Aaron Cruikshank

Aaron has been involved in technology commercialization since 1998. His area of expertise is how to leverage government programs for technology commercialization and market intelligence to drive go-to-market strategy. Aaron has worked with nearly 600 organizations to date and has experience in the cleantech sector at the SME and Enterprise scale.

He is currently the President of CTRS Solutions – a tactical research and strategy firm that specializes in market intelligence and go-to-market strategy for SMEs. Aaron’s EIR skills include taking an idea on a napkin into a ready to deliver the first product company, voice of the customer research, market validations, regulatory affairs and product development lifecycles.

Aaron Genest

Dr. Aaron Genest serves as the President of SaskTech and the representative for Siemens Digital Industries. SaskTech, founded in 2018, is an industry advocacy group of more than 100 organizations and businesses with corporate offices in Saskatchewan. Its goal is to address the technology labour shortage by working with government, educational institutions, and support agencies to ensure a robust labour force for technology and digital industries over this century.

Dr. Genest is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan Computer Science program, the former Director of Customer Experience at Solido, and is now an Applications Engineering Manager after an acquisition of Solido by Siemens. Prior to his life in technology, he was a professional touring musician for ten years. He lives and works in Saskatoon with his wife, Dr. Emily Jenkins, and three children

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Alexander Rink

Alex is a 3-time serial entrepreneur, and currently an angel investor and strategy advisor with Foresight, Invest Ottawa, and Innovation Gatineau. He has reviewed and provided feedback on hundreds of business plans, with a focus on B2B SaaS, big data/AI/ML, and Climate and FinTech. Some of his more notable recent angel investments have included Rewind, Hoppier and Mindbridge.

Previously, Alex was the Chief Growth Officer at Chicago-based Numerator, a Vista Equity Partners portfolio company, where he led M&A, merger integration and strategic partnerships. He joined Numerator upon the acquisition of 360pi, the market-leading provider of retail price intelligence, where as CEO and Business Founder he led the company through a pivot from insolvency to product market, profitability and successful exit.

Alex’s background includes management consulting at Bain & Company and as material controller at Ford/VW, an MBA from INSEAD and a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Alex is a strong believer in living your best life. 

Andrew Watson

Andrew has over 18 years’ experience in progressive roles within oil and gas. He is currently the VP Operations & Engineering for a small private oil company in Calgary. His oil and gas background is focused on various EOR methods including polymer and ASP flooding, water floods, heavy oil, and CO2 flooding. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs focused on clean technologies, energy efficiency, and innovation through the full project development. Andrew also has his own consulting firm that works with various international oil and gas producers to help improve their EOR projects. This includes polymer, ASP, and CO2 floods, as well as a current focus of thermal projects with a key emphasis on clean technology and minimizing water usage and carbon intensity.

Andrew is currently focused on increasing his technical skillset in various renewable energy production methods. This includes pursuing education through a Solar Engineering micro-Masters, Wind energy, and other clean technologies. Andrew also has a particular interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. He has pursued various opportunities in the redeployment of existing oil and gas infrastructure to increase or extend their economic value. Andrew is also pursuing his Executive MBA through McGill.

Andrew has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary in 2001. He is also a member of APEGA, APEGS, SPE, CanSIA, CanGEA, and CanWEA.

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Annika Reinhardt

As the co-founder of Talent Collective, an organization focused on helping tech companies develop, grow and reward their talent, Annika Reinhardt creates compensation strategies that are values aligned and future focused. She is a Certified Compensation, Global Remuneration and Sales Compensation Professional with a Masters Degree in Project Management and 10+ years of experience in organizational development. Annika has worked with dozens of tech companies to help them scale their compensation and career development programs as they develop and grow.

Amit Shukla

Amit has recently joined Foresight as an Executive-in-Residence to support start-ups within the AgTech space and develop connections with Foresight for cleantech start-ups in Saskatchewan. He is an experienced program manager and has been involved in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the prairies and promoting industry-academia research collaborations for several years.

A plant biochemist by training, Amit completed his graduate and postdoctoral work at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), focusing on plant physiology/biochemistry and biochemical mechanisms of herbicide resistance. Following completion of his postdoc, Amit took a position as a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where he studied the mode of action of phytotoxins as it relates to biological control of weeds. In 2002, Amit transitioned into research management, accepting the role of Project Manager for the largest project funded by Genome Canada in the first round. He then moved back to the USask as Associate Director in Research Services and was responsible for the management of all large-scale institutional research programs. In 2014, Amit move to Innovation Enterprise (IE), the technology transfer office at USask, as their Chief Program Manager and was responsible for supporting innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry engagement. Amit developed the Portal for Industry Engagement, a web service showcasing all the resources available at the USask for industry use in a single centralized location. Amit also managed a number of programs at IE, including the Summer Entrepreneurs Program, which provided opportunities for students to learn hands-on how to start a business, the Student Innovation and Business Analyst Program, which engages students in commercializing technologies developed at the university, as well as the AIMday initiative, which brings together researchers and industry experts to tackle complex R&D challenges faced by the industry.

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Barry Hagglund

For the past 20 years Barry has worked with start-ups as founder and consultant in a variety of roles. As an engineer working in communication semiconductors, Barry loves matching technology to market needs through product roadmap & development, technology commercialization, IP strategies and business development.  Barry loves to build things – chips, companies and processes.

Beth Loughney

Director

Beth Loughney’s career has spanned three decades in start-ups in 3D graphics for Hollywood, multi-billion dollar international firms, and even a stint keeping the world safe from nuclear annihilation. She has over 25 years’ executive management in large and small companies and actively consults with entrepreneurs in areas such as cleantech and AI/machine learning. Her most recent focus has been on change management and market expansion strategies taking into account international security and macroeconomics as factors in business decision making. Founder and executive chair of Zorroa, an AI/machine learning software company based in California, she is also an Executive-in-Residence at the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator in Vancouver.

Until May 2005, Beth was the founder and General Manager of NVIDIA Corporation’s Entertainment division. She was CEO of Exluna and headed Strategic Marketing at Open TV during the largest IPO of 1999. Before transitioning to the commercial sector, Beth was a program manager with the US Government’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program to dismantle the former Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons stockpile. She has been with Foresight since its founding working with companies in hydrogen as a service, upcycling waste into fuel and building materials, and a specialty in software solutions.

Beth has an M.A. in National Security Policy Studies and a B.A. in Asian Studies, both from the George Washington University.

Bram van den Berg

Bram van den Berg has over 20 years of international leadership, business development, customer service, operations and supply chain and strategy consulting experience in aviation and oil & gas helicopter services.

He is currently the COO of Circular Rubber Technologies – a Vancouver start-up focussed on developing a fully circular solution for end-of-life industrial tires. Before that he led the worldwide supply chain and customer support organisation of Heli-One – a leader in rotor-wing maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). Bram started his career with CHC Helicopter Corporation where he held increasingly senior roles across various areas of the business ranging from business development, customer support, operations and yield management.

Bram’s EiR skills include combining strong analytical skills with an ability to build strong relationships, motivate teams and deliver high-quality results in a competitive environment. Specific areas of expertise include: Project planning, design & execution | Risk management | Technology deployment | Supply Chain Management | Strategic & Financial Planning | Organizational Leadership | Process Design & Optimization | Productivity Improvement| Budgeting | Cost Management | Change Management.

Bram has a Bachelor in Aeronautical Engineering from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and a Master’s in Business Administration & Management from Nyenrode University.

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Brian Gerson

Brian is an electronics Industry veteran passionate about technology, its application, and its impact on society.  His current focus is the identification of silicon, software, and business model opportunities in the green tech space. 

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Bruce Scatchard

Bruce Scatchard has over 20 years of experience in leadership positions in technology companies with extensive experience in moving technology from the lab or simulator to volume production. 

Bruce joined PMC-Sierra Inc. as a startup and helped it grow to be a global leader in Communication and Storage solutions. He held many technical and management roles including VP, Operations where he was responsible for worldwide supply chain, logistics, product engineering, process engineering, quality, and mechanical engineering. While at PMC, Bruce participated in the integration of 16 acquired companies. He has a proven track record of using rigorous analysis to improve quality, reduce costs and streamline operations. He also has experience working in solar, lighting, factory automation and undersea technology companies.

