People

Brightspark’s team has been at the forefront of the Canadian software industry since its inception. We founded and ran some of Canada’s most successful software companies such as Delrina (Winfax), Servicesoft, Lanacom, Delano and ThinkDynamics. Brightspark has been a leading Canadian VC since 1999 and has invested in some of Canada’s best success stories.

The Team

CEOs

Ben Zifkin photo Ben Zifkin CEO, Hubba
Ben Zifkin image

Ben Zifkin

http://hubba.com
Ben has spent the last decade helping some of the world’s largest organizations leverage technology to meet their business goals. Ben’s diverse experience ranges from software engineer, enterprise-software system integrator, management consultant and entrepreneur. Ben and his companies have been recognized by Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year (finalist, Young Entrepreneur) KPMG's Canadian Startup Awards (finalist, Best New Startup) Branham Group (Top 25 UP and Coming ICT Companies) and PROFIT Hot 50 (Fastest Growing Canadian Companies). Ben co-founded, grew and sold Axsium, a specialty system integration firm. Mr. Zifkin built it to more than 100 people before selling it in 2008 to Knightsbridge. Subsequently, he founded and grew the international operations for the acquiring company where he oversaw the company's successful expansion across Europe, the middle east and Australia. Prior to co-founding Axsium, Mr. Zifkin was the Lead Consultant at Workbrain. During his time there, Mr. Zifkin directed the design and deployment of enterprise software implementations for dozens of Fortune 1000 organizations, in industries such as Manufacturing, Healthcare, Retail, Transportation and Logistics, Financial Services, Entertainment and Government. Mr. Zifkin started his career as a software engineer at Castek where he built financial systems and integration tools for banks and insurance companies.
Marcel Lebrun photo Marcel Lebrun CEO, Radian 6
Marcel Lebrun image

Marcel Lebrun

http://radian6.com
From CrunchBase:
As Chief Executive Officer of Radian6, Marcel brings with him years of leadership with various technology start-ups. A serial entrepreneur, he has raised over $100 million in financing, completed an IPO on the Nasdaq and TSX, and headed up an acquisition by a publicly traded company.
Prior to joining Radian6, Marcel was vice-president of technology consulting at IPTV solutions firm, Mariner Partners. He has also served as chief executive officer and general manager of SalesBridge Canada Corp., and vice-president, fixed solutions division (FSD) of Paris-based, Alcatel, a leading provider of communications solutions to telecommunication carriers. In 1998, Marcel co-founded and was president and CEO of ImagicTV Inc. a start-up company that quickly became the worldwide market leader in IPTV video software solutions. Marcel began his career at NBTel (Aliant Inc.) holding various positions in engineering, planning and marketing.
Frederic Lalonde photo Frederic Lalonde CEO, Hopper
Frederic Lalonde image

Frederic Lalonde

http://hopper.travel
From Tnooz:
Frederic Lalonde is the founder and chief executive of Hopper.
Previously, Fred was a vice president at Expedia, running product planning for Hotels and Packages for Expedia.com.
At Expedia he also participated in various M&A activities, including the acquisitions of Hotels.com, TripAdvisor, and eLong.
Prior to Expedia, Fred co-founded Newtrade Technologies, which grew to become one of the world’s largest connectivity platforms for the hospitality market after it was acquired by Expedia in 2002.
Fred also sits on the board of directors of MakeMyTrip, India’s leading online travel company.
Elaine Kunda photo Elaine Kunda CEO, B5Media
Elaine Kunda image

Elaine Kunda

http://b5media.com
A serial entrepreneur and veteran in the online media space, Elaine has successfully built teams and realigned business strategies for over 10 years.
As Group Publisher and CEO of B5Media, Elaine oversees all aspects of the network’s properties including The Grindstone, Crushable, Mommyish, Blisstree, The Gloss and Every Joe.
Prior to B5Media, Elaine was the CEO of Ziplocal which was sold to Canpages in 2009. She spent over six years at Toronto.com, Canada’s top online regional portal and started her online career in Business Development at Grey Interactive in 1998.
A recognized expert in the digital media space, Elaine has spoken at premier events such as DigiDay’s Digital Publishing Summit, Internet Week New York and the 2011 Marketing to Women Conference.
Elaine also serves as a dedicated member of the Committee for the Advancement of Girls and Women, which works to encourage G8 and G20 leaders to prioritize the political empowerment and economic freedom of females worldwide. The organization’s G(irls)20 summit brings together female candidates from each G20 country to debate social issues and devise economic innovations.
Elaine’s other passions include athletics, travel and fashion. You will most likely find her running in high heels through an airport!
Len Brody photo Len Brody CEO, Now Public
Len Brody image

Len Brody

http://www.nowpublic.com/
From Linkedin:
Leonard is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date.
Much critical acclaim has followed him in his endeavours. At Onvia Canada (where he was part of the initial executive) the company was voted Canada’s number one startup in 2000 and subsequently closed a $240 Million IPO on NASDAQ. In addition, at Marqui, where Leonard was Chief Advisor, the company was rated as the best new technology company in the country in 2003.
Currently, Leonard is Co-CEO and a Director of NowPublic which is one of the pioneers in citizen journalism and quickly becoming one of the largest news agencies in the world. He is also a Venture Partner at Growthworks Capital, one of Canada’s largest national technology funds, and acts as an advisor to venture capital funds in the US, Europe and Asia. He is also a board member and/or advisor to several companies including Infowave, Sonic Foundry, Derby County Football Club in the English Championship, CanWest Global and Alliance Atlantis. Leonard is currently an advisor to the Canadian Ministry of International Trade and a Director of Canada’s largest technology association, CATA.
A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at universities and conferences throughout the world. He is co-author of the best selling books, “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java” and “Everything I Needed to Know About Business...I Learned from a Canadian” both published by John Wiley and Sons.
Leonard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Course at the Harvard Business School.
Jamie True photo Jamie True CEO, Grapple Mobile
Jamie True image

