Noted Entrepreneur to Speak at Derry Lecture

A leading entrepreneur will speak about her successful start-ups as this year’s Derry Lecturer at the University of Guelph on Dec. 2.

Janet Bannister, who launched Kijiji.ca and worked at eBay in Silicon Valley, will speak at Rozanski Hall at 5 p.m.

Lecture tickets are free but seating will be limited.

An accomplished entrepreneur, Bannister is a general partner with Real Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Toronto and Montreal.

She has worked at Proctor & Gamble, McKinsey and Co., eBay and Kijiji, where she led Kijiji Global. She also founded a successful consulting business and was CEO of The Coveteur, a fashion and beauty content/commerce website.

“She is an ideal person to discuss individual potential, new ideas and the power of entrepreneurship with our students,” said Michael Ridley, who teaches in Guelph’s first-year seminar program and arranged for Bannister to speak.

“Excelling in fields and arenas typically dominated by men, Janet understands the challenges of the contemporary world. Her story and her perspectives will inform and motivate.”

This lecture will be held as part of a symposium promoting interdisciplinary initiatives among students enrolled in Guelph’s first-year seminar program. Created in 2003, first-year seminars allow small groups of students to learn about challenging topics from some of Guelph’s top teachers.

The Derry Lectures are intended to introduce U of G students to people addressing worldwide challenges and promoting engagement and global citizenship.

The lecture series is named for former U of G Board of Governors chair Douglas Derry and his family. The Derry Lecture is supported by a gift from Derry and his wife, Margaret, an adjunct U of G history professor.

Now chair of Poplar Lane Holdings Ltd., Douglas Derry belonged to the University of Guelph’s Board of Governors for 10 years and the Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013.