Stephan Ouaknine - Managing partner
Stephan Ouaknine is the founder and Managing Partner of Inerjys. With over 20 years of proven experience as an entrepreneur and investor, Stephan has been a visionary leader across multiple technology sectors, from telecommunications to clean technology. His career has spanned three high-tech ventures, working arduously on-the-ground to create significant shareholder value with three successful exits. He is known for his dynamic, results-oriented style and his commercialization focus in building self-sufficient and profitable companies. Stephan founded Inerjys with the insight that new deployment approaches and innovative technologies could overcome the challenges of the cleantech sector and power a better tomorrow.
Prior to Inerjys, Stephan founded Blueslice Networks, a leading provider of evolved Subscriber Data Management (eSDM) solutions for telecom carriers. Stephan led Blueslice from its foundation in 2001 until its acquisition in 2010 by Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC), which was subsequently acquired by Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). Stephan’s other successes include Emblaze (LSE: BSD), a next-generation mobile multimedia company which reached a $6 billion valuation during his tenure, and Airslide Systems, a leader in next generation signalling which merged with Cantata Technology and later acquired by Dialogic (NASDAQ: DLGC).
Stephan is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the TED community, a speaker at the United Nations’ annual COP and a recipient of the Annual Honoree Award from the Canadian Technion Society. Considered as a thought leader, he is frequently invited to keynote speaker sessions on entrepreneurship, investing and the clean energy sector at global events. Stephan also currently sits on 6 company boards, including 2 as Chairman.
Dave Furneaux - partner
Dave Furneaux has spent his 20 year career as an entrepreneur, investor and venture capital fund manager. During this time, he has played active roles in building some of the leading technology and Internet companies in North America. He also started and operates 2 investment companies; Furneaux Capital Holding Company, LLC and Kodiak Venture Partners.
A sample of successful companies include Aironet (IPO and acquired by Cisco Systems), ALIS (acquired by Karl Zeiss), Auroranetics (acquired by Cisco Systems), Enfora (Acquired by Novatel), Extreme Packet Devices (acquired by PMC-Sierra), Philsar (acquired by Skyworks), RMI (acquired by Broadcom), Smartcells (acquired by Merck) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). Recent successes from Furneaux Capital and Kodiak Venture Partner's investments include BLAZE.io's acquisition by Akamai, WHERE.com's acquisition by EBAY and Channel Advisor's IPO on the NYSE.
Areas of interest include Internet and communication technologies, agriculture and food technologies and sustainable power generation.
CHRISTOPHER AH-KION - SENIOR ASSOCIATE
Christopher Ah-kion is a senior associate at Inerjys. Prior to this engagement, Christopher spent over 6 years at Chubb Insurance's Financial Lines department in both Toronto and Montreal, most recently as an underwriting officer. Specialized in Directors & Officers insurance, his role combined financial & risk analysis, governance review, strategy, negotiation, and relationship management. He was responsible for managing over 200 different clients and 25 brokerage relationships across Canada annually.
Christopher holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University with a major in finance, graduating with Great Distinction. He is a CFA charterholder and completed the Sustainable Investment Professional Certification (SIPC). Christopher has spent time volunteering for various causes such as teaching children in Tanzania and rehabilitating dogs in Peru. He is also currently an active member of the "Club d'Investissement Responsable du Québec (CIRQC)", a not-for-profit aiming to promote responsible investing. In his spare time, Christopher plays various sports and enjoys traveling, with one of his most notable accomplishments being reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
SARAH WU MARTINEZ - ASSOCIATE
Trained and educated as an architect, Sarah Wu Martinez has a professional and personal calling to help create and improve our built environment – as well as our natural one. She decided to shift her career to be at the forefront of the environmental cause: by enabling great leaders and sustainable products to compete and succeed worldwide. She believes that innovative thinking coupled with an entrepreneurial yet conscious spirit is the key to unlock solutions to climate change.
Sarah holds a B.Sc.Arch and a M.Arch from McGill University. Before Inerjys, she was a research assistant at the Facility for Architectural Research in Media and Mediation where she worked on the R&D of a virtual reality documentary on Little Burgundy. She worked as a freelance architectural designer for several local firms and was an intern architect at MAD Architects, an avant-garde design firm in Beijing. Alongside, Sarah holds project management experience, was a copy editor for the IEEE Microwave Magazine and a graphic designer for Polytechnique Montréal.
In her spare time, you can find Sarah cooking delicious foods, learning Mandarin, or biking around Montreal. Having visited over 20 countries worldwide and lived in Hong Kong, Beijing, Zurich, Munich and beautiful Venice, she is an avid and experienced traveler.
AVA WESTERGAARD - analyst
Ava Westergaard is an analyst at Inerjys. She was born and raised in Vancouver, but has lived in Montreal for the last five years; a place she is happy to call home. She studied at McGill University and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Finance and concentration in International Business. At McGill, Ava helped found a student organization, GREIEN. GREIEN is a capacity-building clean-tech organization with the mission of preparing Canadian junior talent to lead the clean technology world of tomorrow. Ava has also previously worked as a summer analyst at a boutique investment bank called NYMEX Capital in New York City.
Ava is passionate about finding ways to help make the one world we all share liveable and sustainable. Her desire for change was ignited during her semester abroad in Norway. After witnessing their advanced developments in renewable energy and clean technology, Ava wanted to see her home country move forward toward a similar green future - where economic goals are integrated with ecological ones.
In her spare time you can find Ava kickboxing, hiking, or doing yoga. She is also always on the hunt for the best vegan meal in Montreal.
George Smitherman- Advisory Board Member
Chairman & Principal, G&G Global Solutions, a firm pursuing business development in the global cleantech sector. Mr. Smitherman is a trailblazing advocate for renewable energy and a noted expert on energy and infrastructure policy. During a 12-year career in politics, Mr. Smitherman has held several key positions in the Ontario government, from Minister of Health to Deputy Premier. His tenure as Ontario Minister of Energy & Infrastructure was distinguished by the seminal Green Energy Act, arguably the most significant renewable energy legislation in Canadian history. Most recently, he was a candidate for the mayoralty of Toronto.