World's Largest Business Mentoring Event Sets Guinness Record at Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery 12 Conference

Seasoned business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs set first-ever record in Most People Attending a Business Speed Networking Event - Single Venue category

TORONTO, May 15, 2012 /CNW/ - 328 of the brightest minds in Canada speed-networked their way to setting the newest Guinness World Record in the Most People Attending a Business Speed Networking Event - Single Venue category at the Discovery 12 conference hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence.

The World's Largest Business Mentoring event is the first to set the "Most People Attending a Business Speed Networking Event - Single Venue" record. The event brought more than 160 of the brightest business leaders in the country together in one room with over 160 eager entrepreneurs in a timed networking event

To achieve the record, the World's Largest Business Mentoring Event had to have a minimum of 250 participants; be timed; and each participant had to achieve a minimum of 20 distinct interactions lasting three-minutes each that were recorded and verified on-site by an official Guinness World Records judge.

'This is a tremendous achievement and a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience for both the mentors and protégés involved in the event," says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence. "The intensity and knowledge-sharing that happened on the floor could not be replicated like this anywhere else. It has also given participants the foundation to form new and on-going dialogue that could result in future partnerships and collaborations which is really exciting."

"I would like to extend my congratulations to the Ontario Centres of Excellence and to the over 300 mentors and participants who made achieving the World Record for the largest business mentoring event a reality," said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation. "The room was full of creative minds and endless possibilities - a clear demonstration of commitment to building Ontario's innovation economy."

"The success of this record was derived from the level of detail that went into organizing it," adds Philip Robertson, Adjudicator, Guinness World Records. "This particular record was attempted before unsuccessfully. But this time, it wasn't just about the record, it was important to see the protégés and mentors walk away with a meaningful exchange."

The event ran in a speed-networking format and was facilitated by Canada's queen of networking, Donna Messer, author, speaker and trainer for ConnectUs Communications Canada. Ontario Centres of Excellence worked with Jeremy O'Krafka founder of MENTORnetwork a business that works with entrepreneurs serving organizations to support their mentorship programs through mentor recruitment, training, events and program management, to assist in structuring the event.

Some of the notable participating mentors included: Sir Terry Matthews, Founder and Chairman, Wesley Clover, Bill Tatham, CEO, NexJ Systems; Albert Lai, Big Viking Games; David Teten, Partner, ff Venture Capital; Rick Segal Founder, Fixmo and Doug Cooper, Co-Founder, Splintir.

Participating protégés included Oleg Gutsol and Evgeny Tchebotarev, CEOs and Co-Founders of 500px; Alexander Rink, CEO of Gazaro; and Mohan Nadarajah, PlayLabs.

Discovery brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, investors, academia, and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of clean energy, advanced health, digital media and information and communications technologies and advanced manufacturing. Named Canada's Best Trade Show for two year's running (2010 and 2011), the annual Conference and Showcase attracts approximately 2600 attendees and over 350 exhibitors.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, Ontario Centres of Excellence invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE through its Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR), an initiative supported by the federal government, also acts as a catalyst which allows innovative businesses to grow and achieve sustainable commercial success and global competitiveness. Ontario Centres of Excellence is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is Ontario's innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies, and create jobs. For more information visit www.oneinnovation.ca.

To download Broadcast quality B-Roll please visit: http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=540

Video with caption: "Video: World's Largest Business Mentoring Event Sets Guinness Record at Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery 12 Conference". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120515_C7661_VIDEO_EN_13721.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120515_C7661_PHOTO_EN_13721.jpg&clientName=Ontario%20Centres%20of%20Excellence&caption=Video%3A%20World%27s%20Largest%20Business%20Mentoring%20Event%20Sets%20Guinness%20Record%20at%20Ontario%20Centres%20of%20Excellence%20Discovery%2012%20Conference&title=&headline=World%27s%20Largest%20Business%20Mentoring%20Event%20Sets%20Guinness%20Record%20at%20Ontario%20Centres%20of%20Excellence%20Discovery%2012%20Conference

Image with caption: "328 of the brightest entrepreneurial and business minds in Canada speed-networked their way to setting the newest Guinness World Record in the Most People Attending a Business Speed Networking Event - Single Venue category at the Discovery 12 conference hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence. (CNW Group/Ontario Centres of Excellence)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120515_C7661_PHOTO_EN_13719.jpg

Image with caption: "Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence shakes hands with Philip Robertson, Adjudicator, Guinness World Records as he accepts the official Guinness World Records certificate for the Most People Attending a Business Speed Networking Event - Single Venue category at the Discovery 12 conference. (CNW Group/Ontario Centres of Excellence)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120515_C7661_PHOTO_EN_13720.jpg

SOURCE Ontario Centres of Excellence

For further information:

Shari Balga
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Ontario Centres of Excellence
416-861-1092 x1034
shari.balga@oce-ontario.org

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