About the Event

What is Tech Shuk?

Tech Shuk (Shuk = “market” in Hebrew) offers the ultimate marketplace for innovation. Highlighting entrepreneurs and start-ups, Tech Shuk provides exciting networking opportunities while raising funds for a meaningful cause. A committee selection process determines the top start-ups who will present their best ideas and concepts to a select group of judges (aka “Lions”) with the potential for life-changing results!

The VIP Reception

The VIP Reception provides the ultimate opportunity to network amongst entrepreneurs, sponsors, lions, angel investors and start-ups .This intimate and exclusive portion of the evening allows our VIP’s to mingle while making their next great connection. The opportunities and possibilities found at this reception are endless.

The Demo Pit

Start-ups, entrepreneurs, and corporate sponsors will exhibit and demonstrate their products/services/ideas to the Lions, potential investors and hundreds of attendees while networking with other companies and venture capitalists.

The Lion’s Den Competition

Five (5) compelling start-ups will be selected in advance of the event. These five (5) finalists will then pitch their ideas to our prestigious judges (Lions). Audience members are given the chance to cast their votes which combined account for the “Final Lion”. The winning start-up will receive a mentorship package complete with professional services, media exposure and the opportunity for investments.

When: Monday, January 27, 2020

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM VIP Cocktail

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Demo Pit

7:30 PM Lion’s Den Competition

Where: EVO – 777 Robert Bourassa

Who: Investors, Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Networkers, The Jewish Community and beyond. All are welcome!

2020 Lions

Meet our 2020 Lions!

Mitch Garber, C.M.
Chairman of Cirque Du Soleil and Invest in Canada

Mitch Garber, a Canadian born lawyer, is Chairman of Invest in Canada, the Canadian government’s federal agency responsible for foreign direct investment. He is Chairman of Cirque du Soleil a leading global entertainment company in which he is also a co-investor with TPG and Fosun. He is a board member and co-investor with Apollo Global Management of Rackspace, a leading hosting and technology company, and is a minority owner in the new NHL team awarded to Seattle. He is a co-investor and board member of Fosun Fashion Group which owns four fashion brands including iconic French fashion house Lanvin. He is the former CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company He sits on the board and leads a number of important philanthropic activities in Canada and Israel. He has a BA from McGill University (’86), a law degree from the University of Ottawa (’89) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa (’17), and he was awarded the Order of Canada in 2019.

Anne-Marie Boucher
Co-Founder, BCF Business Law

An experienced and well-respected tax professional and philanthropist with international experience in large organizations, both for-profit and non-profit. She earned her law degree from the University of Montreal (1989) and her Masters in Tax from the University of Sherbrooke (1995).

She was a founding partner of one of Montreal’s fastest growing law firms, BCF, where she practiced tax and corporate law, specializing in tax and succession planning for most of her career. As a director of the Quebec Association of Tax and Financial planning she was part of a delegation of Canadian experts including two Provincial Deputy Ministers from Quebec and Canada, mandated to assist the Government of Brazil with their tax reform. She taught tax and estate planning for several years at University of Montreal, University of Sherbrooke, and McGill University.

Today, she remains of counsel to BCF, a firm with close to 300 professionals, and is a founding investor and member of the investment committee of BCF Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund. She also provides active oversight of the holdings and investments of the Garber Family Office and others. She is an investor and Board member of Enerjet, Canada’s newest airline led by esteemed private equity investors Bill Franke and David Bonderman.

She has a formal education in Board governance and best practices from the Corporate Directors College and sits on a number of leading Montreal, Canadian and international Boards, including the prestigious Weizmann Institute of science in Israel, the McCord Museum, the Jewish Community Foundation, the World Wildlife Foundation and the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation as the immediate Past Chair.

She is an active athlete and former tri-athlete. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and lives in Montreal with her husband and they are the parents of two adult sons.

Jonathan Goodman
Co-Founder and CEO, Knight Therapeutics Inc.

Jonathan Goodman is the Co-Founder and CEO, Knight Therapeutics Inc., a leading Canadian public specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on acquiring or in-licensing innovative products. Prior to launching Knight, Jonathan co-founded and was the President and CEO of Paladin Labs Inc.— a pharmaceutical company acquired by Endo Pharmaceuticals in 2013 for $3.2 billion.

Prior to co-founding Paladin, Jonathan honed his business skills as a consultant with Bain & Company and in brand management for Procter & Gamble. Jonathan Goodman is a Desautels Global Expert, and holds an LL.B. and an M.B.A. from McGill University. He is well-known in the community for his generous philanthropic endeavours.

