InterGen Activate: Director Duties and Board Effectiveness for Private Tech Companies

InterGen, in collaboration with Board Ready Women and Axis Connects, is hosting an exclusive two  half-day workshop on Private Equity Corporate Governance. This curated program is designed to immerse you in principles and best practices of corporate governance within the private equity landscape. We are excited to partner with Michael Robinson for this session. With practical experience in addressing private equity governance issues through angel investing, venture capitalist roles, and serving on private equity boards, Michael brings a wealth of expertise that will enhance this program experience. He has educated many members of the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem both by serving as the first Site Lead for the Creative Destruction Lab Rockies program, and as the Academic Director of governance programs offered by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Canadian Venture Capital Association.


You will get a blend of in-person lectures, interactive case studies, and small group simulated board meetings, offering an interactive environment for you to reflect on your own board experiences and share insights with peers. Engaging case studies will place you in the role of an independent director joining an early-stage technology board where you will be asked to resolve real-life scenarios including potential conflicts of interest. This workshop will end with an expert panel discussion providing actionable takeaways for participants. 


This program is designed for founders and CFOs of scale-up companies that ideally have a board of directors or imminently transitioning to a board of directors,  their investors, advisory board members and directors. Drawing from academic research and real-world scenarios, this experiential training opportunity offers you a unique chance to enhance your governance skills. 


What to Expect:

August 27: Director Duties, Board Effectiveness and VC Governance Introduction

  • Lunch
  • Program Welcome: Participant Introductions, What to Expect, The Learning Journey
  • Discussion: Characteristics of an Effective Director and Board
  • Specialized VC Governance Mechanisms. Form, Function and Best Practices: PE Governance Models, Differences between Advisors, Observers and Directors, Compensation Considerations)
  • Key Director Duties in a Private Equity Context 
  • Break-out case discussion: Identifying and responding to potential conflicts on an early-stage board (Wateng (A) Case)*
  • Case Debrief and Key Learnings for the Day 
  • Networking and Cocktails 

August 28: Enhancing Private Equity Governance Effectiveness 

  • Lunch 
  • Break-out case discussion: Governance and other Implications of Term Sheets (Wateng (B) Case)**
  • Case Debrief and Review of Methods to Enhance Board Effectiveness: Board Roles in Strategy, Risk Management and Human Performance ways to mitigate Director Liability and D&O Insurance Issues
  • Expert Panel Discussion featuring Special Guest Speakers from Shawn Abbott of Inovia Capital an Melanie McClare from Gaze Consulting
  • Key Learnings Discussion

*Pre-session readings will be provided after registration. You will be asked to read and prepare the Wateng Systems Inc (A) case before the first session 
** The Wateng (B) case will be distributed at the end of the Wateng (A) case discussion on August 27

Note: this event is by invitation only. If you would like to attend, please email 

Please RSVP by Friday, Aug 23. A non-refundable registration fee of $50 is required to attend this workshop. 


Michael Robinson Styled

Dr. Michael J.  Robinson began his career working in technical roles at an early-stage start-up. He transitioned to a career as a finance academic after receiving his MBA and Ph.D. degrees from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. Currently a Professor in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, he has been studying entrepreneurial finance and governance issues for over 30 years. During this time he has published several academic papers, and recently published a practitioner-oriented book, Founder’s Guide to Governance: Beyond a Good Idea. He  is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holder and a certified corporate director (ICD.D). Michael has created the website to serve as a resource for founders and their supporters.


Axis Connects

Axis Connects is changing leadership. From the c-suite to the boardroom, we support and accelerate the advancement and recognition of gender diversity throughout our business community. Through Axis Connects' programs, workshops, networks, and events, we support women in their journey towards leadership positions and professional potential.



Board Ready Women is a Canadian not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing women’s representation on Canadian boards across all industries by providing programs, resources, and opportunities to support women on their board journey. We foster an inclusive environment where board-aspired women can forge valuable connections with existing board members, recruiters and peers, access educational resources, and celebrate their achievements. Since the inception of Board Ready Women in 2018, women's representation on boards has significantly increased. On Alberta-based companies, the percentage of seats held by women has risen from 12% to 25%; in Canada it has increased from 17% to 27%.

Supported by:Alberta Innovates

AEC with border


InterGen’s investor and leadership development  program is funded by
Alberta Innovates , Alberta Enterprise Corporation and PrairiesCan