2015 Summit 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 Details

See Detailed Agenda




Craig Asano

Executive Director, National Crowdfunding Association of Canada

Participation: Important and Emerging Industry Sectors in 2016 – Plenary, (Oct 7)

Craig is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada), the leading industry organization actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country with the mandate to provide education, advocacy and networking opportunities in the emerging Crowdfunding industry. Craig has over 15+ years of experience as a marketer, software technologist and start-up entrepreneur in technology, finance, manufacturing and real estate sectors. He is an entrepreneur and accomplished world traveler interested in emerging trends in technology and culture.


Melissa Babel

Senior Manager/Senior Associate Canadian Immigration Department, KPMG Law LLP.

Participation: The Value of Investing Foreign Talent, (Oct 7)

Melissa is a Senior Manager/Senior Associate in the Canadian Immigration Department of KPMG Law LLP. Melissa leads the Canadian Permanent Residence Team at KPMG Law. Melissa possesses over 10 years of experience practicing exclusively in the field of immigration and citizenship law, advising multinational corporations in strategic immigration planning, transition of foreign to permanent resident status, retention of permanent resident status and transition to citizenship, family class applications, immigration compliance and policy development and process issues. Melissa has extensive litigation experience and has appeared before all levels of the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.


David Berkus

Managing Partner – Kodiak Ventures, L.P.
Managing Partner – Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC
Chairman – Emeritus of the Tech Coast Angels

Participation: Keynote Speaker, (Oct 6)

Dave Berkus has a proven track record in operations, venture investing and corporate board service, both public and private. As an entrepreneur, he has formed, managed and sold successful businesses in the entertainment and software arenas. As a private equity investor, he has obtained healthy returns from liquidity events in over a dozen investments in early-stage ventures. As a corporate mentor and director, he was named “Director of the Year” for his directorship efforts with over 40 companies. Dave created his first company, Custom Fidelity, Inc., at the age of 15. Read More


Jonathan Bixby

Co-Founder and Director, Blue Mesa Health, Investor, Lendful etc.

Participation: The Blurring Line Between VCs and Angels- Breakout, (Oct 8)

Jonathan is a serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, board member and speaker. Jonathan currently invests out of, Stanley Park Ventures, Oak Mason Investments and Flight International.

In addition to his investing efforts, Jonathan has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is involved in New Ventures BC and Launch Academy. Jonathan is a sought after speaker on the topics of angel capital investing, accelerators/incubators and entrepreneurship as well as a recognized expert on the Canadian Startup Visa Program. Read More


David Borcsok

Fund Manager, RBC

Participation: Social Impact Investing- Policy – Breakout, (Oct 7)

David is the Fund Manager of the RBC Generator; an early stage impact investment venture capital fund raised as part of the RBC Social Finance Initiative. Focused on Canadian ventures in the education, Employment and Energy sectors, he is a Board Observer at Endurance Wind Power, Nudge Rewards, OTI Lumionics, and Binder Labs. David is also an Advisor and Guest Faculty in the impact investing program at Queen’s University School of Business. Prior to joining RBC, David worked with TrilogyGrowth, LP; an early stage venture capital firm. Read More


Leonard Brody

President at Clarity Digital, Co-Founder & CEO at NowPublic.com

Participation: Keynote Speaker, (Oct 7)

Leonard was called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business Magazine and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Globe and Mail. He is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist, best-selling author and a 2 time Emmy nominated media visionary. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date. Read More


Wade T. Brooks

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice/ Executive Director, Angel Fund, Willamette University MBA

Participation: Global Angel Investing Community Trends – Plenary, (Oct 7)

Wade graduated from Willamette University in 1990. During his time in undergrad he got married, had his first baby, bought a house in Portland and started his first company Brooks + Associates, Inc., which became the first Apple Computer value added reseller in the United States. Read More

Robert Brouillette

Robert Brouillette

Founding Partner – Brouillette & Partners
Chairman – Anges Quebec

Participation: Moderator: Trends That Will Affect How Angels Invest – Plenary, (Oct 7)

Robert Brouillette is a lawyer, a civil engineer and a patent and trademark agent. He holds a civil engineering degree from University of Sherbrooke (1972) and a law degree from University of Laval (1975). He is a member of the Quebec Order of Engineers and of the Quebec Bar. He is an accredited trademark and patent agent in Canada and the US. He began his career with Ogilvy Renault in 1977. He founded BCF in 1992 and his current firm (Brouillette & Partners) in 2005. A majority of his clients are business builders and operate technological enterprises. He has become a leading Canadian expert in the fields of intellectual property, direct sales and technology law (The Best Lawyers in Canada). Read More


Gerard Buckley

Managing Director, Jaguar Capital

Participation: Panel: Supporting Strong Angel Ecosystems – Breakout (Oct 8)

Gerard has been working in the financial industry for over 32 years, helping companies strategically plan for accelerated levels of growth at Scotia Capital, Maple Leaf Angels and Jaguar Capital where he is now Managing Director. He leads a management consulting practice with mandates focused on growth in entrepreneurial companies and is an expert in structuring companies to access financing by employing governance, financial management and funding strategies. Gerard has worked on Merger & Acquisition teams transacting over $10 billion of deal flow in his career. Read More


Mike Cegelski

Owner, Kouraje Management Inc & Board Director, Anges Quebec

Participation: Exit Strategies Workshop, (Oct 6) + 2015 Pitch Competition, (Oct 7) + Keynote Fireside Chat, (Oct 7)

Mike is a seasoned entrepreneur with beyond 25 years of experience in the ICT industry. Since 2006, Mike has been Executive Chairman and founder of iBwave Solutions, where he held a strategic role in ensuring healthy growth of the company. Prior to 2006, Mike assumed the role of President and CEO of iBwave for 2 years. Mike also acts as a mentor in the decision process for the executive team of the company. Read More


Gordon Cheung

Partner and Chief Medical Officer, Epic Capital Management Inc., and Founding Partner and Director at Perimeter Medical Imaging Inc.

Participation: Investing in Healthcare Innovation , (Oct 7)

Gordon Cheung, MD, is the Clinical Director of MRI/CT at LifeLabs. He is Consultant in Medical Imaging, Division of Neuroradiology and Interventional Neuroradiology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. From 1990 to 2003, Dr. Cheung was the Clinical Director of MRI at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Read More


John Clifford

Vice-President, Commercial Financial Services, RBC Royal Bank

Participation: Best Practices for Angel-Backed Companies Workshop, (Oct 6)

As Vice-President, Commercial Financial Services for the Region of Waterloo Market for RBC Royal Bank. He has held many positions within the bank over a career that has spanned 20 years. For most of that time he has been with Commercial Banking in both Regional Roles and National Office Roles. For the past 10 years John has been responsible for leading a team of 25 professionals who deliver financial solutions and advice to their commercial clients. He is responsible for managing RBC’s KBI team for Southwestern Ontario, a group of professionals that deliver commercial banking product to Technology based clients. Prior to that he was Vice-President of sales initiatives for RBC and had responsibility for new sales initiatives across Canada.

John earned a Master of Business Administration degree from McMaster University. He and his wife live in the region and have two children.


Albert Colomer i Espinet

Founder and Manager Director of BANC Business Angels Network Catalunya, Board Member European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and other Early Stage Market Players, EBAN Advisory Board for EU Projects

Participation: Global Angel Investing Community Trends (Oct 7) and Global Policy Comparison Discussion, (Oct 8)

Albert is founder and managing director of BANC the first Business Angels Network in Cataluña (Spain) (www.bancat.com) and treasurer of Fundación ESBAN (www.esban.com) which promotes the Business Angels networks in Spain. He is the manager of the IX EBAN Congress organization. Entrepreneur and Business Angel, He has 20 years of experience supporting entrepreneurs. Since 1990 he is Executive Director of CP’AC, “Private foundation for the promotion of the self-employment of Catalunya” specialized in training and advising businesses and entrepreneurial education. Read More


Trevor Cooper

Cooper Wealth Management at RBC Dominion Securities

Participation: Panel: Angel Overview Workshop, (Oct 6)

Trevor C. Cooper brings over 25 years of experience in business to Cooper Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities.

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Trevor earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from Brock University before pursuing his career path. Following a similar path like his father, Frank Cooper, he pursued a career in wealth management in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2001, he and his business partner Walter Harmidarow formed a partnership to formally create Cooper Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities. Read More


Brandon Corman

Managing Director, MLA48

Participation: The Blurring Line Between VCs and Angels- Breakout, (Oct 8)

Brandon Corman is the Managing Director of Maple Leaf Angels and Maple Leaf Angels Capital Corporation, responsible for growing MLA as a value added partner for both investors and entrepreneurs. Previously he was a Business Development Manager for the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario, where he was responsible for building Southern Ontario’s Angel investor networks on behalf of FedDev Ontario. He was also a co-founder of unBrokr Inc. a portfolio analytics platform for direct investors using online discount brokerages. Prior to this, Brandon was an Investment Analyst for a venture capital firm located in Toronto.

