Advisory Board

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Advisory Board Co-Chairs

Alison Nankivell

Senior Vice President, Fund Investments

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Alison Nankivell is Vice President, Fund Investments and Global Scaling. Based in Toronto, she leads BDC Capital’s team of indirect investments – Canada’s largest venture fund investor, with investments in more than 60 funds and close to $1 billion in...more

Kirk Simpson

Co-Founder & CEO

Kirk Simpson, CEO and co-founder of Wave

In 2010, Kirk co-founded Wave, and has since guided the company to 400,000 active small businesses registered, 250+ people on the Wave team, and over $100 million in funding raised from investors around the world. Under Kirk, Wave has won numerous awards for leadership,...more

Advisory Board Members

Chris Albinson

Chief Executive Officer & President

Albinson is Co-Founder & Managing Director of BreakawayGrowth Fund.  We look for founders with a capital-efficient mindset who will achieve more with less. This matters. Our focus is on early-stage companies in North America. We are happy to partner with founders early and be the first investor or invest as...more

John Albright

Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Relay Ventures

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John is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Relay Ventures as well as Co-Founder and Board Member of Alate Partners and Playmaker Capital. John has over 20 years of experience helping entrepreneurs shape their vision and capital plans for long-term,...more

Chris Arsenault

Managing Partner
Inovia Capital

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Chris Arsenault has more than 25 years of operating and investing experience, and through his vision, has been a key pillar of today's rich Canadian tech ecosystem. Through his decades of leadership, Chris has developed an outstanding track record of...more

Layth Ashoo

Maverix Private Equity

Layth is a Partner at Maverix Private Equity. In this role, he is responsible for deal sourcing, execution and portfolio company oversight. He brings 15 years of industry experience spanning private equity, management consulting, investment banking and software development. Layth has been involved in the origination, evaluation, execution, and oversight...more


Tyson Baber

Lead Investor

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Tyson Baber is a Partner on our Investment team and manages a range of activities including deal selection, due diligence and post-investment support. In addition to serving on the boards of several portfolio companies, Tyson provides expertise and guidance in...more

Sue Britton

CEO & Founder
Fintech Growth Syndicate

Sue Britton is CEO and Founder of FinTech Growth Syndicate (FGS). FGS is a corporate innovation accelerator that works with traditional or incumbent organizations to help them research and develop new product innovations.

Sue started FGS after a successful 25 year innovation corporate career, and is a first time and successful...more

Joe Catalfamo

Venture Advisor

Joe brings over 28 years of venture capital investing and a wealth of experience in the Mobile, Enterprise Software and Digital Media verticals.

His diverse and extensive experience allowed him to play an integral role in the formation, strategic direction, overall growth and business development of emerging companies.

Joe, as a co-founding...more

Roger Chabra

General Partner
Rho Canada Ventures

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Roger Chabra is a General Partner at Rho Canada Ventures, a division of Rho Capital Partners focused on early-stage investing in Canada’s most innovative technology companies. With more than 15 years of venture capital, operating and entrepreneurial experience, he seeks...more

Marcus Daniels

Founding Partner & CEO
Highline BETA

Marcus is CEO and Founding Partner of Highline BETA, a venture capital and a startup co-creation company. He leads visionary execution, strategic deals, accelerator

platform growth, and new venture funding. He has 20+ years as a serial tech entrepreneur and was previously the Co-Founder and CEO of and Managing Director...more

Jonathan Dogterom

Senior Vice President Venture Services
MaRS Discovery District

Jon Dogterom is the Senior Vice President of Venture Services at MaRS Discovery District where he leads programming and advisory support to help grow Canada’s leading innovative companies in Health, Cleantech, Fintech and Enterprise. Prior to leading the Venture Services Team, he was the Managing Director of the Cleantech Practice....more

Brenda Hogan

Chief Investment Officer
Ontario Capital Growth Corporation

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Brenda M. Hogan, Senior Investment Manager

Ontario Capital Growth Corporation

Brenda has over 15 years’ experience in venture capital at the co-investment, fund of funds, and fund level investing. She has represented OCGC’s interests in over 25 venture capital investments.

Brenda has held...more


Michael Hyatt

Hyatt Family Office

Michael Hyatt is the co-founder of BlueCat, which was sold to Madison Dearborn Partners, of Chicago, IL. He serves as a director of BlueCat, ranks as one of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, and is a known as a technology visionary. Michael is also a weekly business commentator on CBC and was...more

Speaking on: CIX TOP 10 GROWTH SHOWCASE # 2

Neha Khera

General Partner
2048 Ventures

Neha Khera is a Partner at 2048 Ventures, and has been an early-stage VC for nearly a decade. Prior to 2048 Ventures Neha was a Partner with 500 Startups, investing in early-stage startups from around the globe. Neha was also co-founder of 500 Startups Canada, and...more

Justin LaFayette

Lead Investor, Head of Firm

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Justin LaFayette is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Georgian Partners. Justin leads Georgian Partner’s investments in Bluecore, DefenseStorm, IEX,, Polar, PrecisionLender, Signpost, Tealium, Top Hat, True Fit and WorkFusion. Justin also previously led the firm's investments in 41st...more

V. Paul Lee

Managing Partner
Vanedge Capital

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Paul is the founder of Vanedge Capital and is focused on investments in SaaS businesses that target underserved markets and digital media technologies.

