We’ve brought together more than 80 leaders from many of Canada’s top investment, technology, communications and entertainment organizations to guide your startup toward success.
These leaders tell it like it is, giving JOLT companies candid advice on the ups and downs of running a startup. The JOLT network also offers you financial, strategic and operational expertise with an emphasis on accelerating growth and preparing you for capital-raising activities.
CEO & Co-Founder, Wattpad
Exploring mobile/social collaboration & user-generated content for years, Allen is now revolutionizing how people share & discover stories.
Favourite all-time quote: "There are so many, and it changes over time. But if you ask me today, this is the one: Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed. (Proverbs 12:24)"
Career highlight: Clearly the answer is co-founding Wattpad and becoming part of the team that grew the company from "2 guys in the basement" to one of the world's largest online communities.
Director, Zynga Toronto, Zynga
Mobile pioneer. Two startups. Sports enthusiast. I love products that make my life simpler. New mobile phone every six months.
Favourite all-time quote: “Observe the world around you—everything you do, and especially everything you HATE to do.” - Aaron Patzer
Career highlight: Having Zynga acquire Five Mobile to form Zynga Toronto
Co-founder, CTO, Board Member, Wrapp
Wrapp. Spotify. Stardoll. VideoPlaza. Ocean Observations. Load Impact. Loves to connect things: be they people, companies or systems.
Career highlight: Built the platform, product and tech team at Spotify from nothing into a huge success during the first 3.5 years of the company.
Foodie, entrepreneur, dad #leanstartup #runninglean
Favourite all-time quote: Life’s too short to build something nobody wants.
Career highlight: Author of Running Lean. Built and sold a bootstrapped company.
Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury
Entrepreneur. Risk-taker. Three careers. Three start-ups. Executive producer. Multi-platform entertainment. “Be fearless and do your homework.” #media #TVproduction #drama #kids #comedy #factual #digital
Favourite all-time quote: "You can't teach someone to see the far horizons." –Theodore Sorenson
Career highlight: Founder of one of Canada’s leading production companies. Executive producer of such series as ReGenesis, Life with Derek, Murdoch Mysteries and The Listener. Named Playback magazine’s Producer of the Decade in 2010.
CMO, Maintenance Assistant Inc., StartupNorth
David spends his time building products & acquiring customers (read: marketing) for software startups. Sometimes helps startups see @startupnorth.
Favourite all-time quote: "Much of what we think of as innovation is the creative tension between differing viewpoints."–Xerox PARC
Career highlight: A bourbon and zombie killer, plus I co-invented the Internet with Al Gore.
Father of three teenagers. Corporate financial expert. Advisor. Skilled analyst. Passionate coffee snob. Admirable. All-around superhero.
Favourite all-time quote: “Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
Career highlight: Most of us can’t see the forest for the trees—that’s human nature. I help entrepreneurs step back and put things in perspective. And diagnose what they need to do to become successful. I enjoy being able to quickly add value.
Director of Business Development, Intel
I believe that anything is possible. My passion: entrepreneurship. My purpose: serving humanity. Mentor. Mentee. Lifelong student of the universe.
Favourite all-time quote: "Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst...a spark that creates extraordinary results."
Career highlight: Co-founder and CEO of CognoVision (acquired by Intel). Giving the presentation that resulted in CognoVision being named Canada’s Most Innovative Company by the Canadian Innovation Exchange in 2009. Youngest ever board member of TiE Toronto. Chair of the TiEQuest Business Venture Competition. TiE charter member.
Geek comedian/social artist/writer/performer/keynoter/chief tummeler/cookie baker, TummelVision.tv
I make shows and DJ people. Scale conversation. Make public intimacy. Connect people. Peel back self-consciousness. On the network, on stage & on camera.
Web and start-up veteran. Bullshit evaporator. Co-founder & host TummelVision.tv.
Mission: Create a world in which we can be ourselves together. #tummel #WITH #socialmedia #tech #<3 #sex #comedy
Favourite all-time quote: "Everyone is the expert on their own experience." -hg
Career highlight: Innovated by mixing Net ideas with live performance and comedy. Baked over 50,000 cookies with "audiences" in hit show. Geek cred: part of Apple's first web and music team which created webcasting. Part of Fadell's start-up which created some of iPod/iTunes experience. Infinitely Google-able based at heathergold.com; teach UnPresenting.com; research creatingspaceforthemoment.com; podcast tummelvision.tv; hangout on G+ & Skype
Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer, Wave Accounting
An expert entrepreneur with a passion for liberating small business owners globally, James is co-founder of Wave Accounting.
Favourite all-time quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” -Charles Darwin
Career highlight: Wave Accounting from 0 to 60 employees & from 0 to 300,000 users and enjoying every minute of it.
Partner ECD, Horizon Studios
Creative director & strategist in social and emerging media technologies. Pioneer Facebook brand-builder. Founding partner: Horizon Studios.
Career highlight: Judge at the Cannes Advertising Lions 2009 and part of the original Canadian Facebook team 2006.
Co-founder, Adelphic Mobile
Entrepreneur, investor, mentor. Adventurous INTJ. Aspiring chef, DJ. #mobile #media #advertising #500startups #TechStars #Tdot
Favourite all-time quote: One of many: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
Career highlight: m-Qube mafia represent! The m-Qube team was exceptional and played a big role in shaping the mobile market. m-Qubers have continued innovating through companies such as Quattro Wireless, WHERE, BuyWithMe, Paydiant, SessionM, Celtra, Transpera and the Mobile Giving Foundation.