Tom Corr--highres

Tom Corr

President and CEO – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)

Participation: Important and Emerging Industry Sectors in 2016 – Plenary, (Oct 7)

Dr. Tom Corr is the President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) – a non-profit organization that drives the commercialization of cutting-edge Ontario-based research across key market sectors to build the province’s innovation economy and secure its global competitiveness. Previously, Dr. Corr was the CEO of the Accelerator Centre (AC) at the Waterloo Research and Technology Park and Associate Vice-President of Commercialization at the University of Waterloo (UW) and Director of Commercialization – IT & Communications at the University of Toronto. Read More


Dan Debow

Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

Participation: Trends That Will Affect How Angels Invest – Plenary, (Oct 7) + Keynote Speaker, (Oct 7) + Judge, Pitch Competition, (Oct 7)

Daniel Debow is an entrepreneur and Angel investor. Most recently, he was SVP, Emerging Technologies at Salesforce where he we responsible for launching new wearable solutions. Previously, Daniel was the co-founder and CEO of Rypple, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2011 and rebranded as Salesforce Work.com, a sales performance management platform. Prior to Rypple, Daniel was on the founding team of Workbrain, a workforce management software company. Daniel led Workbrain’s sale to Infor in 2007. Daniel has made over 45 Angel investments and in 2015 was recognized as Canada’s “Angel Investor of the Year” by Techvibes readers. Read More


Amar Dhaliwal

CEO and CO-Founder of TeamFit

Participation: Effective Due Diligence Workshop, (Oct 6)

Amar is the CEO and Co-Founder of TeamFit.

Prior to TeamFit, Amar spent 10 years at talent management pioneers, Saba.  During his time at Saba, Amar led a number of global functions including engineering, product strategy, cloud operations, professional services, and customer support. Amar joined Saba as the result of their 2005 acquisition of THINQ, a learning management company of which Amar was one of the founders. Read More


Ron Dizy

Managing Director, Advanced Energy Centre, MaRS & Chair, Corporate Partners Committee, of Ontario Smart Grid Forum

Participation: Moderator:Investing in Energy: Why Bother? – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Ron is the Managing Director of the Advanced Energy Centre at the MaRS Discovery District. The Advanced Energy Centre (AEC) collaborates with a diverse set of partners to foster the adoption of innovative energy technologies in Ontario and Canada, and leverage those successes and experiences into international markets. Under Ron’s leadership, the Centre is convening energy players in a unique way. At the AEC, Ron and his team provide a forum in which energy players can speak openly, think deeply, ask the hard questions and co-create innovative solutions to complex, system-wide challenges. In doing so, the Centre is helping energy systems become more cost effective, reliable and resilient to change and opportunity. Read More

Laurie Dmytryshyn (1)

Laurie Dmytryshyn

Minority Investment Portfolio Manager – PIC Investment Group Inc.

Participation: Structuring Deals and Term Sheets Workshop (Oct 6)

Laurie Dmytryshyn is the Minority Investment Portfolio Manager for PIC Investment Group Inc. (PIC). PIC is a family owned investment company focused on growth financing in the chemical industry, transportation industry, industrial real estate as well as northern Saskatchewan development through the outfitting industry. Laurie is responsible for supporting PIC’s minority investment portfolio and works directly with companies to maximize PIC’s investments by helping facilitate the success of the portfolio companies. Read More


Pieter Dorsman

President/CEO, Redpeaks Management Inc.

Participation: Lead Presenter: Structuring Deals and Term Sheets Workshop, (Oct 6)

Pieter Dorsman, a seasoned advisor, investor and mentor is President & CEO of Redpeaks Management Inc., a consulting firm focused on advising early-stage technology companies on finance and investment, corporate development, legal structure and overall business strategies. Pieter is one of the directors of E-Fund, a Vancouver-based angel investment fund. He is also chairman of Lambda Solutions Inc., a cloud-based learning company. Previously, he co-founded Actenum Corporation and structured the start, financing and exit of ClearVision Technologies. Read More

Rob Douglas

Robert L. Douglas

President – Golden Triangle Angel Network
Director & Treasurer – National Angel Capital Organization

Participation: Welcome Address and Opening Night Social Event, (Oct 6) + Supporting Angels Workshop, (Oct 6)

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. Rob’s business career spans more than three decades, with employment experience ranging from investment counseling with a major Canadian brokerage to senior financial management with a large, multi-plant manufacturing company. Since 1978 Rob has pursed 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. Read More


James Drage

Managing Partner at Atlantic Venture Capital

Participation: Angel Ready Startup Showcase, (Oct 6)

James is a lifelong entrepreneur having started his first business at 14. His formal career started in business brokerage / M&A in 1991 but he quickly learned he preferred starting and running businesses to selling them. Following a few successes he started Atlantic Venture Capital as a family office vehicle to invest in angel and VC deals where he has made more than 20 investments to date. Recently he founded Runway Finance a $ 35 Million USD venture debt fund offering debt based solutions to start-up, early stage and growth companies in Canada.


Mike Edwards

CEO – Mobio Technologies Inc.
Angel Investor – Oak Mason Venture Partners

Participation: The Value of Investing Foreign Talent, (Oct 7) + Keynote Fireside Chat, (Oct 7)+ The Role of an Angel. It is more than the money and raising capital! – Breakout, (Oct 8)

A lifelong entrepreneur, Mike Edwards has started and invested in technology companies for over 20 years. Presently, Mike is the CEO of Mobio Technologies Inc. Prior to taking the lead at Mobio, Mike was Executive Director of GrowLab, a startup accelerator based in Vancouver, BC. Mike invests in smart people with big ideas, and thrives on helping other entrepreneurs turn a napkin sketch into a prosperous business. He has invested in more than 40 technology startups including Punch’d, which sold to Google, Summify, which was acquired by Twitter, Wander which was acquired by Yahoo, AreaConnect which sold to Marchex and Dave McClure’s 500 Startups venture capital fund. Read More

Frank Erschen

Frank Erschen

Co-Founder and Board Chair – Powernoodle
Director, Board of Directors – Golden Triangle Angel Network

Participation: The Role of an Angel. It is more than the money and raising capital! – Breakout, (Oct 8) + Master of Ceremony 2015 Pitch Competition, (Oct 7)

Frank is an Angel investor, entrepreneur, mentor and connector. His experience in the corporate world (IBM, BMO) prepared him for C-level roles in which he has raised over $40 million. He is currently a co-founder & executive chair of Powernoodle (better decision-making) and executive chair of RENOMii, maker of RENOMii Change Order Manager and Mii Casa Interactive Showroom. He is a Charter Member, Selection Committee Member, 2011 Angel of the Year, and 2014 Community Builder of the Year at the Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN). He serves on the Investment Committee of the Laurier Startup Fund, on the board of the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario and is past director of Top Hat.  Frank is also a regular Startup Weekend mentor, an Executive in Residence at Communitech specializing in pitch content, flow and logic, and is often a guest pitch coach at Founder Institute and at programs in Atlantic Canada and other locations.


Ross E. Finlay

Co-Founder and Director, First Angel Network and President at Grey Matter Development Ltd.

Participation: Panel: The Role of an Angel. It is more than the money and raising capital! – Breakout, (Oct 8)

Ross Finlay is a Co-Founder and Director of the First Angel Network Association – Atlantic Canada’s association for private investors.  He has made over 30 angel investments since 2000.  He is also a Director of the National Angel Capital Organization, a Director of the U.S. Angel Capital Association and  a Trustee of the Angel Resource Institute.  He is also Chair of International Education for the Angel Resource Institute.  He is an internationally recognized speaker, facilitator, business planner, and strategic change advisor who has an extensive background in public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Read More


Sean Fleming

Partner MNP LLP, former CEO Beer Barons, King Brewery

Participation: Make Money + Impact: Craft Industry (4:15pm to 5:00pm), (Oct 6)

Sean Fleming is Senior Food & Beverage Industry Consultant at MNP LLP, specializing in craft breweries, wineries, distilleries and related value chain operators. Prior to joining MNP Sean was the CEO of Beer Barons. Beer Barons produces and distributes high quality specialty beers and cider throughout Canada. Beer Barons has partnerships with leading brewers around the world including Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery, Brasserie Lefebvre and Oud Beersel. Under Sean’s leadership Beer Barons acquired King Brewery and Thornbury Village Cidery.


