New Investment Models: York Region i-CANADA Conference Outlines Success Formulae
May 29, 2012

Crowdfunding and other new investment models, the creation of a ‘millionaire ecosystem’, natural-language software that organizes a community’s information, and using a sector as a growth launch-pad were among the highlight topics at the most recent i-CANADA “Business and Bandwidth” conference in York Region.  Karen Dubeau, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce vice-president and Director, i-CANADA, was part of a dynamic partnership in organizing the event, involving the Region, municipalities , Chambers of Commerce and small business enterprise centres.. 

The partners are now planning a ‘next step’ program to bring the municipal leaders together in an i-CANADA “Springboard” campaign, to accelerate the adoption of an appropriate regional ultra-high-speed network, suited to the region’s needs.

Speakers with nationally-relevant messages for other regions included:

Mark Romoff, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnership, who has a guide of municipal use of PPPs;

David Fell, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario Regional Network, who has successfully established a rural high-speed network;

John Longbottom, Country Executive, Smarter Cities Leader, IBM, who focused on the management of information;

Dave Williams, CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre, who described ‘hospitals without walls’ as a seed for expansion;

Pat Horgan, V.P. Manufacturing and Operations at IBM, who spoke about Watson-style analytics (referring to IBM’s Watson computer) for healthcare and other fields;

Sherwood Neiss, Co-Founder, The StartUp Exemption, and President Obama’s guide to Crowdfunding, who described the job-creating benefits of this new form of capital formation;  Sherwood was introduced by Cindy Gordon, CEO of Helix Commerce International, who is Chair of the CATA/i-CANADA Crowdfunding initiative;

Rick Huijbregts, Vice President, Connected Communities, Cisco, who described ‘virtual centres of excellence’ and how any community can be a knowledge capital;

Chris Miller, CEO, Illuminomics, who showed in detail how communities benefit financially from investment in knowledge work and broadband;

David Jonah, CIO, ITWorld Canada and Cirilab, who demonstrated a model of how community sectors interact using an analysis based on automated searches of real-world sources;

Howard Solomon, Assistant Editor at ITWorld Canada, who described federal and provincial broadband initiatives;

John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto, who described the super-broadband system being constructed by i-Waterfront, and the “software glue” that is holds communities of the future together;

Darin Graham, CEO, ORION, who had a powerful message about the ROI from high-speed communications;

Jim Gragtmans, Principal, ET Group, who spoke about collaborative environments; it was Jim who provided the connection used by the speaker who opened the conference, Bill Hutchison…

Bill Hutchison,  CEO of Hutchison Management International and Chair of i-CANADA, who joined with a live video greeting from Moscow, is applying i-CANADA methodology to help the Russians create a new Intelligent City.  The project, south of Moscow, is a showcase of best practices in the effective use of broadband.  Bill was thanked by Barry Gander, Co-founder of i-CANADA, who described our partnership opportunities around the world, where an amount equal to the entire Canadian economy is being spent every year on the creation of Intelligent Communities.

 For more information about the conference, go to:

To request copies of the presentations in the weeks to come, go to:

…and fill out the newsletter form under “Get Involved”.

The next conference involving i-CANADA is the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) event in Stratford Ontario on June 14th: