It is time, up your business game

A day to work on your solo business, connect with peers and share experiences and wisdoms with those who have celebrated successes and experienced failures.

Level up your business development game, gear up your business operations, and shut up inefficiencies and bad habits that are getting in your way.

October 13, 2016

8:00 a.m.

UBC Robson square, Vancouver, BC

If you are a





Industry leaders and self-employed peers are gearing up to help you take your business to the next level. Step up operational efficiencies and grow your business while building a network of solopreneurs.


8:00 – 8:55 am

YAY – You Made It (AKA Registration)

9:00 – 9:10am

You’re In Good Company (Theatre)

9:15 – 9:55am

Sunny or Stormy: What Does the Future for Freelancers Look Like? (Theatre)

Kate Kendall

10:00 – 10:25am

Risks and Rewards. Reflections of Seasoned Solopreneurs (Theatre)

Panel Moderator: Crystal Henrickson

Emira Mears | Todd Smith | Denise Brennan

11:00 – 11:25am

How to Build a Sustainable Freelancing Business (Theatre)

Matt Inglot

11:30 – 11:55am

Finding a Sales Approach that Suits Your Personality (Theatre)

Panel Moderator: Annika Reinhardt

Shannon Ward | Faris Khalifeh

12:00 – 1:25pm


“Ask Me Anything” Lunch Conversation Lab

hosted by Picatic


1:30 – 1:55pm

What Do I Charge? Pricing Strategy Tips & Tricks That Work (Theatre)

Panel Moderator: Miranda Lievers

Aaron Vidas | Tessa Greenleaf | Adrian Partridge

Freelancing for Agencies: How to Become a Successful Agency Sub-Contractor and Connector (HSBC Hall)

Mark Fromson

2:00 – 2:25pm

What Happens When You Productive Yourself? (Theatre)

Panel Moderator: Jamie Smith

Julie Szabo | Mike Zaremba | Marie Poulin

Finding Your Ideal Client (HSBC Hall)

Matt Inglot

2:30 – 2:55pm

How to Sell Your Services and Feel Great About It (Theatre)

Shannon Ward

Quiet Leadership: The Power of Introversion and Introspection (HSBC Hall)

Faris Khalifeh

3:00 – 3:25pm


3:30 – 3:55pm

Solo Marketing: How to Market Your Business Without Losing Your Mind (Theatre)

Panel Moderator: Diane Rolston

Andrea Shillington | Graham Williams | Nikolas Badminton

4:00 – 4:40pm

Leading Yourself, Through Mindfulness (Theatre)

Jivi Cheema

4:45 – 5:00pm

Thank You & Closing (Theatre)

5:30 – 7:30pm

Happy Hour & After Party

The Belmont Bar

Invited Speakers


Founder & CEO

Kate Kendall

Kate Kendall is a San Francisco-based, British-Australian entrepreneur and writer. She’s the founder and CEO of CloudPeeps – a trusted marketplace, platform and community that empowers freelancers and businesses to do their best work. Launched in 2015, CloudPeeps now serves over 7,000 professionals in 110 countries. Kate also created the Freelance Friday community – a global coworking community for independents, creatives and entrepreneurs in 10 cities. She’s on the board of the Australian Founder Network in Silicon Valley.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Topic: Sunny or Stormy: What Does the Future for Freelancers Look Like?

Jivi Cheema

Jivi Cheema is a consultant with a PhD in Spirituality and an MBA specializing in Leadership. A Master Facilitator of meetings, workshops and retreats, she can prove results in a highly effective way. She has been known to be an engaging speaker that captivates her audience with her unconventional views on Leadership and High Performance Teams. Her unique spiritual spin on leadership and team development allows her to navigate different challenges and come up with realistic solutions for common (and not-so-common) problems in the workplace.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Leading Yourself, Through Mindfulness

Matt Inglot

Matt Inglot is the creator of Freelance Transformation where he helps fellow consultants and creative services providers to earn more and to build their consulting business around their lifestyle. Matt’s expertise comes from running a web agency for 10 years which he transformed from a traditional bricks and mortar office and 80 hour work week to significantly less work and far greater profitability. From that experience Matt has realized that most freelancers and consultants make life far more difficult for themselves than it needs to be.

