Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jane Aubin, Executive Vice-President, Chief Scientific Officer, Vice-President, Research and Knowledge Translation Portfolio, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

As Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Jane E. Aubin oversees scientific affairs at CIHR and provides expert advice on matters relevant to science and technology, potential opportunities and emerging orientations and trends in the national and international health research community. As Vice-President, Research and Knowledge Translation Portfolio, she is also responsible for all aspects of adjudication of grants and awards at CIHR, and finally, as a member of the Science Council, she participates in the development, implementation and reporting on CIHR’s research and knowledge translation strategy.

Dr. Aubin is currently a member of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, where she is Professor of Molecular Genetics and the Director of the Bone Program in the Centre for Modeling Human Disease. She has been Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Arthritis Network of Centres of Excellence and, for the past four years, Scientific Director of CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA). During her time as Scientific Director of IMHA, Dr. Aubin has shown outstanding leadership qualities and an unwavering commitment to working with others to improve the health and quality of life of patients with arthritis, musculoskeletal, oral and skin conditions.

Dr. Aubin received a B.Sc. (Hons; Chemistry and Mathematics) and the Gold Medal in Chemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston. She then completed her Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She later did her postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany.


Alain Aubertin, Vice-President, Business Development, Network and Innovation Processes at the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Quebec

Very active in several industrial sectors and diverse Canadian and American business associations, Mr. Aubertin has built an excellent network of industrial, governmental and institutional contacts over his 24-year career in both private and public sectors. An excellent communicator, this committed and creative professional drives the development and implementation of a comprehensive vision of challenges and opportunities to create and sustain value for stakeholders and society. His knowledge of innovation systems in several countries, of institutional and business partnerships, and of international affairs and development are key assets. He has notably managed and led more than 150 case studies of private and public organizations in North America, Europe, Russia, Japan and Argentina.  He holds a Ph.D. in Innovation Management from Polytechnique Montreal.


Mounia Azzi, PhD, Director, Scientific Affairs, Institut NÉOMED

Mounia Azzi is responsible for the identification and evaluation of potential new opportunities to complement NEOMED’s prospecting activities. Mounia brings a strong experience in early-stage innovation, technology transfer, maturation and commercialization of technologies originating from universities and academic research centers. Prior to joining NEOMED, she was Director of Programs at CQDM where she was responsible for the evaluation and management of research projects and funding programs.

Previously, she was Investment Manager at MSBi Valorization where she covered all aspects of the valorization and investment process, including identification, evaluation, due diligence, negotiation and fundraising for opportunities in the Life Sciences sector. She was also actively involved in business development activities with potential industrial partners. She started her career as leader of the cellular biology group at Bellus Health (formerly Neurochem Inc.), where she was involved in the development of therapeutics targeting Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Mounia holds a PhD degree in Neuroscience from Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris.


Greg Bavington

Greg is currently the Executive Director of the Queen’s Innovation Connector, which is tasked with developing, delivering and coordinating several innovation and entrepreneurship programs both on the Queen’s campus, and in the greater Eastern Ontario region.

Greg started as a student at Queen’s University in 1981 after a short stint in the Canadian Armed Forces Air Command.  He graduated in 1985 with a B.Sc. (Eng), with honours, in Mechanical Engineering.

He began his engineering career in the Manufacturing Engineering department of the General Motors Assembly Plant in Oshawa.  He advanced through various positions and over his five years at GM was appointed lead project engineer for the $700 million modernization of the plant.   Greg’s attraction to large capital construction projects next led him to Hatch, a large Canadian consulting engineering company.  In his four years in project engineering at Hatch, he worked on the design and construction of smelters in South Africa, the Mississippi Delta, and northern Canada.  He was also privileged to be exposed to several projects in the public eye, including the English Channel Tunnel, the BCE Place atrium, and the Sky Dome roof.

