Introducing our STEERING Committee
Chair, IMPACT AI
Co-founder & CEO, MindBridge Analytics Inc. Chair, IMPACT AI. Be persistent, establish your goals, work hard towards them and don’t pay attention to naysayers.As a tech veteran and a successful entrepreneur, this core belief has driven Eli through various successful endeavours, including founding and co-founding seven companies replete with colourful and illuminating stories of survival and success.Eli is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and empowering individuals to chart their own success. His ventures to-date have employed about 300 people, which has contributed over $500 million in salaries and other benefits.Eli has been recognized with multiple awards including Startup Canada 2016 Senior Entrepreneur Award for Canada. He has been featured in numerous publications such as the Financial Post, Globe and Mail, and Huffington Post.Following his belief in giving back to the community, Eli servers on several diverse not-for-profit boards, as well as a publicly traded company. He currently sits on the Board of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Start-Up Canada, C-Com and recently completed a 6-year term on the Board of the Ottawa Community Foundation.Eli has a master’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Ottawa and was the 2016 Alumnus of the year at Algonquin College.Eli is the co-founder and CEO of MindBridge Ai, a company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to uncover errors in financial data. He is motivated by evolving and bringing recognition to Ottawa’s artificial intelligence sector, providing opportunities to those that may otherwise be overlooked and is passionate about giving back to the community.IMPACT AI is Eli’s way of putting Canada and Ottawa on the map for artificial intelligence.
CEO, Collective IQ
Karla is the veteran of creating marketing and strategy experience for top global and domestic brands Canada Post, CIBC Wood Gundy, Empire Life, Homemakers Magazine amongst many. She is the CEO and co-founder of collectiveIQ, an open agency, comprised of over 200 freelance professionals from strategists to storytellers, designers to data scientists, in Canada. In her career spanning two decades, she held leadership positions namely, the Executive Vice President at WPP/Young & Rubicam Canada, responsible for country leadership of the Ford of Canada business spanning multiple marketing agencies. Karla is a speaker, mother and an influencer.
Marketing, MindBridge Ai
Dipalli is challenge lover, lifelong learner and extremely driven with business results. She has 15 years of product and corporate marketing experience and has worked with organisations like TD Canada Trust and Disney. She has been recognized with prestigious awards at TD Canada Trust and was nominated to be “30 under 30” marketing professionals to watch out for Disney India. Dipalli develops relationships to augment internal capabilities, fill gaps, provide market insights to the businesses and acts as champion in managing partner relationships and accelerating business outcomes. Dipalli has a rare talent of facilitating connections through influence and deeply embedded strategic relationships with a view to creating mutual benefit and long-term value creation for both parties. Committed towards making real business impact, she complete her Executive MBA from the Telfer School at the University of Ottawa. She is a keen community leader and volunteers her time leading many entrepreneurial organisations including TiE Ottawa, TiE Con.
Director of Corporate Development
Jim has a proven track record in identifying new areas of opportunity, delivering solutions that address customer challenges and developing long-term relationships that are based on confidence and trust. Working internationally and across Canada, Jim is a multifaceted professional who brings over 25 years’ experience gained in telecommunications and delivering secure identification solutions with companies such as Gandalf Technologies, Bell Canada, Aliant Telecom/NBTel and Canadian Bank Note Company.
President & CEO, Algonquin College
Cheryl Jensen joined Algonquin College in 2014 as the eighth College President, bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in the college system. Cheryl also led the development of a successful proposal to secure a $25-million investment from the federal and provincial governments for the construction of a $45-million entrepreneurship, innovation and learning centre and a one-of-its-kind institute for Indigenous entrepreneurship.Cheryl serves on the Boards of The Ottawa Network for Education, Invest Ottawa, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), and the Ottawa Beechwood Cemetery and Beechwood Cemetery Foundation. She is also a Board member for Polytechnics Canada and a member of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable. She is the recipient of a Hamilton YWCA Woman of Distinction award and a national leadership award from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.
Chief Technology Officer
Robin has over 20 years of experience in business analytics and has a track record as an entrepreneur having worked in and founded successful software startups which were acquired by Cognos and IBM. At IBM, Robin was a technical executive and IBM Distinguished Engineer. Robin has patents and publications in the area of expert systems, security, data processing, and analytics. He holds a first class honours degree in both Physics and Computing Science from Newcastle University in the UK.
Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa; Bayview Yards
Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards, is a communications executive and management consultant with more than 19 years of leadership experience with private and public organizations. With expertise in regional, national and global technology, entrepreneurial, economic development and innovation-based organizations, she specializes in corporate and communications strategy development and execution. Sonya launched her career as the Manager of Communications and Member of the Vice-Presidential Cabinet with the 10G Organization of Optical Networks for Nortel from 1999 to 2002, and then as the Director of Marketing Communications for CMC Microsystems until 2007. Building on a decade of experience, Sonya launched her own strategy company in 2008, addressing the needs of S&T organizations, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development agencies across Canada, and their partners around the world. She currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for Canada’s Capital, and Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s one-stop business acceleration shop. Sonya holds a Bachelor of Arts, Combined Honours in English and Political Science from Carleton University, and has won nine international awards for her work in communications.
Vice President of Growth
John has made clients successful in every major market worldwide during his 17-year career in technology leading world-class sales and professional services organizations. This started after his departure as a corporate finance and accounting practitioner in 2000 so he could grow a startup to +425 employees and exit to IBM with a role of VP Sales Operations in 2010. During his stay at IBM, John held global roles running sales enablement, offering management and design all within the IBM Analytics division. He strives to lead clients to effectively use analytics to change the course of their business.
Incoming President & Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association
Jamie is the Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association. As Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North BA serves over 500 companies and 21,000 working professionals amongst the member base. Previous to KNBA, Jamie launched Canadian SaaS Accelerator, L-SPARK as a member of the founding team in 2014 and subsequently supported 36 portfolio companies in raising over $24M in angel and venture capital funding over her tenure.Jamie is also the co-founder of SaaS North– Canada’s first conference designed to connect 1000+ technology founders, investors and executives to learn, network and grow over a 2 day annual event in Ottawa, Canada. The conference boasts a lineup of local and international experts including executives from Microsoft, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, Hubspot, Hootsuite, Shopify and FreshBooks.An advocate for women in tech, Jamie enjoys mentoring young women through the Technovation program and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Jim Watson Women in Tech Scholarship Fund.
Executive Director, CIO Strategy Council
Jenna Sudds is a champion of Ottawa’s Technology Sector, an accomplished leader, community builder and agent of change. She is the inaugural Executive Director of the CIO Strategy Council working with Canada’ leading CIO’s from private and public sectors to collectively support Canadian innovation and address the challenges and opportunities posed by disruptive technologies.Jenna was also the inaugural Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association which actively promotes and supports over 500 companies located in Canada’s largest Technology Park. Jenna was named Kanata Citizen of the Year and is an Ottawa Chamber of Commer/Ottawa Business Journal Forty under 40 winner and Development Counsellors International 40 Under 40 in 2017. Jenna sits on a number of Boards across the City and is an active volunteer for a number of causes.
Director of Sales Growth Operations
John is a veteran of the hi-tech scene with over 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles in business development, product marketing, sales, sales enablement, channel marketing and alliances. John has worked with major international companies such as Motorola, Avaya, Nortel to start ups such as C-Port Networks (acquired by Motorola in 2000) and Vayyoo Inc. (acquired by CafeX in 2017). John takes pride in identifying opportunities in the market and delivering real business results that meet and exceed customers expectations.