Jeff Hart
Founder and Managing Partner, Victoria Park Medispas

Jeff Hart’s business acumen has always been robust. After starting his first company at age 16 and graduating Summa Cum Laude from the Wharton School of Business, Jeff was primed to reach the next level.

Jeff was appointed Executive Vice President of Hartco in 1999, where he helped grow sales from $200 million to over $750 million. He was responsible for creating their corporate sales call centre, and for launching and growing their retail distribution business from zero to over $200 million in seven years.

In 2008, Jeff co-founded Victoria Park and is currently the Managing Partner of the world-class medispa and health club. Victoria Park was selected as Canada’s Top Medispa in 2016, and the business has since expanded across the province and country.

Jeff works with many non-profit organizations including JNF, ORT, Federation CJA and the David Suzuki Foundation, which he helped launch in Quebec.

Debra Margles

Debra Margles
President, Michael Kors Canada

Debra Margles was born and grew up in Montreal, Quebec and from a young age knew she wanted to pursue her dreams of working in the fashion industry. After four years of studying Business and Economics at FIT, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1984. Debra’s first job out of university was for Perry Ellis Portfolio where she worked for several years before deciding to leave New York, move back to Canada. Debra worked for two other companies in Canada including, Pretty Talk and Kasper and Anne Klein Canada where she became President in 2001. In 2003, the Jones Apparel Group acquired Kasper ASL and soon after Debra left to pursue a new role with Michael Kors where she was named the President of the Canadian division. Since September 2004, Debra has led the Michael Kors team to be best in class and leaders of luxury fashion landscape in Canada. With over 40 retail locations, 700 employees and a Canadian run ecommerce website, Debra continues to be motivated everyday by the talent she surrounds herself with, the constant digital innovations of the brand and the continuous excitement of the fashion world today.

As a mother of three, Debra is dedicated to her family and husband of nineteen years Pino Forgione. Health, wellness, nutrition and fitness are other passion points of Debra’s and you can often find her researching the newest nutrition or beauty fad, in an early morning pilates class or at home baking healthy treats for her family and colleagues before a long workday. Debra has been a philanthropist since a young age and over her career has dedicated herself to many worthy causes. Debra is also very involved with ORT, ICRF, ME to WE and Combined Jewish Appeal in Montreal where she travelled as a chaperone on March of the Living, participated in the Mega Mission and is a proud Lion of Judah. Debra was recently involved with mental health awareness and chaired an event in support of the Douglas Hospital. For the second year in a row, Debra was asked to judge the Mcgill University Dobson Cup Awards and has enjoyed getting involved and mentoring young entrepreneurs entering different sectors of the business industry. She loves to inspire the younger generation and ‘pay it forward’ to up and coming talent. In all areas of her life, Debra truly lives by the quote “Do it with passion, or don’t do it at all”.

Clarissa Desjardins
CEO, Clementia Pharmaceuticals Canada

Dr. Clarissa Desjardins founded and was the CEO of Clementia, a Montreal-based company focused on developing therapies for rare pediatric bone diseases.  Clementia has offices in Montreal and Boston and was Nasdaq-listed company until its acquisition by Ipsen in early 2019 for $1.3 billion dollars.  Continuing to operate in Montreal, Clementia is advancing a Phase 3 trial in fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and a phase 2 trial in multiple osteochondroma.  The company is also preparing to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for FOP to the FDA in 2020.

Dr. Desjardins is an award-winning entrepreneur with more than 25 years of biotechnology experience. She has founded three successful biotech companies, leading all aspects of company creation including conception and financing.  She founded Advanced Bioconcept, a research reagent and diagnostics company sold to NEN Life Sciences (Perkin Elmer) in 1998.  Dr. Desjardins also co-founded Caprion Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on proteomic biomarker discovery and drug development, where she was Executive Vice-President of corporate development.  Prior to Clementia, Clarissa was CEO at the Centre d’excellence en médecine personnalisée (CEPMED), a Montreal-based non-profit organization created to promote personalized medicine.

Dr. Desjardins is the recipient of the 2018 Bloom Burton Award for her contribution to Canada’s innovative healthcare industry, the BRIO award for outstanding contributions to the biotechnology industry from the Quebec Biotechnology Association and was named one of 2017’s Fiercest Women in Life Sciences by FiercePharma. Dr. Desjardins currently sits on the board of BELLUS Health and INSMED.  Dr. Desjardins earned a doctorate in neurology and neurosurgery from McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and was a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre.