Location: Calgary, AB

Topics: How to Build a Sustainable Freelancing Business || Defining Your Ideal Client

Faris Khalifeh

Faris Khalifeh is a Quiet Leadership Coach. Named among the Top Six Life Coaches in Vancouver by Crowd Wellness, he coaches introverts to build on their strengths as quiet leaders. His experience spans industries including more. He played a key role in marketing and advertising for companies such as Procter & Gamble and General Motors.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Finding a Sales Approach that Suits Your Personality || Quiet Leadership: Harnessing the Power of Introversion in Business


Matching Specialist

Tessa Greenleaf

Tessa Greenleaf is a San Francisco-based Matching Specialist at CloudPeeps – a marketing, platform and community that empowers freelancers and businesses to do best work. In early 2014 she decided to leave the education sector and explore a freelance social media and writing career through CloudPeeps. As she got to know the CloudPeeps team she quickly became an advocate of remote work, and came on board full time later that year. Over the past two years Tessa has been excited about the growing future of work and freelance movements. Her passion is helping both clients and freelancers know how to best build their businesses and achieve their goals.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Topic: What Do I Charge? Pricing Strategy Tips & Tricks That Work


Co-Founder & CEO

Mark Fromson

Mark Fromson is the co-founder and CEO of LocalSolo, an exclusive curated network of 24,000+ top local freelancers. A freelance digital project manager and user experience architect. Mark has 20 years experience garnered at multiple top agencies in the US and Canada. He has held leadership roles in over 400 projects for more than 150 clients including: Starbucks, Sony, Nike, Adobe, Microsoft, Disney, Time Warner, and CBS. A proponent of the freelance lifestyle, Mark has visited 46 countries, worked in 5 and surfed in 16.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Freelancing for Agencies, How to Become a Successful Agency Sub-Contractor and Connector

Marie Poulin

Marie Poulin is a designer, digital strategist, and educator who helps purpose-driven entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life in the digital space. With a background in both small agency experience and 7+ years of self-employment, she founded Digital Strategy School, an online mentorship program that helps designers become more strategic business owners. She also co-founded Oki Doki with her partner Ben, where they help entrepreneurs productize their services through the creation of branded online courses, programs, and mentorship experiences.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: What Happens When You Productize Youself?

Adrian Partridge

“Consulting Made Easy”


As a highly experienced consultant and author of “Consulting Made Easy”, Adrian Partridge helps people achieve success on their terms by starting and running their own consulting businesses. Adrian helps consultants increase their fee rates, find more clients, have more free time and have more fun. He is also the company president of ClearLead Consulting and has been consulting mostly on energy matters for many years.

Location: North Vancouver, BC

Topic: What Do I Charge? Pricing Strategy Tips & Tricks That Work

Brands for the Heart


Andrea Shillington

On a 13-year world tour as an international brand strategist, Andrea Shillington developed strategy for fortune 500’s and other famous brands, from the UAE federal government to Astra Zeneca to seven star hotels, all prior to launching Brands for the Heart. Her talents, insight, and heart combine to create a winning combo that brings a unique perspective to the entrepreneurial audience. This lady love is all about making a difference while delivering a million-dollar brand position for those she serves. Andrea’s work has been featured in Entrepreneur, Good, and Springwise to name a few.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Solo Marketing, How to Market Your Business Without Losing Your Mind

Pure Image Technology

Director of Marketing

Graham Williams

Graham Williams is a Vancouver-based marketing and technology expert, specializing in content marketing, digital storytelling, and social media marketing. Owner of Scribeworks and a director of marketing for Pure Image Technology, a content creator for companies such a TELUS, Staples, and A&W, and a published novelist.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Solo Marketing, How to Market Your Business Without Losing Your Mind

Creative Coworkers

Co-Founder & Manager

Denise Brennan

Denise Brennan, better known as “D”, has a classical education in communication and social networking and a practical education in venue management and community building. She opened The Studio at Creative coworkers in July of 2015, a coworking space in colourful Railton, where she gets ample opportunity to use all of these skills, plus move a lot of furniture.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Risks and Rewards, Reflections of Seasoned Solopreneurs



Aaron Vidas

Aaron is the Founder of StrategyBox, a software service that determines marketing ROI for retail and B2B companies. Then suggests what to do next to drive up revenue. Prior to StrategyBox Aaron worked directly as an independent marketing consultant with Boards and C-Suites of pre-revenue to $250M+ companies. Helping companies find their most profitable customers. Also bringing to market social venture incubator institute B’s management consulting group. He’s traveled all over the world, including living for a year in Mainland China. Come summertime you can find him on his bike panting up hills in Vancouver, and skiing down them in the winter.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: What Do I Charge? Pricing Strategy Tips & Tricks That Work

Julie Szabo

Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook


Julie Szabo is a world-class digital strategist with deep experience deploying complex, innovative digital projects that connect and inspire people to improve their world. At Capulet she helps clients make Remarkables – high-impact digital marketing campaigns that attract attention and get people fired up about causes and businesses. She regularly speaks on the topic of marketing innovation and, with Darren Barefoot, is co-author of Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook and The Noble Arsonist: Stoking Fires and Igniting Movements.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: What Happens When You Productize Yourself?