Bruce has a Bachelor of Engineering from Lakehead University and Master of Engineering from SFU. Bruce lives in Anmore, BC just outside Vancouver and enjoys spending time outside with his family, boating and restoring old cars.

Chris Reid

Chris has been involved in the clean technology sector for over 20 years. He excels at pulling together diverse elements of opportunities to turn them into successful ventures. Chris has had successful experience developing companies from the nascent stage, through technology development, productization and cost down, market establishment, sales, as well as establishing highly effective teams.

Chris was co-founder and CEO of Cellex Power Products which was subsequently acquired by Plug Power in 2007. Chris then ran the Motive Power Division of Plug Power for 3 years. He is currently Chairman of Hydrexia, an Australian hydrogen storage company, and he recently led them through major financing.

Chris’s specialties include: company creation and development, business/opportunity analysis and synthesis, creating and/or strengthening customer value propositions, raising capital, technology development, establishment of product delivery organizations, market development and customer sales, and CEO/leadership mentoring. As well, Chris holds a masters degree in engineering and has worked extensively with cryogenics, novel materials, energy conversion systems, hydrogen, fuel cells and other clean technologies. Chris is part of the BCIC mentoring group and a director of the Working Opportunity Fund.

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Chuck Hamilton

Chuck is passionate about helping businesses grow and succeed. One part future technology geek, one part coach, and three parts innovator, Chuck has a long work history at the intersection of people and technology. His work includes Open Innovation, Crowdsourcing, CleanTech, EDTech, TalentTech, Smarter Cities, and Digital Strategy.

Chuck is the Chief Learning Officer at MeetAMi, former IBM executive, and Chief Operating Officer of HeroX. In addition to his work as an EIR with Foresight, he is an executive advisor to Riipen, FAME, IOAirFlow and KorrAi and Venture Labs EIR. Chuck is also a TED Talker, designer, and community volunteer who lives in Tsawwassen, BC.

Claire Dixon

Claire Dixon is COO of Neuraura with responsibility for commercial, financial and administrative aspects of establishing and building the business.

Prior to joining Neuraura Claire held a number of senior operational roles at the University of Calgary including Director of MBA Programs, Director of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and, most recently, Director of Operations of the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies. She brings more than 20 years of business experience to this role including 15 years as a strategic consultant to technology- and capital- intensive industries. Claire’s key strengths include navigating technical complexity, strategy development and planning and financial and operational modelling.

Claire brings world-class academic credentials as she holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a MEng/MA (Cantab.) in Mechanical Engineering from Cambridge University.

In addition to advising startups, Claire is actively involved in the innovation ecosystem including acting as an Executive in Residence at Foresight Cleantech, judging for Innovation4Health and advising a number of early-stage startups.

Claire Jackson

Claire Jackson is an Executive-In-Residence for the Watertech Program at Foresight, and is passionate about water and has been involved in the water industry for over six years. Claire believes that we need to approach our water challenges in a collaborative, systemic way. Many water challenges span industries and geographies, allowing for broad application of technical and systemic solutions. Claire excels at strategic water management planning, water market analysis, and bringing the right teams together. Her unique blend of technical and team-based leadership skills has allowed for a broad reach within the water industry, recognising market opportunities, and making connections to facilitate the realisation of those opportunities.

Claire is the Director of Engineering at WaterSMART Solutions, responsible for the private sector business line, managing the engineering team, and providing engineering and environmental subject matter expertise to support water strategy, sustainable development, natural resource management, and environmental policy projects.

Claire holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering with a focus on Environmental Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Science in Environmental Systems Engineering from University College London. Claire is a regular speaker and presenter at national and local industry conferences on water-related development issues.

In addition to advising startups, Claire is actively involved in the innovation ecosystem including acting as an Executive in Residence at Foresight Cleantech, judging for Innovation4Health and advising a number of early-stage startups.

Clay Braziller

Clay is a seasoned COO, innovation catalyst and evangelist who enjoys working with cross-functional interdisciplinary teams of engineers, researchers, and business people to advance new products and services that strengthen the community and environment. Clay’s vast experience embodies all aspects of technology commercialization, strategic planning, change management, governance, and stakeholder engagement. Clay is passionate about sustainability, circular economies, cooperative business models and social ventures.

Cormac O’Cleirigh

Cormac O’Cleirigh is a senior business development executive with extensive international experience in technology scouting, corporate business development and partnering/licensing in the consumer, life sciences and technology sectors. After almost 10 years of global technical/business roles with a division of Associated British Foods he moved to Vancouver and for 4 years was the Chief Business Development Officer of a local life sciences company, Renaissance BioScience, before starting his own consulting practice in July of 2019. Cormac works with a number of early-stage small/medium-sized IP rich companies looking to transform their businesses through industry partnerships.

Cormac holds a B.Sc. in Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Bioprocess Engineering.

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Crystal Henrickson

Crystal Henrickson is a certified Leadership Coach, People Operations consultant, and  co-founder of Talent Collective where she works alongside technology-driven companies to build  healthy, fair, inclusive workplace cultures. Certified as a Co-Active® and Professional Coach,  Leadership Circle Profile PractitionerTM, Mentor Coach and team facilitator, she supports leaders  to surface, manage and excel through all of the discomforts of becoming effective leaders to lead  healthy, engaged teams.  

Her own career spans industries (technology and startups, non-profits, food and beverage,  cosmetics, recruitment) and functions (marketing, sales and people operations) giving her an  adaptable lens through which to view organizations, leadership and individual careers. She is  credited with driving the market expansion for Yelp into Canada and has had opportunities to  work with local entrepreneurial economies from across North America and as far away as  Belgrade, Serbia. 

A few years ago, she took a big leap, moving from a shoebox apartment in Vancouver to an acre in Penticton where she spends her offline time building a sustainable homestead.  

Dana Ramnarine

Dana is an architect of highly innovative teams, helping businesses steer through the (often depleted) talent pools around the world to attract and retain humans with high potential. She has spent almost 15 years helping grow some of the world’s most innovative and successful creative and technical companies, exploring innovative and effective tools to find, attract, and retain incredible people. She was Unity’s first in-house global Recruiter, has worked with Disney, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and many more, helping humans connect to their purpose and helping technical teams scale. Now at Rhum.hr, Dana is co-founder and heads up the Vancouver office, working with startups and growing tech companies, bringing HR and talent acquisition support to teams through an innovative, on-demand model, disrupting the external agency framework to meet the needs of an evolving workforce.

David Sanguinetti

VP, Technology

David Sanguinetti is an executive engineer with over 20 years’ experience in industry. He has a particular focus on helping companies with the development and commercialisation of new technologies and has extensive experience both with technical scale-up and with designing the corporate, engineering, and project management systems to support growing companies.

He started his career designing gas processing plants, and has since worked in potable water treatment, biomass-to-energy, industrial water treatment, and metals recovery. In recent years, David has focused on supporting new companies to develop and scale their technologies and systems, and is an instructor/course developer for our Deliver program, geared toward cleantech CTO’s, now being delivered across western Canada.

David’s role centres on helping industry find and adopt clean technology. This includes managing Foresight’s Industry Challenge program, research initiatives, and other programs that connect industry with innovation.

Don Verdonck

Don has recently retired from an executive position after 40 years of working in the oil and gas business in Western Canada. Throughout his career, he has sought to improve performance by bringing new and innovative ideas to the business. He has led the establishment and growth of several divisions within companies, building the team and empowering them to succeed. Don also led the Canadian side of an international joint venture which required building a new company, while taking into consideration the requirements of the partnership.

Don currently serves on a private oil and gas board, a NFP board, and was recently the Board Chair for St. Mary’s University, a liberal arts university of 1000 students in Calgary. Over the years, he has served on several Board of Directors, and today serves on the advisory board of a company developing and implementing emission free technology to extract heavy oil and bitumen.

