Judy Fairburn biography

Judy Fairburn, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The51, is a business leader, investor, and mentor with an affinity for co-founding game-changing ventures. She also sits on industrial tech and corporate boards, including VEERUM (Series B), the Canadian board of Fortune Global 500 Petronas and the Business Council of Alberta. She brings deep experience in sustainability, technology commercialization, portfolio management, operations and governance. Judy is General Partner of The51 Fund I, Fund II, and The51 Food and AgTech Fund.

Before co-founding The51, Judy co-founded a $100 million cleantech / digital venture fund, Evok Innovations. She also served on the Global Advisory Council for European-based Emerald Technology Ventures and was the first Board Chair of the consolidated Alberta Innovates – health, agriculture, clean energy, and digital. Judy’s career has included senior executive roles, such as Chief Digital Officer, EVP Business Innovation, President Environment Opportunity Fund, VP of a carbon storage business, and Visiting Executive to the Federal government Privy Council Office. Notable climate tech investments championed at an early stage include Summit Nanotech, Saltworks, and General Fusion.

Judy holds an MSc degree (Chemical Engineering), an MBA, and an Institute of Corporate Directors designation. She is an award-winning Creative Destruction Lab mentor and Clean16 sustainable development award winner. She was named, alongside Shelley Kuipers, one of Canada’s Top 50 Change-makers in 2023 (Globe and Mail Report on Business), and is also the recipient of the 2021 Schulich School of Engineering Alumni Leadership Excellence Award, and the 2020 Calgary Influential Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award.