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John Bitove Jr

Dec. 11, 2019

John Bitove Jr., founder of the Toronto Raptors, recently retraced the journey of how he secured Canada’s first National Basketball Association (NBA) team during a HELIX Speaker Series event in the Great Hall at Newnham Campus.

“You can dream big, but you have to stick to it and execute your vision,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to fail, because in my experience, you learn more when you fail than when you succeed.”

The serial entrepreneur engaged a diverse audience of more than 200 Seneca students, employees, alumni and external guests. During the talk, which was also livestreamed by more than 100 viewers, Mr. Bitove spoke about his passion for sports and shared wisdoms regarding entrepreneurship.

He emphasized the importance of Toronto’s diverse population when recalling what made Toronto special to the NBA at a time when hockey and baseball received much of the Canadian sports media coverage. He credited this untapped basketball fan base in gradually turning the team into the most-profitable professional sports franchise in the country.

The event, moderated by CP24 anchor and Seneca graduate Brandon Gonez, was sponsored by Seneca Alumni. After the speaking event, Mr. Bitove and Mr. Gonez participated in a Meet & Greet event in HELIX.

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