Founder & CEO, eLUXE
Two start-ups, all about women—one magazine, one retail. Lover of fashion, reading, eating and motherhood. #shopaholic #Teddysmom
Favourite all-time quote: “The more you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss
Career highlight: Selling Sweetspot to Rogers in less than 24 months from inception.
Start-up junkie. VC-experienced. Tech earlyvangelist. Advises tech and youth entrepreneurs. StartupDigest curator. Wakeboarding nut.
Favourite all-time quote: “Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.” –Bertrand Russell
Career highlight: Started my first technology venture at age 16 and never looked back.
Co-Founder and CEO, mEgo Inc.
Entrepreneur. Consumer-facing internet applications. M&A experience in telecom and media. Board member Zoomermedia. Worked and lived in Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles.
Favourite all-time quote: "Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance." –Bruce Barton
Co-Founder, CEO, Wave Accounting
Entrepreneur on third startup venture. Worked with some of Canada's biggest media and corporate brands, primarily in strategic alliances, business development, sales and marketing.
Career highlight: Wave has raised almost $19 million in funding over the past 18 months. We've also signed up nearly 300,000 small businesses in that same time period.
CEO, Polar Mobile
CEO of Polar Mobile, a leading software provider for digital media distribution. Founder of Impact Entrepreneurship Group.
Favourite all-time quote: ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.’ -Walt Disney
Career highlight: The day Polar apps were downloaded over 10 million times was very exciting!
TinEye Co-founder and CEO. Image search & recognition. Startups.
Hacking. Novice ultra runner, surfer and motorcycle rider.
Favourite all-time quote: "Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?" "Because it's there." - George Mallory
Career highlight: Led the team that built and released the world's first reverse image search engine (TinEye) and launched the world's first image recognition APIs. Changed the world of image search.
Principal, ME Consulting
Content and communications strategist, social media/blogging maven, seasoned entrepreneur (four starts-ups and counting), passionate hockey player. #startup #blogger #entrepreneur
Favourite all-time quote: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” –Will Rogers
Career highlight: Being one of the founders of the mesh conference.
Wonga Canada, Inc.
CEO, Wonga Canada, Inc.
Serial entrepreneur. Formerly CEO of Viigo (acquired by RIM in 2010), founder & CEO of INEA (acquired by Cartesis in 2005).
Favourite all-time quote: "Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." ~ Muhammad Ali
Career highlight: Convincing one of the world's largest and most conservative banks to back a team that had never done it before, to build a product that did not yet exist, in order to make smarter decisions, faster.
Chief Catalyst, What if?
Growth strategist. Two start-ups of my own. Three clients in Profit 100. Specialize in service biz’s & interactive technologies. Expert in engagement & creating environments in which companies and colleagues flourish. Connector. Ideation to activation. Sideways thinker. “What if?” “Failure is a creative force.” “10% of your customers suck margin.”
Favourite all-time quote: “Fight so that no one loses.”
Career highlight: Three clients in Profit 100. Prime Minister’s Task Force on Women in Business. TEDx Waterloo speaker.
Founder and CEO, CommunityLend
CEO of Canada's only P2P lending service. Proud father of two. Mediocre basketball player.
Favourite all-time quote: "It's better to burn out than fade away." –Neil Young
Career highlight: After a decade of helping other people build the organizations of their dreams, in October 2007 we raised our first multi-million dollar investment round for the company of my dreams, and with it the ability to attract others around that dream. I haven't looked back.
President & CEO , JUICE Mobile
An ambitious, recognized leader with strong analytical skills who excels in driving growth within an organization. Has particular expertise in the areas of corporate strategy, management and sales.
Career highlight: 2011 Canadian Digital Executive of the Year (KPMG)
President, Sysomos Inc.
Academic, entrepreneur, investor―with a passion for strong technology ventures.
Co-founder, Sysomos Inc.
Co-founder and CTO, Sysomos. Interests: big-data, analytics, social-media, usability, design, brand-marketing, startups.
Favourite all-time quote: Perception is Reality
Founder & CEO , Speakerfile
Entrepreneur. Investor. Mentor. Dad. Market disrupter. Passions include building-stage SaaS ventures, coaching & Gibson guitars.
Favourite all-time quote: “Where you sit determines where you stand.” - Teddy Roosevelt
Career highlight: CMO at FloNetwork (acquired by DoubleClick). Provided advisory services to over 100 tech companies, including CognoVision (acquired by Intel); Digital Connexxions (acquired by InfoUSA); Truition (acquired by CDC Software) and DoubleClick (acquired by Google).
Founder & CEO, Jigsee Inc.
Former biz dev guy reincarnated as an #entrepreneur, driven by an unrestrained belief in the power of #technology to #democratize the world.
Favourite all-time quote: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” –Henry Ford
Career highlight: Pioneering the concept of building and bootstrapping a technology start-up in Canada that focused primarily on emerging markets.
Sprouter / BetaKit
Founder & CEO, Sprouter / BetaKit
Founder of Sprouter (Acquired by Postmedia Network Inc) & BetaKit - emerging technology, startups, future.
Favourite all-time quote: Stormy seas make for skillful sailors.
Career highlight: Featured in every major publication from Forbes to Wall Street Journal before the age of 28.
President & CEO, TransGaming
Innovator. Thought leader. Mentor. Enterpriser. Father. Vegetarian. Pilot. Starbucks enthusiast. HUGE U2 Fan.
Favourite all-time quote: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Career highlight: The road to success is a long journey and requires the strength to continue against the odds with every step. Accompanied by extraordinary people, the TransGaming journey has been an exhilarating adventure as we defy the odds in our rise as digital media leaders.
