For Immediate Release
April 15th, 2015
Mayor Crombie Hosts Angel Investor Networking Opportunity, Launches Innovation and Entrepreneurship Taskforce
City Hall – Mississauga’s future success will be tied in part to our ability to innovate and adapt to the knowledge economy, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said today.
Crombie made the comments during First Look – Mississauga’s first ever angel investor networking event – organized by the City of Mississauga; the Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre; Angel One Investor Network; and a number of regional innovation centres and angle investment groups. First Look brought together emerging businesses and experienced professional investors.
Crombie, who was joined by Councillors Nando Iannicca and Matt Mahoney, recognized all participating entrepreneurs for “having the discipline, drive and determination to pursue your dreams,” adding that “I am confident the senior and experienced business professional investors – who have joined us for tonight’s event – will find their next great business venture here.” Also in attendance was City Manager Janice Baker and members of Mississauga’s corporate Leadership Team.
Pam Banks, Executive Director of the RIC Centre said “I want to thank Mayor Crombie for being a champion of local businesses and entrepreneurs. The RIC Centre looks forward to working alongside the City of Mississauga to generate new economic development opportunities which will help strengthen our economy.”
Karen Grant, Executive Director of Angel One Investor Network, said “Tonight’s First Look event is unique because it is the first time that the mayor of Mississauga has hosted an investment meeting for early-stage innovative companies. We are very appreciative to have the support of our host, Mayor Bonnie Crombie and the City of Mississauga.”
Crombie said “I have seen firsthand the virtues of research, development, and the need to remain ahead of the competition. This has always been Mississauga’s strength. It sets us apart from other cities.
“Innovation is equally important to government, as it is to business. Like entrepreneurs, we need to think outside the box. We need to come up with innovative solutions to build a 21st century economy for Mississauga’s promising future.
“I want Mississauga to be a place where great ideas can become a reality and grow from concept to commercialization right in our City. So today, I am showing my commitment to unleash Mississauga as an innovation hub, by formally launching the Mayor’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Taskforce,” Crombie added.
The goal of this new working group will be to bring together leaders from business; the public sector; academia; and the broader community, to identify practical solutions that City Council can implement. All Members of Council have been invited to participate as well. The Taskforce will meet periodically and Mayor Crombie will report updates at regular Council meetings.
Crombie said “The central question this Taskforce will be asked to answer is: how can we turn Mississauga into a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship?”
Mayor Crombie announced the following Taskforce members who will be participating, with other individuals to be announced in the coming weeks:
- Susan Amring, Director, Economic Development, City of Mississauga
- Pam Banks, Executive Director, RIC Centre
- Grant Clark, President, Solutions for HR Inc.
- Alex Dhanjal, P. Eng., Partner, Technology and Media Tax Incentives, KPMG Canada
- Sam Kohli, Malton BIA President, President of Kohli Appraisers, President of Greater Toronto Executive Centres
- Sheldon Lieba, President & CEO, Mississauga Board of Trade
- Rohit Mehta, Founder, Chairman, Incubate Institute
- Diana Pliura, Myndtec Inc.
- Deep Saini, Vice-President, University of Toronto
- Jeff Zabudsky, Sheridan College President
Crombie concluded that “I want to achieve real results that will help local start-up companies’ flourish and encourage established businesses to expand new service offerings and create jobs”.
Below are quotes from some of the entrepreneurs who participated in First Look:
“Kabuk is very excited to be participating in the inaugural First Look Angel Investor event. We believe this will be an excellent opportunity to connect with early-stage investors to raise funding that will help us increase accessibility to healthcare for all Canadians,” said Asha Soares, co-founder of Kabuk.
“As one of Canada’s largest and most loved cloud payroll and payments companies we’ve always been advocates for small businesses. The AngelONE FirstLook event hosted by the City of Mississauga is our opportunity to connect with some of the most savvy investors in Canada. We’re grateful for the opportunity to participate,” said Sam Vassa, CEO and co-founder of PaymentEvolution.
“The First Look Angel Investor Event is a tremendous initiative by Mayor Crombie to support growing local businesses. We look forward for the opportunity to network with professional investors and other thriving businesses in the community,” said Kosta Panagoulias, co-founder of Web4Realty.
“As a new start-up founder, it’s tough to turn an idea into a business. With amazing support from the Mayor and angel investors, founders can make that transformation happen. At Xumee, we’re working tirelessly to ensure that young people everywhere have a place to showcase their unique personalities. Our goal is to change the way people and organizations engage with each other by making the application process fun, engaging, and easy. We’re putting the humanity back in HR,” said Riyad Mobeen CEO & Founder of Xumee Inc.