Ken Nickerson, Founder, iBinary
Ken Nickerson is the founder of iBinary LLC., a private technology research and investment firm. Nickerson "angels" several early stage technology companies as well as contributes as an advisor or board member. He recently completed both investing in and operating as CEO of OpenCola Inc., a collaborative search engine company (sold to OpenText Inc.), and CTO of ClearPulse Inc., a private research company developing non-invasive medical technologies and The DocSpace Company (sold to CriticalPath Inc.) along with several other start-up organizations.
He and his wife are active in philanthropy with a focus on early childhood development. Mr. Nickerson was the General Manager of the Microsoft Network (MSN) in Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, and was responsible for all e-commerce and consumer activities in Canada (1991-2000). While at Microsoft, Mr. Nickerson initiated the acquisition of Hotmail, the leading provider of web based email service world wide. Prior to joining Microsoft in 1991, Nickerson worked in software engineering for several banking and insurance concerns and was the Vice President of Technology Development for Rogers Communications Inc.
Mr. Nickerson is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM).
Ihab Abu-Hakima, Former President/CEO, Meru Networks
Ihab Abu-Hakima is the former President/CEO of Meru Networks who took the Company through an IPO in March 2010. Prior to Meru Networks, he was Senior Vice President at Proxim Corporation. During his tenure at Proxim, he led a number of functional organizations and strategic initiatives ranging from Worldwide Marketing and Corporate Development to International Sales and Global Strategic Accounts.
Prior to joining Proxim, Mr. Abu-Hakima served as Vice President and General Manager, for Silicon Graphics Computer Systems, Inc. (SGI). At SGI he managed a number of divisions including the Strategic Business Analysis and Business Computing divisions. From 1993-1996 as SGI's Director of Marketing for the Network Systems Division, he was responsible for successfully focusing the company's new, high bandwidth line of symmetric multiprocessing UNIX servers into the emerging Internet and media serving, data mining and large-scale data warehousing markets. He also developed the telecommunications industry into a major market for the company.
From 1990-1992 he was responsible for managing SGI's line of networking and data communications products. Prior to his responsibilities at SGI, he held various management positions at Hewlett Packard, where he introduced the company's computer systems products into new commercial markets, and helped launch a Professional Services business focused on networking and data communications. Prior to Hewlett Packard, he held various project management positions at the Bechtel Corporation in the US and overseas.
Mr. Abu-Hakima holds an M.B.A. degree from McGill University and a B.Eng. Electrical Engineering degree, with honors, from McGill University.
Caroline Somers, Co-President and CEO, Cassidy-Bay Group
Caroline Somers has over 20 years of experience in the high tech industry. She currently is Co-CEO of Cassidy Bay Group Inc., a consulting organization that assists companies with their business strategies and management coaching. She is also active as an angel investor in the Ottawa Angel Alliance and a Managing Partner of the Band of Scoundrels, a partnership of angel investors.
As a consultant, Caroline has helped companies with their product and marketing plans while her coaching clients are technology executives. She is a leader for OCRI's Entrepreneurs Edge course focused on helping entrepreneurs learn how to build successful companies. Ms Somers was co-founder and VP Marketing and Product Management of Vienna Systems, a pioneer of Voice over IP products which was acquired by Nokia in 1998. She has also held management positions at Newbridge Networks and Bell-Northern Research in Product Management and Finance.
Ms Somers serves as a board member of DNA Genotek, on the board of Parteq, an advisor to the Kingston Cancer Research Institution and a member of the Arts and Science Dean's Council at Queen's University. She is currently on the board of Volunteer Ottawa and has also served as a board member of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Center Foundation. Caroline received her MBA and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Queen's University and is currently training to be certified coach specializing in helping entrepreneurs build successful companies.