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Michael Hyatt

Investor, Business Expert & CBC Dragon on Next Gen Den

Michael Hyatt is a nationally recognized business commentator on CBC News Network and one of the “Dragons” on CBC’s Next Gen Den – Dragons’ Den. He is a serial entrepreneur who has built companies valued in the hundreds of millions. Michael is a mentor and investor in many start-ups, including the Rotman’s School of Business Creative Destruction Lab, The Founders Institute and sits on Georgian Partners’ CEO Board of Advisors. Michael has also co-hosted and appeared on CBC’s Lang & O’Leary, Fortune Hunters and appeared on the cover of Canadian Business Magazine.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Leading with Grit, Passion and People
Leaving school at age 22 with no money only to become a millionaire businessman by age 25 would seem like the story of someone who got lucky with a great business idea. But Michael Hyatt shows you there’s a lot more to his success than the idea itself. Success is the small steps you take, and a consistent march is the key. In this presentation, Michael shares candid business and leadership philosophies including: how to avoid common mistakes leaders make, but why sometimes failing is good; why asking powerful questions will lead you to the right answer (not just your answer); how to find the best way for a product’s success; hire people smarter than you and letting them excel; how to win in the new demographic shift; and supporting all members of your team. Filled with these and many more lessons Michael has learned throughout his journey, this upfront talk will inspire audiences to think differently in their approach to business success.

The Internet of Things. Are you Ready?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is big, it’s real, and along with the coming Millennial generation, it’s creating a hyper-connected “sharing economy” that has turned traditional businesses upside-down. In this presentation, Michael draws from his experience running BlueCat, an IoT company with the idea that there needs to be a highly dynamic, flexible way of getting business done. Michael stresses the need to stay connected technologically, without losing the personal connections. Ultimately, they’re most important.

Evolve or Die
Its never been cheaper to start a business, but it’s still just as hard. Being uncomfortable in business is a good thing. And getting real perspective on where we are in today’s economy is critical. It’s easy to take high-fives in the good times, but what you do in the darkest hours defines you as a leader. Michael believes in the great potential for opportunity while there’s ‘blood on the streets’ and times are tough. Tough times can define leadership. It’s important not to be an optimist nor a pessimist, but a realist when looking at the situation. Realists come out best in hard times. With an ability to capture and explain difficult concepts easily for audiences, Michael explains his success in challenging times: “Evolve or die.”

Be Comfortable with Uncomfortable
Michael is a mentor and investor in many start-ups, including the Rotman School of Management Creative Destruction Lab and The Founders Institute. He has built two highly successful tech firms, valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. What’s his secret to start-up success? The first thing Michael tells a budding entrepreneur or start-up: focus. Do one thing and one thing well. Just because you can make money at something doesn’t mean you should do it. At the same time, you need to embrace discomfort, pain and sacrifice. If you become comfortable as an entrepreneur, you might as well be dead. In this presentation, Michael shows that to achieve success you need to prepare for a marathon, not a sprint.


Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™

  • Your talk on opportunity was fantastic. Your style and content was engaging, thought-provoking and inspiring - it was the highlight of the day for so many of our attendees! The calibre of our entire event was elevated by your presence that day. You did a phenomenal job connecting your story to the unique perspective of the prospective students in our audience. Your keynote set the tone for our attendees to learn from your incredible success and to challenge their own thinking and perspective about the future of business.

    - Rotman School of Management
  • Michael's keynote speech at the National Business and Technology Conference was nothing short of phenomenal. All of us in the room were captivated. The room erupted in applause and remained abuzz with excitement as we heard Michael speak. The inspiration actually lingered all night, where delegates were asking if there would be a chance for them to meet Michael in person. Michael spoke very genuinely from the heart, and his story motivated us all in many different ways.

    - President, Nspire Innovation Network
  • I had high expectations and Michael did not disappoint! He's got a great stage presence, and speaks with the boldness and conviction of an entrepreneur who has actually been there and overcome massive obstacles on his path to success. If you're looking for a speaker to challenge your audience into thinking big, Michael is your guy.