Don is also providing mentoring and leadership development through Intergen, which connects ambitious entrepreneurs, emerging companies, and experienced talent.

Don is passionate about getting our economy on track to provide meaningful opportunities for the young people of Western Canada.

Drew McNaughton

Drew recently became an Executive in Residence and an Alberta board advisor for the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator, helping to grow companies in the Cleantech sector. Most recently Drew was the Executive Director for the Industrial Research Assistance Program, Prairies region, part of the National Research Council of Canada. Drew has had extensive experience in the private sector as an executive in multiple roles with NortelNetworks, including Vice President, Networks and Computing and Vice President, Wireless Networks Information Systems. At Axia NetMedia Corporation, he was Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and President of Axia France.

With a background in information technology and in growing new businesses, Drew has worked in several regions of Canada, the United States, and in France. Drew has actively contributed to the Alberta innovation ecosystem as a board member or chair of several associations including Technology Alberta, where he was President, and the ICT Council of Alberta as a Director. He was also a Director and chaired WITEC (Wireless and Telecom Association of Alberta). Recently he became an advisor to the board for the Alberta IoT Association.

Currently, Drew is an independent consultant in the broadband community networking space working with clients in various parts of Canada. Drew holds a Systems Design Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Ean Jackson

Ean Jackson has invested the past 25 years of his professional career in management, technical and business development roles in the technology industry. He has been employed by a wide range of businesses across North America ranging from technology startups to major multinational corporations including IBM, Sprint International, and Oracle Corporation.

Jackson is very active in the Vancouver business community. In his current role as President of Analytics Marketing Inc., a provider of contract business development and coaching services, he is accountable for delivering new revenues, new clients and investors to growing businesses.

Jackson is an angel investor, a frequent speaker on business and technology topics and serves on multiple boards. He is a sessional professor in the business faculties of the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University and coaches early-stage businesses as Executive in Residence (EiR) for Foresight, New Ventures BC, and EMBERS Ventures. A former Canadian National Team manager, competitive long-distance runner, and triathlete, Jackson remains heavily involved with amateur athletics.

Fluent in four languages (English, French, Spanish, German), Jackson’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Arts (University of Western Ontario), a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering (Southern Methodist University) and certificates in Internet Marketing (UBC), Business Analysis and Project Management (The George Washington University).

Elena Popovici

Elena is a Computer Science PhD with over a dozen years of industry experience using algorithms to solve complex, real-world business and engineering problems across a wide variety of domains. She was doing data science long before it was called that. Through research and development, she has delivered time&cost-saving software and analyses to Fortune and Global 500 companies, governments and non-profit organizations in areas such as Energy Management, Naval Engineering, Fisheries Supply Chains, Healthcare, Pharma, Insurance, Advertising and more. She has generated Intellectual Property material that was patented in the US and Europe.

For the past few years, Elena has been focused on opportunities to drive business value in the cleantech sector. She believes that impactful solutions can only be delivered through an end-to-end approach: communicate with business stakeholders and subject matter experts to identify current and future needs, map them to appropriate computational approaches (be they machine learning, evolutionary optimization, network analysis, scheduling, simulation or something else entirely) and use cross-functional teams to implement solutions and deliver results.

Elisabeth Paul

Elisabeth’s passion is in developing and deploying complex technology solutions both from outer space and earth to make our world a better place! She excels at strategic business development & project management for large zero-emissions demonstration programs at ports and within cities. Using her unique blend of technical and people leadership skills, she brings together commercial partners and vehicle operators, secures funding from government and corporate sources to deploy new clean technology projects.

Before joining Zen, Elisabeth spent 20 years at MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates in technical and business leadership roles within the Space & Earth Observation Industry, from Software Engineer for the CanadArm and the International Space Station to Program Manager of the RADARSAT-2 satellite ground systems (earth observation image processing and management in near real-time) for major surveillance and intelligence customers. She led both the business development and delivery of mission-critical complex systems in the most rigorous environments; overseeing a group of 30 engineers. Fascinated about all facets of the earth observation business, Elisabeth also held the role of Director of Geospatial Product Development to create new cloud-based solutions deriving information from radar images for smart enterprise mapping, defense and intelligence, self-driving cars and forestry.

Elisabeth studied Computer Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal and Université Libre de Bruxelles. Fluent in both English & French, she embraces cultural differences and perspectives while conducting business worldwide.

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Erik Johannes

Erik Johannes has spend the last 30+ years building clean technology companies in Vancouver. From 1990 to 1999 while at Ballard Power Systems he was a test engineer for a methanol fueled fuel cell power plant. He was responsible for system engineering and testing of an H2/LOx fuel cell power plant for German military submarines. He also built a 15 person test engineering team for the 600 kW stationary fuel cell stack. In 1999 Erik joined QuestAir Technologies where he started with 2 junior team members and grew a 25 person product development team delivering protype compact fast cycle Pressure Swing Adsorption equipment. Erik then founded a company to develop products for heavy duty diesel engine emission control systems. The company’s IP was acquired by two Tier 1 auto/truck parts companies. Erik then worked with numerous small startup companies sharing his experience.

More recently Erik was the Engineering Manager of the Proheat brand of heater products at Dometic (formerly Teleflex in Richmond) and then recruited to be Engineering Manager at Genesis Robotics in Langley. Erik is now focused on building an on-line training platform for product development professionals in the first phase of their career.

Erik graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1985 with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.

Floyd Sijmons

Floyd Sijmons is an experienced CEO, Founder and business mentor with a demonstrated history in driving tech start-ups and scale-ups to success.

Having started at Groupon in the early days, Floyd helped push the extreme growth the company went through. As an international executive, he lived in 7 countries during 3 years, picking up ailing areas of the business where needed and effecting change, from Head of Sales, to Head of Operations, Sales Ops, Business Intelligence, and more.

He then built up a financial comparison platform in Malaysia as CEO, and later ran the multi-sided platform Helpling in the Netherlands, which he grew to be more profitable than any other entity in the group despite the small size of the country. In 2018 he spent half his time in Moldova managing a mobile dev team, while scaling an Android reward-app to 12x within the year.

Throughout these years Floyd always had a passion for helping other startups grow and succeed, and he spent a lot of time mentoring startups at various accelerators like Rockstart in Amsterdam, Startup Bootcamp, Startup Weekend in Moldova, and more.

Having recently arrived in Vancouver, Floyd hit the ground running and joined NewVenturesBC as a mentor, and VentureLabs as EIR. Floyd’s main strengths include Marketing (growth hacking), PR, Sales, Analytics, HR management & Corporate Culture creation.

Floyd holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Management from RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Frank Leffelaar

Frank advises early stage companies in Agrifood Tech on business and goto market strategy and supports them on their journey to get investment ready.

For the past 10 years he has been actively involved in the innovation ecosystem. As a mentor with New Ventures BC, an active investor with eFund, a BC-based Angel Fund that invested in more than 30 BC technology ventures, as a leadership team member at the VANTEC Angel Network, BC’s largest Angel investor community who host monthly investor pitch meetings and as an EiR focused on Agrifood Tech at Foresight Cleantech Accelerator.

Prior to advising and mentoring early stage companies Frank provided marketing strategy and services to SME’s with his agency Crush Marketing. He held senior marketing positions with high-tech SME’s in Canada and US Fortune 500 companies in Europe. He studied at the European Business School in London, lived and worked in 5 countries and enjoys traveling and exploring the wine regions of the world.

Frans Tjallingii

Frans Tjallingii has over 18 years of leadership, commercial, organizational development and strategy consulting experience in the maritime and oil & gas industries. He is a board director and/or advisor to multiple companies in the technology, finance, education and other industries. In 2018, he completed the sale to Galaxy Digital of First Coin Capital, an advisory firm in the blockchain industry which he co-founded in 2017.

Before that he led the Canadian presence of Saam Smit Towage. Frans started his career with business development at a consulting engineering firm where he created a new advisory service related to environmental aspects of shipping. After working for the Netherlands Government dealing with international maritime environmental treaties and conventions, he joined SMIT (now Royal Boskalis Westminster) in 2004. Frans is the Co-founder and Chairman of the New Leaf Project, a not for profit that is pioneering new approaches to homelessness.

