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Manjit Minhas and Michele Romanow
Topic: Entrepreneurship

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Millions of Canadians tune in every Wednesday night to see companies pitch for investments, and hear the Dragons' expert insights on starting, building, and evolving a business. On March 1, the Women of Influence community will have the opportunity to access these role models directly.

Prior to becoming the newly appointed dragons on CBC’s Dragons’ Den--and two of the most recognizable names in Canadian entrepreneurship--both Michele Romanow and Manjit Minhas forged uniquely independent paths to become leaders in their respective industries.

Michele is a serial entrepreneur and e-commerce powerhouse, having successfully launched digital start-ups including Buytopia and SnapSaves, which was purchased by Groupon in 2014. As Head of Marketing, her insight on the tech and e-commerce industry--and her sharp perspective on millennial consumers--has defined her as a true trendsetter in the digital arena.

At only 19 years old, Manjit launched her first craft beer in Alberta. Today, as Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Minhas Brewery and Distillery, Manjit has grown her business into a group of companies that earns over $155-million in annual revenue. Over the course of her inspiring career, she has defined herself as a sought-after expert in brand management, sales, and retail negotiations.

What drives Michele to launch start-ups? What is her secret to financial growth and how does she stay the course creatively? How has Manjit’s vision for her company evolved over time and what is her strategy for success moving into increasingly competitive markets?

These are a few of the questions the Dragon’s will answer on March 1, when they sit down with CTV’s Marcia MacMillan for an intimate discussion on their incredible entrepreneurial journeys and share tips and tools for all aspiring business-owners.


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March 1, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

[woitabs class=”yourcustomclass”]
[woitab title=”About the Women of Influence Evening Series” active=”active”]

Our Women of Influence Evening Series is designed to motivate and inspire the next generation of emerging leaders and provide a platform for them to meet their peers and gain access to role models who have had early success and high-profile careers. Keynote speakers share tactical advice on negotiation, leadership, entrepreneurship, communication and personal branding and a structured “Connecting Activity” enables our guests to make career-defining connections.

Event Agenda

  • 6:30 – 7:00 pm      Registration and Cocktail Reception
  • 7:00 – 7:45 pm      Fireside Chat and Q&A moderated by Marcia MacMillan, CTV News
  • 7:45 – 8:15 pm      Connecting Activity
  • 8:15 – 8:30 pm      VIP Giveaway and Closing Remarks

Your ticket includes complimentary CHLOE Wine and canapés

Need Complimentary Childcare for the Event?  Click here

[woitab title=”Manjit Minhas Biography”]

Manjit Minhas is 35 years old and was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.  This Petroleum Engineering student turned beer baroness is the newest Dragon on the hit TV show  Dragons Den on CBC in its 10 season.

Manjit is the co-founder and co-owner of the Minhas Breweries and Distillery.  She started her companies at the ripe age of 19 in Alberta, when she launched her beer in Alberta with her partner and brother, Ravinder Minhas.  Together, they gave the big boys a run for their money, thereby becoming the first successful company to enter the Canadian beer industry in many decades. Currently, she has over 90 brands of beers, spirits, liqueurs and wines.  Her products are sold in 5 provinces ( Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan , Manitoba and British Columbia), as well as 45 states throughout the USA and 16 other countries .

Over the last few years, wherever Manjit and Ravinder have entered the marketplace, and especially in Canada, they have single headedly caused a huge stir in the marketplace.  To date, her companies have sold over 6 billion pints of beer!  Many beer drinkers in Canada and USA have welcomed her style of beer as a tasty alternative to the higher priced mediocre beers that dominate the market place.

Manjit takes Social Responsibility very seriously.  Manjit Minhas is the 1st brewer in Canada to voluntarily put a Management Warning on all her beer cans. The Management Warning on the cans reads ” MANAGEMENT WARNING: Please do not drink and drive – ever.  Expectant mothers should avoid drinking alcoholic products. Enjoy this product responsibly – Respect yourself and others”.   She recently put this on all her products because she believes as a responsible brewer and citizen of this country, it is important she does her part to educate Canadians.