CEO, Co-founder, OpenFile
Love “disrupting” and bucking convention and working with smart and enthused colleagues.
Favourite all-time quote: “They are either at your throat or your feet.” –Churchill
Career highlight: As a TV news reporter, Hamid Karzai accepted a rare interview request, thinking I was Wolf (Blitzer) not Wilf.
President, Co-Founder, Virgin Gaming
Born to compete. Founder of four businesses, now redefining an industry. Beverage enthusiast. Gamer. Relentless #entrepreneur #visionary
Favourite all-time quote: "Success is obtained at the intersection of opportunity and preparation. So when that opportunity comes, you’d better be prepared."
Career highlight: Attracted the interest and confidence of Sir Richard Branson to secure the Virgin brand for his competitive gaming start-up.
MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
Managing Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
Mix of operations and investments. Mr. Fix-It from auto parts to mobile communication software. Investment management from public equities to early seed stage. You have to “love what you do”—and I’m lovin’ it.
Favourite all-time quote: All the clichéd quotes about making your own luck, because you do.
Career highlight: The good fortune to have worked with great people.
RBC Venture Partners
Partner, RBC Venture Partners
Enterprise Software Investor, happiest working at the intersection of Enterprise, Mobile, SaaS + Cloud. Foodie, Cottager and Dad. Currently learning to survive in a house with three awesome girls and reading Burning Entrepreneur.
Favourite all-time quote: "Never mistake motion for action."
Westcourt Capital Corporation
President, Westcourt Capital Corporation
20 years as an entrepreneur. My ideas. Other people's money. Husband. Father. Uncle. Work hard. Work happy. Work smart.
Favourite all-time quote: If you don’t live life on the edge then you're taking up too much space.
Career highlight: Redefined luxury golf and hospitality in Canada with successful launch of Magna Golf Club in 2001.
Managing Director, OMERS Ventures
Technology operating executive turned VC.
Favourite all-time quote: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." –Albert Einstein
Career highlight: Early investor in Rypple (sold to Salesforce.com).
Mantella Venture Partners
General Partner, Mantella Venture Partners
Dad, traveller, entrepreneur, investor. Founded/advised start-ups acquired by IBM, MS, Intel, and GOOG. MantellaVP Founder/Partner. Often wrong, never in doubt.
Favourite all-time quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Career highlight: Founded Basecamp Partners & MantellaVP with Robin Axon
Investment Accelerator Fund
Investment Manager, Investment Accelerator Fund
Venture Capitalist, Early Stage Startup Advisor, Comic Books, Records, Tennis.
Favourite all-time quote: "Million dollar deals in my e-mail/You mad as hell you ain't CC'd." - Big Sean
Career highlight: Two successful startups, finishing the Ziggy Piggy
Adarsan Holdings LTD
General Partner, Naavon Capital and VP Business Development, Adarsan Holdings LTD
Angel investor, part-time philosopher, major technophile. Tech makes life easier and with four kids, I can use all the help I can get.
Favourite all-time quote: “You need to keep the cabbage whole while the goat remains satiated.” - Hungarian Proverb
Career highlight: Funded and working with a number of early-stage tech ventures over the last year and a half.
JOLT Fund LP
General Partner, JOLT Fund LP
20+ start-ups. Tech enthusiast. Deal junkie. Keen sounding board. Sister. Mentor. "Just getting it done." #business models #financing #exits #mobile #video
Favourite all-time quote: “The Riskmaster,” Tim Draper’s ode to entrepreneurs: “He is the Riskmaster. Lives fast, drives faster. Skates on the edge of disaster. He is the Riskmaster.”
Career highlight: Getting an early start in entertainment industry on Tiny Talent Time at age 10 and realizing that business was the more logical career choice for me.
Independent (MEF Ventures)
Angel Investor, Venture Advisor, Independent (MEF Ventures)
Gadget junkie, new-tech obsessive, mobile enthusiast, fanatic sports participant, father, husband. Always constantly humbled by the start-up process.
Favourite all-time quote: "It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years."
Career highlight: My boy…and my girl…
Managing Partner, Brightspark Ventures
Technology & start-up junkie. Serial entrepreneur. VC Managing Partner @ Brightspark. GaggleUp founder. #iphone #mypuppy #sailing #canadianVC
Favourite all-time quote: "Business plans are like sausages: if you knew what went into them, you wouldn't eat them." –Yossi Vardi
Career highlight: Co-founder and president of Delrina―WinFax was one of the most successful PC products ever. Co-founder and managing partner of Brightspark.
Golden Venture Partners
Managing Director, Golden Venture Partners
Everything mobile since the shoe phone became extinct. Operator. Investor. Champion of Toronto/KW early-stage technology.
Favourite all-time quote: "Keep on rocking in the free world."
Career highlight: First to play mobile multiplayer game in North America...prove me wrong!
Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Investment Director, Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Looking for energetic Ontario-based technology entrepreneurs with innovative ideas & start-ups. Likes to multi-task. Mum to gregarious six-year-old boy. #marsiaf
Favourite all-time quote: Carpe Diem!
Career highlight: Going from a large, process-oriented organization to a seed-stage, entrepreneurial venture fund and never looking back.
Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Investment Manager, Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
Experience in optical networks and mobile hardware, later stage venture investing, big enterprise software, two mobile startups and now seed stage venture investing.
Favourite all-time quote: "Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not" - Michael Dell
Career highlight: Leaving the big company world to be a part of two startups and now investing in great startups.