Steve Forth

Co-Founder, TeamFit

Participation: Lead Presenter: Best Practices for Angel-Backed Companies Workshop

Steven Forth is a serial entrepreneur (current company TeamFit), marketing strategy and pricing consultant and an angel investor. He currently invests primarily through E-Fund where he frequently leads due diligence teams. Steven began his career in Tokyo in the 1980s where he started his first company in design and software localization. He moved to Vancouver in the 1990s where he built a software localization company and spun out several software companies. In 2001 he founded Recombo and in 2006 he moved to Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte) where he led the development of on-line tools. In 2009 he spun out the B2B Value Based Pricing software company LeveragePoint. He returned to Vancouver in 2012 and co-founded TeamFit in 2013. When not working he is reading, writing, cooking or cycling. He lives in Kitsilano with his wife, artist Yoshie Hattori.


S. Mark Francis

CIM, Western Canada Advisor, Canadian Securities Exchange

Participation: Angel Overview Workshop, Oct 6 + Exit Strategies Workshop, (Oct 6)

Mark Francis is a consultant whose business passion revolves around the small cap capital markets.  His primary engagement is as an advisor to Canadian Securities Exchange, Canada’s alternative stock exchange for small-cap issuers, but also advises other small growth companies.  Mark has prior experience both as an Investment Advisor and also as a program review and business program analyst with the Province of Manitoba, and earned the Canadian Investment Manager designation.  He currently has interests in other entrepreneurial projects, including mineral exploration, and several angel investments in industrial innovation/technology through VA Angels and Invest-Tech, and is also part of a group backing a Canadian South Sudanese civil engineer as he builds his engineering company in Juba.


Lisa Fraser

CEO & Founder, Snugvest

Participation: Panel: Adding Value Through Due Diligence, (Oct 6)

After developing a therapy product using proprietary technology as her thesis in Industrial Design, Lisa started her first venture, Wearable Therapeutics Inc. to commercialize Snug Vest. Snug Vest- inflatable therapy vest – helps to relieve anxiety and increase focus, and is proven to reduce cortisol an indicator of stress. It can help treat symptoms of autism and also benefit individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sensory Integration and anxiety challenges. Read More


Ingrid Fung

Senior Analyst, Verdex Capital

Participation: Emergence of the Agri Tech Sector– Breakout, (Oct 7)

Ingrid Fung is a Sr. Analyst at Verdex Capital, a Canadian AgriTech-focused venture capital group. Her work with Verdex is focused on identification of innovative opportunities in the AgTech space. Ingrid is skilled life sciences professional with experience in both the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors. Prior to joining Verdex Capital, Ingrid worked as a Sr. Business Analyst with Bioenteprise Corporation, where she provided commercialization guidance to innovative AgriTech companies. She holds an MSc in cell and molecular biology specializing in plant–pest interactions from the University of Western Ontario, and an HBSc specializing in Developmental Biology from the University of Toronto.


Ken Gatz

Founder/CEO, ProSeeder

Participation: Using Technology to Support Angel Investing – Breakout, (Oct 7)

As a former securities attorney, Ken saw the compliance exposures of existing investment management systems. Drawing upon his experience as in-house counsel for a tech-driven proprietary trading firm, Ken launched ProSeeder to improve operational processes and reduce compliance risks so that the private investment community can confidently expand their funding reach. A serial entrepreneur, Ken previously founded and managed Bioreclamation (now BIO-IVT), a life-science research tools company that he grew into a $26 million in revenue business. Ken bootstrapped the business and exited twice to private equity firms.


Barry Gekiere

Managing Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)

Participation: Panel: The Role of an Angel. It is more than the money and raising capital! – Breakout, (Oct 8)

Barry has over 25 years of experience in senior management positions in venture capital, private equity and operating companies.  Prior to joining MaRS, Barry was a Partner at Ventures West, one of Canada’s largest and long standing venture capital firms.  During his 13 years at Ventures West, Barry worked closely with entrepreneurs while making early stage technology investments in IT, communications, cleantech and medical device companies. Read More


Aki Georgacacos

Senior Managing Director, Avrio Capital Inc.

Participation: Moderator: Emergence of the Agri Tech Sector– Breakout, (Oct 7)

Aki is a co-founder and Managing Director of Avrio Capital. Prior to co-founding Avrio Capital, Aki was a managing Director of FCC Ventures where he led the majority of the fund’s investments with a focus on various segments of industrial life science, food and agricultural technology sectors. With over 13 years of experience and as a member of the Board of over twenty portfolio companies, he has played an active role in all facets of strategic planning, corporate development, and overall shareholder value optimization. Read More


François Gilbert

Président-directeur général, Anges Québec Capital

Participation: Supporting Angels Workshop, (Oct 6)

Mr. François Gilbert is the managing director of Anges Québec. Since September 2005, M. François Gilbert is the CEO of FIER Succès, a Venture Capital fund based in Québec city.

Since 2002, François Gilbert is director of companies. He is director and chairman of the audit committee and the remuneration committee of Roctest (RTT).He was chairman of the board of Kaydara, (3D animation software sold in more than 30 countries) until the sale of the company in September 2004and he was chairman of the board of Medicago (alfalfa transgenic producer). François Gilbert has his diploma from ICD Corporate Governance College at McGill University. Read More

Sandi Head Shot

Sandi K. Gilbert

Founder, SeedUps Canada

Participation: Angel Overview Workshop, (Oct 6) + Using Technology to Support Angel Investing – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Sandi is strategic, visionary entrepreneur with experience in building companies with effective operating principles and proven marketing techniques. She thrives in dynamic environments and is an early adopter of technologies that enhance the customer experience and make businesses more efficient. Today, she is working diligently to develop technology infrastructures that enhance the private equity investment marketplace by making it easier for investors to find good investments and good companies to find the investment they need. She is the COO of the Exempt Capital Network (ECN), a Global private equity investment platform that launched earlier this year. Read More


Parm Gill

Managing Partner Gil Group Consulting, NACO Summit Ambassador Program

Participation: Moderator: Ambassadors’ Breakfast: Introduction to the NACO Community, (Oct 7)

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! Read More


Steve Gilpin

Investor, Golden Triangle Angelnet

Participation: Effective Due Diligence Workshop, (Oct 6)

Steve began his career with Shop-Rite Catalogue Stores. He then joined Eddie Bauer where he spearheaded the introduction and profitable growth of their catalogue in Canada. Steve guided all merchandising and marketing strategies at the catalogue and retail levels, and developed effective database marketing, telemarketing, fulfillment and customer service programs. Steve was also Vice President of The Telemedia Results Group, Canada’s first fully computerized, full-service direct marketing service agency. Read More


Olivier Giner

Vice President, iGan Partners

Participation: Cross- Border Syndication- Breakout, (Oct 7)

Olivier has over 15 years of experience in advising public and private companies on M&A transactions and financings. As Vice President of iGan Partners, he participates in the origination, assessment, structuring and execution of iGan’s investments. He also actively manages and supports portfolio companies on an ongoing basis. Read More


Loris Giusto

KPMG, Partner, Tax

Participation: Angel Overview Workshop, (Oct 6) + Best Practices for Angel-Backed Companies Workshop, (Oct 6)

Loris is a tax partner in our Enterprise Tax group where he has predominately advised owner-managed businesses, working closely with colleagues throughout Canada to bring up to date advice to enterprise clients in the sector. In his over 20 years with KPMG he has helped to resolve many clients’ disputes with CRA, advised on the full range of owner manager business income tax issues from structure, acquisition , succession and sale of businesses. His client list includes a wide range of businesses, including sole proprietors, partnerships, and private companies.

Sandra Bust

Sandra Glasgow

Founding Member, First Angels Jamaica
Founder and Managing Director, BizTactics Limited

Participation: Global Policy Comparison Discussion – Plenary, (Oct 7)

Sandra Glasgow is the Founder and Managing Director of BizTactics™ Limited, a consulting company dedicated to nurturing growth-aspiring firms and promoting best-in-class corporate governance. She is a Founding Member of Jamaica’s first Angel Investor Network, FirstAngelsJA and a Mentor to Caribbean business enablers and incubators. Read More


Tina Glickman

Senior Business Development Manager, Gust

Participation: Using Technology to Support Angel Investing – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Tina Glickman, Senior Business Development Manager at Gust, fosters strategic partnerships internationally with early stage investor groups leveraging technology. Before joining Gust, Tina spent three years in Credit Suisse’s Private Banking Division, where she created differentiated financial solutions for her tech entrepreneur clients. There, she developed a deep appreciation and understanding of the unique opportunities and challenges of the startup ecosystem. She began her career at Michael Ingbar Gallery as a corporate art consultant, where she rose through the ranks to become their youngest Director. Tina holds a MBA from Darden School of Business (University of Virginia) and a B.A. in anthropology and fine arts from University of the South.


