Growth Hack Boot Camp

November 13 & 14, 2018 | Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre | 801 Dixon Rd, Toronto, Ontario


Do you need help discovering the most efficient way to rapidly grow your business? The CFA’s new Growth Hack Boot Camp can help you develop the strategies you need to quickly elevate and expand your business.

This intensive two-day event, will give emerging franchisors the opportunity to work with established CFA franchisors and suppliers to take your business concepts to the next level. 

Don’t miss out on the chance to propel your brand forward and maximize your growth!

Over two days, you'll get to experience:

  • Motivating keynote presentations to kick-start your growth transformation and get your whole team fired up.
  • Get your questions answered straight from the source! Industry leaders will address your most pressing issues in Q&A format
  • Interactive roundtable discussions. Learn the tips, tools and techniques for business optimization from leading franchisors.
  • Benchmark all the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in a Dragon’s Den Competition and pitch your Growth Hack idea for your business! (Prizes will be awarded to the winners)

Topics covered will include:

  • SEO, SEM and Online Marketing
  • Funding Your Growth Hack
  • Supporting the Growth
  • Creating Free PR and Media Buzz
  • How to Create External Partnerships to Support your Growth

...and more!


Day 1

8:00 – 8:30 am
Registration and Breakfast
8:30 – 8:40 am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:40 – 9:15 am
Attendee Introductions and Goals for the event
9:15 – 9:45 am
My Growth Hack Story – How I Continue to Growth Hack My Business
9:45 – 10:00 am
Event and Speaker Introductions
10:00 – 10:15 am
Energy Break
10:15 – 11:00 am
Keynote Speaker
Sharon Ramalho, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada
11:00 – 11:45 am
Keynote Speaker
Ryan Smolkin, Smoke’s Poutinerie
11:45 – 11:55 am
Energy Break
11:55 am – 12:30 pm
Keynote Speaker TBD
12:30 – 1:30 pm
Networking Lunch
1:30 – 3:05 pm
Ignite Session with Angela Cote
3:05 – 3:15 pm
Energy Break
3:15 – 4:15 pm
Breakout Session with Keynote Speakers
4:30 – 5:30 pm
Breakout Session with Keynote Speakers
6:30 – 9:30 pm
Cocktail Reception & Dinner

Day 2

8:15 – 8:45 am
Networking Breakfast
8:45 – 9:00 am
Day 2 Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:00 – 10:30 am
10:30 – 10:45 am
Energy Break
10:45 – 11:45 am
11:45 am – 12:15 pm
Facilitator Led Brainstorming Activity for Pitch
12:15 – 1:15 pm
Working Lunch
1:15 – 1:30 pm
Recap of Bear Pit Competition
1:30 – 2:45 pm
Round #1 Bear Pit Pitches*
2:45 – 3:00 pm
Energy Break
3:00 – 4:15 pm
Round #2 Bear Pit Pitches*
4:15 – 4:45 pm
Judges Decision
4:45 – 5:00 pm
Prize Awarded & Closing Remarks
*Participation in Bear Pit Competition not mandatory

Keynote Presentations

From selling your first franchise to going global with your concept, our keynote speakers will share their top growth hacks for franchise success! Stay tuned, as we'll be announcing the full keynote lineup shortly!

Growth Hacking Your Business the International Way, Sharon Ramalho, McDonald's Restaurants

Expanding internationally is a surefire way to take your business to the next level! Study after study has shown that expanding internationally can help businesses avoid stagnation, generate more revenue, and achieve more success compared to companies that don’t go global with their brand. But, it’s not always easy to do.