Frans has a Masters degree in Marine Biology from the University of Groningen and a Masters in Business Administration from the Rotterdam School of Management.

Graham Binks

Graham Binks is a global expert in improving business performance with technology. In 30 years of tech leadership, he has worked in Europe, North America and Asia, with Nike, P&G, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Eurotunnel, Disney, GM and 250 other large, medium and small businesses.

Graham’s work integrates business and technology strategy and drives successful implementation through CEO advisory and team coaching to help organizations dramatically improve their business with technology.

Heather Herring

Heather Herring is a professional engineer and proud alumna of the Haskayne School of Business. She is known for her ability to pinpoint the essential elements of an idea, business, challenge or person and use her leadership, innovation, and management skills to identify opportunities for excellence. As a coach, she supports client companies in business, communications and customer development. Often described as passionate, driven, and admired for her ability to forge connections between people and industries, Heather shines brightest at the intersection of cooperation, collaboration and competition to drive success for all parties.

Her varied career has included serving as the Executive in Residence with Zone Startups Calgary and extensive work in academia, private and public sector companies with a focus on energy and sustainability. She was responsible for securing research grants and developing VR and 3D printing research facilities at the University of Calgary; focusing the R&D program, overseeing field pilots for new oil sands technologies, and formulating the creation of COSIA for Total E&P Canada; and exploring the emergence of the digital oil field at Laricina. She is the Vice-Chair of Platform Calgary and past Chair of Tecterra.

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Henry Kutarna

Henry Kutarna is an experienced business executive and mentor. He is Chair of  a private family investment fund concentrating on manufacturing and real estate.  His investments are mainly in real estate and manufacturing. He has personally  capitalized twenty-two early stage technology deals. 

He has been a Deputy Minister of Economic Development, President of the  Saskatchewan Diversification Corporation, and a Deputy Minister of Social  Services.  

He is a private mentor and executive coach. He owns The Executive Advisor, a  consultant group working with corporations and not-for-profit organizations in  executive coaching, advisory services, board governance, deal making, and  other business development. He has served on numerous private and public  boards, as well as on many not for profit and charitable boards. He has served as  a chair, member, and advisor to many large and small not for profits. His most  recent start-up is The Catholic CEO a business mentoring service for a fast 

growing segment, that of business owners who want to be Catholic and  successful in business. 

He was an executive in residence at the Banff Centre for Leadership, has led  CEO peer groups, and was president and CEO of the Calgary Convention &  Visitors Bureau. Henry most recently held the position of Vice President of  Investment and Market Development at Innovate Calgary. He led an active angel  investment group – Invest Tech. He is often asked to be a panelist and meeting  facilitator. 

Henry holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Economics from the  University of Saskatchewan, has done post-graduate work in Economics at the  University of Regina, has a Certified Destination Management Executive  designation [C.D.M.E.] from Purdue University/University of Calgary, was a  participant in the Province of Saskatchewan Executive Development Program,  and has taken the Canadian Securities Course, the Exempt Market Dealers  Exam and a host of other executive seminars such as the Queen’s University  Negotiations Seminar. Henry has been accredited in the past as a Certified  Management Consultant (CMC). He is a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the  Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (KHS). Henry is a member of Executive Mentors, a  private group of mentors. 

He is an acknowledged leader in the western Canadian angel finance community  and has been an A100 member (by invitation to top Alberta entrepreneurs). He is a member of Rocky Mountain Ventures, an accelerator. He mentors CEOs and  not for profit leaders in Canada (Vancouver and Calgary) and in the USA  (Wisconsin, Texas). 

Jack Elliot

Advisory Board

Mr. Elliott has over 40 years of experience in construction and technology-enabled engineering. He was President and CEO of Pure Technologies Ltd. (“Pure”) until the company was acquired by Xylem, a leading provider of water technologies and solutions, in February 2018. During his tenure, Mr. Elliott was instrumental in building Pure into a world leader in technology-driven condition assessment, monitoring and analysis of water, wastewater and oil and gas pipelines.

From April 2018 until June 2020, Mr. Elliott was a Director of DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd. (DRT:TSX), a technology-enabled provider of high-quality customized prefabricated wall systems for building interiors. Prior to joining Pure, Mr. Elliott’s experience included general management and engineering roles with several leading construction companies. Mr. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from National University of Ireland (University College Cork).

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James Chepyha

James is a a business development and corporate finance professional with over 20 years of experience working with companies to manage strategic and financial issues. James has worked with hundreds of companies to advise, structure and develop strategies to manage financial and operational challenges.

James has been responsible for establishing new operations for multiple major companies including Goldman Sachs where he was a principal investor. As a Vice President for Chrysalix Venture Capital, an alternative energy & cleantech VC, James was responsible for investing in early stage energy technology companies. In this regard, James worked with a broad range of energy and cleantech companies to construct capital solutions.

James’s experience includes both equity and debt capital. James was responsible for establishing and managing Union Bank of California’s Canadian operations. Responsibilities included all aspects of the Bank’s Canadian operations including portfolio development. James has worked for both domestic and foreign financial institutions in Canada with a focus on corporate, debt, equity and structured finance.

James graduated with a B.Comm. with Honours from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto. James also holds the ICD.D designation.

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James Freeman

James has 32 years of experience in the Telecommunications, Electric Utility, Oil & Gas and Agri-food industries. He is presently President of Valentis International, a privately-held management consulting and investment company he has run since 2003. From 2019-2021, he was proud to be a  part of the Executive Team of TrustBIX as Chief Growth Officer. How to feed 10 billion people sustainably given a changing climate by 2050 is an existential problem for humanity, and TrustBIX will enable solutions to help solve this problem. 

From 2007-2017, he was on the Executive Team of Zedi. While at Zedi, and oversaw the design and development of their IoT platform, which included field devices, back-end Cloud, and  market-facing applications, as well as efforts to pivot their technology outside of Oil & Gas into sectors like CleanTech, AgriFoods, and Smart Cities. 

Most of his career has been spent in strategy or technology management roles. He spent six years with ED TEL/TELUS in broadband access network planning and investment management, 2.5  years in the Czech Republic in a GSM start-up that has since become Vodafone CZ, and 5 years  as a partner in a local IT Project Management consulting firm before joining Zedi in 2007. 

In 2015, he became a member of the Board of TRIG, a start-up technology company  commercializing a novel measurement technology for Petrochemicals-by-Rail transport. 

He has a MSc Degree in Electrical Engineering, and a MBA, both earned from the University of Alberta. He is active in many sports and fitness and wellness are important to him. 

He is a member of Valhalla Capital and Vantec and is an active angel investor.

Jason Jones

Jason’s strong business sense and entrepreneurial spirit are driving forces in his work. After selling his first retail business at the age of 19, he set out to be a pioneer in the emerging internet industry. Through his 20 year career, Jason has gathered a diverse client portfolio including Dell, HP, Bell, Canadian Pacific Railway, Shell, Shaw Communications Inc., Lloyd’s of London, and Stuart Olson. A practiced leader and team–builder, Jason has grown and managed successful web departments in the UK and helped mentor several Canadian startups. He capably organizes and directs resources in the service of internal and external customers through his own company, Vertical Motion, interpreting and facilitating business needs with careful efficiency. Jason has a multi–faceted background in several industries, and now as a Foresight Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR), he’s able to help bring decades of executive level experience to Cleantech Startups. He’s a consummate self–starter, equally able to direct vision from a high level, and get down in the trenches to get things done

Jason Tong

Jason Tong has over a decade of experience providing accounting, tax, capital raising, systems implementation, and CFO services to private and public companies in the technology, professional services, manufacturing, consumer goods, finance, not-for-profit, and mining sectors. Previously, Jason was the CFO of Pathway Capital Ltd, a venture capital firm with a portfolio of early stage ventures with market capitalization ranging from $5M to $100M. Over Jason’s career, he has led over $100M in financings. Jason articled at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Vancouver where he provided assurance and tax services. Jason is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder (CFA). More information can be found on www.catapultgroup.ca

Jay Milroy

A 25 year veteran of the Software/IT Consulting business, Jay is a disciplined design thinker and practical business strategist who has brought 4 software products to market. Equally passionate about the product design-build process and the execution of go-to-market strategies Jay is a patient listener, considerate communicator and generous collaborator who believes in the good in everyone. A family man with adult children Jay’s roots are in Toronto, but his heart is on the left coast.