Josie Graham

CEO, Canadian Innovation Centre

Participation: Effective Due Diligence Workshop, (Oct 6)

Josie joined the Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC) in 2003 and since that time, has provided Business Planning and Market Entry strategies, along with Validation Assessments and Alignment studies to new ventures to help them succeed; this includes raising the CIC’s profile as a unique Canadian institution that assists talented entrepreneurs achieve success. Prior to the above, since founding her niche consulting business Strategic Advantages in 1999 which she still operates, Josie owns and operates two Animazing Pet Spa locations in the KW area, and is an angel investor in an animal wearable device. In the past for Business Development Consortium, she was instrumental in taking a concept and then creating the plan and the tools needed to bring that concept successfully to market. Read More

Vanessa Grant

Vanessa Grant

Partner – Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Participation: Structuring Deals and Term Sheets Workshop, (Oct 6) + Best Practices for Angel-Backed Companies Workshop, (Oct 6)

Vanessa Grant is a business law partner in Gowlings’ Toronto office. Her practice focuses on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and private equity. Vanessa advises issuers, investors, and underwriters on matters including public and private financings, initial public offerings, public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and joint ventures. She also provides ongoing general corporate and commercial legal advice to a number of clients. She works with several national and international clients in various industries. Vanessa is currently the co-director of the Osgoode Hall part-time LLM in business law where she teaches a course in corporate finance.


Kirk Hamilton

Principal, Élan Tactical Management Inc., investor with Vantec Entrepreneurs Fund Inc.

Participation: Lead Presenter: Effective Due Diligence Workshop, (Oct 6)

Kirk Hamilton is an executive with international experience implementing strategies for technology adoption to capitalize on unique business opportunities in Information Technology, Telecom, and Manufacturing industries. As CEO of a number of public and private companies for over 20 years, he has led them from a loss position to profitability. During his career, the scope of his assignments ranges from the repositioning and turnaround of a global provider of smart card equipment and software solutions, NBS Technologies Inc, to major telecom start-up operations with leading edge technology for BCE and others, to turnarounds of manufacturing operations within GE Canada. Currently, through personal engagement with client businesses of Élan Tactical Management Inc., he leverages business and management experience to assist companies improve market growth, productivity and cost performance. Additionally, he coaches entrepreneurs of the BC Venture Acceleration Network as an Executive-in Residence for BC Innovation Council. Kirk is an active Angel Investor in a variety of BC based start-up businesses and as an investor member through E-Fund Vantec Entrepreneur’s Fund. Read More


Andrew Heintzman

President, Investeco Capital

Participation: Social Impact Investing- Policy – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Andrew Heintzman is CEO and co-founder of InvestEco Capital, the first venture capital company in Canada to be exclusively focused on direct investing in environmentally oriented companies. Since 2002, InvestEco has invested in over 20 high growth companies that promote sustainability, with a particular focus in food and agricultural. Andrew sits on the boards of a number of companies, including Rowe Farms, Vital Farms, 100km Foods, Farms & Forks and Maple Hill Creamery. Andrew is also a director of the Tides Canada Foundation. In addition, he sits on the Steering Committee of Sustainable Prosperity and is an advisor to the MGA program at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Andrew was the chair of the Premier’s Climate Change Advisory Panel for the Province of Ontario from 2008 to 2012. Andrew is the author of The New Entrepreneurs: Building a Green Economy for the Future, and has a BA and an MA from McGill University.


Sean Holt

Executive Director Impact Angel Alliance

Participation: Impact Angel Alliance Member / Partner Discussion, (Oct 6) + Impact Ag-Tech Track, (Oct 6) + Social Impact Investing- Policy – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Sean is the founding Executive Director of the Impact Angel Alliance (IAA) an alliance of Angel groups, family offices, VCs, strategic grant makers and investors working collaboratively to co-invest in high performing, high impact, for-profit ventures across Canada. Prior to founding IAA, Sean co-founded Grand Basin Capital, which offers applied research, advisory and investing for families, foundations and financial institutions seeking multiple bottom line returns in sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forests, and Aboriginal infrastructure projects across Canada. Read More

Randall Howard

Randall Howard

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

Participation: Moderator: Succession Planning & Structuring Investment Portfolios – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Randall Howard is a senior serial technology executive committed to building world leading, high growth technology organizations through the transatlantic “Venture 2.0” boutique VERDEXUS. Randall is “hands-on” Executive Chair at VERDEXUS portfolio investments iotum and Maintenance Assistant. From its acquisition in May 2004 to April 2006, Randall served as CEO of portfolio company, Coreworx, since acquired by Acorn Energy (NASDAQ: ACFN). Read More


Jean-François Huc

CEO, BioAmber

Participation: Emergence of the Agri Tech Sector– Breakout, (Oct 7)

Jean-François (“JF”) HUC is the CEO of BioAmber (NYSE:BIOA), which he founded in 2008.  He previously led start-ups in the fields of internet, transgenics, and natural health.  JF was formerly the corporate VP of Strategic Alliances at Sanofi Pharma and was a partner with management consultancy Arthur D. Little, where he led the firm’s French healthcare practice.  JF has a biochemistry degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from York University.


Marianne Hudson

Executive Director, Angel Capital Association

Participation: Global Policy Comparison Discussion – Plenary, (Oct 8)

Ms. Hudson leads the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world’s leading professional and trade association focused on fueling the success of accredited angel investors and portfolio companies in high-growth, early-stage ventures. ACA provides professional development, public policy advocacy and significant benefits and resources to its membership more than 13,000 individual accredited investors throughout North America. Ms. Hudson led the angel initiative at the Kauffman Foundation and also oversaw many of the Foundation’s entrepreneurial education and mentoring programs designed to ensure that more entrepreneurs develop sustainable, innovative businesses. An angel investor herself, Ms. Hudson is a member of the Women’s Capital Connection and Mid-America Angels in her home base of Kansas City. Ms. Hudson has worked in the entrepreneurial support field for more than 25 years. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Public Policy from Rutgers University. More information about ACA is at www.angelcapitalassociation.org.


Larry Innanen

President, Innplay & AngelOne

Participation: Management and Succession Planning of Angel Portfolios – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Larry is an angel investor in and a strategic advisor to over 30 information and communication technology (ICT) and other startup companies in the Waterloo Region and in the Greater Toronto Area. He is a graduate of  Western Law School and has been an active member of the Law Society of Upper Canada for over 40 years. Larry is an Advanced Management Program (AMP 156)  graduate from the Harvard Business School and enjoyed a 23 year career with Labatt Brewing Company and Interbrew North America (now AB InBev) where he served as the EVP General Counsel and VP of Strategic Planning Services respectively. He is a charter member of the Golden Triangle Angelnet (GTAN) in the Waterloo Region and a founding member and the Past Chairman of the Angel One Investor Network (Angel One) in the Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga area. Larry was the recipient of the 2013 Pauli Award for Community Builder of the Year from GTAN and the 2014 Pauli Award for Founding Chairman from Angel One. Larry resides in Oakville, Ontario where he is the Founder and President of Innplay,™ a strategic advice and consulting services company.


Tim Jackson

Lead Executive, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing & Executive Vice President Corporate and Community Relations, MaRS Discovery District

Participation: Moderator: Social Impact Investing- Policy – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Tim Jackson is the EVP Corporate and Community Development and Lead Executive, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. He comes to MaRS most recently from the University of Waterloo, where he served as the vice-president of university relations, with responsibility for the offices of communications and public affairs, government relations, and community relations and events. Tim has an extensive background as an entrepreneur and business leader. A founder and partner of Tech Capital Partners (an early-stage venture capital firm), he served as CFO and CEO at Waterloo tech firm, PixStream. He has also served as CFO, CEO or board member for numerous technology companies and other organizations. Read More


Alkarim Jivraj

Managing Partner, Espresso Capital

Participation: Angel Overview Workshop, (Oct 6)

In a finance career spanning 20 years, Alkarim has helped raise over $1 billion for more than 100 early stage and growing technology companies, and has made over 50 direct investments. Prior to joining Espresso, he was the Founder and Managing Partner of Intrepid Business Acceleration Fund. Alkarim started his finance career at Yorkton Securities, a boutique investment banking firm, eventually leading its information technology investment banking practice and co-managing two investment funds. Alkarim sits on the Board of SCI Marketview.


