Leo LaxExecutive Managing Director
Leo is the Executive Managing Director for L-SPARK. Before that, Leo was the co-founder of Skypoint Capital, a venture capital firm that specialized in investing in early stage Information and communication tech companies. Lax brings with him to L-SPARK valuable experience as a practiced veteran of both the corporate and entrepreneurial sides of the tech sector. Prior to Skypoint, Leo was a senior executive at Newbridge Networks where he was responsible for corporate venturing, and prior to that he was at Mitel as Senior Executive of one of the key business units. Leo holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from McGill University and a Master of Engineering degree from Royal Military College.
Patrick WhiteManaging Director
Patrick White is a seasoned executive in the high tech sector with significant experience in startups, entrepreneurship, and business development. Patrick comes from a long history with Wesley Clover International, acting as the point man on several projects aimed at enhancing research and innovation in the Ottawa region. Patrick also actively represented the company at key industry events and consultations, and was responsible for media funding applications.
An entrepreneur himself, Patrick founded Brookstreet Pictures, whereby he managed all the financial and staffing aspects of the business, as well as coordinated all sales and distribution channels.
As Managing Director, Patrick ensures all services are delivered at a high standard, and will actively support the overall achievement of the business objectives of L-SPARK and its affiliated startups.
Stef ReidDirector of Marketing
Natasha TardioliCommunity Manager
Natasha is passionate about community building and supporting initiatives that encourage connection + innovation. She’s an Ottawa University + Algonquin College alumni and has a background in communications and events, and is thrilled to be contributing to the world of startups + entrepreneurs. She is energized by seeing those around her reach their goals + build connections that get them one step closer to achieving success.
Marco Janeczek is a Director at L-SPARK, where he scouts and oversees early-stage ventures. Marco is also the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Infinite Venture Partners, a venture studio where he co-creates and invests in first-time founders. Marco’s experience cuts across multiple disciplines including business development, marketing, finance, technology and product. He has managed nimble ventures as well as 220-person teams in both technology and non-technology verticals. Marco joined L-SPARK in 2014.
Elza has over 25 years of leadership and consulting experience across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. From her roots at Nortel, where her team was recognized with several awards for innovation and impact, to her own consulting business, Elza is known for her ability to synthesize complex issues and diverse perspectives. Elza is an experienced facilitator, and supports organizations with strategic planning, management, program development and evaluation. She loves working with entrepreneurs, helping them to clarify their business model and connecting them to resources to drive their success. In addition to her work with L-SPARK, Elza is the co-creator of the GrindSpaceXL business acceleration program that graduated a total of 10 cohorts in conjunction with Queen’s University in Kingston and Invest Ottawa.
Elza holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Management from McMaster University and an M.B.A. from the University of Ottawa. She also completed the inaugural Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo (2012). Elza has served on the Boards of several local and national not-for-profit organizations, supporting their growth and development through challenges such as leadership transitions, mergers and rebranding.
Mike has extensive experience with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. His career has provided him the opportunity to work in both the USA and Canada. He has had several roles in sales, sales management, product management, marketing and operations. He has been the COO of a publicly traded company, the CEO of 2 startups and a board member of 3 companies and 1 academic institution.
"L-SPARK was the perfect accelerator for us since their program is focused toward building and selling a B2B SaaS product. At Heyday, we were starting the transition from a service company to a product company when we joined the program and the very experienced L-SPARK team got behind us and guided us, on a weekly basis, toward our goals. We would have not reached our $2M seed round as quickly as we did without them. Thanks L-SPARK!"