Rina Carlini is an accomplished business executive with 25 years of experience in science and technology innovation, product development, commercialization and developing new tech ventures in the areas of medical devices & health IT, life sciences, advanced materials, , nanotechnology, and cleantech. Her professional experience spans diverse industries and leadership roles, including pharma drug discovery R&D (Merck, Syntex); Xerox Innovation Group (Canada) as Director for Nanotechnology and Xerox Global Tech Incubator Network; in cleantech as Director of Commercialization at GreenCentre Canada, as Executive-in-Residence at Cloud DX, a digital health and medical device company, and as President & CEO of Haltech Regional Innovation Centre where she helped tech startups transform to viable, growing ventures. Rina is the Founder and President of Optimal Innovation Group Inc., a tech innovation consultancy she established in 2012, which specializes in helping tech startups commercialize and go to market, as well advise established companies on scaleup growth.
Rina’s academic credentials includes a B.Sc. Honors degree from Concordia University, a Ph.D. degree from University of Waterloo (Science), where she was the recipient of 1998 Alumni Gold Medal. In 2017, she was recognized as the University of Waterloo 60th Anniversary Science Alumni of Honor Award. Rina is certified in Artificial Intelligence for Business Strategy (MIT), Business Model Innovation (Harvard University), Executive Management (DeGroote School of Business), Technology Commercialization and Lean Six Sigma Design for Innovation. As the inventor of more than 100 US patents, Rina has extensive expertise in IP and patent strategy and has authored over 20 peer-reviewed research articles, conference papers and workshops on product development, technology commercialization as well as career development for STEM graduates. She is deeply committed to helping tech companies, especially women in science and technology, achieve business success through her mentoring work and her service as a board member for the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, DeGroote School of Business Executive Education Board, Concordia University’s Gina Cody School of Engineering & Computer Science, and as an expert reviewer on several Canadian and Ontario grant funding committees such as OCE, NSERC, CFI and MaRS.
Joel Liederman is an accomplished senior executive with more than 45 years of high technology company leadership, domestic & international business development expertise, in high technology industries, including having spent the last 30 years as a venture capital investor and start-up “company builder”. His educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University and an MBA (specialization in international marketing and finance) from Concordia University. Mr. Liederman’s responsibilities have included roles as CEO of a next generation mammography machine company and CEO of a solar materials company – both of which Joel helped spin out of the academic organization where the company’s core technology was developed to the point that each company was able to secure its first round of serious venture capital investment funding.
Joel was, until he retired at the end of December 2016, Vice President, Physical Sciences at MaRS Innovation - (now Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners), a commercialization engine and venture capital investor for the organization’s 15 members (including the teaching hospitals and the major universities in the Toronto area). Prior to that, his responsibilities included being a senior engineering design manager, project engineering manager for two CANDU 6 nuclear power plants, general manager of an engineering design office, VP of marketing, sales and business development for world class organizations including General Electric, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Alcatel and Spar Aerospace. Joel spent several years as a venture capital investor at Primaxis Technology Ventures.
Upon his retirement, in December 2016, from MaRS Innovation, Joel elected to apply his process skills and domain expertise to assisting early stage companies by providing strategy development and company builder assistance.
Joel has a proven track record in supporting early stage companies with a unique mix of "company builder" strengths in corporate governance, fundraising, project management, marketing, business development, client relationship development and management, strategic planning, communications and problem solving across multiple sectors including medical devices, enterprise software, electronics, and advanced materials. He currently serves on the board of Addem Labs and IRegained.
Joanne Tejeda is an experienced research scientist and project manager who holds a PhD degree in Chemistry from Western University and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biochemistry from Brock University. Following her graduate studies, she worked with a personal care and cosmetics company and gained invaluable experience in commercial product development and manufacturing. During this tenure, she became skilled in Product Optimization and Continuous Improvement in production, Data Analysis, Market Research, Quality Control testing, and Quality Assurance documentation for regulatory compliance with Health Canada’s Natural and Non-Prescription Health Product Directorate (NNHPD) and GMP standards.
Joanne's graduate research focused on the development and optimization of novel chemical transformations of heterocycles and their applications towards the synthesis of complex natural products. Joanne is passionate about the STEM field and is an active volunteer with Visions of Science. In 2017, she helped to host the 14th Annual Oncology Research and Education Conference at the London Regional Cancer Program, a division of London Health Sciences Centre. She cares deeply about innovation in the life sciences and cancer oncology fields and wants to steer her professional career on bringing such innovations to commercial market reality.
Bruno Maruzzo, MBA, B.Asc
Medical Devices & Manufacturing
Bruno Maruzzo has worked with small to medium size technology companies as a venture capital investor, commercialization director and a member of senior management for over 25 years. He has extensive experience in general management, financing, business development and start-up consulting. Bruno has been involved in raising a total of more than $400 M funding for various public companies. His tech sector expertise is broad and includes biotech, medical devices, IT, software, hardware, clean tech and manufacturing. He is currently the CEO at Digital Medical Experts, a startup company that develops software system using machine learning techniques to analyze EEGs in order to diagnose mental illness and select effective therapies and treatment. Bruno holds a BASc degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo, and both a MASc degree in Biomedical Engineering and MBA degree from the University of Toronto. He is also a Director serving on the boards of several private and public companies.