Shawn Abbott


Shawn co-founded Inovia Capital in 2007 alongside Chris, after spending more than 25 years as a successful founder and global executive. He is passionate about coaching entrepreneurs through their personal journey and acts as a force in developing more effective governance across the entire Inovia portfolio. Shawn leverages his insights and best-practices from an extensive board experience — including the HR & Governance and Risk & Compliance committees of Shareworks formerly, Solium the leading global supplier of equity plan administration software. Shawn also serves as a director on the boards of Top Hat, WorkFusion, Bench, Tugboat Logic, and Olameter, and works closely with leadership at Vital, Symend and other portfolio companies. Shawn was also founding Chair of the Alberta 100 Tech Entrepreneurs (“A100”), the leading VC community organization in Alberta which drove the establishment of AccelerateAB and the AccelerateFund. In addition, he played an instrumental role in re-launching the Venture Capital Association of Alberta as Chair until 2019 and active Venture Mentoring Services mentor. Shawn continues to actively engage with CETAC-WEST as a Mentor. Shawn is also an active coach and charter member Alberta VMS, having engaged with numerous entrepreneurs through its team coaching methodology both in Calgary and through the Edmonton chapter led by fellow Inovian Ray Muzyka. Shawn is further connected to the community through service on Dean Meddings’ advisory board at the Cumming School of Medicine and is an Associate with CDL-Rockies (Creative Destruction Labs).

Prior to Inovia, Shawn was a pioneer in internet security as CTO, then President, of publicly-traded security powerhouse Rainbow Technologies, overseeing several hundred employees in nearly 20 countries, navigating a dozen M&A transactions and driving a category rollup which positioned the company for a half-billion dollar exit. He holds the first patent as an inventor of the USB key, multiple patents in online banking and biometric security, has published widely on topics of internet security, and is an accomplished public speaker. Shawn founded, built, then sold the AND Group, the defacto-standard encryption-based eCommerce platform that powered an entire generation of digital sales, and was instrumental in launching CD-ROMs.

Shawn has a Physics degree from the University of Alberta, and performed post-graduate studies at the University of Calgary and Stanford. He is an outdoor enthusiast, and an active airplane and helicopter pilot.


Bench Accounting, CoolIT Systems, Drivewyze, Peraso, Solium, Swept, Venture Capital Association of Alberta, WorkFusion

I grew up in the space age — everything was going to be possible, and I still think it is.

I do this work because it's how I'm wired. I have an insatiable curiosity and the endorphins flow when I achieve objectives, and learn or discover something new in the process.

The most overlooked skill in this business is curiosity.

I stay intellectually honest by listening to why my partners are saying what they're saying.