"Canada's Innovation All-Stars": Top CEOs in the spotlight as Ontario Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship participates in Hi-Tech industry Gala Award Dinner
June 13, 2007

Ottawa, June 13, 2007 -- The nation's most promising entrepreneurs and innovators will be feted on June 19th in a gathering of Canada's "innovation all-stars", says the president of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA). "We think it sends a strong signal about Ontario's commitment to competitive-edge technology that we have the participation of the province's newest Ministry," said CATA president John Reid.

Ontario's Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Harinder Takhar, will make the presentation of the Sarah Kirke Award, given each year to Canada's leading woman entrepreneur. The newly-created Ministry is central to the Ontario government's drive to encourage strong business development, according to Premier McGuinty, who said in a recent statement: "Small business accounts for approximately 40 per cent of employment in Ontario. We want to further highlight the importance of small business by dedicating a separate ministry to it, led by someone with extensive experience -- Harinder Takhar."

Panel addresses the entrepreneurship challenge: staying ahead

Sir Terrence Matthews and four of Canada's most successful young CEO's will give their views on whether Canada is capable of taking advantage of the coming boom in the high tech sector, said Mr. Reid. "There are signs that Canada, instead of being poised for take-off, is not rising to the challenge of global entrepreneurship: we have slipped to 11th place rather than sixth place in terms of technological readiness. The best people to give us the success formula are those who are exemplary successes. I asked my CATA Board to find the four 'next generation' Terry Matthews CEOs, and they did!"

Hosted by Paul Brent, of CTV's TECH NOW, the Gala Dinner panel consists of "success icons", states Mr. Reid.

The inspiration is Sir Terry Matthews, Chairman of Wesley Clover and Chairman of Mitel and March Networks, two companies active in developing Internet Protocol (IP) systems for enterprise applications. Prior to joining March Networks, he served as CEO and Chairman of Newbridge Networks Corporation, a company he founded in 1986. Providing leadership and vision for 14 years, Terry helped Newbridge become a leader in the worldwide data networking industry. When France-based Alcatel acquired Newbridge in May 2000, the company employed more than 6,500 employees and recorded FY 1999 revenue of $1.8 billion. His panel of new entrepreneurs includes:

  • Wayne Purboo, CEO and Co-Founder of QuickPlay Media Inc., recognized as the Canadian New Media Company of the Year in 2006.

  • Leila Boujnane is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Idée Inc., the leader in visual search solutions for digital media.

  • Albert Lai, regarded as a Web 2.0 leader and consumer technology icon in Canada, was was the founder and CEO of BubbleShare.

  • Matthew Rapoport, CEO and Founder of Allaris Technology Solutions, a Toronto-based software company offering affordable Enterprise Resource Planning.

Gala Awards:

The prestigious Innovation Awards Gala has become one of the most eagerly awaited events in Canada's business calendar. At the Awards evening, the Winners will be recognized for their innovation, expertise, and leadership in Canada's advanced technology community. Awards will be presented in the following areas:

  • Outstanding Product Achievement (ICT)
  • Outstanding Product Achievement (Nanotechnology)
  • Emerging Technology
  • Excellence in Science and Technology Reporting
  • Private Sector Innovation and/or Leadership in Advanced Technology
  • Public Sector Leadership in Advanced Technology
  • IT Strategic HR Management
  • Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship

The CATA Innovation Awards Gala Dinner is being held at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel, Ottawa, on Tuesday, June 19th.