Life: Harnessing the Collective Power of New Canadians

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In 1992 German Castaño founded Unibase Government Solutions (UGS), a software provider of tax solutions in Colombia. The company won awards for their taxation software, but when narcotics cartels started pressuring UGS to change the software to their reduce taxes, German got out of the business. When a job opportunity at GE Canada arose, he came to Canada as database specialist. At GE, he invented a system that is currently used by their healthcare clients world-wide to detect and fix potential system and database problems automatically.

In 2002 he founded ColKnow Inc, a company that invented emailPlayer, a system that reads emails aloud. EmailPlayer code was sold to AT&T in USA in 2003.

At an Hispanic Professional Association event where German was honoured for his entrepreneurship and leadership, he met the evening’s keynote speaker, Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Jadad – Director of University Health Network’s (UHN) new ‘Program in eHealth Innovation’.

The Columbian born Dr. Jadad had more than few achievements under his own belt: he had won the ‘National Health Research Scholars Award’ from Health Canada, he was named as one of Canada’s ‘Top 40 under 40’ (a national program founded and managed by The Caldwell Partners to celebrate youthful leaders of today and tomorrow), and he was selected by Time Magazine as one of seven new Canadians who will shape the 21st century.

Despite completing doctoral studies in treatment of pain at Oxford University and his years of research and development of pain management in the UK, Alex was frustrated that it took him four years to obtain a license to practice medicine in Ontario.

Alex is now leading studies in Canada examining the use of technology to help members of under served communities such as the homeless, the illiterate and recent immigrants.

When the two men started working together on the development of new business ideas, they tried to come up with something to help other newcomers avoid the obstacles and barriers they had encountered in Canada. When their first idea of starting a bank proved impractical, they considered the difficulty most newcomers have in getting credit. If you can’t pay cash for something, you simply can’t afford it! A credit card was something that could benefit all newcomers and what could be better than a credit card that offered huge discounts for products and services from major Canadian corporations?

So, in 2003, they created SumaCorp. Suma in Latin means “to add” and the idea behind SumaCorp is that as individuals, newcomers do not have strong voices – but all of your voices added together make you a powerful lobby group.

SumaCorp has partnered with RBC Royal Bank, the Brick, Home Show, Rogers and TruCash among others to offer discounts and benefits to its thousands of registered members. With thousands of SumaCorp members working together, you will all be empowered – able to get much better deals than you could have found on your own. Settling in a new country has many challenges and SumaCorp is committed to helping you in this transition and offering you services that will help you build a solid foundation.

SumaCorp was created by new Canadians for new Canadians to help them build wealth. It brings together large numbers of new immigrants. It provides links with companies that appreciate the collective power and values of newcomers.

For more information, visit their website and sign up for a card of your own at

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