Shawn Abbott, Age: 48
Influential because: He’s helping Alberta diversify its economy
Anyone who thinks you have to live in Silicon Valley to build an impressive career in the tech industry hasn’t met Shawn Abbott. After all, the Alberta native holds an early patent on the USB key, pioneered the CD-ROM locking used on several million discs, and helped build a hugely successful Internet security company – and that was all before he was 40. But it’s his role as a partner at iNovia Capital, an investor in early-stage Alberta tech companies like CoolIT Systems and Drivewyze and a co-founder and past chairman of the A100, where he’s really made his mark. The A100 has been a particularly important addition to Alberta’s tech landscape. Recently, it helped host AccelerateAB, a two-day celebration of entrepreneurship and startup culture. And, of course, as the Calgary face of iNovia Capital, Abbott is always ready to support the right idea with what it often needs most: money.