Greg returned to the automotive and manufacturing industries in 1992, where he took his first management position at National Rubber Company.  He progressed through the management ranks in the rubber industry, and eventually served for 5 years as President and CEO of KN Rubber, where he managed the acquisition and merger of an Ohio based and a Toronto based company to form the largest vertically integrated rubber recycling tier 1 automotive company in North America.

Greg also serves on the boards of several manufacturing and process-industry companies.  He is an elected member of Queen’s University Council, a member of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science Campaign Advisory Cabinet, and a member of the Queen’s Engineering Society Board of Directors.


Ralph Benmergui

Ralph Benmergui is an award winning Journalist and Broadcaster whose work spans three decades. Born in Morocco and raised in Toronto he is a father of four boys. Recently Ralph has transitioned in to new careers as Senior Advisor to the Green Party of Canada, Director of Communications for the Honourable Glen Murray in both the Ministry of Research and Innovation and Training, Colleges and Universities at Queens Park. Currently Ralph is the Executive Advisor in the Office of the President at Sheridan College.


Roger Bowes

While doing his undergraduate degree in at Queen’s University, Roger began working at a research lab that was developing micro-seismic monitoring technology for underground mines.  In 1993 ESG Solutions (www.esgsolutions.com) was spun out and began to commercialize this technology.  As CEO from 2004 to 2010 Roger helped propel the company through an accelerating growth phase taking the company from less than 20 to over 70 employees, expanding  into new markets worldwide and establishing branch offices in Calgary, the US and China.

After a brief stint as an EIR at both Parteq Innovations and Launch Lab (Kingston’s RIC) he came across a new laser depth measurement technology that had been invented in the Physics Department at Queen’s.  After co-founding the spin-off company in 2012, he is now CEO of  Laser Depth Dynamics (www.laserdepth.com) where he is currently working to commercialize this new technology.

Roger holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer.


Ross Bradsen

Regional Director of Business Development for Southwestern Ontario at Ontario Centres of Excellence

After receiving an Honours degree in Production Engineering and Management at Loughborough University of Technology in the UK in 1985, Mr. Ross Bradsen moved to Toronto, accepting a position at Colgate-Palmolive Canada where he designed and commissioned a high-speed production system that was adopted globally by the company. A >$1 million cost savings project resulted in him being recognized as a global innovator.  In a career switch within the company, he accepted a position in Marketing where he made progressive advancements, ultimately to Marketing Manager with P&L responsibility of $50 million and a team of direct reports.

After a period in consulting, he was attracted to Algonquin Automotive in Huntsville to build their new Advanced Development Division. The mandate was to develop, test and launch new automotive products. Among the products he and his team created were an electronic brake controller, a proprietary production process, an all-polymer exhaust component and an LED-based lighting system.  He also administered the corporation’s intellectual property portfolio. He has patented a side air bag compatible running board system and is a co-inventor for a one-piece composite running board.

Mr. Bradsen is also founder of four companies, the most recent, Fractal Tectonics Ltd. a start-up commercializing a modular paving system.


Travis Besanger, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development, Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, (CPDC)

Dr. Besanger joined the Centre in 2008 with a mandate to create quality systems for GMP radiopharmaceutical manufacturing and to lead the quality assurance, quality control teams. He later expanded his responsibilities to include process and analytical development programs. With a passion for science and business, combined with experience from his previous tenure, Dr. Besanger saw an opportunity to increase CPDC’s manufacturing capabilities to offer contract service in a field with few options. Since 2011, Dr. Besanger has been leading the CPDC business development initiative and has expanded the CPDC’s offerings to a full suite of pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and GMP manufacturing services which have benefited the CPDC’s expanding list of clients in the US, Canada and Europe. Dr. Besanger holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from McMaster University and previously held positions in analytical and process development at Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals.


Kevin J. Canning, PhD (Western U), MBA (Ivey Business School), Director, R&D Alliances, GlaxoSmithKline Inc.