If you want to discover the secrets to successful global expansion, don’t miss this keynote from world-renowned brand expert, Sharon Ramalho. Sharon enjoyed a +30 year career with one of the most iconic International brands, McDonald's Restaurants. Having worked in seven countries, Sharon will share highlights of her career with the Golden Arches and provide unique perspectives on:

    • Thinking global, but acting local
    • Why culture matters
    • Steps to take for a successful international business launch

Growth Hacked Business, Ryan Smolkin, Smoke’s Poutinerie

‘GLOBAL DOMINATION!’ is not a catchphrase, it is a mantra that Ryan Smolkin lives by for his brand. From his early years as a young entrepreneur in real estate followed by his work as an advertising executive, Smolkin has grown businesses at exponential rates. His latest venture has taken Canada’s iconic dish across the country and the rest of the world with over 150 locations and many more to come. But how do you harness your passion and direct it into expanding your brand? How do you lead a brand through rapid expansion? How do you effectively growth hack your business? In this keynote you will feel the passion, excitement, and brand commitment that it takes to explode your business and reach your ultimate growth goals.

Roundtable Discussions

One of the best ways to get inspired is by speaking with others in your field. Share your growth challenges with your peers during these lively discussions, all facilitated by franchise experts.

Recruiting, Jania Bailey, FranNet
Recruiting the right franchisee prospect is essential to your business growth. What small changes can you make to your current franchisee recruitment process that will make the biggest impact?  Find out how to hack your recruitment strategy to fuel your low term growth in the least amount of time.  In this highly anticipated conversation, you’ll get the inside scoop on quickly and efficiently recruiting franchisees that are committed to investing in your business model, goals and growth.

External Partnerships to Support Your Growth, Ken LeBlanc, Inc.
How do you create powerful partnerships that’ll take your brand to the next level? How do you capitalize on the strengths and skills of each partner? How do you agree on a strategy that extends the revenue, market share and customer value of both parties involved? In an in-depth discussion with fellow peers and the leading industry expert of, Ken LeBlanc, discover how to quickly establish harmonious and long-lasting business partnerships that fit in with your brand’s vision and business growth.

Supporting the Growth, Joel Friedman, Pumpernickel's
What are the best practices for supporting growth after implementing growth-hacking tactics? What resources are needed after the growth hack is implemented? What resources are already available to you? Join a discussion focused on sustaining rapid growth and improving your chances of profitability and success. Discover how you can efficiently assess your performance and draw on the resources and tools available to you now, no matter what stage of growth your business is at.

The Value of PR When Launching your Growth Hack, Lisa Raffaele, PUNCH Canada
How can PR complement your overall growth hack marketing strategy? How do you grab the attention of your target audience? Discover PR tools and activities to use to create awareness and media engagement around your growth hack idea. Learn the fundamentals for crafting a powerful message and the foundational strategies for creating the awareness needed to quickly grow your business idea.

How To Maximize Franchisee Profitability And Stimulate Exponential Company Growth, Angela Coté, Franchise Growth Catalyst
The number one driver of franchise company growth (i.e. more locations awarded) is franchisee satisfaction. And the number one driver of franchisee satisfaction is franchisee profitability! Are all of your franchisees doing what they need to do to achieve maximum profitability? How can you ensure they know, benchmark and achieve their goal KPI's so that they are not leaving money on the table? And how can you leverage your high-performers' growth hack strategies across your franchise network to increase profitability for the entire system? In this roundtable discussion, you’ll gain insight into how you can ensure your franchisees are measuring and constantly improving their unit level economics so that you improve validation and achieve exponential brand growth.

Creating a Strategic Plan to Implement your Growth Hack, Marietta Snetsinger and Brett Johnson, Ascend Franchise Solutions
Now that you’ve thought of your “Big Idea”, it’s time to put it into action.  And the best way to move forward, is with a carefully thought-out strategic plan. In this session, led by Franchise Consultant experts,  you’ll discover the value of a 90 Day Strategic Plan and how to create the Big Vision for your growth hack.  Learn how to plan your next steps with laser focus and intention, and how to prioritize your next actions.