Jamie True

http://grapplemobile.com
From Linkedin:
Born entrepreneur, at the age of 17 Jamie set up Power Organisation, a UK based branded and textile supplier.
The business grew to a turnover of circa £6 million and merged with its largest competitor in June 1997.
He then co-founded and invented Interclubnet PLC, creating an online trading platform that most major football clubs worldwide used to buy and sell players akin to a Bloomberg terminal "X-tranet". By December 1999, the business had over 150 major football clubs paying a yearly subscription as well as administering 120 leagues for the FA and signed a £12m four year deal with them. In August 2000 the company floated on AIM with a market capitalisation of £30 million. Turnover in Year 1 totaled £8.1Million.
In March 2002, Jamie created and launched Net2Roam.
In January 2004 Jamie launched a 9 patented service called ONSPEED which became the largest Internet accelerator in Europe with more than a million direct customers and partnerships with BT, Wanadoo, and Google. Turnover in Year 2 totaled £5.1Million., and £1.3 net profit.
The group subsequently floated under a holding company called Z Group PLC in June 05 for £25 million on AIM.
Jamie is an investor in Selective Media that launched in Oct 07, which exclusively represents the online media inventory across Internet kiosk desks, digital media screens, hospitals and Wi-Fi within all UK airports.
In Jan 09, Jamie invested in Avisen PLC (AIM: AVI) through a reverse takeover. Avisen is positioned as a leading IBM Cognos reseller and consultancy provider in the UK with a market capitalization of £15m.
In Jan 10, Jamie created the team and acquired a patented mobile application platform called Grapple mobile. Grapple uniquely enables brands and agencies to create and distribute mobile apps to all mobile devices.
Grapple just won the most Innovative Mobile Agency of 2012 http://blog.grapplemobile.com/?p=1282
Mahshad Koohgoli photo Mahshad Koohgoli CEO, Protecode
Mahshad Koohgoli image

Mahshad Koohgoli

http://protecode.com/
From CrunchBase:
Mahshad Koohgoli is founder and CEO of Protecode, with more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry.
His specialty is in technology start-up businesses, having successfully managed three companies from the ground up. A visionary who holds several patents in the computer and communications field, Mahshad’s current mission is to educate the tech world on practicing safe software development. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Nimcat Networks (acquired by Avaya in 2005) and founder of Spacebridge Networks and Lantern Communications Canada.
Prior to these ventures, Mahshad held various technical, marketing and senior roles in Newbridge Networks, Bell Northern Research and Nortel. Mahshad has a BSc and a PhD from the University of Sussex, England.
Randy Busch photo Randy Busch CEO, Jazinga
Randy Busch image

Randy Busch

http://jazinga.com/
Randy is a seasoned technology start-up executive with experience guiding companies through idea generation, business planning, fundraising, growth, acquisition and integration. Focusing on strategic planning, product management and go-to-market strategies, Randy’s experience spans a range of markets from large enterprise systems to mass-market consumer products and online services.
Randy is the CEO of Jazinga Inc., a telecommunications start-up targeting SOHO and small businesses. Jazinga is revolutionizing the way small businesses acquire, implement and manage their communications systems providing solutions that these businesses can afford and manage themselves.
Prior to Jazinga, Randy was the SVP of Marketing at Tira Wireless helping raise more than $25 million in Venture Capital funding and growing the mobile deployment and application publishing company from an idea to an enterprise of more than 200 people in less than 4 years.
Before joining Tira Wireless Randy was part of the managing team at Brightspark Labs, a seed investment and technology incubator where he shared his time and experience across a number of companies. Randy provided strategic product, positioning and go-to-market strategies for companies including Activience (acquired by Tira Wireless), Delos Technologies (acquired by Siperian), Infotriever, iStopOver, Jewlr, and Think Dynamics (acquired by IBM).
Randy also held senior product and marketing positions with Broadbase, Servicesoft, Delrina, Imara Research and QW Page Associates.
Anthony Lipschitz photo Anthony Lipschitz CEO, iStopOver
Anthony Lipschitz image

Anthony Lipschitz

http://istopover.com
From CrunchBase:
A serial entrepreneur, Anthony Lipschitz is the CEO and Co-Founder of iStopOver, a leading global peer-to-peer marketplace for private accommodations.
He was VP Sales and Business Development at Brightspark, widely regarded as Canada’s leading start-up experts. Prior to Brightspark, he was Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of AdvanceWare Solutions, a provider of wholesale distribution software that integrated with QuickBooks.
Anthony has also worked in advertising and marketing, conceiving and launching campaigns in numerous industries, as well as starting his own digital agency in 1999. He has conceived and worked on multiple sites, from custom e-commerce applications to brochureware over a 15 year career.
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from Long Island University, which he attended on a full Soccer and Athletics Scholarship.
Dale Geldart photo Dale Geldart CEO, Exludus
Dale Geldart image

Dale Geldart

http://www.exludus.com/
Dale Geldart has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the high technology sector with an expertise in bringing new technologies to market.
Prior to joining eXludus, Dale was: Vice President, Business Development at Terrascale Technologies (acquired by Rackable Systems), Vice President, Strategic Accounts at Alacritech Inc. and Director, Major Accounts at Auspex Systems.
Dale Geldart holds a Master's degree in Finance from Boston College and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.