Kevin is responsible for preclinical R&D Alliances for GSK in Canada.  Kevin oversees outsourced pharmacology and toxicology research conducted by Canadian CROs as well as identifying and establishing research collaborations with academic centers.  Kevin is responsible for overseeing and coordinating GSK’s interactions with the recently established innovation translation centers such as CQDM (QC), Mars Innovation (ON), and CDRD (BC).

Kevin supports life sciences in Canada through his support and participation on numerous scientific review committees for granting agencies and government programs.  He is also a contributing member to numerous working groups to establish and implement strategies enabling a robust and enduring life science sector in Canada.  He has been involved with Rx&D (Canada’s industry association of research-based pharmaceutical companies) to support the establishment of guiding principles related to science policy, biologic medicines and the evolution of stratified medicine.

Previously in GSK, Kevin has worked in clinical research and medical affairs in the therapeutic areas of respiratory, oncology, hematology, rheumatology, neurodegeneration and vaccines.  Kevin was also instrumental in enabling pharmacogenetics in GSK clinical trials.


Debra Chanda

Ms. Debra Chanda is Managing Director of launch120, Inc., focused on early commercial strategy and execution of medical technologies and/or health IT applications for the US marketplace.  She is a former National Marketing Manager for Medtronic, Inc., and Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Adagen Medical International, Inc:  both medical device companies.

Previously, was the Director of Marketing to Fountainhead Ventures, an angel investment firm, and operational management for its portfolio companies.

Ms. Chanda was the media and industry relations’ manager for the Chairman of the Standing Committee for Agriculture and Agri-food at the House of Commons, Canada, and is a former Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Georgia Tech within the Dupree School of Management.  She is currently Singularity University Global Ambassador for Canada and has worked across the vectors of start-ups, private equity, SMEs and multinationals in leadership roles.


Véronique Cloutier, Ph.D candidate in Forestry Sciences, Université Laval (Québec, QC)

Funded by Natural Resources Canada, Parcs Québec, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies, Québec Forest Industry Council, Fonds écologique Anne Vallée, Cercle des Mycologues de Montréal, Canadian Wildlife Federation.

With no background in science before entering the university (she used to work in project management), Véronique Cloutier has quickly shown a great potential. Even as an undergrad newcomer in the field of biology, she was supported by two NSERC grants and held several research assistant positions. During that time, she also had the opportunity to present in several conferences, and even published a peer-reviewed paper as first author. She designed her doctoral project while she was completing her Bachelor degree. Due to her exceptional talents and potential, Mrs. Cloutier was allowed to directly enter the Ph.D. program after her undergraduate studies.

Véronique has organized and lead several communications and research projects in the field, monitoring the work of various teams. Without a doubt, her swift progression in the last five years is an indicator of the successes to come, and she displays several of the attitudes and assets observed among successful academic entrepreneurs. Supported and coached by BEST in genomics! for less than one year, Mrs. Cloutier is a very promising young scientist, now involved in both fundamental and applied research on hypogeous fungi (which includes truffles). Her goal: to develop the commercial potential of the boreal truffle, growing in the Quebec wilderness.


Peter Cowan

Peter is the Principal of Cowan and Associates and provides advisory services to law firms, high-growth businesses and startups, in addition to mature companies, in all areas of the IP life cycle.  Peter is involved in patent strategy and helps businesses make effective decisions about IP investments to maximize shareholder returns.  Peter also helps businesses with innovation and product positioning to create and position customer focused products for high growth adoption.


