Maple Leaf Angels

About Us

Established in 2007, Maple Leaf Angels (MLA) is a not-for-profit membership organization. Maple Leaf Angels connects the brightest, most promising entrepreneurs with accredited investors who invest their capital and time supporting Canadian startup companies.

We invest collectively in seed and early stage companies

Maple Leaf Angels brings together like-minded investors (MLA members) to share their expertise and best practices, to syndicate on deals and collaborate to support Canada’s early stage ecosystem.

MLA angels are successful entrepreneurs/executives who invest and take an active interest in early-stage companies. Our members collectively invest their human and financial capital in innovative, early stage technology companies to help them grow and realize their potential.

MLA members individually invest in high potential companies that have been selected through the Investment Review process or invest through the MLA48 Fund.

Maple Leaf Angels 48 Funds (MLA48)

Maple Leaf Angels Capital Corporation (MLACC), a subsidiary of MLA, is the general partner for Maple Leaf Angels 48 Funds (MLA48) – limited partnerships comprised of several MLA members who wanted to invest collectively in early-stage companies.

MLA48’s objective is to make investment decisions within 48 hours and offer companies coaching and mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to follow-on funding from the Maple Leaf Angels members.

MLA48 Fund I and II are fully deployed. MLA48 III is in deployment mode.

Board of Directors

Mohammed is an angel investor based in Toronto. He is a board member at Maple Leaf Angels and chair of its Investment Review committee. He also serves on the investment committee of the MLA 48 Fund III.

Mohammed follows and analyses technology and innovation trends. He is keen on digging through the hype to provide reasoned and grounded points of view that are useful to decision-makers, researchers, and anyone in the business of innovation.

A serial entrepreneur, Mohammed founded and operated Club Ovahi, a retail mobile app company, and produced and distributed an educational mobile app. He is currently advising the building of a FinTech startup that will provide digital and mobile financial services to the unbanked and underbanked in the developing world. Prior to that, Mohammed partnered with Adenium Energy Capital and acted as its General Manager in Jordan, where he co-created one of the country’s largest solar power portfolios. He is also a founding investor of Yellow Door Energy, a company that finances and builds solar power plants for commercial and industrial clients.

At the beginning of his career, Mohammed established himself in management consulting, where he was a Senior Manager at Deloitte. He advised Fortune 500 companies on planning and executing complex technology projects, enhancing business performance, and developing results-oriented strategies.

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Jordan and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Mohammed Ghalayini

Director, Board Chair, Marketing & Membership Committee Chair

Chris is a retired entrepreneur and angel investor interested in the entrepreneurial initiatives of others.

Chris is a native of Fredericton, NB where he attended the University of New Brunswick (BBA, 1975) before moving to Toronto to attend York University (MBA, 1977).

Chris then returned to the East Coast and joined the Johnson Insurance Group, with whom he worked first in Newfoundland and then in Ontario where he started Johnson’s operations and oversaw its significant growth and branch network development.

In 1995, Chris founded his own insurance organization, Preferred Benefits Alliance - a specialized underwriter of select insurance products, written and managed on behalf of sponsoring insurance companies. In 1996, Chris also acquired a division of Allstate Life Insurance Company of Canada – DMC Solutions, an administrator of insurance products as well as several non-insurance services.

After 15 years of successful operation, Chris sold both entities to Assurant Solutions Canada, a key insurer for both companies for the previous 10 years. Subsequently, Chris joined two angel investment groups in the Toronto area- York Region Angels and Maple Leaf Angels, where Chris has been a Board member since 2016.

Since 2011, Chris has been a sponsor with the Wallace McCain Institute, an organization which supports entrepreneurial leadership and development in the Atlantic Provinces.

Chris Gilliss

Director, Nomination & Governance Committee Chair, Entrepreneurship Support Committee Chair

Ana Sainz is the lead practitioner at The Claret Partners Limited with over 30 years of experience across a variety of industries. Ana received her tax training at a national CA firm in the mergers and acquisitions and financial services tax group. Ana serves as the in-house tax department for a public P&C insurance company, a large private equity firm, the Canadian arm of the world’s largest law firm as well as managing other small clients. Prior to her tax career Ana held positions in the capital markets: debt syndication, and fixed income origination at two global securities firms. Ana has also been a controller for a number of smaller companies including the treasury subsidiary of a life company. Ana is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters of Taxation from the University of Waterloo. She has also completed the CICA In-depth GST/HST course

Ana Sainz

Director, Treasurer

Nancy has over 25 years of finance experience including being CFO of Morneau Shepell where she took the company public. She was also the CFO of EDS Canada and held a variety of senior finance positions with Xerox Canada.

She joined her husband in creating a telecom company – About Communications which they sold in 2018.

Nancy is both a CPA, CA and CMA. She completed her articling with Thorne Riddell (now KPMG).

She has a Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Waterloo and has completed the Director Education Program provided by the Institute of Corporate Directors at Rotman’s School of Management.

