Irving Ebert Graduating with honors in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal in 1972, he joined Bell Canada working on problems in electromagnetic interference. In 1973 he joined Bell-Northern Research (BNR) as a founding member of BNR’s first lab outside of Ottawa. In 1976 he returned to Bell Canada to join the team responsible for telecom services for the 1976 Olympic Games. In 1979 he moved to Ottawa where in 1988 he assumed responsibility for BNR’s Systems Engineering group, responsible for the systems engineering, network design, and strategic marketing of Nortel’s Fiber World initiative. In 1996 he joined Nortel Networks with responsibilities for business development and strategic alliances. In early 2001 he retired from Nortel and founded Purple Angel with several colleagues. In 2005 he co-founded the Ottawa Angel Alliance. He has served on more than a dozen public,private and non-profit boards.He is currently chair of Legitmix,and on the board of N-Able Technologies. email Irving

Cesar Cesaratto A professional electronics engineer and graduate of McGill University, Cesar Cesaratto is an international business executive with more than 30 years’ telecom sector experience involving product development, business development, operations, sales and marketing.

Prior to his retirement, he held a number of executive positions with Nortel, including President and Chief Operating Officer of the Nortel-Matra join venture in France, President of Enterprise Solutions, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and most recently, President of Wireless Solutions, EMEA. He is currently a Director of Sigem Inc., a leader in the telematics product space. email Cesar 

Laurie Davis Laurie graduated from the University of Alberta with a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, he joined Bell-Northern Research (BNR), where he specialized in the development and introduction of new products. He held increasingly more senior positions within BNR, and later Nortel Networks, ultimately becoming Vice-President responsible for the development of a number of new products.

Laurie was initially involved in the development of voice switching products. In the early 90's he took a leadership role in Nortel's entry into the optical networking business, holding positions in both Canada and the United Kingdom. Since the mid 90's he has been involved in data communications, initially with frame relay and ATM networks, and later with IP networking. email Laurie

Yves Tremblay Yves graduated in Electrical Engineering from Université Laval and he holds a M. Sc. degree from Ottawa University. He spent over 20 years of his professional life in the field of Fiber Optics. He started working at the Communications Research Center of the Department of Communications then at Bell-Northern Research before he launched himself as an entrepreneur when he co-founded Fitel-Photomatrix in 1988.

JDS Fitel acquired Fitel-Photomatrix in 1998. After 10 years of running and growing his original business, Yves was appointed Senior Vice President, Operations when he joined with JDS Fitel. He held that position until he retired from JDS Uniphase in 2001. Yves served on the Boards and Advisory Boards of private companies. He was on the board of governors of The Ottawa Hospital (Chair 2005-2008), the Ottawa Health Research Institute and the University of Ottawa (Vice Chair 2007-2009). email Yves

Rich Cowper Rich is currently with Lincor Telecom Inc., an Ottawa-based consultancy that provides strategic, technology and product development assistance to senior telecommunications executives.  He is active in the local start-up scene via Board and Advisory positions with a number of telecommunications-oriented organizations.

After joining Bell-Northern Research (BNR) as an engineer working in fiber optics, Rich subsequently held a series of management positions over a 25-year career with BNR and Nortel Networks.  He contributed to the development of several generations of optical transmission products, which involved a 5-year stint with BNR’s regional laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta.

Rich was for several years Vice-President, Product Development with Nortel’s Optical Networks group—where he participated in the development of optical transmission products, leading a global team of engineers and scientists located in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

Before joining BNR, he was with Decca Radar in Toronto and Harris/Farinon in Montreal, working on the design of microwave hardware and terrestrial microwave radio systems.

 Rich received a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, (Toronto), and has done post-graduate work at Ottawa University, Carleton, and Concordia. email Rich

Rob Wood Rob graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and from Imperial College London with a Masters degree in Communications Engineering. Upon graduation, he joined the voice switching development team of Bell-Northern Research (BNR) where he ultimately became a Vice-President of product development after a three year tour of duty developing Nortel’s Fiber World products.

Switching to Nortel in the mid 90’s, he held senior positions in data product management and sales specializing in new network technologies, particularly voice over IP. He was the initial winner of Nortel’s highest sales award – Sales Hero – for his work with Sprint. Before his recent retirement, Rob was the Chief Technical Officer for Nortel’s cable industry group that has been successful in capturing significant optical and voice over IP business around the globe.

Rob is currently President, RGW Telecom Inc, an Ottawa-based consulting firm that provides strategic and technical advice to early stage firms and business evaluations of companies for potential investors. email Rob

Mahshad Koohgoli Mahshad has spent most of his 25 year career in the telecommunications field. Starting with a lecturing stint in the University Of Exeter, England, Mahshad joined Bell Northern Research in Ottawa in 1982. In what later became Nortel Networks, Mahshad held senior technical, marketing and product management posts for fourteen years. Since 1996, Mahshad held executive positions in Newbridge Networks (now Alcatel), founded three companies: Spacebridge Networks (satellite communications), Lantern Communications Canada (metro optical networking) and Nimcat Networks (peer-to-peer VoIP call processing). As the CEO of Nimcat Networks, he completed its acquisition by Avaya Inc. in 2005. Mahshad is currently the CEO of Protecode Inc., a start-up company focused on Software IP Management.