Mantella Venture Partners
Founder, General Partner, Mantella Venture Partners
Aerospace engineer turned investor/operator. Former thrill-seeker turned husband and parent. Ten years of investing and company-building—and still learning daily.
Favourite all-time quote: "Often wrong, never in doubt." –Marc Andreesen
Career highlight: Without a doubt, my greatest claim to fame is building Mantella Venture Partners with Duncan Hill.
Rho Canada Ventures
Partner, Rho Canada Ventures
Venture capitalist. Passionate about family, friends, startups, indie music, technology, pop culture, tennis, F1...and other random things.
Favourite all-time quote: "As long as you're going to be thinking anyway, THINK BIG." - Donald Trump
Career highlight: Waking up every day and having the privilege of helping entrepreneurs change the world and reach their goals. Lucky to have been and continue to be involved with some great entrepreneurs and successful companies.
BDC IT Venture Fund
Partner, BDC IT Venture Fund
Early stage VC for 20 yrs, former entrepreneur/operator. Thrive on new big ideas, creative, smart people, and simplifying the complex. Passionate about family, hockey, music and the cottage. Trying to stay sane and “cool” as a dad to three teenage daughters…Always amazed at how technology is changing and improving our lives, and grateful to be part of making it happen.
Favourite all-time quote: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy.” – Miss Frizzle
Career highlight: First investor in Opalis Software (acquired by Microsoft).
Round 13 Capital Inc.
Partner, Round 13 Capital Inc.
A Canadian VC that started life as a computer engineer
Favourite all-time quote: The biggest risk is not taking any risk…in a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks." Mark Zuckerberg
Career highlight: Investing in Bump Technologies (aka BumpTop) one month after meeting Anand at StartupEmpire
Digital Shift Marketing
Founder and Managing Director, Digital Shift Marketing
X-Googler, Founder of Digital Shift. Analytics enthusiast. Leveraging data in meaningful ways to build better digital experiences - #Seamless. Also, Spicy Food Addict.
Favourite all-time quote: "If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true were really true, there would be little hope of advance" - Orville Wright
Career highlight: Having worked with brilliant, thoughtful and innovative people @Google on products that re-imagined the human experience in discovering what we are looking for and where we are looking for it.
KPMG R&D Tax Incentives Practice
Partner, KPMG R&D Tax Incentives Practice
Partner, KPMG R&D Tax Incentives Practice, with focus on government incentives for Research, Development and Commercialization in IT, Financial Services and Cleantech industries. Helping clients get money, on the money already spent with no risk and little out-of-pocket cost.
Favourite all-time quote: "Absence of evidence is no evidence of absence" - Carl Sagan
Career highlight: A Techie working in a non-techie (accounting, tax, audit) world.
Builder, Advisor & Mentor, Consultant
Business Builder who can take an idea from inception to final results on a global scale.
Favourite all-time quote: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde
Career highlight: Launched 21 products in over 40 markets, lover of media, technology disruption and a makes a mean batch of cookies.
Canadian Film Centre (CFC)
Chief Digital Officer, Canadian Film Centre (CFC)
Directed development of 130+ interactive projects across variety of platforms; mentored 200+ digital-media practitioners; accelerated 50+ companies; produced some of Canada’s seminal interactive media works…and still going strong.
Favourite all-time quote: "A great man is always willing to be little." –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Career highlight: Created CFC Media Lab “start-up”: pivoted several times to greater success; pivoting again to deliver even more value to industry.
Anthony de Fazekas
Norton Rose Canada LLP
Anthony de Fazekas
Partner, Norton Rose Canada LLP
Patent agent. Trademarks agent. IP strategist. Connector. Assimilating knowledge for many years from many super-smart inventors in their specific fields. Kind of like the Borg. Creative thinker. Go-to-market strategist by intuition. Superdad and bon vivant. Serial traveller and mean BBQ-er.
Favourite all-time quote: “In rock stardom there's an absolute economic upside to self-destruction.” –Courtney Love
Career highlight: A Midas touch in visioning valuable IP for IT companies
Global strategist. Education x Innovation. Traveled 2 million miles. Street food fanatic.
Favourite all-time quote: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Career highlight: Built THINK Global School, the world's first global, mobile high school.
Digital First Media
Digital Innovation Officer, Digital First Media
Media lover; Traveler; Risk taker, Digital Content expert, execution expert. Digital Architect, multicultural.
Favourite all-time quote: "If it takes too long to grow it, then we better start today."
Career highlight: Born in Mexico, came to the US to lead a small group renovating Polaroid's brand among younger people. After reorganizing Polaroid's China operations, returned to the US to bring the digital world to the company. First online marketing campaigns for Polaroid's digital printers. Went to AOL to be part of the team leading the international expansion (Latin America, Canada, Europe). Led the canada.com expansion, including the famous ING verticals (working.com, driving.ca, celebrating.ca, renting.ca, remembering.ca), and then led the digital launch of the first and largest Spanish newspaper chain in the US (Impremedia).
Shaw Media Inc.
Director, Human Resources, Shaw Media Inc.
HR innovator. Value creator. Business integrator. Aligns people strategy to business strategy. Builds engagement to drive results. Always finding the opportunity.
Favourite all-time quote: The best laid plans of mice and men…”–Robert Burns
Career highlight: Building, designing and developing organizations for maximum performance.