Jean-Louis Iaconis

Jean-Louis is an Entrepreneurial product development professional with a unique combination of creative, analytical and management expertise driven by a passion for creating new products in both the cleantech and consumer electronics spaces. Renowned for developing simple, creative solutions blending engineering principles with bold design aesthetics and successfully leading multidisciplinary teams through numerous new product development cycles from ideation to implementation.

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Jeff Addison

Jeff Addison is an experienced finance professional and award-winning entrepreneur. He has been in the clean technology space for over 10 years having successfully founded and exited multiple start-up companies.

Jeff was recently involved in raising over $300M to be deployed in the renewable energy space and currently is a founding partner at Hotham Group, a clean tech company that owns, operates, and develops renewable energy utilities across North America.

He was named to Canada’s Clean50 Clean Capitalism Leaders in 2017 and also won the Canada Green Building Council Product of the Year while leading Kiko Water Systems as its co-founder and Managing Director. He’s been featured in numerous international publications and presents at major industry conferences around the world.

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Jeff Reading

Jeff has more than 35 years’ experience in putting companies into global markets that focus on cleantech, energy innovation, energy efficiency along with climate change mitigation and adaption solutions.

He has a particular interest in working with early stage ideas and coaching, mentoring and adapting leadership towards company creation and scaling, company development (ie shareholder agreements and registration), Founders Team structuring, definition of first customer, key partnerships/relationship development, value proposition and differentiation clarity, viable multi-sided business models, customer relationships, commercialization channels, key resource definition, investor package and proforma development, IP and data strategies, innovation ecosystem connections, funding ecosystem connections, revenue stream clarity, cost structure clarity, industry relations, and tactics for staying focused and on point.

Primarily the focus has been on sectors that include utility innovation (renewables, microgrids, data analytics, platform orchestration, automation, smart/intelligent technologies, blockchain, high performance buildings and energy storage), electrification of transportation, multi-sector low carbon cleantech, along with carbon capture and conversion technologies.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts (York University), a Bachelor of Education (Queen’s University) and a Master of Arts (San Diego State University), along with lots of “education” in the trenches of being an entrepreneur.

Jeff has worked in education, within government, in the corporate/private sector and the not for profit arena. In addition, Jeff teaches at the University of Calgary and is the Chair for the Green Learning Canada Foundation, co-founder of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE), an advisor with Carbon Talks Canada and sits of the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation.

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Joe Martini

Joe is an entrepreneurial business and legal executive with over 25 years of strategic business, executive management and legal advisory experience.  Joe  co-founded a variety of companies within the technology, energy, clean-tech and real estate industries.  He has advised private and junior public companies from a corporate, capital structuring, financing, strategy and corporate governance perspective. With an extensive career in technology innovation and commercialization, Joe built and lead a technology accelerator that partnered with GE Canada, Baker Hughes, TELUS, UFA and Aspen Properties.  Joe holds a B.Sc. (Mech. Eng.), JD and an MBA from the University of Alberta.

John Wallace

John R. Wallace is currently serving as a Board director for SBE, a provider of low impedance capacitors and ICRTec, who is developing high efficiency gas turbine engines for class 8 trucks. Mr. Wallace retired from Xantrex Technology in 2008. He joined Xantrex as Chief Executive Officer in November 2005 after serving as interim CEO since July 2005. Wallace has been a Director of Xantrex since May 2003.

Since 2002, Wallace provided management, business and technology consulting services to a number of companies in the alternative energy and power electronics industries. From November 2004 until May 2005, Wallace was interim Chief Executive Officer of AVESTOR, a developer and manufacturer of a lithium-metal-polymer battery, based in Boucherville, Quebec and from 1982 to 2002, Wallace worked for the Ford Motor Company, where he spent more than a decade helping Ford become the world’s largest producer of alternative fuel vehicles. His final assignment with Ford was serving as Executive Director of THINK Group, where he was responsible for the development of hybrid electric, fuel cell electric and battery electric vehicles. Prior to Ford, John was a leader in microprocessor development in high growth technology companies such as Texas Instruments and Intel.

Wallace has also been named as Chief Technical Advisor to the China/UNDP Fuel Cell bus program.

Wallace holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Jolyn D’Andrea

Jolyn has a diverse background that has provided her with a very wide lens when looking at new situations and an outside-the-box approach to problem solving. Following her education, which included a heavy focus on academic research, she ventured into industry as a Clinical Research Coordinator for a startup sleep technology company for 2 years. After returning back to academia for a while, she made the transition into sales as a Medical Representative for a dermocosmetic brand, interacting with and leading educational activities with healthcare professionals in AB. Looking to channel her relationship management and sales skills in a more entrepreneurial way, she decided to launch a high-end community publication in a local Calgary area that she managed for 2 years until transitioning into Pharmaceutical sales for a start-up pharmaceutical company that was launching a first-to-market drug.

Given her passion for innovation, entrepreneurship, and applying her skillset to help young companies grow, Jolyn is now consulting on business development strategies with startup companies, such as FREDsense, to help them refine and boost their sales process. She is also actively involved in some entrepreneurial ventures that are at various stages of development.

Jolyn’s formal education includes a PhD in Medical Science from the University of Calgary and a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge. During her academic studies, she developed a comprehensive understanding of neuroscience, psychology, and the brain-behaviour connection. She is also educated in Copywriting strategies for the web, B2B, and B2C, which has enhanced her overall understanding of consumer/sales psychology.

Kim Sturgess

Kim Sturgess is an Executive-In-Residence for the Watertech Program at Foresight; founder and CEO of WaterSMART Solutions Ltd. and has successfully led the organization since its inception in 2005. She is also the Executive Director of the not-for-profit Alberta WaterPortal Society, which provides education on key water issues in Alberta and around the world.

As the CEO of several technology based companies over her career, Kim has extensive experience in technology start-ups and technology management, as well as in oil and gas, pipelines, and industrial products and services. In addition to serving on the boards of her own companies, she has served on the boards of CCI Thermal Technologies, the Alberta Chamber of Resources, the Alberta Land Institute, the Alberta Water Council, the Calgary Airport Authority, the Council of Canadian Academies, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the National Research Council, APEGA, the Alberta Economic Development Authority, and Queen’s University. She also served as President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Kim graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Engineering Physics, and from Western University with a Master of Business Administration. In 2016, Kim received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Queen’s University, and in 2018 she received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary.

In 2007, she was named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and in 2012 she was named Business Woman of the Year in Calgary by Consumers Choice Awards. In 2015 she was awarded the SCI Canada Medal and was recognized by the Alberta Science and Technology Foundation for her Outstanding Contribution to the Alberta Science and Technology Community.

Kim has been recognized with the YWCA Women of Distinction award, the Global Woman of Vision award, the Distinguished Service Award and the Alumni Achievement Award from Queen’s University, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Alberta Centennial Medal. In 2015, she was awarded the Order of Canada for her outstanding achievements, dedication to community, and service to the nation.

Kim continues to build on her lifelong passion for water to make water management a priority for corporations, interest groups and policy makers at home in Alberta, in Canada and in the world.

Kirk Hamilton

Kirk Hamilton is an executive with international experience implementing strategies for technology adoption to capitalize on unique business opportunities in Information Technology, Telecom, and Manufacturing industries. As CEO of a number of public and private companies for over 20 years, he has led them from a loss position to profitability. During his career, the scope of his assignments ranges from the repositioning and turnaround of a global provider of smart card equipment and software solutions, NBS Technologies Inc, to major telecom start-up operations with leading edge technology for BCE and others, to turnarounds of manufacturing operations within GE Canada.

