About Us

York Angel Investors Inc is amongst one of the largest and most active angel investor groups in Canada. We are a member-based not-for-profit group of accredited investors seeking to invest in early-stage start-ups primarily in B2B and B2C SaaS, Fintech, CleanTech, IoT, InsureTech, HealthTech, Industrial Automation, CPG, and Marketplace Solutions. Our goal is to create superior financial returns for ourselves and the companies that we invest in. Our collaborative mentorship and strategic financing approach support entrepreneurs through various stages of early growth. Investments we make often represent the bridge between Self-Financed/Friends & Family, and Seed Stage, Venture Capital, or Private Equity funding. Our members consist of accredited investors with a broad range of professional experiences and business success. Through our financial support and mentorship, several of our portfolio companies achieved successful exits.

A Message from our Executive Director

Katie Salem CPA, CA
Executive Director

I became an Angel Investor because I was drawn to the innovation ecosystem that is full of brilliant, audacious, and supportive individuals – Entrepreneurs who are focused on a better future, Investors who want to support them with capital, connections and mentorship, and Partners that can help with their growth journey.  As a curious person, the opportunity to evaluate so many different businesses across various industries is exhilarating! 

I joined York Angel Investors because of its diverse membership and the supportive nature of each member.  I got a sense of that at my first meeting, watching the camaraderie of the members and the way they each asked unique questions of the entrepreneur – a testament to their varied backgrounds and areas of expertise. I also noted the quick inclinations to offer entrepreneurs advice and connections way before any cheques were written.

I accepted the role of Executive Director because I truly believe in our innovation ecosystem, and I relish the opportunity to leverage my professional skills and experiences to support entrepreneurs and investors in a collaborative manner.

Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Corporate Partners, I hope you will join us on this exciting, collaborative journey.

Meet our Management Team

Katie Salem CPA, CA
Executive Director

Katie Salem is an accomplished financial and management consulting professional with over 25 years of experience. She has an exceptional track record of exceeding client satisfaction while helping clients define their value proposition and achieve their financial and strategic objectives.  A creative problem solver with solid business acumen, Katie has helped clients with the planning and execution of initiatives to help them create top-line growth and improve organizational effectiveness, with a focus on delighting customers. 

Katie started her career at Ernst & Young (EY), in the Financial Services Group, where she planned and successfully executed client engagements for the Audit, Consulting, and Private Client Services practice areas, always embracing and overcoming challenges with grit and optimism.  With a passion for entrepreneurship that can be traced to high school days, Katie later launched her own public accounting and consulting practice, serving other entrepreneurs and professionals.

She is currently leveraging her wealth of experience and skill set to support founders as an investor and advisor and as a financial literacy volunteer with Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Ana Misra CPA, CGA
Finance Director

Ana Misra is a results-driven executive with a focus on value creation, with solid entrepreneurial and corporate experience. As the Vice President of Finance and one of the Managing Partners of Troy Group of Companies, she has been involved in many acquisitions and divestitures including companies in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Ana is a co-founder and Member of the Board of the York Angel Investors Inc. and serves as the Director of Finance. As an Executive in Residence at ventureLAB, she provides guidance to entrepreneurs in all areas of the business including strategic planning, operations, to grow to the next level and achieve a successful exit.

She has earned a track record of success in managing complex business initiatives and achieving exceptional results. During her tenure as CFO, at ETL Inc. Ana was instrumental in raising equity capital and taking the company public.

She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several companies including Angel Investors Inc. Troy 5 Enterprises Inc. and is the past director of Troy Holdings International Inc., ETL Inc. & Telecorp Products, Inc.

Amber Sajjad
Director of Operations and Ecosystem Engagement

Amber Sajjad is a tenacious strategy and innovation consultant who consistently exceeds goals through a three-pronged approach: laser-focus on identifying inefficiencies and opportunities, innovative vision and strategy to create the best plan forward, and detail-oriented management to implement effective processes. She has successfully led the business design, problem space validation and opportunity assessment for venture-scale businesses based out of Canada, the US, UAE and Pakistan.

A passionate advisor drawn to big challenges with the potential to substantially improve people’s quality of life, Amber has enabled Specialized Healthcare services, Healthtech, Fintech and B2B/B2C SaaS Start-ups to achieve $25M+ in funding. Prior to joining York Angel Investors, she supported the Healthcare practice by helping a Healthtech company leading data liberation become leaders in large provider, payor, health exchange and research markets based in the US and Canada.

Amber holds a specialization in Private Equity and Venture Capital from Harvard Business School and an MBA from Schulich School of Business She currently is an active angel investor and consultant committed to providing support to growth-stage companies through operational transformation, deal structuring and negotiations all the way to successful exits.  

Meet our Board of Directors

Angelo Del Duca
Chairman of the Board

Angelo Del Duca has extensive experience in the electronics industry and holds an engineering degree from the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering.  His extensive industrial experience includes research and development of electronic systems and devices, Management and most recently Angel Investment into technology-based companies.  Angelo is member of the York Angel Investors, Maple Leaf Angels and the Spark Angels assessing potential investments and mentoring companies seeking investment.  He was named Angel of Year (2016-2017) by the York Angel Investors and is a Board Member.  Previously he held positions as an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) delivering the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) program to SMEs in the downtown Toronto area and then transitioning to a Director in Ontario leading a Team of ITAs in delivering and managing a portfolio of supported SME initiatives.

Prior to joining IRAP, Angelo was co-founder of a Microelectronics Design firm that assisted companies in Canada and the United Stateswith the research and development of advanced electronic devices (ASICs and FPGAs) to customers in the US and Canada which included Motorola, Welch Allyn, SR Telecom, and AT&T.  Angelo also held positions in engineering and management at Avnet Electronics, the Ontario Research Foundation, the University of Toronto – Microelectronics Development Centre, and Tektronix.

Ana Misra
Secretary

Ana Misra is a results-driven executive with a focus on value creation, with solid entrepreneurial and corporate experience. As the Vice President of Finance and one of the Managing Partners of Troy Group of Companies, she has been involved in many acquisitions and divestitures including companies in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Ana is a co-founder and Member of the Board of the York Angel Investors Inc. and serves as the Director of Finance. As an Executive in Residence at ventureLAB, she provides guidance to entrepreneurs in all areas of the business including strategic planning, operations, to grow to the next level and achieve a successful exit.

She has earned a track record of success in managing complex business initiatives and achieving exceptional results. During her tenure as CFO, at ETL Inc. Ana was instrumental in raising equity capital and taking the company public.

She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of several companies including Angel Investors Inc. Troy 5 Enterprises Inc. and is the past director of Troy Holdings International Inc., ETL Inc. & Telecorp Products, Inc.

Firdos Somji
Chair of Governance Committee

Firdos has had a distinguished career spread over 40 years at Scotiabank, where he progressed through a series of increasingly senior leadership roles in Canada, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Most recently, he was Senior Vice-President for the bank’s international division, where he drove value through M&A integrations and divestitures, business and structural cost transformations, operations management, risk management, compliance, shared services, strategic sourcing, network optimization, organizational design, and customer-facing roles in retail and commercial banking.

Firdos serves on various boards including, Asthma Canada, Firearms Safety Education Service of Ontario, York Angel Investors Inc., Dalhousie University MBA Advisory Council, and the Governors’ Circle for Markham Stouffville Hospital. Previously, he was on the boards of Markham Stouffville Hospital, Corporacion Interfin Bank in Costa Rica, and Quilmes Bank & Trust, Uruguay.

Firdos is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers, holds an MBA from Dalhousie University, and earned his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors/Roman School of Management.

Terry Mocherniak
Treasurer

Terry Mocherniak is the founder and Managing Director of Apex Capital Advisors.  He has over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector and is a serial entrepreneur having founded and grown several businesses with two successful exits including one to a division of global giant Siemens.  Terry also has extensive M & A, venture capital and corporate advisory experience and has raised over $20 million in venture capital for his own enterprises.  Vertical expertise includes cleantech, software, e-commerce, consumer marketplace, marketing, media and cannabis sectors.