VP, Strategy and New Ventures, Torstar Digital
Creator. Disruptor. Investor. Acquirer. Innovator. Curious explorer. Optimist. Noah’s mom. “fail often” “break the rules” “do it now” “innovate or die” #mobile #data #commerce #local
Favourite all-time quote: "The world is but a canvas to our imaginations." –Henry David Thoreau
Career highlight: Created Torstar Digital, a special place to create, invest in and acquire next-generation digital businesses. It is now home to over eight leading digital companies in Canada, including Olive Media and WagJag.
Advisor, Board Director and Executive at Large, Stanhope Business Solutions Group, OLG, Postmedia
Build and scale new businesses. Lots of experience in mobile, Internet and digital. Trailblazer. Three international awards for innovation. Strategist who can execute. Motivator, salesperson, number cruncher. Believer in the 3Ts: technology, timing and talent, mostly talent. Favorite pastime is mentoring. Lover of P.E.I. cottage, driving fast, skiing with my family and beating my husband at golf! Did I mention hyperactive and chatty?
Favourite all-time quote: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker
Career highlight: Launched and ran Bell’s digital cellular and Internet business units.
Digital fashion startup yet to be announced!
Co-Founder, Digital fashion startup yet to be announced!
Fashion insider and shoe enthusiast, former VP of Accessories at Holt Renfrew turned digital entrepreneur.
Favourite all-time quote: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” - Sir Winston Churchill
Career highlight: Assuming the role of VP accessories at Holt Renfrew, in which I headed up the merchant teams responsible for buying International luxury brands such as Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Celine, and many many more. I often felt the need to pinch myself each season when I found myself attending the world’s most renowned Designer Fashion Shows in New York, Milan and Paris.
Helios Energy Inc.
Principal, Helios Energy Inc.
Start and build solutions to problems that matter. Support do-ers, travellers, athletes, artists. Respect and enjoy natural wild places.
Favourite all-time quote: “If you don’t go, you don’t know.”
Career highlight: Avid snowboarder, traveller and runner. Developed large-scale solar energy projects worth over $200 million. Four successful project exits to global infrastructure and energy heavyweights.
Neale & Associates
President, Neale & Associates
Telco exec seeks enjoyment helping smart start-ups be successful. Technology, marketing, strategy, business plans – lots of experience.
Favourite all-time quote: "The best way to predict the Future is to invent it" - Alan Kay, 1971
Career highlight: Launched first wireless data products in Canada, developed cross-carrier text messaging.
Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP
Partner, Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP
Entertainment & copyright lawyer. Clients mammoth to micro, Canada/US/UK/etc. #content #tv #film #interactive #music #books #broadcasting #distribution
Career highlight: Recognized as a leading practitioner by Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Best Lawyers®(Canada) and Euromoney’s Guides to World’s Leading Lawyers.
Walmart Canada Corp.
Director, Digital Marketing & Customer Acquisition, Walmart Canada Corp.
Director of Digital Marketing at Walmart Canada leading the team responsible for digital marketing, online ad monetization, social commerce and multi-channel initiatives.
Favourite all-time quote: “The beautiful thing about technology is the opportunity it provides to re-invent the World” - Nicco Mele
Career highlight: Drew has played an instrumental role in the launch of Walmart’s eCommerce platform and continues to support its growth in the Canadian market.
Head of Bell Media Digital, Bell Media
Business is simple. Pay attention to three things: your people, your customers, your financials. All the rest is noise.
Favourite all-time quote: “Sweat the small stuff, or it will become big.”
Career highlight: Completing army boot camp and hitching around the United States for a year.
Chief Strategy Officer, SoftLayer Technologies
Tech veteran. Strategy guy. Proud Canadian. Responsible for SoftLayer’s strategic growth and vision, including the Catalyst Startup Program. Love anticipating industry trends and getting there before the competition.
Favourite all-time quote: “Never confuse movement with action” - Hemingway
Career highlight: Seven years with Devonshire Investors, the private equity arm of Fidelity Investments; Led business development for a startup serving the SME market; spent more than 6 years with the Yankee Group as an industry analyst.
General Manager, AOL Canada
Media-generating online innovator: Influencer to many. Motivates a team. Leads a pack. Dad to two. Husband to one. AOL Canada Captain.
Favourite all-time quote: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." –Theodore Roosevelt
Career highlight: Applied a critical parenting philosophy to successfully build teams in tough turnaround environments—with the parenting philosophy being to extract as much as possible daily and to know when to ask for help.
CFO, Virgin Gaming
Sharp dresser with an even sharper mind for numbers. Proven negotiator, analyst and intercontinental man of finance. #CA #MAcc
Favourite all-time quote: "Show me the money!"
Career highlight: Ran first NFC-based mobile commerce trial in Canada with Bell Canada and Citibank Financial.
CFC Media Lab
Senior Training Programs Manager, CFC Media Lab
@jnuw A digital maven, always interested in new things, especially if they are interactive. #experience#marketing #transmedia #content
Favourite all-time quote: Carpe diem!
Career highlight: Produced and worked on some innovative digital media projects, TV series and convergent websites.
Vice President Marketing and Business Development, Desire2Learn Incorporated
I do marketing and stuff. I have a a wife and 2 kids. I like golf, hockey, football and mountain biking. I dance Gangnam Style.
Favourite all-time quote: “Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.”
Career highlight: I closed a business deal with Bono. Then partied with him. A lot.
Three start-ups. Two successful exits. Enjoys networking, new tech and travel. Plugged into Silicon Valley and Alley. Rabid Detroit Tigers fan.
Favourite all-time quote: “If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.”
Career highlight: Work in progress at the moment…
Vice President, Business Development, Kobo Inc.
Activator. Investor. Mom. Wife. Always thinking about the next big travel adventure.