Using Digital Media to Fuel Rapid Revenue Growth, Reshift Media
Digital strategies including SEO, SEM and social media are critical to any growth hacking approach. Platforms such as Facebook and Google offer the ability to target incredibly specific audiences and their world-class measurement platforms allow you to fine-tune your approach to squeeze the most out of every dollar. During this roundtable session we will discuss how emerging and rapidly-growing franchise systems can create low-cost yet effective search and social strategies to reach and attract new customers. We will also discuss how you can use your franchise structure to achieve a multiplier effect on your results

Franchisee Buy In, Ryan Smolkin, Smoke’s Poutinerie
With growth comes change and getting your team’s support behind these sudden changes can lead to greater success. But how do you align your entire franchise team around those efforts? How do you develop the inspirational language that’ll rally your team behind your vision? As a franchisor, what are the leadership skills you must develop for seamless communication? In this important conversation, understand how you can get franchisees to buy into your biggest goals. Minimize conflict and move towards success by understanding the right processes and communication tactics in this session.


Ignite Session – Disrupt From Within, Angela Cote, Franchise Growth Catalyst

The Innovation Storm is a high energy, entertaining and collaborative experience which will bring attendees together to collectively brainstorm ways to growth hack their businesses. Led by Angela Coté, an industry expert who is busy disrupting the franchise industry herself, this session will generate inspirational thought-provoking conversation and unique growth hack ideas to exponentially grow your business or even disrupt your industry.


  • Generate quantum ideas in a creative and collaborative environment
  • Explore ways to disrupt your business
  • Propel your growth hack to new heights

Coming Soon!

Here’s your chance to take your learnings from the past two days and pitch your growth hack idea to our panel of expert judges for a chance to win a mentorship with a leading Canadian entrepreneur!

During your three-minute, voluntary presentation, tell us about your company, the problem you are solving, and how your quick and easy growth solution will improve your business.  Design and grow your business to whatever level you wish, just tell us what has to change within your current business model to achieve your new growth target and how you plan to do it, and you can win quarterly mentoring from one of the biggest icons in Canadian franchising - Peter van Stralen, Founder and former CEO of Sunshine Brands and The Ground Guys.

Never delivered a business pitch before? Don’t worry, our expert session leaders will help you prepare your presentation before the contest. We’ll give you the tools you need to deliver a strong, persuasive pitch to increase your chances of winning.


About Peter: 

Peter is the Founder and former CEO of Sunshine Brands and The Ground Guys, an industry-leading, lawn care and snow removal company and one of the largest franchise systems in Canada. Today, he continues to inspire company leaders coast to coast, most notably through his C.A.R.E leadership program, focused on creating a positive work culture for employees, investors and customers.



Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre
801 Dixon Rd
Toronto, Ontario M9W 1J5


From Toronto Pearson International Airport

  • Take Dixon Road eastbound.
  • The hotel is within 5 minutes of the airport, on the Southwest corner of Dixon Road and Skyway Avenue.

From East

  • Take the 401 Freeway westbound
  • Take the Dixon Road exit and follow the Dixon Road West ramp
  • At the second traffic light, turn left on Skyway Avenue
  • The hotel entrance is on your right hand side.

From West

  • Take the 401 Freeway eastbound to the Dixon Road exit.
  • Proceed on Dixon Road in the left lane.
  • Turn left at Skyway Avenue.
  • The hotel will be on the right.

From South

  • Take the Gardiner Expressway to Highway 427.
  • Take Highway 427 North to the Dixon Road exit.
  • Turn right onto Dixon Road.
  • The hotel is located on the southwest corner of Dixon Road and Skyway Avenue.


  • Self-parking (long-term): $20 per day
  • Valet parking: $25 per day
  • Hourly Parking is available.

Thank you to the following members who are National Sponsors and support CFA throughout the year:

CFA knock-out Logo

Canadian Franchise Association (CFA)
116-5399 Eglinton Ave W
Toronto, Ontario
M9C 5K6

T: 416-695-2896
F: 416-695-1950
H: Weekdays, 9am-5pm

Upcoming Events

  1. Franchise Canada Show in Vancouver

    November 3 - November 4
  2. Franchise Your Business Seminar (Vancouver)

    November 5 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  3. Franchise Canada Show in Toronto

    February 23, 2019 - February 24, 2019