2015 National Angel Summit

2015 Summit - Save the Date


October 6-8, 2015
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

We sincerely thank our sponsors, partners, members and delegates for being a part of the 2015 National Angel Summit and for making it such a huge success!

The Summit brought together just under 400 investors, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and government supporters to elevate their investment skills and strengthen their network of peers in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake.

2015 National Angel Summit highlights:

We hope to see you at the 2016 National Angel Summit which will be taking place in Vancouver!

Agenda and Speakers

The Summit is your opportunity to hear recognized experts lend their perspectives about the emerging opportunities and challenges for Angel investors. Our workshops allow you to put your knowledge to the test, working with peers from across Canada and the world.

2015 Summit Speakers

View detailed 2015 Agenda

Pitch Competition

NACO’s annual Pitch Competition celebrates dynamic early-stage companies that have demonstrated successful growth and whose outstanding achievements have made them some of Canada’s most promising startups.

Sixteen semi-finalists were invited to attend the 2015 National Angel Summit and competed to be one of the five finalists to pitch on stage to over 250 Angel investors, venture capitalists and industry leaders.

Congratulations to Portray Advertising from Winnipeg, Manitoba, for being named NACO’s Most Promising Start-Up of the Year, presented by KPMG Enterprise!




Canadian Angel of the Year Award

NACO’s Canadian Angel of the Year Award is given to an experienced Angel investor who has made a significant contribution to the development of the Canadian Angel ecosystem in 2014.

The award seeks to identify the Angel investor who has most contributed to the growth and development of Angel investing in Canada through a combination of investment, mentorship and leadership within their local ecosystem.

Congratulations to Mike Cegelski for being named NACO’s Canadian Angel of the Year, presented by BDC Capital!


Mike Cegelski

Exit of the Year Award

The Exit of the Year Award recognizes the most successful exit achieved by a Canadian startup that received financing by one of NACO’s member Angel groups.

The award seeks to recognize the partnership between an individual Angel investor and a founder that most contributed to the growth and eventual exit of the said startup through a combination of investment(s), mentorship and leadership.

Congratulations to SurfEasy and Blake Laufer, recipients of NACO’s Exit of the Year Award, presented by the Royal Bank of Canada!


Exit 2015


NACO seeks to strengthen regional and national networks of Angel investors through events like the Summit. We are working with Ambassadors from the Angel community who can help us ensure that Angels from across the country are represented at our events. NACO thanks all Summit Ambassadors for their dedication and commitment to our community.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Sponsors and Partners

As Canada’s industry association representing Angel capital, we support Canadian Angels as they foster the growth of the next generation of innovative Canadian companies through national events like the Summit. Such events wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors and partners who lent their time and expertise to help us in our mission to grow and strengthen the early stage company funding ecosystem in Canada. Thank you for your generous support!





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Special Event Partners


Angel Group Partners

View Sponsors and Partners Details


“We are honoured to partner with the National Angel Capital Organization on the 2015 National Angel Summit. This conference will again be the pivotal meeting place for Angel investors to engage and connect from around the globe. Creating connections and forging partnerships are key ingredients for success. We are very pleased to be the local hosting Angel group and we look forward to welcoming other groups from North America and beyond.”

— Terry Kadwell, Executive Director, Niagara Angel Network

“The Niagara Region is pleased to partner with the National Angel Capital Organization to host their 2015 National Summit in Niagara this fall. Our Regional Council has clearly outlined strategic priorities that are focused on one goal: economic prosperity. Entrepreneurship and innovation are key drivers of our economic prosperity and we welcome those investors that contribute to their growth and success.”

–Alan Caslin, BSc, MSc, Regional Chair, Niagara Region

“The key purpose of the Summit is to accelerate the asset class. […] It’s really to advance the whole Angel movement.”

— Mike Volker, Director, Vancouver Angel Technology Network

“We get to network with people […] that define the role of Angels going forward.”

— Colin Wyatt, Chair, Angel One Investment Network

“There’s no better tool for us to get together, share best practices, share stories and build relationships.”

— Mike Edwards, Partner, Oak Mason Venture Partners Inc.

“I’d definitely come back to the event and develop those relationships because business is a contact sport.”