Favourite all-time quote: “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” –Mario Andretti
Career highlight: Employee 70-ish at Yahoo.ca. Employee 50-something at Kobo Inc.
MaRS Discovery District
Senior Advisor, ICE , MaRS Discovery District
The first person a founder needs to execute their idea.
Favourite all-time quote: "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." –Albert Einstein
Career highlight: Helping over 500 startups scale their businesses at the MaRS ICE practice.
TRM Technologies, Speakerfile, MaRS
Free ranger, “Intaker” at MaRS, TRM Technologies, Speakerfile, MaRS
My first mobile was in a bag. But I’ve moved on and along the way, I’ve learned about company creation, positioning, high performance teams, strategic partners, complex selling, M&A, and funding it all the way.”
Favourite all-time quote: “It's better to burn out than it is to rust.” - Neil Young
Career highlight: Not falling out of an open-sided helicopter when working at the Maisy May Gold Mine in the Yukon. Or, maybe when my business partner said, “Forget about [little] ‘Newbridge,’” and I said, “I’ll sell to them,” and took them to a $20-million customer.
Senior Manager, KPMG
Serving private and public companies. Technology Media and Telecommunications. Number Cruncher. Dedicated. Trusted advisor. Driven to help get to the finish line.
Favourite all-time quote: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” - Dr. Seuss
Career highlight: Working in London UK for three years and coming back to Toronto with great work experience, friendships and travels.
MaRS Discovery District
Senior Advisor, ICE, MaRS Discovery District
Learner. Mentor. Husband. Dad. Innovator at three start-ups and two big organizations. “Who dares, wins.” #product #sales # marketing #mobile #SaaS
Favourite all-time quote: “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed."– William Gibson
Audit Partner, GTA Technology Sector Leader, KPMG
Audit Partner, GTA Technology Sector Leader for KPMG. Curious, Pragmatist, Hard-Driving, Motivated. If you are not playing to win, then you are not playing.
Favourite all-time quote: "What does not kill you, makes you stronger…and people who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything." - Thomas Sowell
Career highlight: Working with a team of KPMG’ers that secured the largest audit win in the Canadian Firm’s history.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, IMAX Corporation
Business leadership. Advisor. Designing strategies for growth. Large corporates, small enterprises—all tech. Fast/X sports. Film buff.
Favourite all-time quote: “One of the most dangerous forms of human error is forgetting what one is trying to achieve.” –Paul Nitze
Career highlight: Helping to grow and successfully sell Blue Spark Media.
MaRS Discovery District
Senior Associate, ICE, MaRS Discovery District
I’m a digital cowboy with a passion for online and mobile digital media and the technology behind it, innovative people, and giving back to the community in which I live.
Favourite all-time quote: “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.” –Andy Warhol
Career highlight: My proudest career achievement was partnering with Cisco and launching Canada’s largest “green”-based social network, “One Million Acts of Green.” It enticed millions of Canadians via CBC to sign up and reduce their carbon footprint with “acts of green.”
Head of Marketing, Canada and Latin America, LinkedIn
Global-tech marketing mom heading Americas’ marketing @LinkedIn. Content, travel & start-up junkie. Fashion & triathlon addict.
Favourite all-time quote: The Yoda Principle: “Try not. Do or do not! There is no try.” (In other words, “Just do it!”)
Career highlight: Joined LinkedIn, a company full of high-calibre talent that works hard and has fun along the way!
Venture Design, IDEO
New ventures guy at IDEO. Define new value props. Brands to express them. User experiences to bring them to life. Elegant business models to capture value.
Favourite all-time quote: "We have a strategic plan. It's called doing things." - Herb Kelleher, Co-Founder, Southwest Airlines
VP, Digital Media, Shaw Media
Digital-media fiend. Striving to enhance multi-platform experiences in Canada and beyond. Never sans beard. Father. Husband. People leader. #vision #revenue #growth #people #innovation
Favourite all-time quote: "Aspire to inspire before you expire.”
Vice President of Community Development, SoftLayer Technologies
Serial Entrepreneur. Technology fanatic. Startup sensei and mentor. Oversee SoftLayer's Catalyst Startup Program, driven by intense passion for helping the next killer idea come to - and dominate - the market.
Career highlight: Raised millions of dollars from angel, seed, venture capital, and private equity companies as the president and co-founder of two software technology companies; one of five Entrepreneurs in Residence for the Office of Science and Technology for the US government
Paul V. Godfrey
Postmedia Network Inc.
Paul V. Godfrey
President and CEO, Postmedia Network Inc.
Digital immigrant. Family guy. Community supporter. Also Chair of OLG and RioCAN. Prior top jobs with Blue Jays, Sun Media and Metro Toronto.
Favourite all-time quote: “Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down.” –Jimmy Durante
Career highlight: Co-founder of the Herbie Fund
Partner, 4Sight Partners
Profitably scaling entrepreneurial businesses. Always innovating, always learning. Early adopter. Husband. Dad. Investor. Singer/songwriter. Surfer.
Favourite all-time quote: “Progress not perfection.”
Technologist, strategist, investor and wannabe golfer. Advise growth companies on corporate strategy and fundraising.
Favourite all-time quote: "Only the paranoid survive" - Andy Grove, cofounder, past CEO, Intel Corporation.
Filmmaker, Toolkit Productions
Mgmt consultant. Theatre producer. Film director. Media executive. Travel/tourism entrepreneur. Skier. Cottager. Dog owner. Traveller. Bone picker.
