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.
Maya Hassa - ASSOCIATE
Maya came to Montreal from Chicago to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Science at McGill University, specializing in Renewable Resource Management. She has worked as International Project Director for the McGill chapter of the student-run, community-based development organization Nourish International, where she led a team of interns on a venture investment initiative in partnership with Project Amazonas – an NGO based in the Peruvian Amazon.
Maya has also worked as a Research Assistant for the Geography Department at McGill, where she took part in a study of greenhouse gas exchange at Mer Bleue, a peatland outside of Ottawa. This work led to writing an Honours thesis on measuring and isolating methane consumption in a temperate ombrotrophic bog, with the aim of determining a new method of mitigating the emissions of that potent greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.
Aside from spending extensive amounts of time in bogs or jungles, she also enjoys being a music writer for Graphite Publications, doing yoga, biking, and planning her dream diving excursion.
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.