Global Hypergrowth Project Selection Panel

The Global Hypergrowth Project Selection Panel members are notable Canadian business leaders with diverse experience, skills and backgrounds from the public and private sectors. This distinguished group will recommend the firms who will participate in GHP designed to help take Canada’s next anchor firms further, faster.

Thomas Park

Thomas Park – Panel Co-Chair

As lead and partner of BDC’s Deep Tech Venture Fund, Thomas has extensive experience working with early stage high-growth tech companies, particularly those developing major scientific breakthroughs. Throughout his career, Thomas gained diverse experience working in various leadership roles across the private and non-profit sectors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, McKinsey, and the United Nations. With his knowledge and experience, Thomas has all the tools to help Canadian companies to scale globally.

John Ruffolo

John Ruffolo – Panel Co-Chair

John is the Founder and Managing Partner of Maverix Private Equity, a firm focused on technology-enabled growth and disruption. Rooted in entrepreneurship, Maverix is run, funded, and designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. John is also the Founder of OMERS Ventures and Vice Chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators. Throughout his leadership as CEO of OMERS Ventures, the company invested over $500 million (USD) in more than 40 disruptive technology companies across North America, including growth investments in Shopify, Xanadu, and Wattpad, among many others. With a passion for innovation and technology, John continues to be recognized for his unparalleled contributions to the sector and expansive vision for Canada’s economy.

Todd Burns

Todd Burns

As an experienced business leader with a passion for clean technology, Todd is dedicated to discovering innovative ways to spark positive change — and eager to mentor emerging entrepreneurs looking to do the same. As the founder and CEO of Cypher Environmental Ltd, a Winnipeg-based firm that manufactures and distributes cleantech solutions in over 50 countries around the world, Todd knows what it takes to propel the adoption of clean technology in Canada. He has a fine-tuned ability to leverage his business development, marketing, and strategic problem-solving to develop strong export strategies to take businesses further, faster. With his commitment to environmental, social, and corporate governance and dedication to culture, Todd is well-positioned to help find Canada’s next anchor firms.

Judy Fairburn

Judy Fairburn

Co-CEO of The51, a financial feminist platform, and women-led venture fund, Judy is dedicated to getting high-growth and emerging businesses the resources they need to reach their full potential. As an early-stage investor and fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab, engineer and former C-suite executive, Judy focuses pragmatically on commercialization and technology scaleup, environmental sustainability, diversity and corporate/entrepreneurial partnerships to create future-ready businesses. She is also the co-founder of a $100 million digital/cleantech venture fund and led substantial change as the first Chair of the consolidated Alberta Innovates. Judy is a change-maker, eager to support entrepreneurs who are ready to innovate, disrupt and aspire.

Joanna Griffiths

Joanna Griffiths

Joanna is a seasoned entrepreneur leading the way for women in business. As the founder and CEO of Knix and Kt by Knix, Joanna pioneered the leakproof category and developed one of the fastest-growing intimate apparel brands in the world and continues to focus on global growth opportunities and product innovation. Joanne has led Knix, named the 6th fastest growing company in Canada, to great success and has been recognized as a global marketing disruptor bringing attention to topics of body inclusivity, fertility, and mental health. A true trailblazer, she was named Waterstone’s Most Admired CEO and Women of Influence’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Looking to use her knowledge and experience to support others she also sits on the board of Futurpreneur Canada, an organization that supports aspiring entrepreneurs in turning innovative ideas into thriving businesses.

Genevieve Guertin

Geneviève Guertin

Geneviève is the Vice-President of Investment and Life Sciences at Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Quebec’s largest development capital network. Currently leading a team dedicated to biotechnology, Geneviève has spent over 20 years in the life sciences industry. Throughout her career, at Fonds de solidarité FTQ she has played an important role in overseeing investment projects in both the private and public sectors. Currently holding positions on the board of Montréal InVivo, Réseau Capital, and Génome Québec, Geneviève has a proven dedication to innovation, life sciences, and entrepreneurship.

John Risley

John Risley

John is Chairman and CEO of CFFI Venture Inc, a diversified holding company with operations around the world. With significant stakes in a portfolio of young companies across various industries, John is no stranger to working with emerging businesses and is eager to use his knowledge to help find Canada’s next anchor firms. In addition to his role at CFFI, he is Chair of Northern Private Capital, a Toronto-based fund that invests in high-growth opportunities, Chair of MDA Corporation, Canada’s international space mission partner, and Chair of World Energy, one of North America’s largest biofuel producers and only producer of sustainable aviation fuel. Always looking to feed his passion for innovation, John is also the Director of Futurpreneur Canada and the Chair of Canada’s Ocean Global Innovation Cluster.

Selection Panel ex‑officio members:

  • David Lisk, Vice-President of the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

To ensure transparency and that best business practices are followed throughout the GHP process, Selection Panelists have agreed to strict guidelines which include a Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement, a personal cooling off period, the disclosure of any potentially competing interests, and requirements to establish and ensure ethical firewalls are in place with their own organizations.