Dr. Jason Crawford, Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Senior Director, Scientific Operations

Dr. Crawford received a B.Sc. double major in chemistry/biochemistry from the University of Victoria in 1991. He then pursued graduate studies in chemistry with Claude Spino, studying the synthesis of the steroid ring skeleton, and received a Ph.D. in 1996. Following his graduation, Jason did postdoctoral research at the Ohio State University, studying the synthesis of the natural product vinigrol under the supervision of Leo A. Paquette. Dr. Crawford then worked at Microcide Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Mountain View, California) as a senior scientist, medicinal chemistry, developing novel antibacterial agents. In 1999, he returned to British Columbia to work at AnorMED Inc., initially as a medicinal chemist, and eventually as the manager of the development chemistry group, where he oversaw the synthetic development of all lead and candidate compounds intended for use in pre-clinical and clinical trials.  Notably, for the Mozobil drug substance, Dr. Crawford oversaw the technical transfer of the process to a contract research organization, subsequent clinical manufacture, and eventual validation of the manufacturing process for commercial use. He also acted concurrently as an interdisciplinary project team leader for a clinical-stage anti-HIV therapeutic.


Emilie Cushman

Emilie loves to engage and connect. Her background in social enterprise and micro-finance taught her the value of helping people achieve their goals while challenging the norm. Since graduating from Windsor’s Odette School of Business and Canada’s Next 36 Entrepreneurial Institute at the University of Toronto, Emilie is blazing the trail to disrupt human resources and university admissions for the better having co-founded the tech startup Kira Talent.

As Chief Executive Officer of Kira Talent, Emilie handles team performance, fundraising and stakeholder relations. Kira Talent, a venture-backed startup led by prominent investors including Relay Ventures, Roger Martin, Tony Lacavera and David Shaw, has recently been named one of Canada’s Top 25 Up and Coming Startups of 2013. From her time in social enterprise and now with Kira Talent, Emilie was recently named the HSBC Women Leader of Tomorrow and one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network.


Marcus Daniels

As the Managing Director of Extreme Startups, Marcus is obsessed with developing world-class founders and producing a VC backed tech accelerator that graduates new ventures with the potential to become global leaders. Founded MeshSquared Ventures to educate and invest in digital product startups driven to accelerate to product-market fit.

Former COO at TrendHunter.com, the world’s #1 Trendspotting website with over 1 billion views & an innovation partner to Fortune 500 brands. Past VP Operations & Product Development at Frameworks, North America’s leading retail QSR business intelligence software & eLearning company. Started up the eLearning division at AME Learning, a global business education company specializing in financial acumen training with patented interactive tools & technology. A digital native that started out by hacking together a BBS in 1989 that led him to co-found Fluid eNovations, an award winning web development agency. A former board member of the Canadian eLearning Enterprise Alliance, he sits on the board of directors of Youth In Motion (Canada’s Top 20 Under 20) and is a Digital Strategy curriculum developer at University of Toronto SCS.

Marcus holds an MBA from Queen’s School of Business, a BA in Psychology & Economics from McGill University and completed the Venture Capital Executive Program from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.


Jonathan Deeks

Jonathan Deeks is a Business Development Manager at WORLDiscoveries, specializing in IT, electronic engineering and social innovation. He has worked at WORLDiscoveries for over eight years, previously as the Inventions & Patents Manager. He supports researchers and inventors with intellectual property management, protection and commercialization and also has significant experience operational process improvement and providing in-house training on systems and procedures within a TTO.

Francisco Diaz-Mitoma

Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma is a renowned medical scientist and professor. He is the founder of two research organizations, including the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Centre at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, and Variation Biotechnologies Inc., which specializes in human vaccine development.

Dr. Diaz-Mitoma most recently held the titles of infectious disease and clinical virology consultant with the Ottawa Hospital, and Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at CHEO. He also served as a professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Pathology, Laboratory Medicine and Microbiology at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine. His research has been published in more than 110 peer-reviewed international journals and has been involved in the clinical development of nine licensed vaccines.

Dr. Diaz-Mitoma received his medical degree from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences (Virology) and a fellowship in Medical Microbiology from the University of Alberta. Dr. Diaz-Mitoma also completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba.