Terry Kadwell

Executive Director, Niagara Angel Network

Participation: Welcome Address and Opening Night Social Event, (Oct 6)

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. Read More


Scott Kaplanis

Partner & Portfolio Manager, Epic Capital

Participation: Panel: Make Money + Impact: Med-Tech, (Oct 6)

Mr. Kaplanis has more than a decade of experience in Canadian capital markets. He joined Epic Capital Management in 2008 and became a partner in 2010. A generalist by background, Scott has spent the last several years working with small-cap Canadian technology companies. He currently sits on two corporate boards and is an advisor to The Funding Portal, which specializes in simplifying how Canadian companies find government grants. Read More


Dr. John Kelly

Executive Vice President, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association

Participation: Impact Ag-Tech Track, (Oct 6)

Dr. John Kelly currently leads the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association as Executive Vice President. He is also the CEO at KeliRo Company Inc., which supports business development in domestic and international agricultural markets. He is formerly vice-president of the Erie Innovation and Commercialization with the Ontario Fruit & Vegetable Growers’ Association. Throughout his career, he has sought to enable innovation and diversify agriculture and food opportunities throughout Canada and elsewhere. He has a wealth of experience in the private and public sector and has held various executive and Board of Director positions with start-ups and multinational companies, including Life Sciences Ontario, MaRS Landing, Land O’ Lakes, Ralston Purina, Rhone-Poulenc Canada Inc. and Aventis CropSciences Inc., as well as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Throughout his career, he has been focused on innovation development and implementation, actively advancing products and technologies in agriculture, food, biotechnology, pharma and the bioeconomy sectors. Read More


Zayna Khayat

Lead, MaRS Health and Director, MaRS EXCITE

Participation: Make Money + Impact: Med-Tech (1:15 to 2:30pm), (Oct 6)

She plays a critical role in helping MaRS clients to get their innovations adopted by healthcare systems in Ontario and around the world. Zayna was previously director of development at the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation, where she is also currently an adjunct faculty member. Prior to her time at Ivey, Zayna had an 11-year career in strategy consulting in the global health and life sciences sector, first with the Boston Consulting Group’s Toronto office from 2001 to 2010, and then as an associate principal with SECOR Consulting (acquired by KPMG in 2012). Read More


Doug Knox

VP Technology, Bioenterprise Corporation

Participation: Impact Ag-Tech Track (2:20pm to 3:20pm), (Oct 6) + Emergence of the Agri Tech Sector– Breakout, (Oct 7)

Doug Knox is a senior executive with over 25 years experience with an extensive background in establishing and managing international partnerships, technology licenses, acquisitions and strategic alliances. Mr. Knox is a 10 year associate with Bioenterprise Corporation assisting Agri-Tech companies to establish a commercial presence in their chosen market space. Mr. Knox has managed both large corporate product divisions and developed small technology based businesses. Doug has spent 11 years with Unisys Corp. where he held worldwide responsibility for the Education Line of Business and was responsible for offshore manufacturing, quality control and software partnerships, strategic alliances, technology licenses and OEM agreements with multinational companies such as Microsoft Inc., Lucky Goldstar International, Samsung Corporation, and many smaller corporate suppliers. Doug has been advisor to a variety of technology companies including; e-commerce software, RF Wireless Local Loop, Wireless LAN and WAN, 3d-graphics, GIS internet software, underground radio communications, RFID, broadband on copper, and internet training.


Ken Kousky

CEO at Mid-Michigan Innovation Center, President at BlueWater Angels

Participation: Cross- Border Syndication- Breakout, (Oct 7)

Ken Kousky is CEO of the MidMichigan Innovation Center, a privately funded, non-profit business incubator assisting entrepreneurs in the creation and expansion of their businesses throughout mid-Michigan. In addition, Ken is also President/CEO of IP3, Inc., an information security consulting firm. Read More


Fernando Kreutz

CEO at FK Biotecnogia SA, Brazil, FKx Inc, Canada and Angel Investor

Participation: Global Angel Investing Community Trends – Plenary, (Oct 7)

Fernando T Kreutz, M.D., Ph.D., is an international entrepreneur and Angel Investor. In 1999, he created FK-Biotecnologia S.A. one of the first biotech companies in Brazil. He has experience in highly innovative projects focus on Life Science projects, including biopharma, diagnostics, cosmetics, immuno-oncology and Heath IT. He is active as a direct investor in five companies and participate in two Angel groups in Brasil (AnjosdoBrasil and WOW Accelerator) with a portfolio of 23 invested companies. He is a professor at PUC University in Brazil and Board Member at the Brazilian Association of Science Parks and Business Incubators (ANPROTEC). In 2012, he created FKx Inc. in Toronto and became NACO associate member in 2015.


Joanne Kviring

Strategic Program Manager- Canada, Virgin Unite

Participation: Social Impact Investing- Policy – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Joanne Kviring is Strategic Program Manager – Canada for Virgin Unite, the charitable organization of the Virgin Group. In this role she puts to work her passion for how business can be a force for good while earning a financial return. Joanne co-developed the strategy for Virgin Unite to seed an impact investment fund being managed by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. She is leading the Virgin Mobile RE*Generation initiative, using a venture philanthropy approach to helping at-risk and homeless find employment. Joanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and started her career in banking before moving to community investment roles with RBC Foundation, SickKids Foundation and the City of Toronto. An active community volunteer, Joanne was a co-founding partner of Social Venture Partners Toronto and currently serves as Treasurer on the board of Planned Parenthood Toronto.


Mark Lawrence

Managing Partner, NorthCrest Partners Inc., and Vice-Chair of Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario

Participation: Impact Angel Alliance – Who, What, Why, How (1:00 to 1:15pm) (Oct 6), + Angel Ready StartupShowcase

Mr. Lawrence is managing Partner of NorthCrest Partners Inc., an Exempt Market Dealer, and Vice-Chair of the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario, and a Director – Impact Angel Alliance.  He is also a director of Stone Investment Group Limited, a mutual fund company with about $800 million under admin. He is an active investor and advisor in private startup companies in sectors ranging from financial services software and services, alternative energy, green tech, telecommunications, and materials, and has been a founder and director of several TSX Venture listed companies.  His background was as a software, telecom, and biotech analyst at three brokerage firms – Pru-Bache, Midland Walwyn and Loewen Ondatjee McCutcheon. Mr. Lawrence holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queens University and a MBA from the Ivey School of Business, London, Ontario. He has his P.Eng and CFA designations.

Thealzel Lee

Thealzel Lee

Founder, Director and President – VANTEC Entrepreneurs Fund VCC Inc.

Participation: The Value of Investing Foreign Talent, (Oct 7)

Thealzel Lee is an entrepreneur, angel investor and business strategy advisor to companies with a focus on strategy development and operational alignment. Thealzel is a senior partner with management consulting firm Rocket Builders, co-manages the monthly Vancouver Angel Technology Network (VANTEC) and the Keiretsu Forum Northwest Region-Vancouver Chapter for her fellow angel investors. She is co-founder of Nelsa Investment (VCC) Inc. and the VANTEC Entrepreneurs Fund (VCC) Inc. dba E-Fund. She is a director on the board of GreenAngel Energy Corporation (TSX.V:GAE).


Matthew Leibowitz

Partner, Plaza Ventures

Participation: Exit Strategies Workshop, (Oct 6) + Trends That Will Affect How Angels Invest – Plenary, (Oct 7) + 2015 Pitch Competition, (Oct 7)

Matthew Leibowitz joined Plaza Ventures as Partner in 2012. He is responsible for all aspects of the investment cycle, including monitoring and enhancing the performance of portfolio companies. Matthew was formerly a Principal with an institutional technology investment firm in Toronto. Read More

Benton Leong

Benton Leong

Investor; Member, Selection Committee, Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN)

Participation: Lead Presenter: Angel Overview Workshop (October 6)

Benton Leong is an active angel investor in Southern Ontario. Based in Waterloo, he is a charter member of GTAN and serves on the Board of Directors; he is the Chair of the Selection Committee, responsible for choosing companies that present to GTAN. He coaches many of these companies on how to pitch well to investors in just under 15 minutes. Benton is also on the Board of Directors for Viafoura and DossierView, two of the GTAN member-funded companies. Read More


Warren Libby

Chairman, Bioenterprise Corporation

Participation: Impact Ag-Tech Track, (Oct 6)

Warren was raised on a dairy farm in southwestern Ontario and has been involved in agriculture his entire life, mainly within the Crop Protection industry. Warren worked over 27 years with Syngenta and its predecessor companies (Novartis and Ciba-Geigy) both in Canada and Europe. During that time he served as president of both Syngenta Canada and Novartis Crop Protection Canada. Read More


Stuart Lombard

CEO, Ecobee

Participation: Stream 2: Investing in Energy: Why Bother? – Breakout, (Oct 7)

A born innovator, Stuart Lombard’s destiny was set by the age of 12 when he began building a foldable canoe that could be carried around in a briefcase. Today, as the President and CEO of ecobee, he is so committed to his work that he was once seen buzzing around the subway during rush hour wearing a bee costume. Granted, it was Halloween. Why such dedication? Because he’s proud to have founded a product that significantly impacts people’s lives and the environment. When Stuart’s not busy fulfilling his role at ecobee, you may find him running, cycling, undertaking a triathlon – or chasing his dog. You may also find him tinkering away on a woodwork project. Trying to finish that foldable canoe? Perhaps.


