On Wednesday, September 25th, we’re excited to bring Ladies Who Launch back to Toronto for an evening of community, education, and inspiration as we celebrate tenacious women in business!

This will be an energetic and dynamic gathering of 350+ women in business from the Canadian community. We hope you can join us.

The goal is to help women-led businesses of all sizes and conceptual stages come together to collaborate, connect, strengthen their livelihoods, and discuss topics that are pertinent to their work.

Through meaningful breakout sessions on topics such as building and nurturing your brand as well as business and financing strategies, we'll offer practical tips and tricks that attendees can take home and implement immediately!



Erin Bury

Erin is an entrepreneur, speaker, startup advisor, and former technology journalist. She is the co-founder and CEO at Willful, an online estate planning platform that makes it easy for Canadians to create a will in less than 20 minutes. At Willful she’s responsible for driving the company’s mission to make it easier for Canadians to prepare for and deal with death in a digital age. Erin is a frequent speaker with Speakers’ Spotlight, and has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Forbes, and CNN. She is a board member at Save the Children Canada, and a member of the #Tech4SickKids advisory council for SickKids. She was named one of Marketing Magazine's top 30 Under 30 marketers, and her claim to fame is being retweeted by Oprah - twice.

Joanna Griffiths

Joanna Griffiths is the Founder and CEO of knix and knixteen, a brand that is reinventing intimates for real life. Since launching the company in 2013, Joanna has built knix into a global leader in the intimates’ category while building a community of women who are passionately taking on life by breaking down the taboos and boundaries that get in their way. A knix item is now sold every 10 seconds, and the company has shipped over half million orders in the last twelve months alone.

Despina Zanganas

Despina spent 20 years in the digital design space, co-founding companies, winning awards, and killing it as creative director. In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s book inspired her to co-found an organization called Lean In Canada. A strong proponent of empowering women, Despina’s passion for providing networking opportunities, building communities and empowering women to be financially independent has led her to become a public speaker, advisor, mentor, coach and realtor. Despina has been featured on CBC Radio, the National Post, Sun News Network, Livabl and in Flare Magazine discussing issues that are pertinent to women.

Zahara Al-Harazi

A survivor of two civil wars, Zahra immigrated to Canada with her three small children 18 years ago. She had no higher education or connections to the business community, but her entrepreneurial spirit quickly led her to start her first company Foundry Communications, an internationally recognized Canadian creative powerhouse.

Zahra is currently the co-Founder of her second company, the startup Skillit. She also consults with some of Canada’s top organizations on strategy and communications. As a speaker, Zahra has spoken to audiences throughout the world, inspiring leading institutions such as The Royal Bank of Canada, Ernst & Young, Great West Life, and more.

Zahra’s accomplishments have earned her many accolades. She was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 (2009), Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by Chatelaine magazine (2011), and one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women by WXN (2012). She also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canada (2012) and the RBC Top 25 Immigrants to Canada Award (2013).

Zahra is now the Canadian Ambassador to UNICEF and recently authored Degrees of Freedom to be published by HarperCollins in 2019.

Stephanie Cohen
Executive Office New York, Goldman Sachs

Stephanie is Goldman Sachs’ chief strategy officer and an ex officio member of the Management Committee. She is also a member of the Partnership Committee, Global Diversity Committee, Firmwide Enterprise Risk Committee and Firmwide Finance Committee. Stephanie leads Launch With GS, the firm’s first for-profit investing initiative with a gender lens. Prior to assuming her current role, she was global head of Financial Sponsor Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).

Before that, Stephanie was sector captain for General Industrials in the Global Industrials Group and a member of the M&A Group in IBD. In 2008, she managed Conflicts and Business Selection for IBD in the Americas.

Prior to that, Stephanie was a vice president in the Industrials and Merger Leadership Groups in San Francisco. Earlier in her career, she worked in New York in the M&A department. Stephanie joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 1999, was named managing director in 2008 and partner in 2014.

Stephanie serves on the National Board of Directors of CollegeSpring and as a member of the Board of Stephanie earned a BS, summa cum laude, in Finance from the University of Illinois in 1998.

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Stina Ehrensvärd
CEO and Founder, Yubico 

Stina is the CEO and Founder or Yubico, co-creator of the YubiKey authentication device and a driving force behind the FIDO/WebAuthn security standards to enable a safer internet for everyone.

The company's technology secures access to computers, servers and online services for nine of the top ten internet brands, including Google, Facebook and Salesforce, and is loved by millions of users in 160 countries.

She is a speaker on internet security and entrepreneurship, recognized with numerous international awards, and regularly featured in leading tech media. Born in Seattle, USA, Stina grew up in Sweden, studied industrial product design at college and have since 2011 lived in Palo Alto, California, with her husband and three children.

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Sarah Friar
CEO, Nextdoor and Co-Founder, Ladies Who Launch

Sarah is Chief Executive Officer of Nextdoor, the world’s largest private social network for neighborhoods and Co-Founder of Ladies Who Launch.

Prior to Nextdoor, Sarah served as Chief Financial Officer at Square. Under Sarah’s leadership, the company launched its initial public offering in 2015 and added $30Bn in market cap.

Before her tenure at Square, Sarah served as Senior Vice President of Finance & Strategy at Salesforce. Sarah also held executive roles at Goldman Sachs, as well as leadership positions at McKinsey in both London and South Africa. Sarah sits on the boards of Walmart and Slack, and is currently the Board Vice-Chair of Spark, a nonprofit serving at-risk middle school students through mentorship. Sarah is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Finance Leaders Fellowship Program, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and co-founder of Ladies Who Launch, a network that mentors and inspires women entrepreneurs and business owners.