— David Nault, Principal, iNovia Capital

2015 Summit Planning Committee

Andrew Wilkes

Andrew Wilkes

Co-Chair, 2015 National Angel Summit
Owner, Management Initiatives inc.
Director, National Angel Capital Organization

Andrew Wilkes is an active Angel investor, who helps high-growth potential businesses accelerate growth in traditional and technology sectors – including software/transaction processing, clean technologies, biomaterials, warehouse automation, water technologies and financial services. He has a personal passion to help grow globally oriented businesses internationally.

Mr. Wilkes is a partner at Management Initiatives Inc., a business advisory and investment firm located in Toronto, Ontario where he invests, mentors, raises capital and advises business owners and investment funds.

Mr. Wilkes is also the past chair and a founding member of NACO, and past-chairman of the NACO Public Policy Committee. He is active on numerous boards of directors with private and public businesses and volunteer organizations (e.g. NACO, NAO Ontario and Venture Lab).

Mr. Wilkes holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business (1998 Dean’s Honours List), a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Chartered Accountant designation. He is an active long-distance runner having completed numerous half and ten full marathons – including the Boston marathon three times.

Rob Douglas

Robert L. Douglas, CPA, CA

Co-Chair, 2015 National Angel Summit
President, Golden Triangle Angel Network
Vice-Chair, National Angel Capital Organization

A chartered accountant by profession, Rob Douglas is distinguished by his strong entrepreneurial spirit and his wealth of experience in owning and managing private businesses. Mr. Douglas’ business career spans more than three decades, with employment experience ranging from investment counselling with a major Canadian brokerage to senior financial management with a large, multi-plant manufacturing company.

Since 1978, Mr. Douglas has pursued interests as an owner and partner in several successful private businesses. With overall responsibility for managing businesses, he has developed strong skills in strategic planning, business plan execution, process analysis and human resource development.

As an angel investor, Mr. Douglas currently holds equity positions in several early-stage growth companies. He provides management services to these organizations and sits as a member of their boards of directors. In addition to his personal angel activities, Rob is a founder and President of the Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN), one of Canada’s largest and most active angel investor networks.


Terry Kadwell

Executive Director, Niagara Angel Network

Terry is an economic and business development specialist with more than four year’s experience in the Angel investment community. As one of the original builders of the Niagara Angel Network, Terry has presided over the growth of the Angel investor group focusing on stakeholder outreach and member attraction. In his role as Executive Director, Terry brings a wealth experience in government-business relations to help expand the Niagara Angel Network, a group of 52 accredited investors throughout Southern Ontario.

Previously, Terry served 8 years as the Community Economic Development Manager for the South Niagara Community Futures Development Corporation helping to finance and leverage capital for SMEs and working with stakeholders to execute important job creation projects throughout the territory. He also served as Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Grape Growers Ontario in the Ontario wine industry advancing the interests of growers and wineries with the provincial level of government. Prior to that, he also served as Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation in the Government of Ontario.

As a Paul Harris Fellow, Terry is Past President of the Rotary Club of Port Colborne Centennial. He resides in Buffalo New York with his wife Teresa and daughter Brianna.


Randall Howard

Founder and General Partner – VERDEXUS
Board Member & Past Chair, Selection Committee – Golden Triangle Angel Network

A prolific serial technology CEO, activist investor and philanthropist, committed to building world leading high growth technology organizations through “Venture 2.0” boutique VERDEXUS. The vision is a globally leading portfolio of business-to-business, “Enterprise 2.0” companies with an activist investment model driving strategic execution.

Prior to 2001 was founder and CEO of MKS, a global lead in application lifecycle management solutions, which was sold in 2011 to Parametric Technology Corporation for $304 million.

Randall is a seasoned board member/advisor with current and past service to a large array of firms including Gore Mutual Insurance Company, Iotum, Coreworx, Necho Systems Corp, GoodContacts, Whitehill Technologies, Waterloo Maple Software, Arise Technologies and Nanodesign. Currently Randall is Executive Chair of Maintenance Assistant and iotum.

Randall was the 2007 High Tech Entrepreneur of the Year and the 2014 NACO Angel of the Year.


Colin Wyatt

CEO – Wyatt and Associates
Chair – Angel One Investor Network

Colin has over 40 years of computer hardware and software experience. He is currently board chair of the Angel One investor network, and a past board member of York Angel investors. He was also President of Lotus Development Canada and Apollo Computer Canada. In Europe he was a Managing Director of Lotus Development, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Entrust and was Chair of the European Board at Software Spectrum. His early stage experience includes sitting on startup boards in Canada, the UK, France, Spain and Monaco. He is also a past board member of the Industry Technology Association of Canada, and the UK/Canada business council.


