As Vice President of Venture Development at Invest Ottawa, Nick leads all programming and support for start-ups, early stage and growth companies alike, while supporting Ottawa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a whole. Under Nick’s leadership, Invest Ottawa launched the IO Accelerator in 2018. Previously at CellWand, Nick was co-founder and CEO, where he drove all development, strategy and execution, while pioneering the use of abbreviated dialing codes in North America with the award winning #TAXI (Pound Taxi) service and subsequently in the mobile transportation space, with The Ride app. Highlights of Nick’s accomplishments include raising several million in capital, closing industry first deals with every major wireless carrier in North America and architecting a marketing strategy that has created #TAXI as a national brand used over 16 million times, while propelling CellWand to millions in revenue and profitability.
CellWand won numerous business and innovation awards, including the 2010 Canada’s Top 10 Competition for Technology, Named one of the Hottest Innovation Companies in Canada, and one of the top 10 Wireless Companies to watch by IDC. Nick is currently a CEO in Residence and Executive Mentor at Telfer School of Management and has also served as a guest lecturer, business pitch judge and panel member at various business and entrepreneurial conferences and events. Nick graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Marketing at the University of Ottawa in 1993. In 2009, Nick received the Young Achievers Alumni Award from the Telfer School of Management. In 2003, he was named to the Ottawa Business Journal’s Top Forty Under 40 and was a judge for the same award for ten years.
Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards, is a communications executive and management consultant with more than 19 years of leadership experience with private and public technology and innovation-based organizations. She specializes in corporate and communications strategy development and execution that achieves results. For example, since 2005, Sonya has led, strategized, authored and/or made a significant contribution to successful funding proposals valued at more than $123 million from municipal, provincial, federal and international governments. These complex, multi-year projects often engage multiple stakeholders from industry, academia and non-profit organizations; leverage additional matching in-kind or cash contributions from the private sector; and enable funding recipients to increase their impact on stakeholders served.
Sonya launched her career as the Manager of Communications and Member of the Vice-Presidential Cabinet with the 10G Organization of Optical Networks for Nortel from 1999 to 2002, and then served as the Director of Marketing Communications for CMC Microsystems until 2007. Building on a decade of experience, Sonya launched her own strategy company in 2008, addressing the needs of S&T organizations, innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development agencies across Canada, and their partners around the world. She volunteers her time as a mentor for MindTrust and TiE Ottawa; as a leader for the Ottawa Women Build initiative of Habitat for Humanity; and as a steering committee member for flagship technology and entrepreneurship conferences such as Impact AI and TiECon Canada. Sonya holds a Bachelor of Arts, Combined Honours in English and Political Science from Carleton University, and has received nine international awards for her work in communications.