regulatory system.
  • Avoid problems with the Alberta Securities Commission.

Building your digital design toolbox

Hosted by Philip Flegel from Bow Valley College

Digital Design graduates from Bow Valley college provide a plethora of skills to help promote, assist and push your business forward. From traditional graphic design skills, creating and maintaining digital media products, to working on a vast variety of design projects, BVC graduates will help your business realize its entrepreneurial success. 

Philip will walk you through:

  • How to build your business in the digital age
  • What skills small businesses can find in a Digital Design graduate

PR on a shoestring budget

Hosted by Kathryn Kolaczek from Alchemy Communications

Being the city's best-kept secret doesn't help your business grow. Want to expand your influence and gain more customers? Try public relations!

PR is the one element many small businesses don’t consider, especially when they are just getting started. This session is perfect for a small business who would like to try public relations as a marketing strategy.

You'll learn:

  • What kinds of PR campaigns others have run on a shoestring budget.
  • How to 10x your exposure and brand awareness.
  • Tips for building relationships with the media and capitalizing on opportunities.
  • How to cultivate credibility through trusted intermediaries.