Vic DiCiccio

Vic DiCiccio is the Director of the Institute for Computer Research at the University of Waterloo, where he is a Research Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science.  At the Institute for Computer Research, he fosters interaction and relationships between companies and academic researchers to transfer ideas and students, and encourages the exploitation of research results. Prof. DiCiccio works with computer researchers on initiating new research projects, licensing technology and helping to spin off companies. He identifies new sponsorship opportunities, often involving industry collaboration, by helping industry experts see the potential and relevance in university-based research.

Professor DiCiccio is the Director for Research Partnerships of the GRAND NCE, a federal network of researchers at 20 universities collaborating with companies and user groups in the areas of graphics, animation, games, new media and social networks.


Kevin Dunn

As Director at Dalhousie University, Industry Liaison and Innovation (ILI), Kevin Dunn leads, with his colleagues, the business interaction and industrial relationships for Dalhousie as they relate to contract research and issues of intellectual property.  Prior to joining ILI, Kevin worked with Dalhousie’s Technical Cooperative and Career Services, helping engineering coop students find learning opportunities and meaningful employment.  Before joining Dalhousie University, Kevin has worked in senior technical sales management positions across North America with both a multi-national companies and a small regional company.. Throughout his career his roles have required close interactions with small and medium-sized business clients but also with large organizations throughout Canada, US and globally


Catherine Eckenswiller

Catherine Eckenswiller is currently the Group Leader, Intellectual Property Portfolio Management with the National Research Council of Canada.  She is a lawyer and a registered patent and trade-mark agent.  Prior to joining NRC, Catherine was in private practice where she focussed on intellectual property transactions and patent and trade-mark prosecution.  She is a fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada and former chair of the IPIC Technology Transfer Committee.


Darren Fast, Ph.D.

Darren joined the University of Manitoba Technology Transfer Office in October 2012.  Previously he was the Senior Intellectual Property Advisor at the Public Health Agency of Canada where he was responsible for ensuring intellectual property protection for new technologies as well as moving the technologies into the private sector. He is also the President of Solalta Advisors Ltd, where he provides market and business development services for early stage technology based companies.  Prior to Solalta, Darren was Chief Technology Officer for the Western Life Sciences Venture Fund, where he was intimately involved in identifying and licensing technologies and creating companies for investment, and in helping lead portfolio company development and commercialization activities. Previously, Darren was Manager, Product Planning and Development at Viventia Biotech where he was responsible for the development of several human therapeutic antibody projects. Darren led the project teams that moved these products from research into clinical trials. Darren has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Alberta and a M.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Manitoba.


Mike Fenwick

Mike is a lawyer with Bereskin and Parr LLP.  Mike’s practice focuses on chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology patents matters, including advising on the management of patent portfolios in Canada and abroad, the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in the chemical sciences and the analysis of patent issues such as validity, infringement and freedom to operate. While completing his M.Sc. at the University of Toronto, Mike conducted research in the areas of physical and synthetic organic chemistry.  Mike also is a regular contributor on IP issues for the Canadian Chemical News.


Neil D. Fraser

Neil Fraser is passionate about inspiring Canada to become a more significant leader in the global medical technology market, by driving access and innovative solutions for patients.  Joining Medtronic in 1984, Neil has held positions of increasing responsibility within the Canadian organization and was promoted to President of Medtronic of Canada Ltd. in 2004.  Under Neil’s leadership, Canada has led the global corporation in business model innovation, productivity & efficiency, market position and employee engagement & retention in a challenging healthcare environment.  Through stakeholder engagement strategies both federally and provincially, Neil drives an innovation agenda that will result in better health care for Canadians.  Neil has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.


Cindy Gordon, National Chair, Invest CrowdFund Canada, Co-Founder, iCROWDFUND SOCIAL MEDIA, CEO, SalesChoice Inc.

Cindy is a passionate advocate for crowdfunding and the impact it will have on Canada’s Innovation future.


