Osama Arafat of Q9 Networks Awarded CVCA's 2009 'Entrepreneur of the Year' Award

    TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - The CVCA - Canada's Venture Capital & Private
Equity Association, is pleased to announce that Osama Arafat, CEO of Q9
Networks, is the recipient of CVCA's 16th Annual 'Entrepreneur of the Year
    Established in 1992, the purpose of CVCA's 'Entrepreneur of the Year
Award' competition is to promote, highlight and celebrate the achievements of
entrepreneurs who lead private equity or venture-backed Canadian companies.
"The selection process focuses on individuals whose entrepreneurial spirit,
drive and success personify the qualities that all venture capital or private
equity investors seek to find in their portfolio companies," said Richard
Kinlough, Chair of CVCA's Entrepreneur of the Year Committee and Managing
Director, Group Head, CIT Corporate Finance, Canada. "The Committee looks to
select exceptional entrepreneurs who create wealth, employment and also give
back to the community," added Mr. Kinlough.
    Osama Arafat was co-founder of InfoRamp, Toronto's first and largest ISP
before it was sold to iSTAR in September 1995.
    Osama then co-managed Isolation Systems, an award winning manufacturer of
VPN solutions, backed by two of Canada's leading high-tech funds: JLA Ventures
and VenGrowth.
    In April 2000, JLA Ventures and VenGrowth backed Osama Arafat again by
investing in Myna Communications, a small Internet service provider. Osama's
goal was to build Canada's pre-eminent provider of outsourced data centre
infrastructure services for organizations with mission critical IT operations.
From a base of $1MM in 2000, Osama re-focused Myna which became Q9 Networks
and led the company on a high-growth trajectory. The company's sales grew to
approximately $66MM and was then sold to ABRY Partners in 2008 for $361MM.
    Today, Q9 Networks provides outsourced data centre infrastructure
services to approximately 400 customers. Its services include the provision of
physical space within highly secure data centres; various managed services
including: bandwidth, dedicated servers, firewalls, load balancing, virtual
private networking (VPN) and back-up/restore. Q9 employs approximately 150
    Both JLA Ventures and VenGrowth experienced excellent returns with their
investments in Isolation Systems and Q9 Networks. "Osama's ability to predict
future technology needs of organizations, which he has successfully done three
times, makes him an outstanding candidate for this CVCA award," said John
Albright, Partner of JLA Ventures.
    "Osama is a serial entrepreneur who also has a strong ability to hire and
lead great management teams," said Mike Cohen, Managing General Partner at VG
Partners- part of VenGrowth Private Equity Partners Inc.. "He is also a
generous philanthropist and served on the board of Hope Air, a national
charity that assists Canadians with medical treatment when they are unable to
afford the airfare. I cannot think of a candidate more deserving of this
    Osama Arafat was honoured at the Gala Evening at CVCA's 2009 Annual
Conference in Calgary on Thursday May 28, 2009.


    The CVCA - Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, was
founded in 1974 and is the association that represents Canada's venture
capital and private equity industry. Its over 1800 members are firms and
organizations which manage the majority of Canada's pools of capital
designated to be committed to venture capital and private equity investments.
The CVCA fosters professional development, networking, communication, research
and education within the venture capital and private equity sector and
represents the industry in public policy matters.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Lauren Linton, Director of Marketing, CVCA,
(416) 487-4299, llinton@cvca.ca; Richard Kinlough, Chair of CVCA's
Entrepreneur of the Year Committee, (416) 507-5106, richard.kinlough@cit.com

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