Leonard was called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business Magazine and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Globe and Mail. He is a highly respected entrepreneur, venture capitalist, best-selling author and a 2 time Emmy nominated media visionary. He has helped in raising millions of dollars for startup companies, been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history and has been involved in the building, financing and/or sale of five companies to date.
Much critical acclaim has followed him in his endeavours. At Onvia (where he was part of the founding executive), the company was voted Canada’s number one startup in 2000 and subsequently closed a $240 Million IPO on NASDAQ.
In 2004, Leonard co-founded, and was CEO of, NowPublic.com which was a pioneer in the field of citizen journalism. The company was named by Time Magazine as one of the top 50 websites in the world, was inducted into The Museum of the First Amendment in Washington, D.C. In 2009, NowPublic was acquired by the Anschutz Corporation. Anschutz is one of the largest live sport and entertainment businesses in the world owning assets such as stadiums like the O2 Arena in London and Staples Center in LA; sports teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Galaxy and the Los Angeles Kings, and today, one of the premiere concert promotion businesses in the world. At Anschutz, Leonard was President of the digital group responsible for overseeing one of the largest online news conglomerates in North America, as well as, overall strategy on digital and general innovation. He is also one of the proud owners of Coventry City Football Club in England.
Leonard also acts as principal in several venture capital funds throughout the world and is behind the financing and creation of 20-30 startup companies a year. Throughout his career, has also advised several businesses including, the Associated Press, Alliance Atlantis, Derby County Football Club and MTV Enterprises. In addition, he was a Senior Technology Advisor to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade – The Honourable David Emerson.
A highly sought-after public speaker, Leonard has lectured at institutions such as Stanford, the G8 and the United Nations. His insight has been requested by companies such as Forbes, The Financial Times, Warner Music, as well as, the governments of countries such as India, Israel, Ireland and South Africa. In addition, his work has been featured in such publications as Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC and the New York Times.
He is co-author of the best selling books, “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java” and “Everything I Needed to Know About Business...I Learned from a Canadian” both published by John Wiley and Sons.
Leonard holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Program at the Harvard Business School.