Currently, through personal engagement with client businesses of Élan Tactical Management Inc., he leverages business and management experience to assist companies improve market growth, productivity and cost performance. Additionally, he coaches entrepreneurs of the BC Venture Acceleration Network as an Executive-in Residence for BC Innovation Council. Kirk is an active Angel Investor in a variety of BC based start-up businesses and as an investor member through E- Fund Vantec Entrepreneur’s Fund.

Kirk is a graduate of Electrical Engineering from McGill and received his MBA from the Rotman School of Business from University of Toronto. He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and trained in Board Effectiveness for Small and Medium sized businesses.

Kirstin Gulbransen

Kirstin is a 28-year marketing and product management technology veteran with a startup success rate six times the industry average. Building on her computer science and marketing education, she thrives on conceiving, developing, and promoting groundbreaking products and services across a range of industries, including the world’s first wireless PC card modem for laptops in the late 90s and more recently, the world’s most promising industrial wastewater treatment technology.

Not only has she generated record investor interest and orchestrated innovative go-to-market strategies for tech and cleantech startups throughout North America, she’s also worked at a top clean energy venture capital firm where she was responsible for attracting entrepreneurs, helping those same innovators drive immediate growth and value in their companies, and raising $100 million+ funds from the likes of Shell, Boeing, and Citigroup. Kirstin is known for getting the right things done at the right time – and at the right cost – and inspires the teams she works with through her energetic, hands-on, get-it-done approach critical for success.

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Kyle Folk

Kyle Folk is the Founder of IntraGrain Technologies Inc. in Regina. When a spoiled grain incident happened on the family farm, he invested his life savings toward developing new technologies that would prevent other producers from the same loss. In eight years IntraGrain’s flagship product, BIN-SENSE®, evolved from an idea to a global leader in grain storage monitoring.

In January 2018 Kyle diversified IntraGrain’s offerings by acquiring Fuel Lock™. These products fill a void in the bulk fuel world around security, employee usage management and retail logistics. In November of 2018 IntraGrain was acquired by Calian Group Ltd. of Ottawa. Kyle demonstrated an aptitude for entrepreneurship throughout his career.

Before IntraGrain, he owned and operated an electrical contracting company for seven years before selling it in 2014. He also has a couple of investments companies that own commercial and residential property.

Kyle was named the 2017 EY Prairies Region Entrepreneur of the Year for Manufacturing. IntraGrain won numerous product awards while under Kyle’s direction, including the ABEX Award for Innovation; it also made Deloitte’s Fast50 list.

Lisa Wolfe

Lisa Wolfe has 15+ years of experience in managing projects, people and operations in non-profit, and educational environments. Lisa was the Manager of Training for Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC (AFOABC) from 2014-2019, working with BC Indigenous communities in the areas of capacity building and financial management. She is the Principal of SpiritWolfe Consulting working with Foresight and ASTTBC. Prior to that, Lisa held the position of Director of Education for BC’s largest construction association – the Vancouver Regional Construction Association. She also worked as a project manager for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association (CME).

Lisa completed the Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator’s program in 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Simon Fraser University. Over the past 15 years, Lisa has contributed to many non-profit organizations including the Burnaby Rotary Club, Yaletown Rotary Club, Aunt Leah’s Place and Share Community Services. She is the Past President of Communities Embracing Restorative Action (CERA) and past board member of Theatre Terrific.

Lorraine Becker

Lorraine is a cleantech capital strategist with an entrepreneurial and executive mindset who collaborates with founders, funders, and leaders to support them in growing their organizations to achieve positive outcomes for profit as well as the people and the planet.

Through her work across the cleantech sector, with start-ups, scale-ups, accelerators, investors, and energy companies, Lorraine has developed a specialized understanding of the unique requirements for capital, expertise, governance, and business models in the cleantech and climate impact space. She uses that knowledge to assist her companies she works with achieve the fundamental characteristics and metrics that investors are seeking.

In addition, Lorraine is the Chair of the Investment Committee for the Alberta Ecotrust Climate Innovation Fund, a new $40M fund to accelerate municipal climate plans in Calgary and Edmonton. The fund will identify, invest in, and sale up carbon reduction solutions.

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Mark Grist

Mark is an entrepreneur with a track record of success in new ventures and energy markets. His experience base spans a variety of industries ranging from LNG and hydrogen to advanced imaging to gas processing technologies. He has experience developing relationships with strategic partners in Europe, North America and Asia and his corporate development experience includes execution of acquisitions and divestitures.

Over his career Mark has held senior level business development and marketing positions with large enterprises such as FortisBC, Methanex and C-I-L and with a series of startups that includes BrightSide Technologies, QuestAir, SunCentral and R-Lux Innovations.

Mark has an MBA from Queen’s University and a B. Comm from UBC and his specific strengths are in business strategy, leadership and early stage revenue generation. Market areas of particular interest include clean tech, renewable and low carbon fuels and transportation.

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Mauro F. Meneghetti

Mauro Meneghetti is a proven leader and trusted advisor with over 30 years of experience. As an Executive in Residence and Mentor with Foresight he helps ambitious leaders drive innovation in Clean Technology and supports and all aspects of business planning and execution and governance.

He has held executive positions with organizations such as Thermal Systems, Western Management Consultants, SMART Technologies, Innovate Calgary, Accenture and Action Leaders.  He also chaired the City’s Economic Development Strategy Steering Team in 2008.

His accomplishments and experience span many industries.  Mauro has a strong track record of coaching and developing executives and building cohesive teams and companies. He brings deep multi-disciplinary skills in the public and private sector. 

Mauro chairs private sector advisory boards, is a member of the Haskayne Business School Management Advisory Council (MAC) and has previously served on several public boards including Canadian Association of Management Consultants, Calgary Economic Development, Westside Regional Recreation Centre, CIPS and Mount Royal University. 

Mauro obtained his B. Commerce (Honours) from the University of Calgary in 1983, where he was awarded the ASM gold medal for academic achievement. In 1998 he earned his Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation, ranking in the top 10% in Canada. He is also certified in PROSCI and ODR Change Management methodologies.

Rick Gagner

Rick began his career in finance, and quickly rose to the level of CFO after graduating from SFU with a BBA and obtaining his Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA) designation. His first taste of high growth was in apparel and sporting brands, going from early stage to $50M in 6 short years. Subsequently, Rick turned around two publishing enterprises, one of which he transitioned into digital marketing as the media world changed over, and ran as President for 7.5yrs, before making a successful exit.

Rick’s talents in leading growth were called upon once again, as he first consulted and then took on joint finance and operations roles in a startup food processing concern that quickly grew to $10M after 3 years. He then moved on to another processing concern where he was responsible for 5 plants, 1800 employees, representing .$5B in revenues. Since then Rick has focused his time on fast growth small to mid-size enterprises in food and advanced manufacturing, and has had the greatest satisfaction coaching and mentoring them following a coaching model based on EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System).

In addition to Rick’s work in industry, he was also a Director, Vice Chair, and then Chair of the BC Food Processors Association (over an 8 year period), BC’s largest food, beverage, and natural products manufacturing industry association. He was also a Director of Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C., an industry-led, not-for-profit organization working with industry partners and funders to invest in projects that enhance the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of BC agriculture and agri-food.

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Robert Eisses

Robert Eisses, B.Comm Finance, is a senior business development executive with extensive  international experience in partnering, channel development, and bringing novel technologies to  market. An accomplished entrepreneur, he is CEO and co-founder of Orbitless Drives Inc, and  previous CEO of Icron Technologies. He is also a former Board Member of BC Tech Association and AceTech, He continues to mentor through programs like Foresight and [email protected] Mentor  network. Over the past 30 years, he has worked with a variety of early-stage technology companies in senior sales and marketing roles to launch new solutions across a variety of markets and technology domains. 

Robert focuses his efforts on early-stage companies, advising on market development,  international expansion, strategic partnerships, and licensing. 

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Ron Simmer

Ron Simmer founded PATSCAN while employed as a patent searcher at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library in 1987 as an intellectual property service to all the BC academic research institutions to expedite technology transfer. Sixteen years later he left UBC, acquired the PATSCAN trademark, and launched his own company, PATEX Research and Consulting Ltd.

