Sites: CDL-Atlantic, CDL-Rockies, CDL-Toronto
Streams: Blockchain, Prime, Quantum
Allen Lau is a visionary serial entrepreneur, a leader in Canada’s tech community, and a sought-after speaker and authoritative voice on entrepreneurship, the innovation economy, and the benefits of a diverse workforce.
As the CEO and co-founder of Toronto-based Wattpad, a global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories and leading social storytelling platform, Allen leads an international team with the inspiring vision to leverage groundbreaking technology to fundamentally disrupt the entertainment industry while empowering diverse voices.
Wattpad raised USD $120 million from top VCs in Silicon Valley, New York, Canada, and Asia. In 2021, the company was acquired by Naver, the South Korean internet conglomerate, in a transaction valued at more than USD $600 million.
Because of Allen’s leadership and vision, today Wattpad is home to a community of over 90 million people who have written more than a billion uploads on the platform. Thousands of Wattpad stories have been adapted for other platforms and gone on to become blockbuster movies and #1 Netflix hits, Emmy-nominated television series, and bestselling books around the world.
Allen champions the interest of Canadian technology companies at all levels of government as a member of the Canadian Council of Innovators. He consults on legislation and practices to spur innovation and support the growth of the technology sector. Allen is regularly quoted by the media about the benefits of launching and scaling an internet-based company in Canada.
Allen has a keen ability for spotting the next big thing. He is the co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, a fund that invests in early-stage internet companies with strong network effects. Two Small Fish Ventures’ portfolio includes Bitstrips, commonly known as Bitmoji (acquired by Snapchat for $100 million), Skip the Dishes (acquired by Just Eat for $200 million), and Ada, an AI startup valued at over US$1.2 billion.
Allen has commanded the stage at several notable events, including the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival, the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, the Business Insider Global Trends Festival, Collision Conference, WIRED Business Conference, and APOS. Twice named one of the Top 50 Most Influential People by Toronto Life, Allen has also been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Canada’s prestigious Report on Business Magazine, among other publications. Under his leadership, Wattpad has twice been named to Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies. In 2020, Allen was inducted into the Engineering Alumni Hall of Distinction of the University of Toronto.