Jennifer Turliuk

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Jennifer Turliuk

Entrepreneur | Innovator | CEO of MakerKids

Keynote: Tuesday, May 3rd (AM)

Career Planning by Design

Description: Jennifer’s exploratory approach to finding her career has been documented as one of Forbes’ Greatest Hits. In this presentation, she shares how audiences can learn from her experience of prototyping her career future, taking risks, and challenging herself to explore new opportunities, all while pursuing her passion. 


Jennifer Turliuk has always had a passion for technology. At just 12 years old, she coded her very first website for a school book report on Harry Potter. The website went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of page views, and was even featured in a major children’s magazine. Experiencing that level of success at an early age was empowering, says Jennifer . “That was the moment when I realized I could do anything.”

Jennifer took that passion and continued to create. She attended business school at Queen’s University and NASA’s prestigious Singularity University – ‘tech’s most coveted community’- where she learned about exponential technologies of robotics and 3D printing, and how to apply those technologies to education. After this experience, Jennifer decided to start MakerKids to empower other young people to reach their potential through technology.

Based in Toronto, MakerKids is the first and largest makerspace for kids in the world and now runs award-winning virtual programs, camps and parties on Coding, Robotics and Minecraft that help kids build confidence, resilience, social skills and a positive relationship with technology. Thousands of students have graduated from MakerKids, and many have gone on to start their own businesses or to present their projects on national television. With its innovative curriculum, MakerKids has caught the attention of media like the New York Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Wired, and more. 

Her career highlights include doing marketing and PR for the Matterform 3D Scanner crowdfunding campaign (which raised over $471K – the most-funded Indiegogo campaign outside the US), launching an SMS-based disaster relief project during Hurricane Sandy, leading the Canadian launch of Tide Pods – P&G’s biggest launch in 27 years, and running Canada’s largest business plan competition, the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition. She was also awarded an honorary degree from Humber College for her contributions to society. 

In addition, Jennifer is on the Professional Advisory Committee for the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and was on the Board of Directors of the Geneva Centre for Autism. Her writing can be found in Forbes, Business Insider, Strategy, and various newspapers. She loves musical theatre, kiteboarding, and salsa dancing, and is a former DJ.