Todd Smith

Todd Smith is an award-winning director, designer, and educator with twelve years of experience in digital media. A graduate of Vancouver Film School, Todd worked in both Asia and Europe before returning to Vancouver in 2008. He specializes in user experience design and strategy for businesses with complex data needs – having produced materials for the United Nations, Microsoft, Nike, Honda, Starbucks, Central 1 Credit Union, John Hopkins University, and the University of British Columbia. Todd helps organizations by interviewing customers, observing patterns, and ultimately, by creating easy-to-use software and mobile apps.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Risks and Rewards, Reflections of Seasoned Solopreneurs

Shannon Ward

Shannon Ward has been a successful entrepreneur for over 13 years. She built her company, OnTrack, from 0 to 7 figures in just 3 short years. Since then, Shannon has transformed her deep knowledge of marketing and exceptional sales skills into a thriving sales training and coaching business where she helps entrepreneurs and their teams overcome their dysfunctional relationships with sales so that they can break through revenue barriers in record time. Her transformational approach to sales stems from a core belief that sales is an act of love.

Location: Whistler, BC

Topics: Finding a Sales Approach That Suits Your Personality | How to Sell Your Services and Feel Great About It

Float House


Mike Zaremba

Mike Zaremba is a co-founder of Float House, Vancouver’s first commercial float centre in over 20 years, which specializes in flotation therapy. He is also the co-host of the Vancouver Real podcast, an audio and video production that features guests and spans topics ranging from personal development, business, art, politics, philosophy, spirituality and many more.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: What Happens When You Productize Yourself?

Raised Eyebrow


Emira Mears

The Boss of You


Emira Mears is a strategist who works with clients in the non-profit and business sectors to help them amplify their impact through the use of digital and traditional communications and outreach. She started her agency in 2000 and has worked international, national and local organizations. She is also the author of The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run and Maintain Her Own Business. She speaks at conferences and events on the topic of women, small business and defining success on your own terms.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Risks and Rewards, Reflections of Seasoned Solopreneurs

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that provides keynote speeches about the future of work, the sharing economy and how the world is evolving. Nikolas is based in Vancouver, BC, and speaks across Canada, UK, Asia, and Europe.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Solo Marketing: How to Market Your Business Without Losing Your Mind

Diane Rolston Coaching

Premier Business & Leadership Coach

Dynamic Women in Action

CEO & Founder

Diane Rolston

Diane Rolston is a leading authority in being a Dynamic Woman. As a business owner, mother of two and community leader, she’s an expert on work/life balance and getting things done! Working with professionals all across North America she provides clarity, confidence and action so they don’t sabotage themselves, get overwhelmed or second-guess their choices.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Panel Moderator – How to Market Your Business Without Losing Your Mind

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is a Vancouver artist, educator, consultant and events producer. She holds degrees in Fine Arts from University of Victoria and Arts Education University of British Columbia. JAmie is an artist herself in Mount Pleasant and runs THRIVE Art Studio, a space that supports female artists in Vancouver (and beyond!). THRIVE focuses on professional development for female artists. She also founded ROVE – A Mount Pleasant Art Walk as a way to engage the community with the vibrant art scene of Mount Pleasant.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Panel Moderator – What Happens When You Productize Yourself?



Miranda Lievers

Miranda is a Vancouver-based entrepreneur devoted to helping small businesses grow. She jumped ship from her cushy corporate job with Telus a decade ago to grow her photography studio to mid-6 figures (earning international press and awards along the way), before deciding to get her MBA just for fun. Now, she works to help thousands of small business owners around the globe build successful companies online in her role as Chief Operating Officer as Thinkific, a tech co. with an all-in-one platform for creating and selling online courses.

Location: Vancouver, BC

Topic: Panel Moderator – What Do I Charge? Pricing Strategy Tips & Tricks That Work

About Talent Collective

When we left the warm embrace of our 9-5’s, we quickly realized that it would take more than our domain expertise to build businesses that gave us the freedom and autonomy we craved. It took years of learning by hard knocks before we discovered we made pretty good career coaching (Talent Collective) and event (DinnerPartyYVR) partners.

Banded together by the same determination to support others pursue their careers, UP Conference is the product of our selfish desire to be business bad asses. We hope you’ll come on up and join us… We think the view will be better when we’re in it together!

We could not produce UP without some very kick a** digital nomads

(who you should totally hire!)

Laura Lefurgey-Smith

UX / UI Designer

Adan Uribe

UX/UI Designer

Britney Berner

Filmmaker & Photographer

Kei Baritugo

BoldLove Communications

Supriya Gupta

Digital Marketing Specialist

For al interview request, please contact Kei Baritugo, BoldLove Communications


Supported by our incredible, small business partners

Offering all event participants a safe and harassment-free conference experience is important to us. That is why we created a Code of Conduct.

Have any further questions about UP?