    - Ivey Alumni Network Toronto
  • Michael Hyatt is an outstanding keynote speaker! Michael's approach at looking at the big picture before digging into the details makes him completely stand-out from other keynotes we've booked. He is incredibly engaging and takes complete command of the room. While Michael may be a tech entrepreneur, he'll deliver much more than that in his keynote. Can't wait to have him back on stage again!

    - Partner, Canadian Emerging Company Services Leader, PWC
  • Michael is an engaging, passionate and impactful leader and speaker. His energy is captivating, his message is inspiring and his ability to connect with a multi generational team demographic. If you are looking for a connected leader with a magnetic capability to galvanize a team, Michael is it!

    - Vice President & General Manager, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co.
  • Mr. Hyatt’s boundless energy and corresponding ability clearly demonstrates all the qualities our elite panel of judges was looking for in a Top 40 candidate. His effective and coherent strategy building helps drive BlueCat Networks’ corporate morale and culture. Our hope in recognizing him and entrepreneurs like him, is that people will follow in their footsteps-doing what’s best for their respective industries as well as for Canada.

    - Caldwell Partners
  • You blew it out of the ballpark for us! You are a true visionary - your insight and presentation were bang on. The feedback was all very positive. We were thanked for not providing an event that focused on HR but for providing a speaker that talked business, change and the future who just happens to be a strong supporter of HR. Thank you for your time, energy, insights.

    - Director, Mentorship and ENG, Toronto Chapter - HRPA
  • His talk was absolutely incredible in not only inspiring all those in attendance but showing them concrete tips on how to get going on their aspirations. Michael is extremely personable, experienced and engaging, and was an invaluable part of the enLIGHT2016 experience.

    - Co-Founder & Executive Director, enLIGHT
  • Michael was beyond wonderful. A lot of speakers show up, speak, they’re good and then they leave. Michael wanted to stay and spend time with attendees; he helped judge our competition, he mingled with people during breaks, he stayed for the reception. He’s just a really great guy. I’d work with him again anytime and look forward to booking him in the future.

    - IEEE
  • Michael’s realistic yet optimistic prediction of our economy shifting with innovations in artificial intelligence gave the real estate professionals in attendance an idea of what their business may look like in 10 years’ time. It was an enlightening experience – easy enough to digest while nuanced enough to provide real insight. Best of all, the crowd was utterly engaged. When gathering feedback, one thing was clear: Michael’s presentation was one of the main highlights of the day.
    - Event Planner, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Summary Profile

A self-made millionaire by the age of 25, Hyatt built two highly successful tech firms valued in the hundreds of millions. Today he ranks as one of Canada’s pre-eminent investors in start-ups and was one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 by age 33.

Today he is the Executive Chairman of Bluecat, one of the leading growth companies in the country focused on the internet if things (IoT). Prior to his role as Executive Chairman, he led the company as CEO, where his leadership philosophy was to empower his employees. He hired those that would work well as a team so together they could make the big decisions.

Michael is a believer in pushing authority out to team members in his companies, hiring people smarter than him and pushing for lively debate within the boardroom. Living by the idea that everything is on the table while pushing the team to be candid helped real progress in the business. He also knows that it’s a constant and consistent march that wins the day. It was the small daily moves that made all the difference to the big picture.

Michael also co-founded Dyadem, an organization that provides software and services that empower companies to manage quality, mitigate risks, achieve regulatory compliance, plan for business continuity and improve profitability. The highly successful engineering software company was acquired by IHS (Nasdaq: IHS) in an eight-figure deal.

As an entrepreneurial success story himself, Michael helps and mentors youth and entrepreneurs to succeed and become contributing citizens in their communities. Michael actively invests and is driven by some core principals.  He focuses most on the people as he believes it’s the people who will make the right pivots.  Secondly he looks for companies that are trying to make huge impact and have the ability to disrupt.

Lastly, he focuses on the ability of the team to execute as there are many great ideas that lack the tough counter –intuitive thinking and experience to make it happen. Ideas alone won’t cut it. Michael also chairs his family’s charitable foundation, The Hyatt Family Foundation. The HFF donates and invests in a number of important projects including women’s health & employment, biomedical research and international water programs.

He is also an active lender with Kiva.org, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Michael is a Science graduate from Western University and was honoured as a role model for the new “Be Extraordinary” Campaign.