Sunday, February 17, 2008

Leonard Brody was born on June 4, 1971 in Calgary, Alberta. [1] He is a man of many hats, utilizing his talents and expertise as a technology entrepreneur, author, government advisor and guest lecturer at universities and conferences throughout the world – just to name a few. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, has been through one of the largest Internet IPO’s in history and is currently the CEO and co – founder of, while also working as an advisor to the Canadian Ministry of International Trade and a Director of Canada’s largest technology association, CATA. [2]


One of his first tastes of success was at Onvia where he was part of the initial founding. The company was voted Canada’s number one startup in 2000 and subsequently went public and closed a $240 Million IPO on NASDAQ. [3] He was also behind the sale of Onvia to Bell Actimedia, establishing the largest business-to-business Internet marketplace in Canada. [4] Onvia is a firm that helps businesses secure government contracts and government agencies find suppliers online. [5]

Currently, Leonard is Co-Founder and CEO of, which is one of the pioneers in citizen generated news and quickly becoming one of the largest news agencies in the world with over 130,000 contributing reporters in 140 countries & 4,500 cities. In the last year, The Guardian in London ranked as one of top 5 news sites in the world and Time Magazine named it as one of the top 50 websites of the year. [6]

His views on the future of the future of news can be surmised in the following points and is expressed in the video below:

  • There is a fundamental shift where people are tired of depressing and boring news and are looking for news to be delivered in a new manner and perspective. (Such as the humorous news delivery of John Stewart)

  • People delivering the news should take advantage of the eyes and ears of their audience and give themselves the presence of the scene, to do the analysis and wrap it all together in one package.


Leonard believes that running a startup is one of the most challenging things to do in business and another reason why his books came about is because he feels “Canadians are terrible at promoting themselves.” [7] His books help with the understanding that startups today compared to those ten years ago are hugely different. Back then it was all about the money, but today there are startups offering free services and he views them as probably the most exciting.

However, he admits some of the most successful online businesses and genres have surprised him.

“Ten years ago, if someone had showed me the model of eBay, then I would have said it wouldn’t work,” said Leonard, who originally trained as a lawyer before working a sports agent. “Napster? No way. Online dating – who would want their personal details on the Web? [8]

He explains that reason for their success is in their attempt to build an online community – as this is the new path online businesses are going.

Everything I Needed To Know About Business… I Learned From A Canadian showcases 15 Canadians who are leading the world in their field – whether it’s the media or gold-mining or producing The Simpsons TV series. [9]

Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership From Java to Jurassic Park profiles 30 of Canada’s technology visionaries from the creator of Java to an eBay co-founder and the people behind the BlackBerry, the handheld wireless email device. [10]


  1. “Leonard Brody.” Winkipedia. 09 February 2008.

  2. "VenturePrize Awards Luncheon 2007.” TEC Edmonton. 09 February 2008.

  3. "VenturePrize Awards Luncheon 2007.” TEC Edmonton. 09 February 2008.

  4. "An Interview With Leonard Brody.” Abebooks. 09 February 2008.

  5. "VenturePrize Awards Luncheon 2007.” TEC Edmonton. 09 February 2008.

  6. "Best-selling Author & Business Visionary.” Speakers Spotlight. 08 February 2008.

  7. "An Interview With Leonard Brody.” Abebooks. 08 February 2008.

  8. "An Interview With Leonard Brody.” Abebooks. 08 February 2008.

  9. "An Interview With Leonard Brody.” Abebooks. 09 February 2008.

  10. "An Interview With Leonard Brody.” Abebooks. 09 February 2008.

Further Reading

  • Brody, Leonard and David Raffa. Everything I Needed to Know About Business...I Learned from a Canadian. Toronto: Wiley, 2005.

  • Brody, Leonard. Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java. Toronto: Wiley, 2002.

External Links