Terry currently serves as a Director of York Angels, Senior Advisor at EACL Consulting Services, Cleantech Advisor at MaRS, Director of Qeatech Inc. and previously held the role as Executive Director at York Angels.

Mr. Mocherniak is a corporate lawyer by training and has an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Mauricio Tortello
Chair of the Finance Committee

Mauricio has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical Engineer; he started his career in the Aviation Industry in 1998, since then he has worked for several companies including Commercial Airlines, charter operations, Business Aviation, Original Equipment Manufacturing, and most recently Aircraft Leasing.

He is a Professional Engineering in Ontario since 2008 and has a quality certification from the American Sociality of Quality.

Mauricio co-founded and run an Electronic Devices Distribution Company in his Native Colombia from 1993 until 2000 with sales and distributions across the country.

A real estate investor looking to diversify his investments.

Frank Auddino
Chair Membership & Sponsorship Committee

Frank has over thirty-five years in Business Development producing top Sales with a career track record in delivering breakthrough revenue growth in Canadian, the U.S., and international markets. Though he’s worked with high-profile corporations such as TC Transcontinental, Rupert Murdoch News Corporation, the Jim Pattison Group of Companies, and was a partner in a Rogers Media firm, it is the start-ups, SME’s and businesses that are looking for growth and require funding that he revels in assisting.

He is an active angel investor with 7 Angel groups,  2019 NACO award recipient – outstanding contributions to the Canadian Early Stage Ecosystem, York Angel Investors Board Member, Ontario Ambassador 2018 NACO World Angel Investor Summit, 2018 York Angel Investor Angel of the year, mentor at the Regional Innovation Zone Spark Centre and Ryerson University; co-chair of the membership and marketing committee with Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) and co-founder of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) Investor Readiness Program, and on the membership and marketing committees with the (NACO).

When not engaged in helping companies grow their business and get funding, spends his time as a Rotarian, VP Start-up Durham, board member with the Humane Society, and the Durham District School Board IGNITE Learning Foundation. 

Frank prides himself on being a well-rounded member of his community, both professionally and personally, and resides in Ajax, Ontario, with his wife Kim, and his best friends Opal and Benny-rescue cats. 

Jennifer Renda

Jennifer is a serial entrepreneur with extensive knowledge of the Technology and Consumer Electronics industries, where she has more than 15 years of experience.  Following a successful exit, she founded her most recent company, which collaborates with OEMs to execute market emergence, growth, and support functions within North America.

Jennifer has grown her investment portfolio to include primarily MedTech, HealthTech, and early-stage Life Sciences opportunities, where she aims to maintain an active investor role.   She is a member of the York Angel Investors network which provides a supportive linkage between investors and entrepreneurs seeking early- and mid-stage capital and was recognized as York Angel Investors Angel of the Year in 2019.  Her membership extends to Halo Health, whose mission is to connect Health Tech founders and Physicians for early-stage health tech ventures.   She is also a partner at Kanata Ventures, investing in high-growth enterprise tech companies globally and connecting them to corporate partners in North America.  Jennifer currently sits on the Board of Directors at both York Angel Investors and Kanata Ventures.

Collaborating within the global start-up and scale-up communities is a genuine passion for Jennifer and she actively supports these ecosystems.  She continues to promote and support the accessibility of outstanding opportunities to scale globally as she believes brilliance knows no boundaries.      

Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business with a focus on Entrepreneurial Studies, Finance, and Strategy.

Chris Cowan

Chris has a Hons. B.A. in Labour & Management Relations, and History from the University of Toronto, 1989. He began his career with marketing/advertising and promotional sales and shortly thereafter joined the family business, Sacor Inc., in 1995. The company acts as an importer and distributor of surgical equipment and medical devices primarily in the fields of Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, and other niche surgical areas.

In the year 2000, Chris became President, CEO & owner of the company which currently employs 5 people full-time with sales and distribution across Canada. In 2012, frustrated with traditional investing, Chris formed an informal, on-line community of “angels & entrepreneurs” from which to farm potential investments.   Through a contact made in that group, Chris was introduced to York Angel Investors and joined YAI shortly thereafter.   He has served on the Board of YAI since 2013 and won Angel of the Year Award for 2014-15