Paul was the former President of Electronic Arts and has been a successful angel investor for over 25...more

Matthew Leibowitz

Co-Founder & Managing General Partner
Plaza Ventures

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Matthew is the Co-Founder of Plaza Ventures, a national venture capital firm, spending 7+ years focused on deal flow, board management, ecosystem development, corporate partnerships and investor relations. Matthew is a career VC, having overseen dozens of growth-tech finance investments...more

Dani Lipkin

Managing Director
TSX Inc.

Dani Lipkin carries the role
of Innovation Sector Head for Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)
and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV). In this capacity, he is responsible for working with private companies and their shareholders as they explore and consider the option
of raising equity

Matthew Lombardi


Matthew Lombardi is the Managing Director of OneEleven, Toronto's premier innovation hub for post-seed scaleups. He has worked in leadership roles at Deloitte in Toronto, and the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome, across multiple industries. He also co-founded the not-for-profit marketplace GroceryHero during the earliest days of the...more

Michelle McBane

Managing Director
StandUp Ventures

Michelle (Twitter: @michellemcbane) is passionate about working with amazing technology entrepreneurs applying disruptive technologies to solve problems in enterprise, health and consumer markets. Michelle is a skilled business professional with many years of combined operational and venture capital experience. Her background includes 16 years of venture capital investing early- and...more

Giselle Melo

Founder & General Partner
Matr Ventures

The VC system is methodically designed to result in a particular outcome. Understanding the industry as it exists today, I’m relentlessly committed to helping underestimated founders grasp the rules of the game while simultaneously creating structures to tip the scales in our favor.

Matr, will invest up to $1 million in...more

Rick Nathan

Managing Director
Kensington Capital Partners

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Rick Nathan leads Kensington’s venture capital investment program as a Managing Director and member of the firm’s Investment Committee.  His career spans many years across the private equity and venture market as an industry leader, investor and professional advisor.  Rick...more

Senia Rapisarda

Managing Director
HarbourVest Partners (Canada) Ltd.

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Senia Rapisarda joined HarbourVest in 2014 to focus on partnership and direct co-investments in Canada and to expand HarbourVest’s local presence in the market.

Senia joined the Firm from BDC Venture Capital, where she was responsible for the establishment of a...more

Michelle Scarborough

Managing Partner, Thrive Venture Fund and Women in Technology Venture Fund
BDC Capital

Michelle Scarborough is Managing Partner, Strategic Investments and Women in Technology Venture Fund. In this position, she leads the origination and execution of strategic initiatives to fill current and future financing gaps in the Canadian ecosystem. She is also responsible for BDC’s $200M investment to bring capital to high-growth tech...more

Speaking on: CIX TOP 10 GROWTH SHOWCASE # 2

Sunil Sharma

Managing Partner

Sunil Sharma is Managing Director for Techstars Toronto.  Techstars Toronto is a city program and Techstars' first accelerator in Canada.  Techstars Toronto is a joint venture between Techstars and Real Ventures (Canada’s most active venture capital fund).

Prior to Techstars Sunil was a Managing Partner with Extreme Venture Partners (EVP) and...more

Speaking on: CIX TOP 20 EARLY SHOWCASE # 4

Robert Simon

Senior Managing Partner, IT Venture Fund
BDC Capital

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Robert Simon joined BDC Capital in 2011 as Senior Managing Partner in the IT Venture Fund. He is responsible for overseeing the IT Venture Fund investments and maximizing value creation across the portfolio.

Robert brings over 25 years of experience as...more

Abdullah Snobar

DMZ Ventures

Abdullah Snobar is the Executive Director of the DMZ and the CEO of DMZ Ventures, the DMZ’s for-profit investment arm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the DMZ is a startup incubator that provides founders with access to the coaching, capital, customers, and community needed to build world-class companies and has helped...more

Damien Steel

Managing Partner and Global Head of Venture Capital
OMERS Ventures

In his role as Managing Partner & Head of Ventures, Damien is accountable for investments and fund operations, while providing strategic oversight to the business globally. Damien joined OMERS Ventures in 2011, having been with the team since its inception that year. Under his leadership, OMERS Ventures expanded to include...more

John Stokes

Real Ventures

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John is an investor who daily resists the urge to get back to being an entrepreneur — but rather chooses to live vicariously through the founders in whom he invests. After having played leading roles in two successful startups in...more

Craig Strong

Round13 Capital


Craig’s main interest is helping entrepreneurs to build powerful sales & marketing machines. He was the co-founder and CEO of Fitzii, an online recruiting company that uses a predictive algorithm to match candidates to employers (sold to the Ian Martin Group). 

Craig worked at Deloitte –...more

Salim Teja

Partner & General Manager
Radical Ventures

Salim Teja brings over 20 years of experience in the technology sector as an entrepreneur, venture investor, corporate innovator and innovation ecosystem builder.

Salim is currently a Partner at Radical Ventures, a USD $350 million venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to transform massive industries.


Boris Wertz

Founding Partner
Version One Ventures

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Boris is founding partner of Version One and one of the top tech early-stage investors in North America. Born in Germany and based in Vancouver, Boris takes a wide-angle view to find great companies all across North America: from New...more

David Wismer

Head, Global Technology Investment & Corporate Banking
BMO Capital Markets, Corp

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David has 18 years of investment banking experience including as Head of BMO Capital Markets’ Technology group. Prior to joining BMO Capital Markets in 2008, David spent eight years covering the sector at another Canadian bank owned dealer. David has...more