Favourite all-time quote: “So I down-shifted into small talk…”
Career highlight: Having the courage to start again.
In Stride Solutions
Managing Partner, In Stride Solutions
Supply chain consultant; business problem solver; passion about why & how?; fueled by wine, beer & running; wish I’d been a jazz drummer
Favourite all-time quote: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” - Sir Winston Churchill
Career highlight: Ran a project for Holland’s largest grocery chain @ 24 years old, including team members from Holland, Germany & Belgium.
Senior Advisor Media and Entertainment, TELUS
Movies, TV, satellites, cable, strategy and audiences.
Favourite all-time quote: “If you want to eat omelettes, you have to break eggs.”
Career highlight: Highest shares in the history of Canadian movies, TV and radio.
Norton Rose Canada LLP
Partner; Canadian Technology & Innovation Leader; Co-Leader Technology and Outsourcing Teams, Norton Rose Canada LLP
Technology sector focused lawyer with extensive experience advising on IT and e-commerce transactions. Practical and business-oriented perspective & approach.
Favourite all-time quote: “The internet is a great way to get on the net” - Bob Dole
Ivey School of Business, Western University
Executive Entrepreneur-in-Residence , Ivey School of Business, Western University
Ron Close is a seasoned entrepreneur, executive, educator, board member and investor with a solid track record of leadership and achievement. Co-founder and CEO of Netcom Canada Inc, (early Internet company) and President of Bell New Ventures (start-up and innovation engine for Bell Canada). Now teaching, mentoring and serving as Board Director and advisor (The Globe and Mail, Canadian Media Fund, Pelmorex – The Weather Network, MaRS Innovation).
Favourite all-time quote: “I just want to put a ding in the universe.” –Steve Jobs
Career highlight: Choosing the right teammates and staying out of their way!
MaRS Discovery District
Practice Lead (Interim), ICE, MaRS Discovery District
Cross-functional growth guy. Pursuer of excellence. Founder. Volunteer. Board member. Advisor. Consultant. Husband. Dad. #strategy #bizdev #marketing #product #SaaS #CRM #loverofmusicfoodandwords
Favourite all-time quote: “If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, where X is work, Y is play and Z is keeping your mouth shut.” –Albert Einstein
Career highlight: One tech start-up, one not-for-profit, two turnarounds, two growth stories and one multi-national. Plus a handful of client successes.
Platform Strategist, Facebook
Platform lead at Facebook Canada, applied generalist. Helping the top Canadian companies build people-centric products.
Favourite all-time quote: "We are as Gods and might as well get good at it." - Stewart Brand
Career highlight: Youngest full time employee of Facebook in North America.
Rogers Communications Inc.
VP Corporate Strategy and Planning , Rogers Communications Inc.
Consultant 15 years, broad industry, media depth, #strategy, #growth, #entrepreneur – two exits, one meaningful. Husband, dad w/ 2 boys.
Favourite all-time quote: “Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.”
Career highlight: Multiple mergers, company sales and deals.
The Globe and Mail
Report on Small Business editor, The Globe and Mail
Provider of information and inspiration to entrepreneurs. My two pain points? Outdated post-secondary education, and lousy revenue models.
Favourite all-time quote: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." - William Blake
Career highlight: Co-ordinating journalistic efforts on the SARS outbreak, a transformational event for Toronto's health-care system.
National Senior Marketing Manager, Technology Media and Telecommunications, KPMG
Connector. Negotiator. Strategist. Promoter. A little less conversation, little more action.
Favourite all-time quote: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
Career highlight: Making the move to Toronto from Vancouver in 2012 AND somehow still managing to work on the east coast and play on the west!
Gesca Media Sales, Toronto
President, Gesca Media Sales, Toronto
Builder of companies. Twenty years in dotcom, DCLK, Yahoo and more. Father of two, golf victim. Cottager. #torstardigital #mobile #brand #BMWM3 #cake
Favourite all-time quote: “Rub‘n is race‘n.”
Career highlight: Best media parties in the industry.
MaRS Discovery District
Executive Director, JOLT, MaRS Discovery District
Creator. Builder. Negotiator. Advocate for innovation. Critical thinker and strategist. Passionate about the intersection of design and technology.
Favourite all-time quote: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” - Einstein.
Career highlight: Having my hands in over 200 technology startups and positively impacting their success.
Associate Professor: Innovation , OCAD University
Works across big, small, government and academics. Magnetized by "green space." Methods geek. Well-travelled and it shows. #mum #ethnographer #foresighter #thismeanssomething
Favourite all-time quote: "Amor doctrinae floreat." (“Let the love of learning flourish.”)
Career highlight: Was a key leader of the discipline, “experience modelling.” I helped make wikis inextricable from Nokia corporate-wide usage in 2004. I wrote my first computer program in 1981, the year IBM PCs were popularized. I have laid off 187 people.
Director, Online Operations & Delivery, Shaw Media
Three Canadian media giants. Operationally strong. Strategic thinker. Project management addict. Foodie. #digital #media #operations
Favourite all-time quote: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." –Robert Frost
Career highlight: Survived and thrived through several media company mergers.
General Manager & Vice President, Product , Olive Media
Media, technology. Business development, sales, partnerships, product. Motivator, positive-energy spreader. Mother, home renovator, restaurant enthusiast, traveller, Kawartha Lakes cottager.
Favourite all-time quote: Ganbatte!
Career highlight: Builds winning partnerships.
The Transformative Group
Managing Partner, The Transformative Group
Many start-ups. Raised millions. Love tech that transforms. Lucky husband. Dad of five. #leadership #sales #visionexecution #cloud #social #payments
Favourite all-time quote: “Hope is not a strategy.”
