Mark Benning

Written by Michael Corcoran


Chairman, EXP Systems Inc.

Claim to Fame

Founded; early and continued Internet success


Edmonton, AB

Currently residing in

Menlo Park, CA

Mark Benning founded EXP in 1998 with a business model that exemplified the power and early enthusiasm for the Internet. served as the Web’s definitive destination to connect people with experts and service providers the world over on literally hundreds of issues and topics. In its first 18 months alone the company raised more than $60 million in financing from some of Silicon Valley’s most revered venture capitalists like Draper Fisher Jurvetson, CMGI and Bessemer Venture Partners.

But as the Internet matured, so too did EXP’s business model. Today that company continues to grow based on its original technology vision, now providing companies like H&R Block and Intuit with intelligent solutions to connect customers with real time answers they need to make purchasing decisions.

If being a successful veteran of the dot-com era weren’t enough, Mark and his family are also intimately involved in Canada’s national pastime. Mark graduated from Harvard, where he was named to the All American ice hockey team and voted Athlete of the Year. After graduation, he played pro hockey in Europe before returning to the U.S. to complete his MBA from Stanford. Mark’s brothers Jim and Brian have played for the Maple Leafs, Canucks, Oilers and more; combined, they spent more than 20 years in the NHL. And his father has been a scout for the Montreal Canadiens for two decades.

Before starting EXP, Mark experienced the early days of the Internet firsthand while working at Netscape Communications. He also founded Web infrastructure company ReleaseNow, and has worked as a venture capitalist and consultant in Silicon Valley. Mark was born and raised in Edmonton, where his family continues to reside.

This success story brought to you by The Leaf Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing Canadian success and involvement in the New Economy. Michael Corcoran is a co-founder of (, the country’s first online resource dedicated to the Canadian Internet startup company.

© 2001 Michael Corcoran

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