Manjit has also recently created a special 48 can pack of beers for COSTCO which has the least amount of packaging materials compared to any other product in Canada or USA.  It uses no plastic hi-cone rings and needs least amount of box material.  This product alone will save millions of pounds of packaging materials ending up in the already over-filled landfills.  Similarly, Manjit has sold millions of cases of other brands of her beers with minimum packaging materials using sound engineering principles in protecting the environment.

Manjit believes that effective use of science and engineering can do a lot of good in people’s lives.  She has used her engineering background in producing beer using least amount of cleaning and water treatment chemicals, gas, electricity and water.  Canadian and American consumers suffering from the Celiac disease have also been beneficiary of her innovative method of making best tasting Gluten Free beer from Sorghum and sold at half the price of the competition.

Manjit and her brother purchased the 2nd oldest brewery in the United States in 2006 and renamed it “Minhas Craft Brewery”.  Being in their mid 20s, purchase of this Brewery officially made them the Youngest Brewery Owners in The World. Their brewery is now the 10th largest in North America.  From this brewery, world quality beers are shipped across the USA, to Canada and overseas to 16 different countries such as Japan, UK, Brazil and Korea.

Manjit and Ravinder opened a new brewery in Calgary in June 2012 – the Minhas Micro Brewery.  This facility makes unique and specialty beers such as the Lazy Mutt Alberta Wheat Beer and Gluten Free beer.

In 2012, they also opened the Minhas Micro Distillery which distills and bottles premium spirits and liqueurs such as Platinum 10 times distilled Vodka, Blumers Moonshine, Maya Horchata and Chinook Rye Whisky.

In late 2008, Manjit co-wrote a book on her remarkable story, business philosophies and the history of the brewery she bought. The hardcover 108 page glossy book is titled “Brewing Up a Damn Good Story”.

Last year Manjit’s companies had revenues in excess of $155 million.

Manjit has been nominated and has won several business industry awards.  A few of them are listed below:

  • Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs in Canada
  • “Top Growth Entrepreneur” award, PROFIT magazine in Toronto
  • Ranked #6 in the “Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies” by Alberta Venture Magazine
  • Alberta Chamber of Commerce Marketing Award
  • Young Achiever Award from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce
  • Compelling Calgarian Award given by the Calgary Herald
  • Alberta Centennial Medallion
  • “Up and Coming CEO” from The National Post
  • Canada’s Women Executive Network Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs
  • Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40
  • Business in Calgary’s Leader of Tomorrow
  • India Abroad’s “The Power List” Award
  • Famous 5 Foundation Leader Award
  • Global TV Woman of Vision Award
  • Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist
  • Chatelaine Magazine’s Top Entrepreneur Woman of The Year
  • The Sikh Centennial Foundation Award
  • Canadian Business Icon Award

Manjit and her story has been featured in many publications such as Macleans Magazine, Canadian Business Magazine, Alberta Venture Magazine, The National Post, The Globe & Mail, The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, The Winnipeg Free Press, Bar & Beverage Magazine, Anokhi Vibe, etc.  She has also been featured on TV in programs such as the CBC National News with Peter Mansbridge, CBC Venture, Money Wise, Careers TV, and many other news programs across the country.  Outside of Canada, her story has also received lot of attention such as USA and India.

Manjit serves as a Board of Director for The TransCanada Trail and West Island College.

Manjit is born and raised in Calgary and still calls it home with her husband and they have two young daughters.

[woitab title=”Michele Romanow Biography”]

Michele is the Co-Founder of Snap by Groupon (previously SnapSaves), which was acquired by Groupon.  She is a current Dragon on CBC’s Dragons Den and WXN ranked her in the 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

Previously, Michele was the Co-Founder of Buytopia.ca, a Canadian ecommerce leader ranked the #3 on the Profit Hot 50 list of fastest growing companies and ranked #1 on Chatelaine’s W100 list of fastest growing companies. She is a Forbes, “Millennial on a Mission”, a finalist of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.   Michele was previously the Director of Strategy for Sears. Michele holds an engineering degree and an MBA from Queen’s University where she received the Queen’s Tricolour.

She’s is a director on the board of Whistler Blackcomb (TSX: WB) and Shad Valley.




moderated by Marcia MacMillan,