Thorsten Heins is a global business leader with over 30 years experience and expertise in wireless networks, consumer electronics devices, applications and enterprise solutions. He served as President and CEO of BlackBerry Ltd. from 2012 to 2013 after 5 successful years as SVP of BlackBerry handheld business unit. Prior to BlackBerry (RIM), Thorsten was with Siemens AG serving as an executive of various divisions in the communications group. He later took on the role of CTO and became a member of the Board of the Siemens Communications Group.
Tom Kaneb has a successful business and philanthropic career spanning 40 years. Tom’s current business focus is on a range of manufacturing companies where he is a significant shareholder and early stage investor in technology. His philanthropic focus is in Tostan and several smaller NGOs engaged involved in the promotion and protection of human rights and transparent government.
After receiving a MBA in 1975 at Harvard, Tom worked for Gulf Oil in corporate planning and a year later moved to Alberta to start a fiberglass bath ware company. In 1978 he began the process of taking over the family business and, after expanding the business four fold, successfully sold it in 1999. From there Tom began investing in startups and active manufacturing businesses. Tom’s focus is to work with the CEO to build the management team, drive sales growth, and to keep the team strategically focused.
Paul M. Russo, PhD
Dr. Russo is a Silicon Valley based technology executive with wealth of experience in starting, growing and exiting technology ventures. He currently serves as Executive Chairman & Founder of GEO Semiconductor. Previously he was a founder and CEO of Silicon Optix and before that he was the founder, Chairman and CEO of Genesis Microchip which he led to a successful NASDAQ IPO. Prior to founding Genesis, he was General Manager of GE’s Microelectronics Center, Senior Manager in GE’s Industrial Electronics Group and Head, Microsystems Research at RCA’s David Sarnoff Research Center.
He served as an outside director of ATI Technologies from 2001 through its acquisition by AMD in late 2006, as well as numerous private venture funded start-ups. Currently he also serves as Director of FONOLO (www.fonolo.com) and SBG Labs (www.sbglabs.com), and an Advisor to SiOnyx – the “Black Silicon” Company (www.sionyx.com). Dr. Russo received his B. Eng. from McGill University and his MSc and PhD in EECS from UC Berkeley. He holds six U.S. patents, is a Fellow of the IEEE and has received numerous RCA and industry awards, including the IEEE Centennial Medal and the 2006 Tech Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum.
John Roberts, Director
John Roberts has extensive experience in tech startups entrepreneurship. He is a co-founder of GaN Systems and has been a founder/president of two Ottawa based semiconductor companies, Calmos (later Tundra) Semiconductor and SiGe Semiconductor. Previously with Siliconix Inc., GEC Semiconductor and Microsystems International, in 1976 he joined Mosaid Technologies where he developed the SRAM report service. After founding Calmos, in 1989 John became CEO of the Strategic Microelectronic Consortium, an alliance of twenty-five Canadian companies including Nortel, PMC Sierra, IBM, Gennum Corporation, C-MAC MicroTechnology and other hybrid and semiconductor manufacturers. In addition, John has served on numerous boards of technology companies, and holds a Master’s degree awarded by Swansea University and a Bachelor’s degree from Cardiff University.
C. Paul Slaby, Ph.D.
Dr. Slaby is the company founder and CEO. He is an experienced technology executive and early-stage CEO specialist. He founded and ran several successful high-tech ventures including ATMOS Corp, MicroSemiX, VoIPshield Systems, Kaben Wireless Silicon and others. He led them from ground zero through VC funding, product and market development, to industry leadership. He held various engineering and management positions in Bell Northern Research, Nortel Networks, and Carleton University before embarking on his entrepreneurial career.
He served on the Board of Directors of several companies and acted as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the National Research Council and as an Advisor to Carleton University Foundry program. He has several years of academic and teaching experience. He is an author of numerous articles, presentations, scientific publications and conference papers. Paul’s popular blog “The Art of Growing High-Tech Ventures” receives many accolades.