Round 2

Student, Discovery & Scale-up Categories

We are pleased to present the Power Panel for Ignite 2017! This panel of experts is responsible for selecting the Ignite Finalists at our Round 2 Pitch Competition (November 6th) who will move on to the Boardroom Competition on November 29th.


Jason Atkins – CEO & Founder, 360insights
Jason founded his first technology company while still attending high school and has long track record of using his strong entrepreneurial spirit and technology expertise to grow businesses and create new opportunities. Before founding 360 in 2009, he was president and CEO with TMR, a marketing services company. Jason’s business philosophy is grounded in workplace happiness and having a strong commitment to community. To that end, he is also a founder and principal investor in City Flow Project, a localized Durham Region venture capital and tech incubator.

Jason lives with his wife and 2 children on their ever-growing organic aquaponics farm, and likes to play a bit of hockey and rugby when he gets the chance.


Sabrina Nestor – P.Eng – Manager NDE Projects and Innovation, OPG
Sabrina Nestor is the Department Manager of Non-Destructive Examination Projects and Innovation in the Inspection and Reactor Innovation, Organization at Ontario Power Generation. Sabrina’s department is at the forefront of innovation with establishing new and creative ways to complete various non-destructive inspections. Most recent success was utilizing UAVs to complete a wide variety of visual inspections within the Nuclear Facility. Sabrina began her career in the nuclear industry with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited in 1999 as a Civil Design Engineer supporting the return to service of Pickering Nuclear Generating Stations Units 1 and 4. In 2005, Sabrina joined Ontario Power Generation and has since had a diverse career within the company supporting both nuclear and renewable power generation. Sabrina is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario with a degree in Civil Engineering from Ryerson University.


Jeff Quipp – Founder & CEO of Search Engine People
Jeff’s Win-Win-Win mantra has been a driving force behind the growth of SEP, as the company looks to create long term relationships by ensuring that clients, employees, and the company itself all win out of a relationship.

Jeff has undergraduate degrees in economics and psychology, and an MBA. More importantly, he’s the father of 3 great kids, and finds time to help coach their various sports teams, and most enjoys his role as a father.


Bill Lewis – Partner, BDO Canada
Bill is a Partner in BDO’s Audit and Assurance practice. He has over 15 years public accounting experience with both public and private companies. Bill was a member of BDO’s IFRS working group which assessed the impact of the changeover to IFRS for publicly accountable enterprises in Canada.

Bill is a member of the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications “TMT” service team. He has experience dealing with the issues faced by TMT organizations including revenue recognition, international expansion and complex financing transactions.


Thomas (Tao) Qu – Chairman of Durham Chinese Canadian Culture Centre and Executive President of Canada China Guanxi Council
With a BSc. Degree from Tsinghua University, and dual Master’s Degrees in Eng Physics from McMaster University and Chinese Academy of Science, Thomas is a recognized Nuclear Industry Expert in Canada with 27 years in Nuclear Safety and Management.

As the main founder and former president of Chinese Professional Association of Canada, current chairman of Durham Chinese Canadian Culture Centre and Executive President of Canada China Guanxi Council, to name a few, for many years, Thomas is a Chinese result driven community leader with passion, a true mover and shaker.

With his strong science background, Thomas has also been engaging in promoting the scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation between Canada and China, specially for Durham Region and Spark Innovation Centre.