About the Author
Leonard is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for start-up companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date.
Much critical acclaim has followed him in his endeavours. At Onvia (where he was part of the initial executive), the company was voted Canada's number one start-up in 2000 and subsequently closed a $240 million IPO on NASDAQ.
Currently, Leonard is Co-Founder and CEO of NowPublic, which is one of the pioneers in citizen generated news and quickly
becoming one of the largest news agencies in the world, with over 140,000 contributing reporters in 160 countries and 6,000 cities. In the last year, The Guardian in London ranked NowPublic as one of top 5 news sites in the world and Time Magazine named it as one of the top 50 websites of the year.
Leonard acts as an advisor to venture capital funds in the US, Europe and Asia and is currently a Senior Advisor to the Canadian Ministry of International Trade, and a Director of Canada's largest technology association, CATA.
A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at universities such as Stanford,
the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and the Gordon Business School in Johannesburg. He has spoken at conferences throughout the world such as NASSCOM, the World Newspaper Congress, CEBIT and the Monaco Media Forum. His work has been featured in such publications as USAToday, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, El Mundo and Der Spiegel.
Leonard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Course at the Harvard Business School.
David Raffa is a recently minted venture capitalist, lapsed attorney and iconoclast.
He is a much sought after advisor to emerging technology companies, and is an acknowledged corporate finance expert who has made a career out of advising boards, assisting companies in raising financing, and assisting companies in engineering exits. David has served on more than twenty corporate, industry and charity boards, often as Chairman, including the BC Technology Industry Association and the Science World Equity Committee. He also served as an advisor to the BC Securities Commission and the TSX Venture Exchange. He has been engaged on a number of occasions to lead companies in achieving successful liquidity events.
David is a founder of Lions Capital, an investment banking and fund management firm that manages two venture capital funds, and that provides corporate finance services to technology companies. He serves as Lions’ Chief Operating Officer and is one of the Fund Managers. While David has a wide variety of business interests, they pretty much all involve working with and mentoring technology entrepreneurs who believe they have founded the “next greatest technology company.”
When not buried under business plans or engaged in boardroom negotiations, David devotes his time to his wife and three daughters at his home in Deep Cove, BC, Canada, and occasionally sneaks out with his dog, Chiko, to partake in a little North Shore mountain biking.