We are pleased to present our judging panel for LiON’S LAIR 2021. As some of Hamilton’s top business experts, they bring diverse expertise that is truly reflective of Hamilton’s unique economy.
This year’s finalists will be judged in two stages by the Pillar of Business LiONS and the Investor LiONS.
The Pillar of Business LiONS represent three critical components of a successful business; legal, business readiness and marketing. The Pillar of Business LiONS will interview the finalists, evaluating each on the merits of their domain.
The Investor LiONS will review these scores, judge the finalists’ pitch presentation and determine who will take home big prizes in the LiONS LAIR Madness Tournament from September 23, 2021.


Sacha Babic – The Legal LiON

Sacha Babic is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Hamilton office. He acts for and advises private sector clients of all sizes – from start-ups to multinationals – in respect of all aspects of corporate and commercial law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate organization & restructuring, private equity and financing.
Gowling WLG is an international law firm located in 19 cities around the world — including Hamilton. Harnessing the broad industry expertise of its 1,400 professionals, far-reaching global platform and forward-thinking partnerships with key local stakeholders, the firm connects Hamilton’s top innovators to a world of opportunity and provides the tools they need to accelerate their success.

Aaron Gillespie – The Financial LiON

Aaron Gillespie is a Partner in KPMG’s Hamilton office, specializing in Canadian tax compliance and advisory services, with a focus on large Canadian controlled private corporations. Aaron has extensive experience with tax planning as it relates to acquisitions, divestitures, remuneration planning, estate planning, corporate reorganizations, and various tax-minimization strategies.
With over 160 professionals and support staff in their Hamilton, Oakville, and St Catharines offices, KPMG has the resources required to provide a full range of services. KPMG has the strength of their national and international member firms but with a local touch. KPMG is proud to work closely with their clients, helping them to manage risks and take advantage of opportunities.

Chantel Broten – The Growth LiON

Chantel Broten the President & CEO of Jan Kelley and is an experienced strategist who knows how to find key insights that transform organizations and drive growth. A career marketer, she has spearheaded the development of brand and marketing programs for over 200 organizations. She has MBA in Marketing and Innovation from McMaster University and is a graduate of Communitech’s Innovation Basecamp program.
Jan Kelley is an award-winning digital marketing agency and helps businesses grow by using their proprietary digital growth framework to develop and optimize and iterate strong digital-first marketing strategies and programs. Jan Kelley’s philosophy brings together the power of technology and the brilliance of humanity to spark ideas, generate momentum and drive lasting results.


Prathna Ramesh

Prathna serves as a Vice President at FutureSight (a B2B SaaS venture studio) and Chief Compliance Officer of Maple Leaf Angels (one of Canada’s most active angel networks). FutureSight builds and funds software companies with investments of roughly $500k in ventures. Most recently, Prathna held the role of Managing Director of Maple Leaf Angels, Toronto’s angel network of high-net-worth individuals investing in innovation. Through this experience, she gained a strong track record of investing in early-stage Canadian technology ventures in Enterprise Software, Healthtech and Fintech. Prathna was also the General Partner of the MLA48 Funds (Ontario’s only angel fund making investment decisions in 48 hours). Prathna holds a Commerce degree from the Rotman School of Management – University of Toronto and an Executive MBA from the Smith School of Business – Queens University.

Frank Naus

Dr. Frank Naus is the Chief Executive Officer of Lumedi Inc., a data and data warehousing company, and a Venture Partner at Launchit Ventures, a healthtech SaaS focused venture studio. He is an Instructor in the Clinical Trials Management program at Western University. He started his career in clinical research and sales with Astra Pharma Inc. and ran several clinical research organizations. He spent five years in the public sector as Director of Research Administration and then Vice President, Research at Hamilton Health Sciences. Dr. Naus earned his Doctorate in Business Administration from Walden University and has an MBA from Wifrid Laurier University and MSc and BSc degrees in Applied Health Sciences from the University of Waterloo.

Leonard Kofman

Len Kofman is a Partner with HE IP Backed Financing Group at BDC. Before this he served as the Chief Investment Officer at Quantius, an alternative lender focusing on IP Backed lending where he had responsibility for the underwriting and approval of all investments. Previous to that, he worked at Sunlife Financial as Director, Credit Portfolio Management and at the Bank of Montreal, where he held a number of roles in risk management and corporate finance.

Learn about the 2021 finalists!