Parm Gill

Managing Partner – Gill Group Consulting
Lead – NACO Summit Ambassador Program

Parm is a serial technology entrepreneur and, over the years, he has guided the growth and development of numerous start-up companies. As Managing Partner of the Gill Group, he acts as a strategic advisor, mentor, investor, and developer of intellectual property portfolios for startups!

He currently holds four patents – with numerous other patent applications in process, in various international jurisdictions.

Parm is actively involved with the Angel Investment community as a Board Member and the Executive Director of the Capital Angel Network Charter Member of the Ottawa chapter of TiE – a global organization fostering entrepreneurship. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of Venture For Canada, and is on the Advisory Board & Review Board of Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management Review.

He also contributes his time to a number of local organizations and charities such as the Ottawa Network For Education – where he assists on the Fundraising Committee, ArtEngine – as a member of the Board of Directors, and HUB Ottawa – as a Community Champion.

You can find him on Twitter @ParmSGill

“Focus on the positive, keep learning, and whatever you do in life, Love It!”


Vanessa Wilson

Chief Event Organizer
InteGreat Marketing PR Events

Vanessa has worked with a number of InteGreat clients to manage all aspects of the client’s annual national conferences attended by 250-500 industry executives. Experienced in event management, association advocacy, communications and public relations, Vanessa has worked in government, start up and small to medium-size businesses before partnering to launch InteGreat Marketing PR Events.

Nadine Taft

Nadine Taft

Manager of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Partnerships for Economic Development
Niagara Region

In her role as Manager of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Partnerships for Economic Development for the Niagara Region, Nadine works with numerous businesses, post-secondary institutions, incubators, organizations and various levels of government promoting economic growth and prosperity for Niagara. A seasoned professional with 15 years of experience in economic development, Nadine continues to focus on the external rather than the internal clients. Although, through the years, Nadine has been involved in everything from investment attraction and funding program delivery to strategic policy development, financing, and preparing briefing materials, she finds the startup and accelerator communities to be some of the most rewarding.

Nadine was thrilled to accept her new role in Niagara last year as she believes that entrepreneurs/small businesses are key economic drivers and through innovation and collaboration, wonderful things can happen. Straight forward to a fault, she does make up for it with a strong sense of humour. The two things she must accomplish every day are to laugh and to perform a random act of kindness. These activities do not only brighten her world, but also bring perspective to that world.

Yuri Navarro

Yuri Navarro

Executive Director
National Angel Capital Organization

Yuri Navarro is a strategy consultant with more than five years of experience working with government and businesses in the Ontario technology sector.

In his role as Executive Director, Yuri brings his unique mixture of public and private sector experience to help expand NACO’s role as the leading organization representing Canadian Angel Investors with industry and government.

Yuri has presided over the renewal and growth of the National Angel Capital Organization since 2012 by focusing on the organization’s value to stakeholders and supporting the growth and professionalization of Canada’s Angel asset-class with resources, best practices and research.

Yuri’s time in Government included working as Policy Advisor and Chief of Staff to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, focusing primarily on developing opportunities to benefit Ontario’s Economy, and overseeing the government’s strategy for supporting Small and Medium Enterprises. As a Policy Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Yuri was also instrumental in developing the provincial strategy on energy conservation and smart grid under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2008.

In 2009, Yuri founded NAVY Global Consulting where he has worked with technology clients, mainly operating in the energy sector, to commercialize their innovative solutions and bring products to market. As an advisor to Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Energy, Yuri supported efforts to set up the CUE’s business accelerator program and help energy sector entrepreneurs to commercialize their urban energy innovations.

Yuri is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Commerce program and George Brown College’s Financial Planning program and holds a number of designations with the Canadian Securities Institute.

Lija Skobe

Marketing and Events Manager
National Angel Capital Organization

As Marketing and Events Manager, Lija supports NACO’s vision of bringing the Canadian Angel investor community together by overseeing national marketing activities and by managing the success of the National Angel Summit, NACO’s biggest event of the year.

Lija has been consulting for various clients over the past few years in the areas of marketing and communications, fundraising, and event management. Prior to freelancing, Lija was the Associate Director of Development and Outreach for Human Rights Watch in their Toronto, London, and New York offices for close to four years. She also served as a Communications Consultant for the World Health Organization in Geneva and as a Project Coordinator for Right To Play in Thailand. She has a B.A. in International Relations and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Project Management.