Nick Bakish
Richardson GMP

Nick Bakish is a trusted and highly skilled multidisciplinary financial professional who is widely acknowledged as an award-winning industry leading expert for his contributions to the investment community over the past two decades.

After earning a B.Comm in Economics and Finance from McGill University with first class Honours, Nick joined Investor’s Group, one of the country’s largest asset management firms, where he consistently ranked as a top professional and received numerous awards of distinction.

During his tenure at his predecessor firm, Nick also obtained significant management experience as a Division Director serving in that capacity for several years. In 2015, he joined Richardson GMP, a leading independent wealth advisory firm in Canada, in order to provide the discerning clients and families serviced by Bakish Wealth with a more comprehensive suite of alternative investment opportunities along with Family Office services.

Nick has always distinguished himself as someone who is tirelessly devoted to excellence in advanced financial proficiency. The pursuit of this passion led him to having earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, recognized as the gold standard for the global investment industry, along with the Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Financial Planner (Pl. Fin.), and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) designations.

As a prominent member of Montreal’s business community and someone that believes firmly in the importance of making a positive social impact, he dedicates much of his time to several causes that are close to his heart. He is past President of the Sierra Club Foundation, a member of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montréal, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and Tiger21.

Inbar Haham
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, INcapital Ventures

Chosen as one of the “ten most influential Israelis in NYC”, Inbar is referred to as a “Bridge builder for Israeli start-ups and the US market”, with an extensive global network of entrepreneurs, investors, industry players, and tech companies.

Inbar is currently the co- founder and Managing Partner at INcapital Ventures, an early-stage growth venture capital firm that invests in B2B tech companies in attractive technology sectors. INcapital focuses on Israeli founded companies at the point of global scaling, adding value by leveraging the fund’s extensive network within the North American market.

Previously, Inbar was leading business development in the USA for Magma Ventures, a high performing Israeli VC that is well known for being the first investor in Waze and many other successful companies. Prior to that, she was one of the first team members at Wix (WIX NASDAQ), one of Israel’s most successful technology start up, where she was part of the marketing team and led the affiliate marketing and partnership development department.

Inbar holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New York’s Zicklin School of Business.

The Project

Helping construct research labs at the Arava R&D Centre

This year’s event is raising money to help construct research labs at the Arava R&D Centre in Arava Israel. The Arava R&D Centre is a leading scientific research and development centre established in 1986 as part of the Negev-Arava R&D program, with the aim of developing and advancing new methods, raising the quality of the produce, finding new crops and opening new markets.

In recent years, alongside the extensive research in agriculture, a strong scientific research division has developed, focusing on the studies in the fields of molecular biology, drug discovery, biotechnology, ecology, and many more. Today, over 30 professional staff members work at the R&D Centre, all first and second generation residents of the Arava.

In light of the R&D successes and abilities we are entering a new world of innovative science – collaborative agricultural and scientific research that will focus on botanical drug discovery, and all the added value markets created in the process with commercial agricultural applications.

With our help and the help of our sponsors and attendees, the Arava R&D Centre looks to expand their facility as well as their research into botanical drug discovery with the goal of curing different types of cancer as well as neurological and brain diseases, such as strokes, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others.

Tech Shuk Project Collage


The Future

JNF Future is the gateway for the next generation to Jewish National Fund, Israel’s primary resource for development, innovation and progress. JNF Future engages and energizes young leaders between the ages of 25 to 45 who are committed to innovation, environmentalism and community development in Israel. JNF Future heads programming, events, and missions to Israel all designed to help nurture Jewish Leaders of tomorrow.

The goal is to increase support and awareness for JNF’s initiatives and ultimately to raise funds for these projects in order to enhance the lives of the citizens of Israel.

“We Build Israel Together”!

JNF Future Website Collage





General Admission Still Available At The Door.

Demo Pit Registration

Demo Pit Registration

See and Be Seen! Reserve Your Demo Pit Booth Today!

Startups may register to promote their company at Tech Shuk’s Demo Pit.
Fill out the form below before January 20th for the Ultimate exposure Opportunity. Spaces are limited. Don’t miss out!

Demo Pit Cost – $500 – includes general admission entry

Adjust quantity at checkout
Booth includes table, table cloth, electrical outlet and basic wifi provided. For other needs contact Phil (

If you experience technical difficulties uploading your application contact Phil at

Sponsorship Opportunities


Please download our Tech Shuk Sponsorship Package 2020

Application Form


**Applications are now closed.


Contact Us

Phil Frai
Program Director


740-5160 Decarie Blvd.
TEL: 514-934-0313 EXT. 233