 Sarah grew up in Northern Ireland and earned her MEng in Metallurgy, Economics, and Management from the University of Oxford and her MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where she graduated as an Arjay Miller scholar.


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Annika Sigfrid
Equity Capital Markets, Nordea Bank

Annika is responsible for Equity Capital Markets globally at Nordea Bank. She is a managing director and part of the diversity initiatives and discussions at Nordea Bank.

Annika graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics in 1997 and has since then worked for 22 years in the financial industry within Investment Banking / Equity Capital Markets.

Annika joined Nordea Bank in 2013 as head of Equity Capital Markets Sweden. She was named managing director in 2016 and took over the global responsibility for Nordea’s Equity Capital Markets division. During the first 5 years of her career she worked as an investment banker focusing on the TMT sector (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) both in Stockholm and in London. In 2002, she moved over to Equity Capital Markets and has since then done numerous Initial Public Offerings, sell-downs and capital raisings with Nordic and European companies. Annika is one of very few female senior Equity Capital Markets bankers in Europe.

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Hanna Lindblad
Head of Global Sales, Houdini Sportswear

Hanna is the head of Global Business Development and Sales of Houdini Sportswear, a progressive and rapidly growing Swedish outdoor brand and a trailblazer in corporate responsibility.

Since 2001, Hanna together with a team of likeminded, have been redesigning business to become a force for good – providing state-of-the-art circular products, offering product-as-a-service solutions and building a co-creative community for open-source innovation, sharing knowledge and inspiring to reconnect to nature.

Rather than focusing on Houdini's outstanding track record in sustainable development, Hanna emphasizes the journey ahead and the untapped opportunities and abundant value in designing attractive and regenerative lifestyle solutions.

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Anna Skoglund
Investment Banking London, Goldman Sachs

Anna is responsible for covering private equity clients in the United Kingdom for the Financial and Strategic Investors Group (FSIG) within the Investment Banking Division (IBD). She is a managing director ally of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network. Anna is also an investment champion for Launch With GS, the firm's first for-profit investing initiative with a gender lens.

Anna joined Goldman Sachs in 1996 as a financial analyst in the Credit Department in London. She moved to the Communication, Media and Technology Group in IBD in 1998, working on equity, debt and mergers and acquisitions transactions for telecommunications and media clients throughout Europe. In 2002, Anna transferred to the Consumer Retail Group to cover a number of consumer and retail sectors and spent time in the Consumer Retail Group in New York in 2008. She moved to FSIG in 2012. She was named managing director in 2007 and partner in 2018.

Anna earned a BA in International Business Administration from the European Business School in 1996.

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Nina Wennerström
Founder and CEO, Wesport

Nina founded Wesport in 2014 and currently serves as the company's CEO. Nina has over 15 years of experience within the international sports management industry and has throughout her career recruited and represented some of the best athletes in the world.

Further Nina is the first Swedish licensed hockey agent in the history and also the second female licensed football agent in Swedish history.

 Nina graduated from Stockholm School of Economics in 2005. As a tennis player, Nina was the Swedish Champion for women twice (2000 and 2002).

In 2005 Nina joined one of the biggest sport management firms in the world, American firm Octagon.

After nine years in the business Nina started her own sports agency, Wesport.

At Wesport Nina could run her own business with a rentless focus on helping athletes reach their maximum potential. Today Wesport represent 50 clients in tennis, hockey MMA and football.

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Sophia Bendz

Sophia is an Partner at Atomico focusing on Nordic sourcing activities. Based in Stockholm, she advises founders on communications and marketing strategy and scaling their brand. As an active player in Stockholm’s startup scene, Sophia also helps with sourcing and the evaluation of new investment opportunities.

Sophia was the Global Marketing Director at Spotify from 2007-2014, where she built out a strong consumer brand from scratch, while launching and marketing the service globally. Today she is an active angel investor and advisor to startups, and serves as a Board Director at Avanza, Kindred Group and non-profit organization Race For The Baltic. She is also a co-founder of non-profit foundation and has invested in start up’s such as Tictail, Clue, DogBuddy, Shim, Joints Academy, Search Inc, Bokio, DigiExam,, Scout, Brighten, Prion, Simple Feast, and Sana Labs.

With hands on experience from building a brand, launching a product in 56+ markets and growing a team across different continents Sophia can relate to the joy and stress of life as an entrepreneur. The insights and experiences from her years at Spotify is something she’s happy to share as well as insights from the VC world on how to go about raising funds.

Sophia believes in working with people who share the same set of values and want to improve the world through innovation.


Doors Open!
Check in and grab a seat

A warm welcome from Ladies Who Launch, Goldman Sachs and Nordea Bank

Opening Fireside Chat with Stina Ehernsvärd

Entrepreneurial Panel Discussion:
A Passion for Business: Building and Nurturing Your Brand

Entrepreneurial Panel Discussion
Show Me the Money: Business and Financing Strategies for Founders

Closing Conversation with Sarah Friar and Anna Skoglund

Enjoy bubbles and bites with other Stockholm-based women entrepreneurs!



15 May 2019
17:30 – 20:45

111 49, KYRKSLINGAN 2, 111 49