Vision to Reality Awards 2013

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Judge and speaker bios

The following judges and speakers represent a wide range of experience and perspectives in the emerging tech industry.

George Babu
Director, OMERS Ventures

George BabuIn his role as Director at OMERS Ventures, George is responsible for contributing to the identification and execution of investment opportunities in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors, with a particular interest in human-computer interfaces, hardware platforms, mobile and enterprise software.

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George BabuIn his role as Director at OMERS Ventures, George is responsible for contributing to the identification and execution of investment opportunities in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors, with a particular interest in human-computer interfaces, hardware platforms, mobile and enterprise software.

An accomplished entrepreneur, George’s past experience includes senior roles at successful startups and established technology companies. Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, George acted as general counsel and head of U.S. operations for Stockholm-based social gifting startup Wrapp, where he negotiated key partnerships and built out the U.S. team in New York and San Francisco. As co-founder and head of finance and operations at social performance platform Rypple, George gained significant experience raising capital, recruiting for key positions, and executing the company’s sale to Salesforce.com in 2011. Earlier in his career George spent nine years at Research In Motion on the Intellectual Property and Radio Frequency Research and Development teams.

George currently serves on the board of AppHero as an Independent Director and the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Engineering Science at the University of Toronto.
 



Sophie Forest
Managing Partner, Brightspark

Sophie ForestSophie is a Managing Partner of Brightspark and is based in their Montreal office. She has more than 18 years of experience in the high-tech venture capital industry and prior to joining Brightspark, she was a partner at CDP Capital Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of la Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, a position she held since 1996.

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Sophie ForestSophie is a Managing Partner of Brightspark and is based in their Montreal office. She has more than 18 years of experience in the high-tech venture capital industry and prior to joining Brightspark, she was a partner at CDP Capital Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of la Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, a position she held since 1996.

She has led or overseen more than 50 investments in technology companies in Canada and abroad over the past 20 years. Sophie played a pivotal role in the investment, growth and exit of Radian6, leading to a 23x multiple on capital invested — one of the most successful technology exits in Canadian history.

As co-CEO of Brightspark 3.0, Sophie helped develop Internet solutions that led to the creation and growth of Jewlr.com and iStopOver.com.

Sophie is a member of the advisory committee on small business and entrepreneurship for the Canadian government, as well as a member of the Canadian Digital Media Network advisory board.
 



Elaine Kunda
Start-up Consultant

Elaine KundaA serial entrepreneur and recognized expert in the digital media space, Elaine has successfully built teams and realigned business strategies for over 15 years. Currently consulting and advising start-ups, Elaine is working to help smart early stage companies reach their goals and access financing. Prior to consulting, she was CEO of B5Media.

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Elaine KundaA serial entrepreneur and recognized expert in the digital media space, Elaine has successfully built teams and realigned business strategies for over 15 years. Currently consulting and advising start-ups, Elaine is working to help smart early stage companies reach their goals and access financing. Prior to consulting, she was CEO of B5Media. Elaine launched and oversaw all aspects of the network’s properties including The Grindstone, Crushable, Mommyish, Blisstree, and The Gloss. The company was sold to Alloy Digital in April 2012.

Elaine was also the CEO of Ziplocal which was sold to Canpages in 2009. She spent over six years at Toronto.com, Canada’s top online regional portal and started her online career in Business Development at Grey Interactive in 1998.

Elaine also serves as a dedicated advisor to the G(irls)20, which works to encourage G8 and G20 leaders to prioritize the political empowerment and economic freedom of females worldwide. The organization’s summit brings together female candidates from each G20 country to debate social issues and devise economic innovations.
 



Brice Scheschuk
Co-founder and CFO, WIND Mobile

Brice ScheschukBrice is the co-founder, Director, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Human Resources of Globalive Communications & WIND Mobile. He has been with Globalive & WIND for nine years in a senior finance capacity and is responsible for all aspects of finance, facilities, business planning and human resources including direct responsibility for raising in excess of $1.4 billion in capital.

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Brice ScheschukBrice is the co-founder, Director, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Human Resources of Globalive Communications & WIND Mobile. He has been with Globalive & WIND for nine years in a senior finance capacity and is responsible for all aspects of finance, facilities, business planning and human resources including direct responsibility for raising in excess of $1.4 billion in capital.

Brice is the CFO of Globalive Capital and AAL Corp as well as Co-President of Brave Investment, investment holding companies focused on private and public company and fund investing and manages approximately $100 million in assets across a number of investment classes including alternative funds, private and public equity, venture capital, angel, real estate, CPC’s, SPAC’s and RTO’s.

He is the Chairman and Director of Samba Days, a gift experiences company, and a past director of a number of public and private companies including Web Host Industry Review, iLookabout, Hy-Drive Technologies and Varicent Software. A passionate entrepreneur and investor, Brice has been involved in some of the most exciting start-ups in Canada over the past 18 years.
 



Ben Yoskovitz
VP Product, GoInstant

Ben YoskovitzBen is VP Product at GoInstant, a company building co-browsing and shared web technology. The company was acquired by Salesforce in late 2012.

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Ben YoskovitzBen is VP Product at GoInstant, a company building co-browsing and shared web technology. The company was acquired by Salesforce in late 2012.

