Stephan Ouaknine is founder and Managing Partner of Inerjys. A proven entrepreneur and investor, Stephan has been a visionary leader across multiple technology sectors, from clean technology to telecommunications. His career has spanned three high-tech ventures, creating significant shareholder value with three successful exits. Stephan founded Inerjys with the insight that new deployment approaches and proven technologies could overcome the challenges of the cleantech sector and power a better tomorrow.
Prior to Inerjys, Stephan founded Blueslice Networks, a leading provider of evolved Subscriber Data Management (eSDM) solutions for telecom carriers. Stephan led Blueslice from its foundation in 2001 until its acquisition in 2010 by Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC). At the time of its acquisition, Blueslice was the global leader in cross-platform eSDM solutions deployed in tier 1 accounts in over 25 countries. Stephan’s other successes include Emblaze (LSE: BLZ), a next-generation mobile multimedia company which reached a $6 billion valuation during his tenure, and Airslide Systems, a leader in next generation signalling which merged with Cantata Technology and was acquired by Dialogic (NASDAQ: DLGC).
Stephan is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the TED community, and a recipient of the Annual Honoree Award from the Canadian Technion Society. He is frequently invited to share thoughts on entrepreneurship, investing and the clean energy sector at global events.
Dave Furneaux has spent his 20 year career as an entrepreneur, investor and venture capital fund manager. During this time, he has played active roles in building some of the leading technology and Internet companies in North America. He also started and operates 2 investment companies; Furneaux Capital Holding Company, LLC and Kodiak Venture Partners.
A sample of successful companies include Aironet (IPO and acquired by Cisco Systems), ALIS (acquired by Karl Zeiss), Auroranetics (acquired by Cisco Systems), Enfora (Acquired by Novatel), Extreme Packet Devices (acquired by PMC-Sierra), Philsar (acquired by Skyworks), RMI (acquired by Broadcom), Smartcells (acquired by Merck) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). Recent successes from Furneaux Capital and Kodiak Venture Partner's investments include BLAZE.io's acquisition by Akamai, WHERE.com's acquisition by EBAY and Channel Advisor's IPO on the NYSE.
Areas of interest include Internet and communication technologies, agriculture and food technologies and sustainable power generation.
Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy, or "impact economy," by solving the challenging issues of our time. At Inerjys, Jigar is pioneering a new investment model that provides both growth equity and project finance to clean technology companies. This effort is helping unlock $5 Trillion into the impact economy by 2020.
From 2009 to 2012, Jigar was called on by Sir Richard Branson to serve as CEO of the Carbon War Room. The Carbon War Room seeks to harness the power of entrepreneurship to cause proven climate change solution technologies to be deployed at scale. Jigar’s leadership was instrumental in helping build the organization into one of global importance.
Prior to the Carbon War Room, Jigar was founder and CEO of SunEdison, today the world’s leading solar services company. SunEdison simplified solar as a service through the implementation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model. SunEdison’s groundbreaking business model catalyzed the revolution that turned solar PV into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.
Jigar sits on the boards of the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, SolarNexus, KMR Infrastructure, the Prometheus Institute and Greenpeace USA. He is also author of the upcoming book: "The Impact Economy."
Eric Ouaknine brings to Inerjys over a decade of experience in international sales and a keen understanding of world markets. His unique perspective, having been integrally involved at both the start-up and established stages of company development, gives Eric exceptional business acumen. As a Partner at Inerjys Ventures, he plays an active role in selecting Inerjys’ key portfolio companies including seeking out infrastructure projects and developers.
Prior to joining Inerjys, Eric was a founding member of Blueslice Networks, a telecom leader in subscriber data management. As Blueslice's VP Sales, Eric's dedicated leadership was vital to its seamless expansion into European markets. During this period, Eric successfully managed agreements with over twenty high-profile customers and channel partners including British Telecom, Vimpelcom Russia and Alcatel-Lucent. He also played a central role in Blueslice's acquisition in 2010 by Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC).
Eric’s extensive negotiation background and tactical approach serves his conviction that with the right combination of efficient solutions, renewable energy can and will attain grid parity allowing renewables projects to be highly profitable without relying on government subsidies.
Vincent Martel, a Partner at Inerjys, has 11 years of experience in M&A / Corporate Finance, nine years acting as strategic investor within large international corporations and two years providing advice to clients undertaking strategic investment.
