Starting or growing a business is not easy, so to help we offer mentorship to the startups and founders we work with. Our exceptional team of local tech entrepreneurs provide strategic advice tailored to each client’s business needs and requirements. All of our mentors bring valuable experience to guide startups from key industry sectors.
To gain access to our coaching and mentoring services for startups and entrepreneurs, you must first apply to be become a client of NORCAT Innovation.
Tom is the owner of a Sudbury-based electronics design and manufacturing company, Ontrak Control Systems. Ontrak specializes in the design and manufacture of serial data acquisition interface devices used in industrial, medical and retail automation applications. Ontrak contains a complete product design center with in-house, PCB and enclosure manufacturing, safety and EMC certification, CNC machining, and injection mold design.
After graduating from Cambrian in 1984 from the Electronics Engineering Technology program, Tom started his career installing process control systems for paper machines in various Northern Ontario communities. He returned to Sudbury in 1985 and with a partner, opened a computer repair and installation business which evolved into Ontrak. He also taught electronics technology at Cambrian College for 12 years, resigning in 1998 to focus solely on Ontrak.
Tom is passionate about manufacturing in Canada and has helped start many technology companies producing medical devices, lasers, and automation products. The Fortin Foundation, created in 2004, promotes efforts by youth in manufacturing through free consultation and sponsorship of events such as the annual Ontrak 2X4 Innovation Design Challenge.
Luc is the Chief Information Officer for Laurentian University and co-owner of Old Rock Roastery. As CIO at Laurentian, Luc is responsible for IT, Media and Web services. In 1987, Luc graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Computer Science. Luc worked as the Director of Product Marketing for Bay Networks and many of its subsidiaries for 13 years. He continued to work in the computer networking industry as Vice President – Product Planning for Chantry Networks Inc. (acquired by Siemens), Vice President – Wireless Strategy for Siemens Enterprise Communications, Vice President – Market Management for Siemens Canada, Vice President – Wireless Strategy for Enterasys Networks, Director of Marketing for Greenfield Networks (acquired by Cisco) and Vice President – Product Management and Marketing for BlueCat Networks.
In 2007, Luc opened Old Rock Roastery with his wife Carole in Sudbury. Their coffee house looks to expand their brand, create a corporate headquarters in Sudbury, and open franchise locations. Old Rock has been a recipient of many prizes including 2008 Start-Up of the Year by Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, 2008 Enterprise of the Year (1-15 employees) by Northern Ontario Business Awards, and the 2009 “Entreprise Coup d’coeur” of Ontario by RDÉE Ontario (Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité).
Cathy is a surveyor and a geomatics professional specializing in the mineral exploration and mining sectors. Currently she is the president of UnderCover Innovations Inc., a product innovation and development company. Until 2007 she co-owned and operated two successive GIS services and spatial application development companies and recently retired as Business Development Manager for CAE Mining Canada. Cathy has also consulted for a company based in Cambridge, Ontario, in the areas of business start-ups, financing, I.T., and strategic business and market planning. She was recognized as their first ever Entrepreneur of the Year (1-50 Employees) by the Greater Sudbury (GS) Chamber of Commerce, as an Influential Women of northern Ontario by NOB, twice recognized as Woman of the Day, and has received a Professional Leadership Award as a Professional Surveyor and Geomatics Specialist from Sudbury Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW).
Cathy has served on many volunteer boards at both local and provincial level. In June 2011 she completed a term on the Laurentian University Board of Governors, was a member of the LU Senate and was the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee at Laurentian University. She was also appointed as the first ever female Treasurer of the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2003, overseeing a $100M+ annual budget. She also served for 12 years on the Board of Directors for the Northern Ontario Business Awards and has been a Judge for the Ontario Global Traders Awards program at both regional and provincial levels.
With over 38 years of experience starting, running and managing many different types of businesses, Peter Dal Bianco is an award winning, experienced and successful Northern Ontario entrepreneur, who started Bianco’s group of companies in downtown Sudbury in 1975. During this period, Peter gained invaluable skills and understanding on how to survive, compete and succeed against, what at times, seemed like insurmountable odds.
From being in a franchise to being a Franchisor to being an independent retailer when banks, the economy, technological changes and personal strife challenges your enterprise, Peter has lived through it and managed to overcome whatever obstacles arose along the way.
Jamie Dewar is the Marketing Manager and General Manager of Legend Boats in Sudbury, Ontario. As a second-generation owner of the company, Legend Boats focuses on delivering the absolute best value in the marine industry and making it as easy as possible to get involved in boating. In 2013, Legend Boats won the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s “Company of the Year” award. The award recognizes an organization in the private or public sector that has demonstrated significant business achievement, sustainable financial performance, outstanding growth and success, and has a significant impact on the areas economy.
Jamie graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2004 with a BSC & BBA, Business, Physics and Computing.