While at UBC Ron had been active in publishing articles on Intellectual Property, teaching students the basics of IP and working with the Licensing Executives society in hosting series of seminars on IP related topics, such as competitive intelligence research.  While operating PATEX Research Ron continued offering IP seminars to inventors and business leaders and was active as a board member of the local chapter of the Licensing Executives Society.

Today PATEX Research serves the major Canadian IP law firms on a contract basis for patentability, freedom to operate and validity research.  Ron provides timely, efficient and expert patent searches with detailed search reports and full copies of patents to many private sector clients on a confidential basis. PATEX searches cover a wide range of subjects from business methods in software to fuel cell technology and oilfield production hardware from the major world patent issuing jurisdictions. 

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Rus Matichuk

Over the past three decades Rus has held senior executive roles in several companies ranging from 75 to 560 employees and has been actively mentoring and investing in CleanTech, software and hardware companies. He is currently the Executive Vice President of Bio-Stream Diagnostics Inc., a start-up medical device company that is developing unique pathogen detection hardware and software. He was the CEO of a private company in the hospitality, transportation, and recreation industries where he developed and executed strategies to launch new development projects, re-organized ownership and investment in key investments, and repositioned major assets. He was the VP Capital for a large real estate development company where was responsible for strategy and execution of a $40 million investment portfolio which included loans, real estate investments and expansion into US markets. Rus was a co-founder and partner in a corporate finance advisory firm that specialized in M&A services and investments. Rus founded, developed and sold an Internet Service Provider that pioneered the use of retail channels for distribution, co-founded an online business travel booking software company, and co-founded an international enterprise software integration company that acquired a hardware and software division of Apple Inc.

 

Rus has been involved in launching and developing a number of industry associations and programs throughout his career and has been a board member of a number of small business and other not for profit associations as well. Some technology sector associations and programs include Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance, Deal Generator, VenturePrize, Banff Venture Forum, InfoTech Alberta, and the Innovation Network Collaborative.

 

Rus has a B.Ed. Business with Distinction degree from the University of Alberta, is married and has 4 children. He is passionate about sports and followed, supported, and coached his first three children with local, national and international travel and success. The current focus is on Special Olympics sports and Blue Jays Challenger Baseball with his fourth child who has Down Syndrome.

 

Rustam Sengupta

Rustam presently works for Sustainable Development Technologies Canada and has been a cleantech entrepreneur for most of his adult life. He is also an impact investor and base of the pyramid (BoP) expert with extensive research experience of over a decade in sustainable social enterprise design and renewable energy access. He has expertise in identifying, designing and analyzing strategies for the clean energy space and has worked on projects in India, Tanzania, Zambia, Myanmar, Nepal and Puerto Rico. He has authored of the book De-mystifying Impact Investing an Entrepreneurs’ Guide, which provides strategic advises and recommendations on impact investment and has served as a useful guide for several emerging entrepreneurs and investors. Rustam also holds a patent for dynamic pricing based smart energy meters used in solar pre-paid micro-grids and has over ten years of direct field experience in micro-grids and solar rooftops.

Rustam founded Boond (www.boond.net), one of India’s fast-growing solar energy access enterprise that creates distribution channels for development products like solar rooftops, solar microgrids solar lamps, solar home systems in the remote parts of India. He was one of the top entrepreneurs who accompanied the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi as a part of his Startup India delegation to the US in 2015. In addition to his role in impact investment advisory and deal structuring to start-ups, he has had wide experience in private banking and strategic consulting and has worked in organizations like Standard Chartered (in Singapore), Syngenta (in Switzerland) and Deloitte Consulting (in the US). He is the board member and investor of Emsys Electronics (P) Ltd (a company that designs and manufactures high-quality electronic products), Mynergy Solar (P) Ltd., (a company that specializes in leasing, crowd-funding and asset management for solar rooftop projects). Owing to his first-hand experience in the development sector and emerging economies, he has collaborated with international agencies like the United Nations, GIZ The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and universities like Columbia University, Aalto University of Finland, University of British Columbia, University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh.

Rustam holds an INSEAD MBA graduate with MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He has been awarded the ‘Echoing Green Fellowship’ for work in Climate Change in 2014 and the Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Technology Fellowship in 2017.

Sam Grill

After working as a forest fire fighter in the early years after graduating from University of BC with a BA in economics, Sam started a financial advising business in 2005. In early 2008 Sam sold his book to a colleague and returned to grad school in Toronto where he graduated with an MBA from the University of Toronto in 2010. Working for the next four years in investment banking and commodities trading, Sam moved out of finance in the Summer of 2014 to take over a struggling waste-to-resource startup. As the CEO of IMR, Sam brought the company to profitability one year later and in 2017 built a new facility in partnership with a global player in the recycling industry.

Seeking a challenge above all else, Sam thrives in a dynamic setting where the only sure thing is the unexpected. A broad skillset built through years in finance, managing companies and time in the outdoors allows him to operate at an elevated capacity. Using a relational management style and focusing on motivation through responsibility, Sam develops the trust and respect of clients, contacts and colleagues to effectively execute his duties.

Sean Irvine

Sean Irvine is a professional engineer (Civil – P.Eng. – Carleton University, 1986) and an expert in technology commercialization and strategic management (C.L.P.). He started as a project manager overseeing construction projects located from Ottawa to Iqaluit including innovative work on giant gravity fed septic systems and installing municipal services in permafrost.

Within the federal government, Sean was a senior patent examiner where he issued over 1,000 patents in the arts of buoyant and propelled marine structures, railway rolling stock and solar-related systems integration. For the NRC, he was an Associate IRAP ITA and became their go-to advisor on IP matters in Western Canada. In 2000, he became Industry Canada’s life sciences lead across Western Canada where he worked closely with provincial governments on fed/provincial strategic plans such as Saskatchewan’s Life Sciences Strategy (2007). He also provided due diligence support for federal funding into various hundred million dollar investments such as the Michael Smith building at UBC, and Genome Canada. After 2008, Sean managed several grants and contributions programs at WED, and then DFO’s Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program.

Sean was a board member at BC Medical Devices Association (now LSBC), and as a board advisor at Life Sciences BC, the Canadian Health Information Technology Association (now CATA-Health), and the BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science.

As a professor at UBC, Sean taught two intellectual property management courses over two decades. During this period, he was co-chair of the Canadian Education Committee for the Licensing Executive Society (Canada-USA), and a member of IPIC and the PDMA.

Today, Sean is the Managing Director at Mojo Ventures advising on growth strategy and competitive dynamics. Over 30 years, Sean has owned an advertising agency, a real estate business, and two management consulting firms. He is currently an Executive in Residence at Foresight CleanTech Accelerator, an executive advisor to technology firms, and an angel investor. He has finance experience that includes venture capital investment management and governance, CFO responsibilities in small organizations, the Canadian Securities Course (1992), the Canadian Exempt Market Dealer Program (2018). Finally, Sean has over 20 years of operational management experience supervising CPA’s and other professional staff.

Shannon Bard

Shannon is a dynamic leader with over 25 years of experience in commercializing innovations, sustainability, environmental health, biomedical research, toxicology, ecological impact and risk assessment. She has extensive experience in leading regional, national and international multidisciplinary technical teams to tackle complex interdisciplinary environmental problems. Her environmental health and sustainability work has required forging working relationships with multiple stakeholders including business, industry, government regulators, environmental managers, politicians, academia, environmental groups, First Nations, media and the public.

Co-Lead of the Climate Venture Studio at the University of British Columbia, Shannon co-developed and launched a Climate Solutions strategy to create a framework for concrete action by the university to address the recently declared climate emergency. This strategy addresses the need for faster feedback loops and better communication between academic researchers and the broader market (industry, governments, civil society and consumers) to create impactful Climate Solutions. To accelerate the successful commercialization and scaling of the Climate Ventures, she and her team facilitate commercial scale pilots with industry or government collaborators, engage with regulators and policy makers to create regulatory pathways for adoption of climate-smart solutions, and engage with governments, corporations, and other large entities to create scalable procurement opportunities.

