Gary Saarenvirta

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Gary Saarenvirta
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Kari Tapio Saarenvirta

October 9 1965
Helsinki, Finland
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
OccupationCEO and Founder of Daisy Intelligence
ChildrenErik, Gianna, and Carina

Gary Saarenvirta (Born October 9th 1965) is a Canadian engineer, scientist, speaker, and entrepreneur. Saarenvirta is best known for being the founder and CEO of the Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) company Daisy Intelligence.

Early life and education

Saarenvirta was born in Helsink, Finland [1], and raised in Toronto, Canada.

Saarenvirta earned a bachelor’s of applied science degree for aerospace engineering from the University of Toronto in 1988, and a master’s of applied science degree for computational fluid dynamics in 2002 [2].


In 1992, Saarenvirta worked as an Object-oriented_programming software development consultant for three years at METEX, known for selling forth generation software development platforms. For the following five years, he was the general manager of data analysis consulting at The Loyalty Group, best known for their Air Miles program [2]. In 2000, Saarenvirta joined IBM as the head of data mining and data warehousing practices until 2002 [1], when he then moved on to become the chief operating officer at Adastra Corporation until 2003.

Daisy intelligence

In 2003, Saarenvirta began his entrepreneurship, founding Makeplain Corporation on December 22nd [3]. In 2016, the company was rebranded, and became what is known today as Daisy Intelligence [3].

Daisy Intelligence is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) company that provides data analysis services to help retailers, mainly grocers and supermarkets, to determine optimal pricing and promotional mix [4]. The company also helps insurance companies detect fraudulent claims [1]. The company uses a subset of AI known as reinforcement learning [5].

Personal life

Saarenvirta is an annual guest lecturer at the University of Toronto for the first-year engineering seminar series. Saarenvirta is also an annual guest lecturer at Ryerson University for the strategy and practices courses. For the last 5 years, Saarenvirta has funded engineering science scholarships in robotics, financial engineering, and Electrical_engineering at the University of Toronto [6]. The scholarship is awarded to the top fourth-year student in each program [6]. Between the years of 2012 and 2015, Saarenvirta also volunteered as a judge for the University of Toronto Engineering Kompetitions in design, communications, and programming.

Saarenvirta was named the IBM information champion in 2009. In 2018, Saarenvirta was the $5 million term sheet winner of the Elevate AI pitch competition held by Espresso Capital [3]. In 2020, Saarenvirta was granted a patent by the USPTO for the system and method for operating an enterprise on an autonomous basis [7].

Saarenvirta is an avid golfer and tennis player. Saarenvirta is also the father of three children, Erik, Gianna, and Carina.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Nelson, Jacqueline (March 10, 2018). "Tales from the fraud squad". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 University of Toronto Engineering Alumni & Friends (April 2017). "BizSkule Presents – From Big Data to Deep Learning: How Business is Embracing Artificial Intelligence." University of Toronto. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Espresso Capital (September 27, 2018). "How Daisy’s Gary Saarenvirta Pitched His Way to a $5 Million Venture Debt Deal." Espresso Capital. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  4. Nassauer, Sarah (January 11, 2018). "Why You Won't Stop Getting Junk Mail". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  5. Globe Content Studio (September 27, 2019). "Daisy Intelligence Promises Smarter Ways to Make Business Decisions." The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Daisy Intelligence (February 24, 2017). "Daisy Intelligence Awards Scholarships to U of T Engineer Students." Daisy Intelligence. Retrieved September 1, 2020).
  7. United States Patent (April 14, 2020). "System and Method For Operating an Enterprise on an Autonomous Basis." USPTO. Retrieved September 1, 2020.

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