Denis J. Garand, Ph.D.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Associate professor at Université Laval (Québec City), Dr. Garand is Associate Editor at “Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship – JSBE”. His research interests include HRM in SMEs (highly-qualified personnel), entrepreneurial vision, intent and strategies, cross-campus entrepreneurship education and coaching in UK, in Western Europe and North-America. From 2002 to 2007, he has created and implemented the Entrepreneurial Profile at Laval U., giving undergraduates enroled in 40 programs the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial competences and realistic project before they graduate. Until 2015, he will be leading a major innovative pilot study aiming to (1) raise awareness and promote entrepreneurship among life / health sciences academics and their graduate students, (2) support their socio-economic benefits applications and coach them towards potential commercialization of their discoveries. Funded (1.2M$) by Genome Canada, Genome Québec, several institutional and private partners, Boosting Entrepreneurial Skills & Training : BEST in genomics! promotes a coast-to-coast implementation of a more entrepreneurial culture among scientists.


Frank Gleeson

Frank Gleeson is Executive-in-Residence in the Commercialization department at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Frank has more than 20 years of leadership and business building experience as an operating executive and venture capitalist. During his career, he has completed more than $300 million in financing and partnering transactions.

Frank is past chair of the board of the Stem Cell Network of Canada and in 2003 was recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. He has a number of entrepreneurial interests in the biomedical area outside of cancer. His previous experience includes roles as CEO of a professional services firm, as founding CEO of MDS Proteomics Inc. and as a senior vice president and partner at MDS Capital Corp. where he founded a dozen companies.

Prior to MDS, he had a 16-year career with Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI), both in Canada and the U.K., during which he was involved in technology commercialization in numerous fields. Frank holds BBA and MBA degrees from York University in Toronto.


Jorge A. Goldstein, Ph.D., Esq.

Jorge Goldstein is a founding director of Sterne Kessler Goldstein and Fox, PLLC, a 340 person IP law firm in Washington DC. He founded its Biotech/Chem Practice in 1982 and, after serving as Managing Director of the firm for many years, is now Practice Chair, and active in licensing and in Patent Office Litigation. He is also Chair of the firm’s pro bono practice: IP and Human Rights.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received a B.S. in Chemistry from RPI in 1971, a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard in 1976, and a JD from the George Washington University in 1982. Dr. Goldstein has 35 years of experience in preparing, prosecuting, licensing, enforcing and litigating biotech patents. Noteworthy among several of his appellate cases, in 1988 Goldstein was lead counsel in In re Wands et al. 8 USPQ2d 1400 (Fed. Cir.), a pivotal decision on biotechnology enablement in the U.S.

He has published and lectured extensively on biotech patent law topics and he is a yearly Professor of Law at the Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Legal Times of Washington, Chambers USA, and Legal 500 have repeatedly named him a U.S. Leading Lawyer, and he was, in 2013, named Lawyer of the Year in Biotechnology, by Best Lawyers in America.


Lindsey Goodchild

Lindsey has tackled sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility challenges from both an academic and practical perspective.

As one of the first graduates from the Ryerson University post-graduate program in Sustainability with a specialization in Corporate Responsibility, Lindsey brings a current and innovative perspective to the changing demands of corporate citizens.

Greengage has allowed Lindsey to draw on her academic background, and combine it with her enthusiasm for sustainability to create enabling platforms that create and inspire change for a more sustainable world.

She is passionate about helping companies improve their triple bottom line, and proving that companies can achieve both environmental and social benefits while lowering operating costs and improving their business.


Gary Goodyear

Gary Goodyear was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006, 2008 and 2011. On October 30, 2008, he was appointed Minister of State for Science and Technology, and on August 13, 2009, he was named Minister of State responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. On July 15, 2013, he was re-appointed as Minister of State for FedDev Ontario.

Prior to entering into federal politics, he practised chiropractic medicine and worked as an advisor to investment firms in the biomedical industry.

