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Investment Committee

Barry GekiereBarry Gekiere
Managing Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund

Barry manages the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, a seed fund that helps early stage technology companies in Ontario bring their products and services to market. He has over 25 years of experience in senior management positions in venture capital, private equity and operations. Prior to joining MaRS, Barry was with Kirchner Private Capital Group in its transition management practice, where he undertook a CEO assignment with an aerospace components company. Before that, he was a partner at Ventures West, making early stage technology investments in IT, communications, cleantech and medical device companies. He has served on the board of the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association and the Investment Accelerator Fund. Barry has a BA from the University of Western Ontario.

Tim JacksonTim Jackson
President and CEO, SHAD

Tim is the president and CEO of SHAD. Prior to joining SHAD, Tim was the executive vice-president of corporate and community development at MaRS Discovery District and the lead executive of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.

Tim previously worked for the University of Waterloo, where he served as the vice-president of university relations with responsibility for the offices of communications and public affairs, government relations, and community relations and events. Before that, he served as CEO of the Accelerator Centre, a campus-based incubator for start-ups, and as the University of Waterloo’s associate vice-president of commercialization. Tim has an extensive background as an entrepreneur and business leader. A founder and partner of Tech Capital Partners (an early stage venture capital firm), he served as CFO and CEO at Waterloo tech firm PixStream. He has also served as CFO, CEO or board member for numerous technology companies and other organizations. Tim has a bachelor degree in accounting from the University of Waterloo and is a chartered accountant. Tim was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2009, the highest designation the institute confers, which is awarded for outstanding career achievements as well as outstanding service to the community and the profession.

Magnus SandbergMagnus Sandberg
Vice-President and General Manager, Social Capital Partners

Magnus combines an entrepreneurial spirit and focus on innovation with a wealth of experience from the private sector. He oversees operations at Social Capital Partners, one of the most respected and influential catalysts in impact investing and innovation in Canada. The company makes direct investments and runs an innovation lab together with MaRS and Deloitte. Prior to Social Capital Partners, he held the role of Divisional Director of Operations at Constellation Software during a time of rapid acquired and organic growth (from $150 million to $538 million). A native of Sweden, Magnus worked and lived throughout Europe, North America and Australia in his previous roles with Autoliv and Accenture. He holds a masters in engineering and a degree in business, studying at universities in Sweden, the U.S., Austria and France. He sits on various investment committees for venture funds and advisory boards. A passionate competitive sailor, Magnus is currently ranked No. 1 in match racing in Canada.

Shirley SpeakmanShirley Speakman
Partner, Cycle Capital

Shirley joined Cycle Capital as a Partner and is based in its Toronto office. Shirley was the director of investments for the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, a $40-million-plus venture capital fund established by the Ontario government to invest in seed and early stage technology-oriented companies in the province. Shirley was responsible for investment recommendations and decisions, portfolio management, sourcing and partnering. During her tenure at IAF, she oversaw investments in cleantech, successfully exited investments and assisted portfolio companies to secure significant follow-on financing. She continues to contribute to the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund as an advisor on its cleantech investment committee. Prior to joining the IAF, Shirley spent over 12 years advising biotech, ag-biotech and advanced manufacturing and materials companies in areas such as strategy, finance, negotiations and fundraising. She spearheaded numerous financings and M&A transactions and participated in the creation of a $40-million cross-border life sciences fund and the close of a Canadian-based $40-million ag-biotech fund. Shirley holds the ICD.D designation (University of Toronto), a MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and a bachelor of economics from the University of Waterloo.