In 2003, Nancy was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 and in 2012 one of the Diversity 50. Her Board experience includes Maple Leaf Angels (Chair and previous Nominations and Governance Committee Chair), Kerry’s Place Autism Services (previous Chair and previous Audit and Finance Committee Chair), and FEI Toronto Chapter (previous Chair).

She has been with Maple Leaf Angels since 2009.

Nancy Lala

Director

Probal is a founding member and board director of Maple Leaf Angels Corporation, an OSC regulated Angel Group in Ontario and Chair of Maple Leaf Angels Capital Corporation which oversees the MLA48 Funds. He also currently is the CEO of Fluent.ai and serves on the board of Suncayr.

Probal has been an active Angel Investor for the past 12 years. He is also a telecom executive turned serial technology entrepreneur.

He has over 30 years of broad Industry experience having held Senior Executive roles in companies such as Bell Canada, Bell Nexxia, Alcatel-Lucent, Stentor Services Inc. and AirRoamer Inc. Until its recent acquisition, he was the CEO of About Communications, a national provider of phone and internet services to small to medium sized businesses.

He has served on a number of Boards over the years including the Canadian Local Number Portability Consortium, Youth In Motion, About Communications, Maple Leaf Angels Corporation, Maple Leaf Angels Capital Corporation, Fluent.ai and Suncayr.

He is part of the MLA48 Fund Investment Committee as well as the Investment Review Committee. He has been an active member of AceTech Ontario, where he facilitated a B2B Software as a Service Roundtable for Acetech CEO’s. He was also previously a regular panelist on BNN’s “The Pitch” as well as an advisor to MaRS IT, Communications and Entertainment (ICE) Practice.

Probal Lala

Observer, Maple Leaf Angels Capital Corporation Chair

Ed was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Sitraka Inc., Canada's largest self-financed software company prior to its acquisition by Quest Software. Sitraka was a six-time winner of Canada's 50 Best Managed Private Companies, and was named as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers.

For the past six years, Ed has been an active member at Maple Leaf Angels, having invested in all three MLA48 funds as well as ten individual companies. He is a member of the MLA board, the MLA Capital Corporation board, the investment committee for funds MLA48 II and III, and the former chair and current member of the Investment Review Committee.

Ed is currently the board Chair at Junction Craft Brewing in Toronto, and a board member at Suometry in Montreal.

Giving back is a high priority for Ed, motivating him to be a board member at the St. Joseph's Health Centre Foundation in Toronto for seven years, as well as mentoring students at the University of Toronto's Hatchery.

Ed holds a MSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, and a B Math from the University of Waterloo.

Ed Lycklama

Director, MLA48 Fund IV Committee Chair

Richard has over 30 years of investment advisory and sales experience, most recently as the Co-Head of BMO Nesbitt Burns (BMO NB). During his years at BMO NB, he served on the Board of NB, as a member of various advisory groups, where his role included oversight of the NB Funds and Futures products. He also served as an Alternate Member of the Banks Management Committee.

Richard had also been the head of the NB United Way Campaign during a period of his tenure at NB.

In 2017, he received his ICD.D designation and over the years, he has completed a list of security industry designations in both Canada and the US, including PDO, Branch Managers, Options and various Commodities / Futures licenses.

Richard has been a member of Maple Leaf Angels since 2017, where he has actively participated in weekly Office Hours session and been a member of the Investment Review Committee and MLA48 Fund LP investment committee.

Richard joined the MLA Board of Directors in 2018. To date he has made angel investments in seven individual start-ups and four angel funds, including MLA48 II and III.

Richard Mills

Director, Sponsorship Committee Chair

Elizabeth Seger has been a member of Maple Leaf Angels since January 2018. Elizabeth’s work experience includes Portfolio Management at CPPIB in Thematic Investing where she was in charge of a project to establish a Fund for Growth Capital for Health Care. Prior to this she was a Vice President, Investments at Working Ventures Canadian Fund where she led the health care and biotechnology group and was responsible for a $60 million portfolio resulting in several successful exits. She has served on numerous Boards of Directors of private and public companies in the healthcare and information technology sector. She was Chairman of the Sunnybrook Working Ventures Medical Breakthrough Fund which was an initiative to commercialize technology emanating from the University of Toronto.

A graduate of Queen’s University (Chemical Engineering) and with an MBA from Concordia University (Finance), Elizabeth has many years of experience in financial services.

Prior to working in the financial field, Elizabeth was an engineer at Maple Leaf Foods in the specialty chemical division which gives her a broad perspective on company operations.

Elizabeth has completed the ICD.D (Rotman School of Business) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club as well as the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and the Pension Sub Committee.

Elizabeth Seger

Director

Doug’s passion is launching and growing businesses. As a Finance Executive (CPA, CA), his contribution was developed and enlarged from occupying CFO roles in a number of industries including: Pharmaceuticals (Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Glaxowellcome Canada Inc.), Consumer Packaged Goods (Carter Wallace), Electronics (Westinghouse Canada Inc.) and Energy Services (McDermott Incorporated).

Over a 30-year career, Doug has demonstrated Executive level skills in managing high growth Enterprises, in a financially sustainable way.

At Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., Doug contributed to an 8-year CAGR double digits profits growth, growing sales from $69M to over $300M.

Doug’s CFO career prepared him well for transitioning into the world of Angel Investing. Doug joined Maple Leaf Angels (MLA) in 2014 and Angel One Network (Mississauga, Burlington) in 2015. Since then he has made a number of diverse investments in Craft Beer, Medical devices and Technology sectors. Doug is also a Limited Partner in both MLA48 Fund I and Fund II.

Doug prefers to take an active mentoring role with his investments, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of 2 investee companies thus gaining valuable experience and insight into the challenges that confront early stage companies. Further, at MLA, Doug has broadened and deepened his contribution since joining in 2014. Starting with regular participation at weekly Office Hours, Doug evolved to serve on the Investment Review Committee (IRC), the Investment Committee for MLA48 Fund II and the MLA Board of Directors.

Doug leverages his financial and governance strengths to bring a keen eye in challenging prospective Investee organizations in their financial and governance rigor, and their financing strategy. Doug makes his highest contribution when participating in setting the enterprise mission, strategies and goals, then in building business operations to grow shareholder value.

As an active member of the Angel One Network, Doug has increased access to deal flow in the region west of the GTA, and broadened opportunities for best practices sharing and syndication.

Doug Wyatt

Audit & Finance Committee Chair

Eric has a unique and diverse background. He is the Co-Founder and Director of Festival Programming at Maker Festival. Born and raised in Ontario on a small chicken farm, Eric went to Queens University for engineering. He co-founded StumbleUpon during a gap year. After graduating, he lived and worked in Silicon Valley at a high-tech startup, designing and installing industrial sensors. After moving back to Canada, Eric founded Sensebridge – a wearable electronics company. He was a trustee and later Dean at the Toronto Awesome Foundation, and is a community organizer for Hacklab.TO, Quantified Self Toronto, Long Now Toronto, and DIYbio Toronto. He currently leads a Machine Learning study group and is helping the Toronto Space Club to launch balloons and model rockets to the edge of space. In addition to serving as MLA’s Interim Managing Director this year, Eric has been an active member of MLA since 2018 and received the MLA New Angel of the Year Award in 2019. He has served on MLA’s Investment Review Committee for the last 2 years and is also a member of the MLA 48 Fund III Investment Committee.

Eric Boyd

Director, Investment Review Committee Chair

Management

Vihangi recently completed a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Options in Entrepreneurship and Biomechanics from the University of Waterloo. Her diverse work experience includes working in a fast-paced ecosystem with the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business, where she rotated through 7 early-stage startups within 4 months, helping them achieve their business goals.

Furthermore, she's previously worked as a Product Manager, focusing on identifying customer pain points and making recommendations on entry into new marketspaces.

She's also volunteered with local startups to help them build their MVP and refine their business models. Her other roles have been in software development, R&D, reliability, and process engineering. In her free time, Vihangi enjoys designing her own clothing.

Vihangi Mehta

Managing Director

As Chief Compliance Officer of Maple Leaf Angels, Prathna is responsible for overseeing the Compliance function within the organization and ensuring adherence to securities law.

Prior to this, she served as the Managing Director of Maple Leaf Angels since 2017, and grew MLA to be recognized as one of the best angel networks in the country under her leadership. She has also worked with About Communications, a national Telecommunications & Information Technology firm. Prathna brings experience in account management, client operations and project management. Prathna holds a B.Com degree from the Rotman Commerce Program at the University of Toronto, and has received training from the Ontario Securities Commission to serve as Chief Compliance Office of MLA. Prathna recently completed her Executive MBA from Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and has joined the leadership team at Futuresight Ventures, a venture studio that will build & invest in innovative software companies solving real market problems.

Prathna Ramesh

Chief Compliance Officer

Sanjana works with the Managing Director to support the day-to-day operations and communications strategy of Maple Leaf Angels.

Sanjana is responsible for managing the various steps of the deal flow process from the screening of entrepreneur applications up to investment in early stage Canadian technology companies; organizing all meetings and events; executing the marketing and communications strategy with members, sponsors and entrepreneurs within the venture funding and entrepreneurial ecosystem; and supporting the Managing Director and Board of Directors to increase organization efficiency.

Sanjana actively volunteers as a research student with the Kamath lab at The Hospital for Sick Children, to further her interest in stem cell technology and its translation to healthcare and therapeutics. Prior to this, Sanjana worked at Galderma, a subsidiary under Nestle Skin Health, with experience in consumer marketing and human resources. She also volunteered at a school for children with special needs to tutor students with cerebral palsy, down syndrome and autism in literacy and sensory-integration activities.

Sanjana holds an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Life Sciences and a minor in Environmental Studies from McMaster University.

Sanjana Muthanna

Operations Manager

over $41 million in 92 companies

Office Address:

47 Colborne Street, Suite # 403,
Toronto, ON, M5E 1E3

Contact Us:
Email: info@mapleleafangels.com

Phone: 416-646-6235

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