Shahrzad Rafati
Founder and CEO, BBTV

Shahrzad Rafati

Shahrzad Rafati is the Founder, Chairperson and CEO of BBTV, a media-tech company that is advancing the world by helping content creators such as influencers and media companies grow their viewership and make more money from their content.  Shahrzad has driven BBTV to become one of the pioneers defining and advancing the media-tech space, empowering a new generation of storytellers and transforming entertainment and the ways that content is being produced and consumed. BBTV is a leading global powerhouse, the second largest video property following only Google, generating tens of billions of monthly impressions.

In October of 2020, Shahrzad led BBTV’s initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The IPO made history on the TSX as one of the Top 10 Tech listings of all time, as well as the largest across all sectors with a sole female founder & CEO and the first in the technology sector.

In addition to building an incredibly successful company that has experienced phenomenal growth, Shahrzad has built a quadruple bottom line business that measures success not only on financial performance but also on employee, culture, social, community and environmental KPIs. BBTV has a 0% pay gap, 40% BIPOC representation at the board level, ~40% of its employees and board identify as female and ~45% of its managers are female identifying managers.

Shahrzad actively pursues ways to encourage social change and is a champion for equality in all forms. She is passionate about job creation, climate action, education, and advancing opportunities for women and girls. In September 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed her to represent Canada on the G20 Business Women Leader’s task force, a global initiative to drive actionable, measurable, and results-driven solutions to impact women’s economic empowerment. In 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Shahrzad to further this work as Co-Chair of G20 EMPOWER, which is a private sector alliance intended to support the greater recruitment and advancement of women in leadership in the private sector in each of the G20 countries.

In addition to Shahrzad’s exemplary contributions to G20, Shahrzad supports a number of influential Boards and Associations, spanning Canadian investment groups, leading media and technology businesses, global leaders in design and architecture, and non for profits. A selection of these include: Invest In Canada (a Crown Corporation of Canada), Vice-Chairperson, Board of Directors 2019-2022; FuturePLAY, Co-founder and Member of Chair Committee, 2018-2021; Hootsuite Media Inc., Board of Directors, 2017-2021; Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Board of Directors, 2016-present; Graduate of the Young Global Leader, Oxford Module: Transformational Leadership at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, 2015; Forum of Women Entrepreneurs, Board Member, 2013-2015; World Economic Forum, Young Global Leader, 2014; Vancouver Economic Commission, Board of Directors, 2014-2018.

Shahrzad’s hard work, passion, and ability to inspire people, has led her to emerge as a highly sought-after thought leader in the media and technology space, and she has been broadly recognized by industry and community groups for her contributions to the media industry and entrepreneurship. She is an advocate for professional development and entrepreneurism, empowering content owners through tech and solutions to become more successful.

Shahrzad has been broadly recognized by industry and community groups for her contributions to the media industry and entrepreneurship. In 2020, Shahrzad was named the winner of the BIV CEO Awards, Large Company Category. Recent awards include Shahrzad being named the 2018 Ernst and Young Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the technology category, awarded Person of the Year by the British Columbia Technology Association, named one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40, selected as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful Women in Global Television, she won the AdAge Creativity Award 2019 Visionary/Founder of the Year, and was named to TheWrap’s Innovators List. Earlier highlights include Shahrzad named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women, winner of the CEO World Awards Founder/Entrepreneur of the Year, and named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business.

Shahrzad is a highly sought-after speaker for industry events. Speaking engagements to date include Dreamforce alongside Marc Benioff, Mark Cuban, Chris Sacca, and Brian Moynihan, the CEO and Chairman of The Bank of America, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Cannes Lions, VidCon, Web Summit, Elevate, MIPCOM, CES, Newfronts, Financial Times Digital Media, dmexco, Business Insider’s IGNITION, Collision, BCTECH Summit and TEDx Vancouver.