He has over 15 years of experience in web-related businesses. In 2007 he co-founded Standout Jobs, a B2B software company in the recruitment space. The company raised $1.8M from venture and angel investors. Ben then went on to start Year One Labs, an early stage accelerator, which invested in five startups. Three of those went on to raise follow on financing, and one of them, Localmind, exited to Airbnb.

Ben has been blogging since 2006. The "Instigator Blog" is recognized as one of the top blogs on startups and entrepreneurship. He is also an active mentor to numerous startups and accelerator programs. Ben recently co-authored and published Lean Analytics, a book on how to use data to build a better startup faster.
 

 

Roger Chabra
Partner, Rho Ventures

Roger ChabraRoger is a partner of Rho Canada Ventures. With more than 15 years of venture capital, operating and entrepreneurial experience, he seeks to partner with passionate, energetic and visionary entrepreneurs who solve big problems and also possess the innate qualities needed to lead people to achieve their goals.

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Roger ChabraRoger is a partner of Rho Canada Ventures. With more than 15 years of venture capital, operating and entrepreneurial experience, he seeks to partner with passionate, energetic and visionary entrepreneurs who solve big problems and also possess the innate qualities needed to lead people to achieve their goals. When evaluating investment opportunities, Roger’s focus is on the entrepreneurial team behind the venture.

He joined Rho in 2010 and focuses on investments in new media, software, wireless and communication companies at the early stages of development. Prior to Rho, Roger worked as a venture investor at GrowthWorks Capital and at the corporate venture arm of BCE’s wireless division. He was also previously a technology start-up CEO at Mobilessence and worked in a variety of technology-focused roles at Rogers Wireless and Sapphire Technologies (Randstad).

Roger is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing Canada’s competitiveness in the global information economy. He believes Canadian entrepreneurs are among the best talents in the world, and he is passionate about the advantages of growing technology companies in Canada and making them global leaders.
 



Daniel Klass
Managing Partner, Klass Capital

Daniel KlassDaniel is an experienced expansion stage investor and Managing Partner of Klass Capital. He began his career in accounting and went on to spend ten years in senior positions at TD Capital and EdgeStone Capital Partners (two of Canada’s largest merchant banks with over $5 billion of AUM).

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Daniel KlassDaniel is an experienced expansion stage investor and Managing Partner of Klass Capital. He began his career in accounting and went on to spend ten years in senior positions at TD Capital and EdgeStone Capital Partners (two of Canada’s largest merchant banks with over $5 billion of AUM).

Prior to establishing Klass Capital Fund I, LP in early 2011, Daniel was an investor in Freshii, Firmex, Varicent, and UnoApp. Daniel leveraged the success of his portfolio to raise his first fund with institutional backing and now has over $50mm under management. He loves working with his partners and has the patience and drive to build disruptive, innovative and world leading companies.
 



Matt Roberts, Investments,
IT Venture Fund, BDC Venture Capital

Matt RobertsMatt is an investment professional in the IT Venture Fund at BDC Venture Capital where he primarily focuses on early stage Seed and Series “A” opportunities. He joined BDC after he raised the Seed and Series “A” round for Semiconductor startup GaN Systems.

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Matt RobertsMatt is an investment professional in the IT Venture Fund at BDC Venture Capital where he primarily focuses on early stage Seed and Series “A” opportunities. He joined BDC after he raised the Seed and Series “A” round for Semiconductor startup GaN Systems. Prior to this he was an Analyst at Venture Capital firm Wesley Clover Int’l, best known as billionaire entrepreneur Terry Matthews investment group. While there he coordinated internal operations and facilitated the growth of new seed based start-up companies.

Matt also co- founded and acted as CEO at his own startup, JohnnyVoIP, a company that developed a web based VoIP application platform. Previous to this he was the Business Development & Strategy lead at an Ottawa based startup investor (SeedCapital.ca) and at eighteen was the youngest Project Coordinator (Manager) at Newbridge Networks working in the LMDS wireless group (now part of Alcatel Canada).
 



Divesh Sisodraker
Partner, Vanedge Capital

Divesh SisodrakerDivesh is a Partner of Vanedge Capital. Prior to his current role he was President and CEO of coincidenceLabs, an early stage company that provides consumer brands with social customer relationship management technologies and Executive Vice President and CFO at San Francisco based Taleo Corporation.

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Divesh SisodrakerDivesh is a Partner of Vanedge Capital. Prior to his current role he was President and CEO of coincidenceLabs, an early stage company that provides consumer brands with social customer relationship management technologies and Executive Vice President and CFO at San Francisco based Taleo Corporation. Taleo’s recruiting software products are used by more than 3.1 million users across 4,400 organizations in 200 countries and territories in 30 languages. During his tenure, Divesh had led Taleo to the second largest software initial public offering on the NASDAQ in 2005.

His experiences include positions as CEO and CFO of Pivotal Corporation, a leader in mid-market CRM software and heading finance at ALI Technologies, an early leader in the development of digital information systems for multi-modal picture archiving and communications systems for radiology departments.

Divesh currently serves on the Board and Governance Committee of Bridgewater System and previously served on the boards of four other public companies: Pivotal Corporation, BasicGov Systems, Chalk Media, and Carmanah Technologies.