Bernie is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of his third technology startup TimeHero, an innovative productive solution for individuals and teams. A seasoned entrepreneur, product manager and UI/UX expert. Bernie has over 18 years experience in technology startups having most recently co-founded ConceptShare, which is the leader in Creative Operations Business intelligence with clients such as Macy’s, Microsoft, HBO and more.
He is a design and innovation driven serial entrepreneur. His roots are technology innovation and internet related startups. He has extensive experience in building and leading teams, product management, business, marketing, fund raising, branding, innovation thinking, and project management. He can help companies of all sizes and industries in a variety of ways from business, technology, marketing and product strategy. He has raised millions in financing and venture capital. Bernie is also regularly invited to speak around the world on entrepreneurship, design, management, and software.
Barb Ward-Dagnon is the founder and owner of Medicor Research Inc. She is an entrepreneur experienced in the medical field; fascinated by innovative ideas surrounding business, medicine and people.
Within three years of starting Medicor, Barb gained global recognition among several top pharmaceutical companies for excellence in clinical research. She has set the standard for quality and compliance among North American clinical research sites and received outstanding feedback from the FDA for her work in vaccine development. Barb’s flair for sales, marketing and branding have allowed her to build her customer base to over sixty pharmaceutical and academic clients.
Barb’s background is in both business administration and nursing. She began her business career in the provincial and federal governments, later switched to nursing, and then brought the two careers together to form a successful medical research company.
Judy has been the President/CEO and the driving force behind Gougeon Insurance Brokers since 2002. She holds a MBA from Laurentian University and is a Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB). In November 2018, Judy earned her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation. With an entrepreneurial spirit, she is committed to paving new roads in her industry.
Judy leads a team who work to support and advise clients to proactively prevent losses and increase profitability. Gougeon Insurance Brokers provide solutions to clients across Canada and embrace the opportunity to break new ground in the insurance field, creating innovative programs for specialty industries.
Judy’s passion is connecting and engaging with people whether current or future clients, insurers, staff, and the community. Judy is the Founder of the Sudbury Community Airbandz fundraiser, which raised over $120,000 for the Northern Cancer Foundation. Since 2015, she has sat on the Board of Directors of the Sudbury Community Foundation and has helped start and grow the Emerging Leaders Program. She, as well, helped reignite Adanac Ski Club in 2006 and has volunteered in various capacities and roles for the Ski Club from 2006-2011.
With his heritage deeply and proudly in Northern Ontario, Jeff Fuller has tapped his entrepreneurial spirit and Northern roots to expand and grow his business internationally. Following a strong family tradition, Jeff has stayed true to his entrepreneurial pedigree. With an Honors Commerce Degree from Laurentian University and a real life exposure to SME’s through his father’s family business, Jeff started Fuller Industrial in 2004 to provide carbon steel rubber lined fittings to the world.
Since opening their doors in 2004 Fuller has shipped pipe to every continent and has enjoyed exponential business growth. Fuller boasts the most advanced pipe fabrication facility in North America and has patented leak detection technology and industry leading project pipe project management intellectual property. Other business’s currently or previously owned or partnered in by Jeff include MJ Fuller Real Estate Holding Company, Acorn Mill Direct (Hong Kong), ABS Manufacturing and Distributing, Fuller Western Rubber Linings Limited, SPJ Labs and Legend Studio.
Jeff is Past President of SAMSSA, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Yves Landry Foundation.
Dr. Dennis Reich is a practicing physician with over 14 years of experience in healthcare provision as well as leading and encouraging innovative technology initiatives. He has recently started a new medical services venture called the Greater Sudbury Medical Centre in the Real Canadian Superstore which will provide services to Sudbury’s patient population. A respected physician leader in his community, Dennis worked closely with many talented physician partners for over 11 years and eventually sold the medical clinics in 2010.
Dennis has been the president of the Sudbury and District Medical Society and is actively involved in medical politics locally and provincially. Dr. Reich has over 12 year of experience in medical research. He is trained in GCP and has been the Principal Investigator for numerous studies through Phase 2 and Phase 4 studies. He is a researcher, owner and director in Medicor Research Inc. in Sudbury. As a technology consultant he has worked with companies such as IBM, GE Medical, and OMA eServices. He sits on the board of directors of Conceptshare Inc, and was previously the medical director for Isaix Technologies Inc. and Ontrak Medical. Dr. Reich founded Chyma Systems Inc, a leading provider of groupware and scheduling applications aimed specifically at physicians and healthcare teams and later sold to Isaix Technologies in June 2005. Prior to Chyma, Dr. Reich founded CanadianPhysician.ca, a national physician portal that provided relevant technology tools, content and e-learning.
Dr. Reich has been involved in multiple committees including the P5 (Pandemic Portal) committee, the Northern ICT (LHIN Technology) steering committee and has been on the e-business advisory committee for the Canadian Pharmacists Association. Dennis graduated from Queens University and received a family practice degree from Laurentian University.