Shannon was previously the global Director of Innovation for the environmental consultancy Hemmera and parent engineering firm Ausenco. She developed and launched a global corporate Innovation Program for >2000 staff to undertake industrial-academic-government R&D collaborations to develop and commercialize new science and engineering services to solve sustainability issues. She oversaw a Board-directed innovation incubator to invest in applying new technologies and approaches, including AI, automation, data analytics, clean tech, VR/AR & digital solutions, biological and genomic tools to reduce the environmental footprint of industry activities. Formerly, Shannon was a professor of Environmental Science at Dalhousie University, Director of the Marine Ecotoxicology Laboratory and co-winner of the Senate Environmental Award.

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Shannon Kaustinen

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Shelley Voyer

As a leader in the technology industry bringing innovative products and services to market, Shelley’s launched programs for multinationals Nokia and Vivendi, founded an award-winning online community for girls, co-founded the UX/UI firm Forge Experience Design and spearheaded W Venture entrepreneurship program.

Ted Mao

Dr. Ted Mao is newly appointed as Chief Technology Officer at Evercloak. Since March 2020, he has been President, MW Technologies, Inc., offering “CTO for hire” to help start-up companies to develop and commercialize new technologies in the CleanTech space. Ted was Vice President, Research and Chief Technology Officer for 14 years at Trojan Technologies (part of Danaher Corporation, an S&P 100 company).

As part of the Executive team, drove >300% growth and built a global leading brand in the water industry with science and innovation, helping lives of over 1 Billion people with technologies in consumer, industrial, municipal and marine segments. Dr. Mao built a world-class industrial research team to develop innovative water treatment technologies using ultraviolet light and non-UV based core technologies to provide safe drinking water and to protect environment and public health. He developed a global network of thought leaders, influencers and open innovation partners, including academics, regulators, end-users, consulting engineers and technology providers. Dr. Mao is passionate on developing young scientists. He established an internship program with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Trojan Technologies and developed over 70 highly skilled R&D professionals. Many of them are professors, scientists and senior engineers in the water industry around the world. Ted is a highly sought-after international speaker on technologies and innovation, and an active organizer of international conferences and workshops. He was Chair of IWA ecoSTP2018 Conference on “Ecotechnogies for Wastewater Treatment”.

He is currently an executive board member of International UV Association (IUVA) and vice president of IUVA Americas, and a member of WEF and IWA. He has served on Research Review Panels of US EPA, Canadian NSERC and Ontario MRI. Dr. Mao is a Professional Engineer and an adjunct professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto.

Terry Mah

Advisory Board

Terry Mah has 20+ years of international, executive experience in the environmental services
sector (water, energy, waste management) commercializing and delivering a variety of
technology and services while creating growth for Veolia Environnement, the world’s largest
provider of environmental services where I was the CEO of Veolia North America and the COO
for Veolia’s global water technology/services division. After leaving Veolia, I became actively
engaged in supporting companies create growth and value leveraging my experience around
technology development & commercialization, investment and partnerships, market positioning,
strategy, and organizational development. I am also involved with two water “not-for-profit”
innovation accelerators that help entrepreneurs and start-ups position for success.

Trevor Stuthridge

Dr. Trevor Stuthridge brings extensive international executive and governance experience in innovation and technology commercialization organizations in the forestry, bioeconomy and clean technologies sectors. Trevor recently served as Executive Vice President for FPInnovations – the world’s largest not-for-profit forestry sector research organization – where he led R&D operations and staff across 3 campuses and was responsible for business development, organizational strategy, and executive level engagement with industry, federal and provincial governments, academia and indigenous communities.

In addition to his operational duties, Trevor also led change programs to improve inter-disciplinary collaboration and established Centres of Excellence to drive innovation. Trevor also worked to harmonize internal business management and research delivery systems and re-invigorated the ideation-to commercialization innovation pipeline, including a customized stage-gating system, entrepreneurship program, and an online open innovation platform.

Trevor Westerlund

Let’s evolve and grow your business

Trevor connects with potential clients to understand their business needs and objectives. With over 20 years of strategic relationship building and digital strategy experience, Trevor has helped clients such as HBO, Delta Controls, NHL, PostMedia, Madison Square Garden, DKNY, NBA, MLS, Rogers, TELUS, Apple, RIM, the BC Government as well as start/scale-ups to retain and keep their users happy. A dedicated business development professional, his approach to impactful digital transformation has lead to successful and profitable outcomes for a very diverse group of clients.

Valerie Henderson

Valerie is well known in Vancouver for a successful consulting practice established in 1994 to provide senior HR services to small and medium sized companies. She has worked with dozens of companies in a variety of industries to establish best Human Resources practices, manage organizational change and instill corporate values within the team. Her track record includes:

  • Providing start-up infrastructure for well-known Vancouver hi-tech companies and leading HR function through to recruitment of in-house HR teams
  • Participating on transition teams on both sides of transactions
  • Coaching technical leads in people management skills to assist their growth to senior management positions
  • Providing communications and interpersonal professional development to employees
  • Ensuring companies follow current HR Best Practices
Wally-Thorson-Headshot-2

Wally Thorson

With over 25 years’ experience in senior corporate innovation and technology R&D roles, Wally brings fresh insights and practical solutions to the organizational, cultural, and business prioritization challenges facing today’s corporate leaders and innovation champions.

Yas

Yasmine Roulleau

Yasmine mobilizes capital for social impact and scales companies from  inception to exit. With over 18 years experience, Yasmine is a serial  entrepreneur: acting as a technology co-founder, fund advisor and executive  strategy leader—she has an unparalleled ability to bring the right stakeholders  to the table to make critical decisions and bring visionary ideas to life. With the  unique lens as an entrepreneur and deeply compassionate organization leader,  and deep experience working with pre-seed, early stage and public  companies, Yasmine brings the unique ability to not only identify and connect  major investments, achieve financial and social returns but provide the  strategic and operational expertise to companies across major inflexion points. 

Currently she advises investment portfolios for family offices, VCs and major  government-backed funds, generating deal flows and investments between $15 – $100M. This  includes an in-depth expertise in advising on social impact measurements, metrics and alignment  with the funding strategy across a wide variety of complex stakeholders. 

Yasmine is a master of influence. She has the ability to formulate strategy and establish a coalition  of individuals across business units, functions, and geographies to improve the execution of all types  of innovation. As an executive strategy advisor, she not only has grown the Striven Consulting brand  to quadruple revenue, but also advises major Fortune 500 and technology clients including Deloitte,  Ericsson, Ritchie Brothers and Raymond James as well as federal and provincial governments in  North America. She is also a strategic advisor with Get Fresh Ventures where she connects strategy  with financing and investment readiness. In the mining and gaming industries, Yasmine is recognized  for establishing cutting-edge social impact ventures that have catalyzed impact investments and  industry standards across North America. 

As a technology co-founder, Yasmine has straddled the gaming, healthcare, and real-estate space,  including cofounding ventures such as Reta, GameSecure, mPLOY, V4D, DevTest, a number of which  she has exited and structured into international joint ventures. Yasmine has the unique ability to work  with early-stage entrepreneurs and help scale their networks, product development and talent. She  brings hands-on startup technology and clinical experience, strategic leadership and financing  expertise to her advisory and board roles at Tonit, Arbutus Medical, Maitri Health, Seecure, Blinc,  Alexis, and serves as an ambassador at International Deal Gateway, the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute,  and the Founders Institute. 

Yasmine is committed to supporting a number of volunteer initiatives through her expertise. She  serves on the Aga Khan Grants and Review Board as a National Board Member leading Special  Projects across Canada. She previously served on the board of the Portland Hotel Society in the  Downtown Eastside in Vancouver and served as Chair of the St Paul’s Youth Leadership Board. 

Yasmine is credited as a visionary for the growth and evolution of the healthcare industry in Canada  as evidenced by high-ranking accolades from the Healthcare Leaders of Canada and the Certified  Health Executives (CHE). She also holds an Executive MBA from Sauder Business School.