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Venture Capital in Canada: Bridging the Expectations Gap between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs
Amar is one of North America’s foremost experts in mobile. Best known for his keen entrepreneurial thinking, Amar spends time educating enterprises and academia about the mobile ecosystem. Amar channeled his passion for entrepreneurship and new technologies by co founding Xtreme Labs with Sundeep Madra to capitalize on the emerging mobile ecosystem in 2007. Through his leadership, Xtreme Labs has become a leading world class mobile strategy and product development organization. In his role as CEO at Xtreme Labs, Amar focuses on driving the culture of innovation and customer satisfaction.
Amar began his career in Silicon Valley with positions in engineering and marketing at Cypress Semiconductor and Jetstream Communications (now Zhone Technologies). He then returned to Canada to focus his expertise as a director for the tech fund management firm VenGrowth Capital Partners, prior to co founding Xtreme Labs. Amar attended the University of Waterloo and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO of Globalive Communications and WIND Mobile, is a Canadian born telecom entrepreneur. Anthony founded Globalive in 1998 and co founded Wind Mobile in 2008.
Anthony was named CEO of the Year for 2010 by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine and was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2006. Under Anthony’s leadership Globalive has received numerous best in business awards, including ranking No.1 on Profit Magazine’s 2004 list of Canada’s 100 fastest growing companies, one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for seven consecutive years, and twice listed as one of Canada’s 30 Best Workplaces
In 2007 Anthony founded the SHAMBA foundation a unique charity that assists other charities with fundraising and organizational efforts. Anthony co produced the award winning Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in London in 2010.
Anthony is a pilot, and enjoys flying for both work and leisure. He also enjoys snow skiing, golf, and personal fitness.
Dr. Michael Bloom:
Dr. Michael Bloom, Vice President, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning at The Conference Board of Canada, is responsible for managing five research groups: Organization Effectiveness and Learning Research; Education, Health and Immigration Programs; Organizational Excellence; Governance and Sustainable Enterprise; and the Saskatchewan Institute. He oversees funded research projects and executive networks at the Conference Board, and has management responsibility for nineteen executive networks.
Corporately, Michael is leading the Centre for Business Innovation whose goal is to bring about major improvements in firm level business innovation in Canada as a cornerstone of improved national competitiveness and prosperity. He is also leading a major multi year Conference Board research initiative, The Centre for Food in Canada, which is developing a Canadian Food Strategy. Previously, he co led CanCompete, a flagship Conference Board research initiative whose 25 studies explored strategies for enhancing Canada’s sustainable competitiveness.
Recent major research projects under his direction and studies authored by him include: The Private Equity Experience of Canadian Business (2013 forthcoming); Financing Innovation by Established Businesses in Canada (2013); Early Stage Finance for Innovation (2013 forthcoming); Saskatchewan in the Spotlight: Acquisition of Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. Risks and Opportunities (2010); Governing Food: Policies, Laws and Regulations for Food in Canada (2011); “Hollowing Out”: Myth and Reality: Corporate Takeovers in an Age of Transformation (2008); Navigating Through the Storm: Leaders and the World of Work in 2020 (2010); Building From the Ground Up: Enhancing Affordable Housing in Canada (2010); Healthy People, Healthy Performance, Healthy Profits: The Case for Business Action on the Socio Economic Determinants of Health (2009); Turning Green Into Gold: Green Marketing for Profit (2009); and Learning and Development Outlook 2009 (2009).
Other projects include: Canada Partner, The Global Competitiveness Report; How Canada Performs, Education and Skills Chapter; 2011 Annual Report Card on the State of Board Diversity; Sector Council Research Project; Socio Economic Benefits of Sport Participation in Canada; and the Public Works and Government Services Procurement Project. He also oversaw development of the Innovation Skills Profile, the General Innovation Skills Aptitude Test (GISAT), and the Skills Credentialing Tool.
Dr. Bloom speaks on innovation and productivity, work and workplaces, human capital, education trends, immigration, health, organizational effectiveness, food policy, credentialing, skills, learning and development, and international benchmarks.
Dr. Bloom is a graduate of the University of Oxford (DPhil) and Carleton University (BA, MA).
Mr. Ruffolo is the Chief Executive Officer of OMERS Ventures, the venture arm of OMERS. OMERS Ventures invests in early to late stage companies in the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications sectors. In addition, he is also the Senior Managing Director, Knowledge Investing with OMERS Strategic Investments.
Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Mr. Ruffolo was a Partner at Deloitte, as well as the Global Thought Leader, the Global Tax Leader and the Canadian Industry Leader for Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice. He was also a member of the firm’s Tax and TMT Global Leadership teams and a member of Deloitte’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Ruffolo has over two decades of experience advising public and private companies around the world. He has worked closely with a number of North America’s leading venture capital and private equity firms and has advised many of the companies in which they invest. He also has extensive experience providing strategic advisory services to Canadian and foreign based TMT companies.
Mr. Ruffolo serves as Chair of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association’s Government Relations Committee and is a member of its Executive Committee. John also serves on the Board of Communitech. In addition, he is on the board of the David Suzuki Foundation and serves as Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation Friends of Ontario. Mr. Ruffolo is also Chair of the Corporate Advisory Committee for the Art Gallery of Ontario. He is a member of the Toronto chapter of the Young Presidents Organization.
A chartered accountant, Mr. Ruffolo was formerly a partner with Arthur Andersen LLP and has also spent time as an instructor for both the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and York University’s Schulich School of Business, from which he holds a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Mike Eppel has been reporting on the markets and business for more than 20 years. Mike graduated from Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts program in 1990, specializing in Broadcast Journalism. While at Ryerson, Mike worked part time as a markets reporter at the Toronto Stock Exchange, which eventually led him to 680 News where he was part of the original launch of the station in the summer of 1993. From 1999 to 2004, Mike was a business reporter for CTV NewsChannel, CTV National News, CFTO and BNN. He returned to 680 News as Senior Business Editor in 2004 overseeing the expansion of business coverage to Rogers All News radio stations across the country and Sportsnet Radio, The Fan 590. He is also seen on CityTV’s Breakfast Television and CityNewsChannel. His broadcast travels have also taken him to Wingham and Barrie. Mike was born and raised in Tillsonburg, Ontario where he started in broadcasting at the age of 16 at the local radio station, CKOT. He also attended the University of Western Ontario, completing fourth year courses in history and political science.