Vincent has a proven track record of generating investment opportunities, developing, negotiating and executing corporate combinations (acquisitions, divestments, JVs) on an international level, most recently with AREVA in Paris where he led acquisitions for AREVA Renewables’ rapid growth in the renewable sector. Most notably, Vincent led the 49% buyback of Multibrid (an offshore wind turbine OEM that became AREVA Wind), the acquisition of PN Rotor (an offshore wind rotor blades manufacturer that integrated AREVA Wind) and the acquisition of Ausra (a solar thermal technology that became AREVA Solar).
Vincent graduated in 2000 from HEC Montreal with honours (“Profil Mercure”) and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) charter since 2004.
Max, an Associate at Inerjys, leads a number of the firm’s investor relations and business development efforts. His responsibilities include building and maintaining relationships with investors, as well as forging strategic partnerships with national and international organizations. He is also tasked with identifying and assessing new investment opportunities, as well as marketing and communications for the firm.
Prior to Inerjys, Max co-founded Startupifier, an organization that bridges the gap between students and entrepreneurship. Before Startupifier, Max was a member of the founding teams of several startups in Canada and the United States, focused on sales, marketing, and fundraising. He also consulted for a pulp and paper company trying to enter the wood-composite sector.
Outside of his work experience, Max led fundraising efforts for the Ghetto Shul in Montreal, spoke at the inaugural TEDxMcGill on the value of student entrepreneurship, and was a featured columnist for NextMontreal. He is an enthusiast of chess and poker, and has been described as a compulsive networker.
Max holds a B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from McGill University in Montreal.
Chairman & President of the Monaco Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (MVCA)
Advisory Board Member
Mr. Lavotha has over 30 years of experience in the global biotech/pharmaceutical industry. His responsibilities have included all business related disciplines, including research and development, marketing and sales, senior executive management, human resources, manufacturing, mergers & acquisitions, IPO’s, and all other business operation matters.
Mr. Lavotha has vast experience from both large corporate environments and start up companies. He spent most of his career at Pfizer and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer), where he held increasingly senior roles and responsibilities. Most recently he was the Head of Europe/Africa/Middle East for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals with P&L responsibility for the multi-billion dollar revenue generating business, heading all subsidiary operations in the territory, with over 10000 employees, manufacturing operations, planning and execution of several significant acquisitions, including the $10billion+ merger between American Cyanamid and the Wyeth business in above territory. During the past 10 years he was responsible for building two start up companies within the “specialty pharma” sector, and took one of those companies public (OMX-NASDAQ)
Mr. Lavotha is a Hungarian citizen. A former resident of Hungary, Finland, Sweden and the US, he has lived in Monaco since 2003.
Chairman & Principal, G&G Global Solutions
Advisory Board Member
Chairman & Principal, G&G Global Solutions, a firm pursuing business development in the global cleantech sector. Mr. Smitherman is a trailblazing advocate for renewable energy and a noted expert on energy and infrastructure policy. During a 12-year career in politics, Mr. Smitherman has held several key positions in the Ontario government, from Minister of Health to Deputy Premier. His tenure as Ontario Minister of Energy & Infrastructure was distinguished by the seminal Green Energy Act, arguably the most significant renewable energy legislation in Canadian history. Most recently, he was a candidate for the mayoralty of Toronto.
Director, Grand Technion Energy Program
Advisory Board Member
Director, Grand Technion Energy Program, Technion University, Israel. Dr. Grader is pioneering the development of non-carbon fuels and has been engaged in advanced ceramic materials for energy applications. Over a 25 year career in ceramic technology, Dr. Grader has served at Bell Labs, headed the Israeli Institute of Chemical Engineers, and served on numerous international committees and boards. He is also an experienced entrepreneur, with 10 patents to his name, and having founded Cellaris, a firm producing ultralight ceramics for industrial applications.
Scientific Director, IREQ
Advisory Board Member
Scientific Director, IREQ (Institut de recherche d'Hydro-Québec). In his role at IREQ Dr. Lantagne is responsible for the scientific direction of 300 researchers and plays key roles in Hydro-Québec’s energy efficiency and renewable energy research activities. Among other roles, he is currently chair of the Hydro-Québec steering committee on wind energy. Dr. Lantagne is additionally vice-president of the board of directors of C3E, the Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency, and a member of the NSERC focus group on energy technology.