Hambleton Lord

Managing Director, Launchpad Venture Group & Co-Founder Seraf

Participation: Succession Planning & Structuring Investment Portfolios – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Ham Lord is an active member of the Boston entrepreneurial community. In the early part of his career he was on the founding team of three software companies: MicroChem Technologies, Polygen and Advanced Visual Systems. In 2000, Ham joined a small angel group and became one of the region’s most active angel investors. Since 2002, Ham has been at the forefront of developing best practices for angel investing. Seraf (www.seraf-investor.com) is his latest company with the explicit goal of bringing a new level of professionalization to the angel investment asset class. Read More


Dr. Patricia Lorenz

COO, Avertus Inc. and Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario

Participation: Make Money + Impact: Ag-Tech (2:45 to 4:00pm) (Oct 6)

Patricia Lorenz has served on the board of the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario since 2008, has been a director of Agricorp, a provincial agency, since 2013 and is a former director of NACO. Read More


Caitlin MacGregor

CEO & Founder, Plum

Participation: Panel: Adding Value Through Due Diligence, (Oct 6)

Caitlin MacGregor is the CEO/Co-founder of Plum, a SaaS hiring solution that matches employers and applicants using behavioural science. Plum Caitlin’s her 3rd startup. She was Employee #1/Director of Operations for Me to We Style in Toronto and was President of goQ software in New Hampshire. Caitlin has been making waves as she was selected as 1 of 10 women run businesses by Springboard Enterprises in NYC and was selected by Google for Entrepreneurs Blackbox Connect program in San Francisco in Oct. 2014. Plum graduated from Communitech Hyperdrive and the Accelerator Centre, are semi-finalists in the 43North Buffalo Pitch Competition and winners of the 2015 Gold Stevie Award for Best New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Human Capital Management Solution.


Dion Madsen

Senior Managing Partner in the Healthcare Fund, BDC Venture Capital

Participation: TBA

Dion Madsen joined BDC Venture Capital in 2012 as Senior Managing Partner in the Healthcare Fund.

Dion brings over 15 years of senior management experience as a financial executive and venture investor, most recently as Founder and Managing Director of Physic Ventures, and as Managing Director of Unilever Technology Ventures, Unilever’s North American corporate venture fund. Prior to Unilever, Dion led Chiron Corporation’s investor communications, as Director of Investor Relations, and built a new strategy for the company’s $500M BioPharma business. Before moving to San Francisco, Dion spent five years as Partner of RBC Capital Partners’ Life Sciences Venture Fund, the first third-party capital fund in RBC Capital Partners’ history. Read More


Boris Mann

Managing Partner, HUMAN

Participation: Structuring Deals and Term Sheets Workshop (Oct 6) + Using Technology to Support Angel Investing – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Boris has been active in the Vancouver startup ecosystem for over a decade. He co-founded Bootup Labs, the first startup accelerator in Canada. Boris is also the co-founder of Full Stack, an experimental early stage investment fund.

Boris is currently COO and Business Design Lead for HUMAN, a product design consultancy focusing on body-worn computing. He helps run Open Angel Canada, a startup investment pitch series.


Jack McGowan

Project Manager, Insyte Consulting & Director, Western New York Venture Association/ Buffalo Angels

Participation: Cross- Border Syndication- Breakout, (Oct 7)

John A. (Jack) McGowan is the Executive Director of the Western New York Venture Association/Buffalo Angels, an angel network and fund that invests primarily in companies located in Upstate New York and Southern Ontario. Jack has served in this role for over twenty years and has been deeply involved in the evolution and growth of the Buffalo Angels from a series of informal company presentations to a formal network of accredited angel investors and a $1.2 million angel fund. Read More


Randy McLachlan

Managing Director, Genbridge Family Offices Inc. & GTAN

Participation: Succession Planning & Structuring Investment Portfolios – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Having advised families and their businesses from traditional professional practices,  including accounting firms, law firms, a registered brokerage firm, a Canadian bank and its investment counseling firm and an independently-owned investment counseling firm, Randy co-founded Genbridge, a multi-family office, in order to better integrate these disciplines and serve individuals, families and their businesses pre and post succession. Throughout his various professional experiences, one repetitive theme emerged – that of families looking to successfully transition their wealth, including their businesses. The Genbridge multifamily office platform provides families with the unique opportunity to analyze the succession options available to them from a central multi-disciplinary perspective while also taking into account both the subjective and objective factors which come into play. In addition, Genbridge uses an integrated service model to assist the ‘outgoing’ business owners to secure their lifestyle before and after transition.  Randy has the added insight of having grown up in and having a continuing interest in a family business.  Randy has also co- authored a book, Fortune’s Impasse, designed to assist families with assessing their succession options. Read More


William McPhee

Managing Director, Praxis Advisors LLC

Participation: Panel: The Role of an Angel. It is more than the money and raising capital! – Breakout, Oct 8

Bill has 30 years of experience in strategy and operations consulting, fund raising, transactions and venture capital. Most recently Bill served as interim President and CEO of eSight Corp. He has held leadership positions with Praxis Advisors, Health Advances, Mi3 Venture Partners (an early stage life science fund), Lucas, McPhee & Co., Bain & Co. and PepsiCo. Bill received an LL.B and a B.Sc. from McGill University. Bill is an active member of Boston Harbor Angels. He has held numerous board seats, including most recently superDimension (now Covidien), MacuLogix and eSight. He has been a speaker and panelist for many organizations, including NACO, MassMedic and the Institute of Medicine.


Pierre Migner

Participation: Emergence of the Agri Tech Sector– Breakout, (Oct 7)

Pierre Migner has worked in the agri-food and energy industries for the past 35 years. He is the President/CEO of Axter Agroscience inc., a biotechnology company that has developed innovative products that improve crop physiology and that are sold in the North American market. Read More


Hon. Reza Moridi

Minister of Research and Innovation, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, MPP Richmond Hill

Participation: Keynote Address, (Oct 7)

In February 2013, Premier Wynne appointed Reza Moridi Minister of Research and Innovation and in June 2014 as the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Minister Moridi was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2007 representing the riding of Richmond Hill and re-elected in 2011 and 2014.  He has served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Minister of Research and Innovation and the Minister of Energy. Read More


Manny Padda

Founder and Managing Director, New Avenue Capital

Participation: 2015 Pitch Competition, (Oct 7)

Manny is an Entrepreneur, Educator, and Philanthropist based in Vancouver, B.C. He is the founder of New Avenue Capital, an investment firm that provides capital to growing businesses through debt and equity investments, focusing on four fundamental pillars: venture capital, philanthropy, recruitment and private lending. He also is the Managing Director of PM Search Partners, an executive search firm with experience recruiting to over 26 countries. Read More


Michelle Partipilo

Executive Search Consultant, PM Search Partners

Participation: Best Practices for Angel-Backed Companies Workshop, (Oct 6)

Michelle Partipilo is a highly experienced Executive Search Consultant, providing professional execution services to top-tier retained executive search firms. She has a strong network of contacts across Canada, primarily focused in Toronto and Vancouver. Read More

Basil Peters

Dr. Basil Peters

M & A Advisor, Strategic Exits Corp & Member, WPO British Columbia, YPO – Young Presidents’ Organization

Participation: Exit Strategies Workshop, (Oct 6)

Basil Peters is the principal of Strategic Exits Corp, a boutique M&A Advisory firm focusing exclusively on BC technology company exits.

Basil founded a venture capital firm, hedge fund and angel fund. After being an investor for a couple of decades he finally realized that successful investing requires two things: making the right investment decisions and getting your money back. The most fun Basil’s had as an entrepreneur, and an investor, are when companies are successfully sold. Read More


Francois Poirier

CEO & Founder, Makerbloks

Participation: Adding Value Through Due Diligence, (Oct 6)

Francois Poirier, founder of MakerBloks, graduated from the Founder Institute and Startup NEXT with both jury awards. Winning Montreal TechCrunch Pitch-Off and the Fundica Funding Roadshow, Francois closed a successful crowdfunding campaign funded at 191%. He now puts all his energy into changing the way children learn electronics by building an inspiring brand.