Mahshad holds more than a dozen patents, loves applications of new technology, and trusts his gut feel, usually after excruciatingly detailed research. He holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. from University of Sussex, England. email Mashad

Brian O'Higgins is an executive with over 20 years as a leader in security technology development for enterprise and government customers—possibly known best for his role pioneering PKI (public key infrastructure)— and as the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Entrust, a leading Internet Security Company. He was also a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Third Brigade, a provider of security products for physical and virtualized servers that was acquired by Trend Micro in 2009.  Brian's approach to security is both visionary and pragmatic. He is a frequent presenter at security and industry events around the globe. In 2008, he was appointed as a delegate to contribute to the Global Cybersecurity Agenda of the International Telecommunications Union.  He is also a founding author and contributor to the Cloud Security Alliance.
Brian’s current list of affiliations includes advisory board positions with Defence R&D Canada, the Ontario Centers of Excellence, the NSERC Internetworked Systems Security Project, the Global Institute for Cybersecurity Research Alliance, and a few startup companies in the IT security market. In addition, he serves on the boards of Recognia, Fischer International, AFORE, and Mobio Identity Systems.
Brian is an avid skier on both snow and water, and a competitive marathon runner. email Brian

Hamid Arabzadeh  is an Information Technology and Telecommunication executive with over 20 years operational and board level experience building market-leading high technology businesses.  He was most recently the Chairman, President and CEO of CoreOptics, a global leading provider of 10/40/100Gbps Digital Signal Processors and optical subsystems for high-speed networking applications in the IT and Telecom.  CoreOptics was acquired by Cisco Systems in 2010.  Prior to joining CoreOptics, he held various management positions at Nortel Networks in Mexico, Brazil, England and Canada.  He was VP & GM of Metro Optical with business responsibilities for SDH, DWDM (Cambrian Acquisition) and Multiservice OM6500 (Viking platform).  He started his career as President and Founder of UNICAD Information Systems, developer of custom CAD/CAM application software for Architectural, Manufacturing and Telecommunication Industries.  Hamid holds a B.A.Sc. from University of Waterloo in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an MBA from McGill University in Strategic Management.  He has now returned to Canada and settled in Toronto after 15 years of ex-pat tour. He speaks a few languages and enjoys Soccer, Tennis and Skiing. email Hamid

Hicham Adra is President of Ardan Fitzroy Enterprises, an information technology and business services firm.  He lives in Ottawa and is a business and community leader.

He has served as Senior Vice-President and General Manager for CGI’s business operations in the National Capital Region, Atlantic Canada, and Western Canada, and as a member of CGI's global Management Committee.  He has served as a member of the Board and Chair of the Human Resources committee of Innovapost, a joint venture between CGI and Canada Post Corporation.
He served as the 2005 Chair of the United Way / Centraide fund-raising campaign in the Ottawa-Carleton Region, a campaign that raised over $25 million. He's co- chair of Hire Immigrants Ottawa's Employer Council of Champions.
He is the past-Chair of the Board of the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and is also a member of the Board of the Institute on Governance. email Hicham
David McCarthy has over 30 years of telecommunications and information technology industry experience, including 20 years of venture capital and angel investing. He has experience in starting and growing businesses, raising financing and achieving M&As and IPOs.
Since 2009, David has been active as an advisor / consultant to venture capital funds, and as an angel investor / advisor to several technology-based startup companies. Prior to this, he was a Managing Director at Summerhill Venture Partners, a $175M venture capital fund investing in telecom and IT companies throughout North America. Before Summerhill, David was Managing Director at BCE Capital, which was Bell Canada's corporate venturing arm.
David has invested in over 30 companies and was on the boards and active with several successful startups in Canada and the U.S. This includes Medialight (a DSL chip, acquired by Analog Devices), Vistar Telecommunications (satellite tracking system acquired by NSI Communications), Endwave (microwave point-to-multipoint radio system, IPO'ed on Nasdaq), Catena Networks (broadband access system, acquired by Ciena), Ellacoya Networks (a deep packet-based internet traffic management system, acquired by Arbor Networks), and NexTone Communications (voice-over-IP session border controller, acquired by Genband), Sandbridge Networks (wireless baseband processor, acquired by a major semiconductor company), BLiNQ Networks (wireless non-line-of-sight backhaul products, currently still independent), and Granite Networks (tier-3 data center, acquired by Rogers Communications).
Prior to entering the venture capital industry in 1995, David worked 14 years at Bell-Northern Research, the R&D arm of Nortel Networks. At BNR, David had several roles in product development, new product introduction, systems engineering, and new market development.
David received MSc and BSc degrees in Computer Science at the University of Toronto and University of New Brunswick, respectively. email David