A former Public Relations Director and past President of the College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences in Toronto, Dr. Goodyear taught at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and the University of Waterloo. He was co-designer of a three-year post-graduate sports fellowship program and co-author of “Practice Guidelines.” He has worked with many athletes, both amateur and professional, and served as medical services chair of the Ontario Special Olympics.

Dr. Goodyear attended the University of Waterloo, specializing in Kinesiology and Psychology, before graduating from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He worked his way through university as a meat packer and labourer.

A native of Cambridge, Ontario, he is married to Valerie and they have two children.


Doris Grant

Doris Grant is the Associate Director for Industry Liaison and Innovation (ILI) at Dalhousie University. ILI manages and facilitates collaborations between companies and university researchers, commercializes research at Dalhousie, and assists in the creation of spin-off ventures.  Since joining Dalhousie in 2005, she has been responsible for the Life and Health Science portfolio.

Prior to joining Dalhousie, Doris worked within the intellectual property department at Biogen Idec Inc, a leading biopharmaceutical company in Massachusetts. In this capacity she helped manage several research and development stage programs and supported the business and corporate development groups in due diligence efforts.  Previous to working in the intellectual property department, Doris spent several years in Biogen Idec’s business development group and helped negotiate a number of therapeutic and technology deals. She also worked as a senior member of the licensing team and managed the supplier relations program at Upstate Biotechnology, now Millipore. Doris obtained her B.Sc. in Animal Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College and her M.Sc. in Biology from Dalhousie University.


Karen Greve Young

MaRS achieves its mission to drive economic and social prosperity in partnership with fellow innovators and with the generous support of our funders. Karen Greve Young is MaRS’ executive lead responsible for facilitating and managing relationships with our global network of community, government and corporate partners.
Karen joined MaRS in June 2011 as Director of Strategic Initiatives. Previously, she held management and strategy consulting roles in organizations in San Francisco, New York and London, UK, including Bain & Company, Gap Inc. and the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research. She has a personal interest in improving health outcomes, especially related to cancer. She holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where she co-founded the student affiliate of the pro-bono Alumni Consulting Team.


Brian Guthrie, Ph.D.

Dr. Guthrie started his career in the food industry, after receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food Science from Rutgers University and The Pennsylvania State University, as a Food Scientist in product development with the General Foods Corporation. He worked in the Maxwell House and Meals Divisions developing successful super-high-yield R&G coffees, super critical fluid extraction-decaffeinated coffees, and thermal processed shelf-stable entrees. While with General Foods, he co-founded People’s Choice Consumer Testing Company that provided consumer testing services to small food companies He then pursued a Ph.D. in the field of flavor chemistry in the laboratory of Dr. Bob Lindsay at the University of Wisconsin-Madison performing research focusing on browning reactions in the production of maple syrup and the role of adjunct cheese cultures in the development of Cheddar Cheese flavor. Dr. Guthrie was then employed as a Process-Flavor Chemists and Group Leader in the Applied Research Department of Firmenich, a leading flavor and fragrance company, developing natural flavor chemicals, flavor systems and seasoning blends via thermal, enzymatic and fermentation routes. His team also worked with the various encapsulation platforms of Firmenich to design and validate flavor delivery systems to produce beneficial flavor retention and release as measured analytically and sensorically. While with Firmenich, Dr. Guthrie’s group started sensory testing operations for the Princeton research laboratory. Dr. Guthrie left Firmenich to become the Flavor Research Platform Manager in the Global Research Group at Kellogg’s. There he established a basic flavor research programs with external research groups and universities focused on the development of methods and achieving the understanding needed for innovative new food products, especially in the areas of aroma delivery and release, human-instrument correlations, molecular modeling, and preference mapping. Dr. Guthrie is currently a Research Fellow and the Sensory/Flavor Chemistry subject matter expert and team leader in Cargill’s Food Technology Development Center. His group performs fundamental research on food ingredients with a focus on chemistry, sensory and consumer science. He currently manages external flavor/taste/texture projects and sensory testing globally.