Jason Read

Commercial Account Manager, Royal Bank of Canada, Knowledge Based Industries

Participation: Angel Ready Startup Showcase, (Oct 6)

Jason Read is Commercial accounts relationship manager with RBC Royal Bank. His clients include a varied portfolio of technology companies across Southwest Ontario.‎ As part of RBC’s Knowledge Based Industries group, Jason assists companies from early stage all the way through to public companies with various needs including advice and mentoring around raising capital, business strategies, and managing accelerated growth.

‎In addition to quarterbacking various day to day banking needs for existing clients, Jason can also be found working with start-up companies at various incubator centers or attending angel group pitch meetings across the region.


Neetika Sathe

Vice President, Corporate Development, PowerStream Inc.

Participation: Investing in Energy: Why Bother? – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Neetika Sathe is Vice President, Corporate Development and Smart Grid Technologies at PowerStream Inc. She is responsible for implementing PowerStream’s strategy to become a premier integrated energy services provider. Her role in the organization is to identify, analyze and develop leading-edge technologies and business opportunities. Read More


Alec Saunders

Principle Technology Evangelist, Microsoft Ventures

Participation: Trends That’ll Affect How Angels Invest, (Oct 7)

As Principle Evangelist at Microsoft Ventures, Alec is responsible for building connections with startup communities globally. Prior to Microsoft, Alec held multiple roles at BlackBerry and BlackBerry subsidiary QNX, including Vice President Developer Relations and Ecosystem Development, and Vice President QNX Cloud. Before joining BlackBerry Alec co-founded Iotum, an award-winning communications startup and one of three companies where Alec has been a founder in his career; served as vice president of marketing at Versatel Networks; and headed up the marketing efforts for several key initiatives at Microsoft, including the launch of Internet Explorer in 1995. Alec was an early adopter of social media as a branding, awareness, and SEO strategy. His award-winning blog (2002-present) has been recognized on most of the Top 10/Top 100 lists for telecommunications and VoIP blogs.

Michelle Scarborough

Michelle Scarborough

Co-Chair – National Angel Capital Organization
Partner – Fronterra Ventures

Participation: Moderator: Important and Emerging Industry Sectors in 2016 – Plenary, (Oct 7) + Moderator: The Blurring Line Between VCs and Angels- Breakout, (Oct 8)

Michelle Scarborough is an experienced entrepreneur and investor with a track record of business achievement spanning more than 18 years. Michelle is currently a Partner with Fronterra Ventures, an energy technology venture fund investing in early stage technologies for the oil and gas and mining sectors. Also active in the angel investment community, Michelle was a founder of Smart Ventures, an angel fund which delivered close to $5M in investment in early stage companies across Canada. Ms. Scarborough is Co-Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization in Canada. Read More


Brian Scott

Angel with BlueTree Allied Angels

Participation: Adding Value Through Due Diligence Workshop, (Oct 6)

Brian Scott is an angel investor with BlueTree Allied Angels and is the founder, President, and CEO of Express Management Group, a $1.8 million Ohio company operating several lines of business.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at Gannon University, as well as the former Chief Information Officer and Director of Acquisitions at Rentway, which was a publicly traded NYSE company. Read More


Sunil Sharma

Managing Partner, Extreme Venture Partners

Participation: The Value of Investing Foreign Talent, (Oct 7)

Sunil Sharma is Managing Partner with Extreme Venture Partners (EVP), one of Canada’s most active seed-stage venture capital funds. Sunil focuses on disruptive technology opportunities in areas including mobile, cloud, saas, data and internet-of-things (essentially both software and hardware business models).  Sunil’s overwhelming focus is on the entrepreneur and he leverages his ability to engage his extensive network to help founders build exceptional companies quickly. In addition to his role with EVP, Sunil is very active in many other areas of the startup ecosystem. Sunil is Director of the Founder Institute, the world’s largest idea-stage accelerator, where he has launched chapters in both Toronto and in Waterloo. Sunil is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Communitech in Waterloo (a place he considers his second home).  Previous to this Sunil confounded Extreme Startups and lead 15 investments. In total Sunil has invested in or launched more than 50 startups in the past 3 years.


David Shore

Director of Investor Relations, OurCrowd

Participation: Using Technology to Support Angel Investing – Breakout, (Oct 7)

David serves as Director of Investor Relations in Toronto, breaking new ground for OurCrowd and startup investing in Canada. Prior to OurCrowd, David was a venture capitalist, angel investor and top ranked equity analyst at Mackie Research, CIBC, and Desjardins. As the Managing Director of Terracap Ventures, David developed the firm’s overall corporate strategy. David also served as Head of the Technology Group for Mackie Research Capital in the Equity Research department covering Software & Media sectors. David was consistently ranked as a leading technology analyst (software) in Canada, and prior to joining Mackie Research Capital worked at leading financial institutions, including Desjardins, CIBC World Markets, and First Marathon. David ‘s operational experience includes roles as CFO at several startups including Cavet and Beam Networks. David sits on the Advisory Board of the Canadian Innovation Exchange and also serves as an Advisor to Charity Bids. Additionally, David was a board Director at Sarda Technologies and Helix Medical Systems and recently joined The Next 36 as an advisor.


Kuljeev Singh

Senior Associate, iGan partners

Participation: Investing in Healthcare Innovation, (Oct 7)

Kuljeev has over 5 years of experience working in the private equity and venture capital sector. As a Senior Associate of iGan Partners, he works in the origination, assessment, due diligence, structuring and execution of iGan’s investments. He also works closely to support portfolio companies on an ongoing basis. Read More


Brian Smith

BMO Entrepreneurial Finance Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, member, GTAN

Participation: Lead Presenter: Supporting Angels Workshop, (Oct 6)

Dr. Brian F. Smith is the BMO Entrepreneurial Finance Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. He has been an active researcher and teacher of Finance for nearly 30 years. He has published extensively in the areas of corporate finance with a focus on closely held companies and the Canadian capital markets. He is an Associate Editor of Financial Review and the Journal of Financial Research. Brian has served as President and Treasurer of the Northern Finance Association, the leading academic finance association in Canada. Brian teaches entrepreneurial finance and valuation courses. He supervises the Laurier Startup Fund, a real money practicum that gives undergraduate and MBA students an opportunity to analyze and make recommendations concerning funding requests from early stage companies. Brian works closely with the Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN), the Investment Accelerator Fund and an Investment Committee comprised of seasoned angel investors to give students excellent hands on training in due diligence.



Jason Sparaga

Chief Excutive office, Spara Capital Partners and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Spark Power Corp.

Participation: Investing in Energy: Why Bother? – Breakout, (Oct 7)

Jason Sparaga is an authority on entrepreneurship, finance and growth for mid-market companies in Canada. He has domain expertise and a current focus on deals in the renewable energy, power, and infrastructure services sectors although he has “banked” nearly every industry in Canada. Read More


John Stackhouse

Senior Vice President, Office of the CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

Participation: Moderator: Keynote Fireside Chat, (Oct 7)

As Senior Vice-President in the Office of the CEO at Royal Bank of Canada, John Stackhouse is adviser to the executive leadership team and board of directors on economic, political and social affairs, and a champion for the bank on public policy. Read More


Damien Steel

Managing Director, OMERS Ventures

Participation: Exit Strategies Workshop, (Oct 6) + 2015 Pitch Competition, (Oct 7) + Keynote Fireside Chat, (Oct 7)

Damien Steel is a managing director at OMERS Ventures, focused on investments in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors. Damien led investments and serves on the board of portfolio companies: Busbud, Fusebill, Klipfolio, Leadsift and Wave. He also led OMERS Ventures investment into PasswordBox, which was acquired by Intel in 2014. Read More


Kevin Sterling

President, Kieretsu Forum Toronto

Participation: Cross- Border Syndication- Breakout, (Oct 7)

Keiretsu Forum is the largest angel investor network in the world with 1,500 members and 39 chapters in 12 countries. Starting in San Francisco in 2000, Keiretsu has invested over US$550M in 700+ early stage companies. Read More


Greg Stewart

Principal, GreenSky Capital Inc.

