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Reimagining Higher Education

  • Top Hat 151 Bloor Street East Toronto, ON, M4W 1A9 Canada (map)

edNEST is partnering with Top Hat to host our next Meetup on Reimagining Higher Ed, bringing together students, educators, edtech entrepreneurs, and others to meet, connect and idea exchange with like-minded individuals. 


Mike Silagadze - Co-Founder & CEO, Top Hat

Mike Silagadze is the CEO and co-founder of Top Hat. Under Silagadze’s leadership and vision, Top Hat has become the market leader in student engagement software, and is used by millions of students at three-quarters of the top 1,000 colleges and universities in North America. Silagadze is an active speaker and lecturer in the higher education, technology and startup communities, having lectured at the Rotman Commerce Entrepreneurship Organization, the ASU GSV Summit, MaRS, Tech Fest Toronto, SAAS North and T­E­Dx­Laurier­University, among many others. Silagadze holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Gina Uppal - Senior Associate, Partnerships & Talent Development, MaRS

Gina manages partnerships and grants for MaRS Venture Talent Development, supporting the department to build relationships across industry, education, and government to increase the pool of talent ready to connect with Toronto’s tech sector employers. This works aligns with her interests in public policy and designing systems that are responsive to the future of work as technology continues to disrupt education and jobs across industries.


Brian Golod - CEO & Founder, OneTrivia

Brian Golod has over two decades of experience in business analysis, product ownership, full stack mobile/web development, and UX design. Brian wants to make learning fun, exciting, challenging, and engaging. He wanted to create a safe environment where students can practice, gain confidence, become comfortable, and ultimately become more knowledgeable in any area.

Prieeyya Kaur Kesh - Co-Founder, OurWave

Prieeyya is an advocate of lifelong learning, creative thinking and innovation. Born and raised in Malaysia, she has a deep rooted passion in championing change within her community by creating programs that nurture the creativity, curiosity & diversity that makes us human. Her work with the UNCHR, Techstars, LAB B and now OurWave carry the underlying long term goal of providing a platform for individuals to reach and live their highest level of potential.

Ali El-Shayeb - Co-Founder, Nugget

Ali is the co-founder of Nugget, a talent discovery platform for employers to create and launch game assessments based on job simulations. As a graduate from the Schulich School of Business, he’s held several roles in innovation teams across RBC before entering the startup space. Combined with his business acumen, he is also a self-taught developer who has many awards under his belt, building innovative products in hackathons.


6:00 PM - 6:15 PM Registration + Refreshments

6:15 PM - 6:30 PM edNEST Welcome & Community Shoutouts

6:30 PM - 6:45 PM Keynote: Mike Silagadze - CEO, Top Hat

6:45 PM - 7:00 PM Presentation: Gina Uppal - Senior Associate, MaRS

7:00 PM - 7:45 PM Panel Discussion: Reimagining Higher Ed

7:45 PM - 8:30 PM Survey + Open Networking