Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Co-Founder and CEO, Willful | Tech Expert | Startup Fanatic

Named one of Bay Street Bull’s “2021 Women of the Year”, Erin Bury is one of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs as the co-founder and CEO at Willful. She is also a startup advisor and former marketer and technology journalist. Drawing on her experience, Bury shows audiences how to apply entrepreneurial skills to a business of any size, harness the latest digital and marketing trends for business success, and create a killer personal brand.

At Willful, an online estate planning platform, Bury drives the company’s mission to make it easier for Canadians to prepare for and deal with death in a digital age. She recently went head-to-head with CBC’s Dragons, securing a deal for her company in season 16 of Dragons’ Den. Willful was also named one of Bay Street Bull’s “Power 50” companies in 2021.

Prior to Willful, Bury spent six years as managing director of boutique marketing agency, Eighty-Eight, where she worked with big brands including Sony Pictures Television, Telus, and PayPal, as well as countless startups. Before joining Eighty-Eight, Bury was a tech journalist at startup publication BetaKit, and the director of communications at Sprouter, which was acquired by one of Canada’s largest media companies.

A journalism graduate, Bury is a former Financial Post columnist and CTV News tech commentator. She has also written for publications such as The Globe and Mail and TechCrunch, and comments frequently in the media on marketing and entrepreneurship. She has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, CBC, Toronto Star, and Inc. Magazine, and was named one of Marketing Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”.

Bury has spoken at conferences and events across North America, including Haste & Hustle, CTAConf, Content Marketing Conference, and the Profit W100. She is also a skilled event host, moderator, and interviewer. She has interviewed leading executives and entrepreneurs on-stage including Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban.

In her spare time, Bury is the co-founder of The County Wine Tours, a bicycle wine tour company based in Prince Edward County. She also advises multiple startups, including podcasting platform Quill. She serves on the board for Save the Children Canada and is co-chair of the #Tech4SickKids initiative for SickKids Hospital.


How Technology Is Changing Legacy Industries (And Processes) From the Ground Up

Technology has touched every industry, from hospitality to transportation and finance, and it’s made companies rethink traditional ways of doing things. As consumers have come to expect everything on-demand, instant, and from their mobile phone, legacy industries have had to shift the way they do business or risk being left behind.

This presentation will focus on the key trends that have led to digital transformation, including the rise of peer-to-peer apps, software-as-a-service, and mobile, highlighting case studies of companies in legacy industries that are embracing the digital shift. It will also look at how legacy processes, like accounting, are being transformed by technology. You’ll leave inspired to incorporate technology into your company’s operations, and with a clearer understanding of what tomorrow’s consumer will expect.

The Blank Slate Effect: How to Use an Entrepreneurial Mindset to Win in Business

The mindset of an entrepreneur is a unique set of qualities that positions startups to be more resourceful, take more risks, and view their business and its marketing plan as a blank slate, not a set of established rules. In this session, Erin Bury will use her decade of experience working with high-profile startups to define the entrepreneurial mindset and show audiences how to implement that mindset within your own organization.

Drawing on case studies of successful companies who have leveraged the entrepreneurial mindset, Bury leaves audiences with a worksheet to guide them through applying the “blank slate effect” at their next brainstorm.

Bury can also structure this session as a workshop, taking attendees through a worksheet and conducting exercises that help them apply the entrepreneurial mindset to their own marketing programs.

How to Leverage Digital Tools to Run Your Business

Now that teams globally are being forced to work from home, leaders are scrambling to implement digital processes and tools that make it easier to run remote teams effectively.

Erin Bury has been running digital teams for over a decade. In this session, she walks audiences through her digital toolbox that includes everything from password management to running remote meetings and managing HR processes. Participants will walk away understanding the principles of effective remote work, and with a suite of tools to help them level up their approach to remote work.

Maintaining Culture and Morale While Working Remotely

If you’re used to working in an office and now find yourself running a remote team, one of the biggest challenges is how to maintain a positive culture when you don’t have face-to-face time.

Erin Bury manages a remote team at her startup, Willful, and will share her best approach to maintaining and building culture through virtual hangouts, regular check-ins, and survey tools. She’ll also provide tips on how to maintain morale and be a compassionate leader during uncertain times.

Building Buzz: The Keys to Brand Storytelling and Thought Leadership

Building buzz can often seem like a mystery: how do you get journalists to care about you? Why don’t they respond to my emails? What makes my company “newsworthy”? And why does that other executive seem to write for so many publications?

Having led PR programs for her own companies and clients, Erin Bury will take you through the basics of brand storytelling: the fundamentals of building your story, how to approach media relations, how to build executive thought leadership, and whether to handle internally or outsource.

By the end of the session, audiences will be able to put together a killer media kit, write a concise pitch, develop thought leadership topics, and understand some of the classic mistakes to avoid.

10 Keys to a Killer Personal Brand

Since the term was coined in a Fast Company article in 1997, “personal branding” has been a hot topic. Everyone needs to build up their personal brand, but where do you start? Which networks should you use? And what are common personal branding mistakes?

In this presentation, Erin Bury takes you through the ten steps to building a killer brand. She outlines why you need to care, where you should start, and why building your brand is similar to creating a marketing strategy for a company. Whether you’re just starting to think about your personal brand, or you just want to augment your existing brand, this presentation will set you on a clear path to success.

Emcee / Moderator / Event Host