Participation: Effective Due Diligence Workshop, (Oct 6) + The Blurring Line Between VCs and Angels- Breakout, (Oct 8)

Greg was as an Equity Analyst at Neuberger Berman out of New York, before joining American Strategic Insurance (ASI) where he was CFO. ASI’s revenue grew from $38 million to $506 million during Greg’s tenure and he was instrumental in building an organization that repeatedly won Best Workplace in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. Greg executed $168 million of transactions at ASI, including capitalizing a start-up insurer, buyout of a major owner, acquisition of a competitor, and multiple debt instruments. Greg is the Chairman and CFO of Mirexus Biotechnologies, a materials firm, and President of Istic, Illic Pictures, a film financing organization. Read More


Andrew Taylor

Senior Vice President, Grand Challenges Canada

Participation: Moderator: Make Money + Impact: Med-Tech (1:15 to 2:30pm), (Oct 6)

Andrew D. Taylor is Senior Vice President of Grand Challenges Canada Andrew oversees the Investment/Transition to Scale program. Leading a team of investment and scaling experts, Mr. Taylor is focused on developing and implementing a scaling strategy to translate Bold Ideas into Big Impact. The focus of the strategy is to catalyze “smart partnerships”, and to leverage private capital and know-how to transition bold ideas along the path to scale towards sustainable impact. As part of the senior leadership team, Mr. Taylor is also involved with developing and implementing the overall strategy of the organization. Prior to his current role, Mr. Taylor was Executive Vice President of Grand Challenges Canada (since 2008) and a key member of the start-up phase of the organization. In this role, he led the operations of the organization and supported the development and implementation of Grand Challenges Canada programs. Mr. Taylor is a graduate of the University of Toronto and completed his undergraduate studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he studied Mandarin, Chinese culture and China’s biotechnology industry.


Bill Teeple

Senior Business Advisor, Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures

Participation: Important and Emerging Industry Sectors in 2016, (Oct 7)

With over 45 years of financial, operational, and general management experience, Bill Teeple brings an extensive background in senior management leadership and real-world expertise in operational and financial challenges. His areas of expertise include financial restructuring, corporate turnarounds, general management, and complex business transactions, particularly in Europe, Brazil, Japan, and Canada. Bill joined the Tirecraft Group as a CFO, and eventually became president, until he retired in 2008. Now with Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, Bill directs a team that works with entrepreneurs, small- and medium-sized businesses, and other public agencies, to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies made in Alberta.


Michael Thomson

President, Independent Capital Partners Inc.

Participation: 2015 Pitch Competition, (Oct 7)

Michael G. (“Mick”) Thomson, LL. B., is the President of Independent Capital Partners Inc., a corporate advisory firm that focuses on raising capital for emerging issuers and assisting them with “going public” transactions. At present, he is a Director/Officer of three TSX.V listed companies, including Solegear Bioplastic Technologies (TSX.V: SGB), and a capital pool company that has an IPO pending. Mr. Thomson has over thirty years of experience in the Canadian capital markets, as a lawyer, regulator, investment banker and entrepreneur. Mick has been the founding shareholder/principal of ten companies that have gone public on the TSX.V in the last decade.


Randy Thompson

CEO, VA Angels. CEO, BGenerus.com, Chairman, Innovative Trauma Care Inc

Participation: Supporting Angels Workshop, (Oct 6)

R Stewart Thompson (Randy) is a builder of companies, angel investor and angel group leader at Canada’s most active angel group. He has invested in 26 companies with 4 exits, and has been working in the startup venture space for 20 years. He is founder and CEO of VA Angels, which the 130 members have now has funded 110 companies for over $38 m, including a few deals in the US, UK, and Africa. Building this Angel platform led Mr Thompson to be named Startup Canada’s investor of the year for 2015 and a finalist for the same award with Techvibes magazine the two years previous. As an entrepreneur he has been the founder or founding partner in 4 entities, and is currently building Generus Marketing Solutions, a platform for Not4Profits and merchants to develop relationships through ecommerce. Read More

Michael Turner

Michael Turner

Vice President, System Strategies – Wesley Clover International

Participation: Keynote Address, (Oct 8) + Global Policy Comparison Discussion – Plenary, (Oct 8)

Michael Turner is V.P. System Strategies with Wesley Clover International, responsible for government relations, strategic technology tracking and market analysis, and supporting the company’s start-up ventures. Prior to joining Wesley Clover Michael was accountable for ICT operations within the federal government’s common services department, PWGSC. He also enjoyed a lengthy career within the Canadian Coast Guard, culminating in several years as Deputy Commissioner. Michael serves on Canada’s Defence Science Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of the National Research Council’s Emerging Technologies Division, the Advisory Board of the Association of Public Sector Information Professionals, and is a member of NACO’s Policy Committee.


Peter van der Velden

Managing General Partner, Lumira Capital

Participation: Investing in Healthcare Innovation, (Oct 7)

Peter is the Managing General Partner of Lumira Capital, Canada’s largest and most active dedicated healthcare venture capital investor. Peter brings to Lumira 27 years of passionate engagement in Canada’s innovation ecosystem where he has participated as an operator, investor, service provider and mentor. Lumira is currently investing from two venture capital funds and has completed 15 new investments, (9 in Canada) in the past three years. Lumira’s prior Fund enjoyed significant success, including two billion dollar plus exits (sale of Pharmasset to Gilead and the sale of Mako Surgical to Stryker). Read More


Mike Volker

Director, Simon Fraser University Innovation Office and Director, WUTIF, GreenAngel and VANTEC

Participation: Supporting Angels Workshop, (Oct 6) + Moderator: Global Angel Investing Community Trends – Plenary, (Oct 7) + Moderator: Global Policy Comparison Discussion – Plenary , (Oct 8)

Michael Volker is an Entrepreneur active in the development of new high technology ventures. He is president of Simon Fraser University’s SFU Univentures Corp, Chairman of Greenangel Energy Corp, [GAE.V] and CEO of WUTIF Capital and PowerHaus Technology Ventures VCC. Mike runs the Vancouver Angel Network, VANTEC and is President of the Vancouver chapter of the Keiretsu Forum.

In 2009, He was named ANGEL OF THE YEAR Nationally and Provincially (BC). Read More


John Walker

Managing Director, Kensington Capital Partners

Participation: Investing in Energy: Why Bother? – Breakout, (Oct 7)

John Walker is a Kensington Managing Director and a member of the Investment Committee. He is responsible for Kensington’s infrastructure business, with a seat on the Board of Directors of the Kensington Crowsnest Alberta L.P. and Genalta Power Inc. John is also Chairman of U.S. Geothermal Inc. [NYSE: HTM, TSX: GTH], an operating geothermal power company based in Boise, Idaho. He has a 40 year history in urban planning, energy security and power plant development in Canada and internationally. John was a founding director of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority in 1992 and chaired the first Planning and Development Committee of that Board, which provided oversight in the construction of the $4.4 billion terminal complex at Toronto Pearson Airport completed in 2004. Additionally, he was co-founder and a founding Director of the Borealis Infrastructure Fund in 1997 which is now owned by the Ontario Municipal Employee Retirement System (OMERS). Read More


Patrick Whalen

Chief Operating Officer, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

Participation: Investing in Healthcare Innovation , (Oct 7)

A serial entrepreneur who has started over 20 businesses in a variety of industries, Patrick J. Whalen is the Chief Operating Officer of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC). In addition to managing the BNMC day-to-day operations Pat is the BNMC’s unofficial “entrepreneur–in-residence.” As such, Pat works to foster collaboration and job creation on campus and throughout the bi-national region. Pat also works to attract dynamic companies and people from around the world to the BNMC. Read More


Andy Wilkes

Board member at National Angel Capital Organization, Partner at Management Initiatives Inc.

Participation: Panel Moderator: The Role of an Angel. It is more than the money and raising capital! – Breakout, (Oct 8)

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 Canadian globally oriented businesses. Read More


Vanessa Williamson

Regional Director, Business Development, Sector Lead, Advanced Health Technologies, Ontario Centres of Excellence

Participation: Make Money + Impact: Med-Tech (1:15 to 2:30pm) (Oct 6)

Vanessa is a successful senior manager with more than fifteen years experience in academic and industrial R&D, technology transfer, and commercialization.  She spent her early career in the biotech industry, initially as a development scientist, and later leading the scale up and manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients.  Most recently, she has been responsible for the development and implementation transformative change involving industry-academic partnerships leading to economic and social prosperity. Read More


Mike Woollatt

CEO, CVCA (Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equality Association)

Participation: Welcome Address and Opening Night Social Event, (Oct 6)

Mike is CEO of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA). Previously Mike was an entrepreneur who co-founded, amongst other businesses, Beaconsfield Group – a successful management consulting and public affairs firm. He has held senior executive roles at various major Canadian corporations including Bell Canada, CTVglobemedia, and Canwest Global Communications. Before entering the private sector, Mike worked for the Government of Canada as an economist in the Department of Finance and as a policy advisor to the Minister of Finance. Mike has also worked overseas as an economist on World Bank-funded projects and was a College-level economic Instructor. He holds a BA and MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia.