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Meet the Judges

Saul Colt

Saul Colt is the Head of Magic at FreshBooks. The Leader in Online Invoicing. The details of his role at FreshBooks are shrouded in mystery but his past isn’t. It includes the launch of Zipcar in Canada, as well as being a member of the original leadership team at Rogers Ventures. Saul is an interesting and opinionated guy who speaks on the subject of Word of Mouth Marketing and Startup Marketing all over the world. To learn more about what makes Saul happy go to FreshBooks.com or saulcolt.com.

Erin Bury

Erin is the Community Manager at Sprouter.com, an expert Q&A site for startups. She is an in-demand speaker who has led sessions at Podcamp Toronto, North by Northeast, Net Change Week, and other entrepreneurship events in Canada. She also comments frequently in the press about Community Management and entrepreneurship, and has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and the Financial Post. She is a tech writer at BlogTO, and contributes to publications including VentureBeat, BusinessInsider and TechVibes. She can be found on Twitter at @erinbury or on her blog, ErinBury.com.

Mark Reale

Over the past few years, Mark has been able to cultivate his enthusiasm for communication, arts, technology and community into his daily living.

As the Director of Research and Development at BNOTIONS, a Technology Agency based in Toronto, and the Co-Founder of the Yorkville Media Centre, a Training facility which focuses on introducing participants to the world of Digital Media, Mark’s focus is to bring the latest and most efficient technologies to his clients, and then share the techniques with the community at large.

Beyond BNOTIONS and the YMC, Mark also assumed the role of lead organizer and MC of the AndroidTO Conference and Co-Founded LeanCoffeeTO, a weekly Meetup for Entrepreneurs to discuss lean methodologies and efficient business practices.

The foundation of Mark’s efforts rests in making tools, resources, and experiences widely available to anybody who is looking for them, and making life on Planet Earth as flavorful as possible.

Nick La

N.Design Studio was founded by me, Nick La, a Toronto based illustrator and web designer. I am also the creator of the popular blog Web Designer WallDesign Jobs on the WallIconDock, and Best Web Gallery. My main focuses are designing stock icons, illustrations, and beautiful CSS websites. My work has been featured in many online portals and design publications such as: Computer ArtsWeb DesignerPractical Web DesignDigit, and Web Design Index

Steven Ayer

Steven Ayer is the Senior Research Associate at Imagine Canada where he uses data to do (sometimes) awesome things. He has written many major reports on the non-profit sector with the aim of helping non-profits create sturdy strategies and make evidence based decisions. He also helped create and operationalize the business plan for Imagine Canada’s Directory to Foundations and Corporations, a web application that helps charities and nonp-rofits raise funds. His current work at Imagine is to develop a forthcoming web application that will help charities connect with everyday Canadians in new ways. Steve also holds an MBA from Laurentian University.

Karen Reid

Karen is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Her favourite courses to teach are Operating Systems and Systems Programming. In addition to her usual course load Karen has supervised 42 undergraduate student projects in the past 3 years. Most of these students have worked on MarkUs, a web-based grading tool for programming assignments. MarkUs is currently used in three Universities in Canada and France, serving several thousand students each year. In 2008 Karen was honoured to receive a Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award.

Julia Stowell

Julia Stowell is the Community Queen at Microsoft Canada. Julia loves both people and technology and is thrilled to be able to combine the two in her professional life. She works with open source communities around Canada, focusing on projects that bring the world of open source and Microsoft together. She’s been with Microsoft for seven years, four of those in Latin America. Her interest in helping non-profits came about while living and volunteering in Guatemala. Prior to joining Microsoft, Julia studied at Thunderbird School of Global Management where she earned an MBA focusing on international business. Her interest in Open Source began in graduate school where she wrote a business plan for an open source training provider. She blogs on Port 25, a Microsoft blog dedicated to all things open source. You can reach her there or on Twitter at @InteropQueen.