NOVEMBER 29, 2016, HALIFAX – Volta Labs has added three new members to their Board of Directors: Janet Bannister, Leah Skerry and Ross Simmonds. The board now has eight members, all with backgrounds in founding tech startups or venture capital management.
The three new additions add a diverse range of business acumen. Janet is a venture partner and brought Kijiji to Canada. Leah founded Pursu.it to help athletes successfully fund their dreams and founded Squiggle Park to help young children learn to read. After a digital marketing career helping startups and Fortune 500 companies succeed, Ross founded Crate to automate the digital marketing content curation process.
“Our new board members bring even more global connections to Atlantic Canada,” said Jevon Macdonald, chair of the board. “Ross and Leah are both active entrepreneurs, and Janet is currently a venture partner with an extensive history of entrepreneurship, so these new additions add more of both finance and operational experience to the board. They all want to help put Halifax on the map as a place for founders to start new companies and grow existing ones.”
“I am thrilled to work with Volta,” said Janet Bannister, General Partner with Real Ventures. “I very much look forward to getting more involved in the tech ecosystem in Halifax and all of Atlantic Canada.”
Janet Bannister led Kijiji’s international market growth into Canada and extended Kijiji’s reach in North America, Europe and Asia. Janet has led investments in a dozen companies and works actively with Real Venture’s portfolio companies to help them accelerate growth and create meaningful impact. She also has experience as a founder; Janet built a successful consulting business and was CEO at a Toronto-based startup in the online content and commerce space.
“I have tremendous respect for Volta’s ability to support founders,” said Leah Skerry, co-founder and CEO of Squiggle Park, a predictive education game to help pre-K – 2 students learn to read. “I have no doubt that Volta’s programs and their subsequent growth will continue to have a major impact on the Nova Scotian economy. I am delighted to join the Volta board and look forward to contributing to its continued success in any way I can.”
Leah launched Pursu.it in 2012, a crowdfunding site that supports amateur athletes across North America. Leah has been named one of the 21 Emerging Leaders of Nova Scotia and is an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers.
“Volta Labs has played an important role in inspiring and helping push entrepreneurship and technology forward across Atlantic Canada,” said Ross Simmonds, co-founder of Crate, a content curation tool for marketers and Hustle & Grind, an online community and store for entrepreneurs. “It’s exciting to be joining the board at a time when the need for an organization like this couldn’t be greater.”
Ross is a leader in the digital marketing space. His work has been published in VentureBeat, Forbes, Elite Daily and more, covering digital marketing, tech and entrepreneurship.
Thanks to the addition of these three new members, Volta has grown its governing scope to include leaders from across the country and brought even more founder voices to the table. They join board chair Jevon Macdonald, co-founder of GoInstant and Manifold, and members Jesse Rodgers, CEO of Volta; Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech; Patrick Keefe, Partner with Build Ventures and Thomas Rankin, co-founder and CEO of Dash Hudson and former early-stage venture capitalist.
Growing a strong board of entrepreneurs is key to continue Volta’s growth as Atlantic Canada’s super hub for the technology industry. Volta is committed to remaining founder-focused in its governance, programs and services to the tech community.
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About Volta Labs
Volta is a vibrant super hub for early-stage tech companies. Volta is located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is the residence of up to 20 high-potential tech product startups and the co-working space for over 500 network members. Volta is a non-profit created by founders, for founders. Our focus is on building a community where entrepreneurs can access mentorship, grow their companies and expand to new markets. Community is our framework. Our goal is to support the needs of technology founders in Nova Scotia so that they can grow their startups into global companies.