Career highlight: Founder/President Netscape Canada
Square Victoria Digital Properties
Executive Vice President, Square Victoria Digital Properties
One of Canada’s most seasoned and successful digital media executives. He has extensive experience and a proven track record of identifying and making investments in high growth areas early on and working with entrepreneurs and startups in those areas to take them to leadership positions.
Favourite all-time quote: "Anyone who fights for the future, lives in it today." -Ayn Rand
Career highlight: Founded Torstar Digital - developed or took stakes in over 15 Canadian digital media companies over 7 years including workopolis.com, Olive Media, tuango.com, wagjag, eyereturn marketing and many more.
Senior Manager, Tax, Technology, Media & Telecommunications, KPMG LLP
Senior tax manager with KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. Ten years of public practice experience with the last seven years spent providing corporate and personal tax compliance and strategic tax advisory services to clients of all sizes, both domestic and international.
Favourite all-time quote: "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax" - Albert Einstein
Postmedia Network Inc.
Chief Transformation and Revenue Officer, Postmedia Network Inc.
Newspapers were once new media; online is already old. Teams win. Three start-ups. Respect people and common sense. Dad. Husband. Optimist.
Favourite all-time quote: "I always turn to the sports page first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.” –Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the US, 1968
Career highlight: Founder of CANOE Online Network―once (briefly) on a Forrester Research list of the ten most promising global digital companies.
Founder of social note-taking platform, Rocketr. EiR at Jet Cooper. Also partial to sabermetrics, costume parties and tiger tail ice cream.
Favourite all-time quote: "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein
Career highlight: Whatever happens at the end.
Operations Manager, Jet Cooper
Operations, Communications, DiR at Jet Cooper. Director of Logistics, TEDxToronto. Branding, Teach for Canada. Canadian politics geek.
Favourite all-time quote: “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.” - Elie Wiesel
Career highlight: Being in the federal budget lockup hearing the government announce funding for early-outreach education programs in priority neighbourhoods, something I spent a great deal of time advocating.
Designer, Jet Cooper
Aspiring to bring design thinking to individuals and organizations with human-centred ambitions. Designer.
Favourite all-time quote: "If you try to make something beautiful, it is often ugly. If you try to make something useful, it is often beautiful." – Oscar Wilde
Co-Founder, Jet Cooper
Partner at Jet Cooper. Co-organizer of Lean Coffee Toronto. Advisor of TEDxToronto. Entrepreneur. Geek. Friend.
Favourite all-time quote: "Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things." - Randy Pausch
Co-Founder, Creative Director, Jet Cooper
Co-founder and Creative Director at Jet Cooper. Geek. Creative. Designer. Entrepreneur. Amateur musician. Tech lover. Cliche Asian. Hopeless romantic.
Favourite all-time quote: "It's the small things that paint the big picture."
Career highlight: Co-founding Jet Cooper and creating an outlet for creative exploration and pragmatic problem solving.
The Working Group
Partner, The Working Group
Head of client services + product management at TWG. Also co-founder of two tech businesses: PostageApp.com and 1THINGapp.com. Organizes #LeanCoffeeTO and #Nerdlearn, but above all, passionate about magic: uncovering things that are real, but aren't yet understood.
Favourite all-time quote: "Doing good work ofter requires a few hard conversations." - Mike Monteiro
Career highlight: Sold my first startup to Air Miles.
The Working Group
Partner, The Working Group
Partner at @theworkinggroup, @postagebird, @rocketr, @1ThingApp, entrepreneur, product manager, @startupwkndTO guy, husband, father and so much more... I hope.
Favourite all-time quote: "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence
Career highlight: Lived and worked in Silicon Valley during the first boom, building one of the first enterprise SaaS products back when they called it an ASP.
The Working Group
Partner, CEO, The Working Group
Founded twg.ca, a software development company for creatives and builders. Loves food, wine, conversation, music — with friends, at a table, under the shade of a big tree.
Favourite all-time quote: "Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." - Rumi
Career highlight: Successfully transitioned from the world of management consulting, where you just give people advice on how to do things, to an entrepreneur and founder of twg.ca, where I actually get to do things.
The Working Group
Partner, The Working Group
Partner @theworkinggroup and @postagebird, developer, entrepreneur, husband, soccer player.
Favourite all-time quote: "Pedras no caminho? Guardo todas, um dia vou construir um castelo..." - Fernando Pessoa
Career highlight: Built an amazing tech team that builds world-class software everyday.
The Working Group
Director of Mobile Development, The Working Group
Over 10 years of experience building great software products. Worked at three startups that were acquired. Launched mobile apps on five platforms for startups, large media brands, sports teams and businesses.
Favourite all-time quote: "Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road." - Stewart Brand
Career highlight: Lucky to have worked with so many smart and talented teams at Toronto-based startups.
The Working Group Inc
Director of R&D, The Working Group Inc
Entrepreneur, multimedia pioneer, digital frontiersman. Happily living in the collision point between technology and design.
Favourite all-time quote: "Open the pod bay doors, Hal."
Career highlight: Created the transactional email platform PostageApp.
The Working Group
Director of Product Development, The Working Group
Wearer of many hats at twg.ca and chief email herder for PostageApp.com. A product-focused tech junkie who enjoys telling stories with data.
Favourite all-time quote: "Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion." - David Hume
Career highlight: Led the development team at browser-sync startup Bookmark.com before moving to TWG to help drive the future of email as a platform with PostageApp.