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Board of Directors

Mark Lawrence

Mark Lawrence has been Managing Partner of NorthCrest Partners Inc., an Exempt Market Dealer, since September 2003, and is also President of CML Capital Ventures Inc., serving in that role since June 1997. He was from 2007 to 2017 a Director of, Chair of Governance, and Audit Committee member, of Stone Investment Group Limited, a mutual fund company with assets under admin of about $600 million (a non-listed reporting issuer.)

Mr. Lawrence is an active investor in private start-up companies in sectors ranging from financial services software and services, alternative energy, green tech, telecommunications, materials and Internet software.

Since-mid 2012, Mr. Lawrence has also been a member of the Financial Assistance Committee of Angel Investors Ontario. He has been a Founder and Director of a number of TSX Venture listed companies, some through the Capital Pool Program. His previous roles included Founding Director of Soltoro Ltd., a TSX Venture listed company (Mexican silver exploration), Director of Axiotron Corp. (Tablet Computers), Software Growth Inc., and York Ridge LifeTech Inc.

Mr. Lawrence holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queens University, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business. He received his designation of P.Eng from the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario and his Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the Association for Investment Management and Research.

Parm Gill
Vice Chair

Mr. Parm Gill is a serial entrepreneur with a myriad of start-up experience having launched several technology businesses over his career.  As Managing Partner of the Gill Group, he acts as a strategic advisor, mentor, investor, and connector for start-up companies. He brings with him the experience and expertise of guiding the growth and development of numerous startup companies, with a focus on strategic planning, business development, fundraising, and intellectual property development and commercialization.

His passion for entrepreneurship is equally matched by his passion for giving back to the community through active involvement with a number of charitable and non-profit organizations. Currently, those include: 

  • Chair, Board of Directors & Member, Governance Committee– Venture For Canada,
  • Vice-Chair Board of Directors & Chair, Finance Assistance Committee – Angel Investors Ontario,
  • Charter Member & Board Member – Ottawa Chapter of TiE Global, and 
  • Board Member – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute 

Mr. Gill can be quoted as saying, “Focus on the positive, keep learning, and whatever you do in life #LoveIt!” You can find out more about him at LinkedIn.com/in/ParmGill, where he can also be contacted, and he can be found on Twitter @ParmSGill

Blake Witkin

Blake Witkin

Blake Witkin, Chair of the Board of Directors, specializes in the financing, development and commercialization phases of growth start-up companies.He is Managing Partner and founding Board Director of high-tech start-up, Atra Vision Inc.

Following a degree in Business Administration from Western’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Mr. Witkin became an executive and private investor of Image Processing Systems Inc., a TSX-listed corporation that was ranked #1 in growth by Profit Magazine. When the company merged to become Photon Dynamics Canada Inc., Mr. Witkin was its Vice President.

For over 20 years, Mr. Witkin has taken computer engineering products to market in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Mr. Witkin is also a member, Co-Founder and former Board Director of Maple Leaf Angels.


David Brown

David Brown practises in the areas of Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance at WeirFoulds LLP. He has been named by Best Lawyers® as one of the best lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Corporate Law. He handles all manner of M&A, Private Equity and Debt transactions with an emphasis on: private company sales and divestitures; middle-market company mergers and acquisitions; and the Canadian component of institutional fund purchases and divestitures.

David has also developed an active international practice representing finance firms in New York, Chicago, Frankfurt and London. David has spoken extensively on the topics of Mergers and Acquisitions transactions and Private Equity investments. He also possesses an admiration for venture stage entrepreneurs and takes on a select number of venture stage engagements each year, providing structuring advice, mentoring and financing contacts to worthy emerging companies.

David sits on the board and is an officer of a number of public, private and charitable endeavours.

Paul Chipperton

Paul Chipperton is an award-winning serial entrepreneur in the Tech industries with a proven track record of start-up successes, most notably as 2008 Co-Founder & CEO of Profound Medical Inc., a prostate cancer medical device company. As CEO, he raised over $16M of Venture Capital financing and the firm subsequently went public on the TSX Venture exchange (TSXv:prn) in 2015. Under his leadership, the company also received the prestigious Ontario Premier’s Catalyst Award for “best start-up” in Ontario.

A 20+-year veteran of entrepreneurial financing, he has raised capital at almost every stage of a company’s growth cycle, from recent crowd-funding and “friends & family” rounds in the tens of thousands, all the way through to Canada’s largest Medtech Series-A VC syndicate for C$10.3M in 2011. Paul also serves as an independent strategic reviewer to the Canadian Federal Government's Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF).

He is a board member and/or advisor to several private companies, including Intronix Technologies and Viryl Technologies. He is a part-time lecturer and author of multiple innovation, entrepreneurship and marketing courses at Queen’s, McMaster and Ryerson Universities.

Michael Nobrega

Michael Nobrega retired as the President and CEO of OMERS on March 31, 2014, a position to which he was appointed on March 7, 2007. He also served as OMERS Chief Investment Officer from March 7, 2007 to December 31, 2009. From 1998 to the date of his promotion as OMERS President and CEO, Mr. Nobrega was President and CEO of Borealis Infrastructure, the wholly-owned infrastructure investment entity of OMERS.

Mr. Nobrega holds an Honours BA from the University of Toronto and a chartered accountancy designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is a former partner of Arthur Andersen, where he practiced tax law in mergers and acquisitions and corporate reorganizations.

In 2012, Mr. Nobrega was appointed Chair of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). A champion of leading edge technologies, OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow. Mr. Nobrega is also a Board member of the Global Risk Institute, which was established in 2011 to address issues related to systemic risk in the global financial sector.

Mr. Nobrega is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, which recognizes outstanding career achievements as well as excellence in service to the community and the profession. Mr. Nobrega is also the recipient of the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for outstanding community service.

Krista LaRiviere

Krista LaRiviere is passionate about the martech space and helping customers navigate the digital marketing ecosystem to help grow their businesses, and brings 21 years of marketing experience and entrepreneurial thinking. Having founded and successfully exited three digital marketing companies, most recently gShift, which was acquired by Mintent, Krista has also been ranked as one of Canada’s top female entrepreneurs by Profit’s W100. Krista leads the strategic direction of Marketing at Mintent, and in her spare time enjoys writing and speaking about the changing landscape of owned and earned media. Krista holds degrees in Economics, Business Administration and Applied Information Technology. She is an active Rotarian and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee recipient for her work with charities.

Dr. Lubna Tirmizi

Dr. Lubna Tirmizi is an experienced medical doctor with a demonstrated history of working in the medical practice industry, with skills in medicine, healthcare & healthcare management, leadership, and long-term care. She is a full-time physician and owner of Central Pickering Family Practice, the Seniors’ Clinic Lead at Shepherd Village and Extenticare, as well as the Primary Care Lead at CELHIN. Lubna Tirmizi is also a part of the Master Planning Committee at Lakeridge Health Oshawa.

Dr. Tirmizi is a strong healthcare services professional with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Western University.