Karim Harji

Karim Harji is a co-founder and partner at Purpose Capital, an impact investment and advisory firm that works with investors who wish to integrate social and environmental impact considerations into their strategies and investments. He is the co-author of Accelerating Impact: Achievements, Challenges and What’s Next in Building the Impact Investing Industry, commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Karim is a Senior Research Associate at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University, and teaches social entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto. He is the co-founder of SocialFinance.ca, and serves on the Boards of the Social Investment Organization, Small Change Fund and CanadaHelps.


John Helliker

John is Director of SIRT, a collaborative innovation facility established by Sheridan College at Pinewood Toronto Studios with industry and academic partners and government support. SIRT’s mission is to foster economic growth through development and integration of new digital technologies and processes within the cinema, television, and interactive industries. John was presented with the ORION 2012 Leadership Award for his innovation work within Higher Education.


Thomas Henderson

Thomas Henderson is the Director of the Research Centre for the Academic and Professional Inclusion of Students with Disabilities (CRISPESH), a College Research Centre for the Transfer of Innovative Social Practice (CCTT-PSN) at Dawson College and Cégep du Vieux Montréal in Montreal Quebec. He is strongly interested and involved in social innovation related to disability, diversity and inclusion.  For more than 20 years, he worked with people with developmental disabilities, in particular autism spectrum disorders.  His research and practice interests include disability rights, adult education, self-determination and self-advocacy, cognition and learning in autism, and universal design for learning.


Jason Hendry, MSc, CLP, Manager, Commercial Development, PARTEQ Innovations

Mr. Hendry is a certified licensing professional with a strong background in materials science, particularly in the area of biomaterials. He comes to PARTEQ from Millenium  Biologix, where he was responsible for research and development of resorbable spinal fusion and bone graft substitute medical devices. His expertise includes design, development, and validation of products, as well as project management, intellectual property protection, business planning, marketing, and regulatory affairs. Mr. Hendry is engaged in all aspects of commercial evaluation and development of discoveries arising from research at the institutions to which PARTEQ provides commercialization services. He focuses primarily in the areas of chemistry and advanced materials. He also provides business management, where appropriate, to PARTEQ start-up companies and venture funds. Mr. Hendry is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (BSc Materials Engineering) and the University of Toronto (MASc Materials Science).


Claudia Hepburn, The Next 36, Co-Founder & Executive Director

The Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Next 36, Claudia Hepburn is an entrepreneur and public policy specialist with a track record of leadership building innovative education programs. Before founding The Next 36, as the Fraser Institute’s Director of Education Policy and Managing Director of their Ontario office, she founded Children First: School Choice Trust, the only Canadian program ever to win a Templeton Award for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2013 Ms. Hepburn ranked as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence for her outstanding achievements in the NGO sector. She is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and was named in the press as one of Canada’s Ten Most Inspiring Women of 2006 and one of the 2008 Top 25 Canadian Women of the Year. Ms. Hepburn has co-authored many studies and edited a book on education policy. She is a director of Kids & Company, a national childcare company that won an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2012, of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation and The Fraser Institute. Ms. Hepburn has a BA from Amherst College, and an MA and B.Ed from the University of Toronto.


Jonathan Hera

Jonathan manages the RBC Generator, a $10MM fund dedicated to investing in and supporting small enterprises that positively support social and environmental change within Canada.

Prior to joining RBC’s Social Finance Initiative, Jonathan worked on market development of the SVX at the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. Prior to this, Jonathan served as Director, Investor Relations, of Sarona Asset Management. In addition, he held an Advisory Committee role with the GIIN’s ImpactBase. Before his time with Sarona, Jonathan worked with the World Bank’s CGAP on a third party microfinance initiative and with MEDA on capital raising and internal control systems development for a microfinance institution in Paraguay.

A Course Director at the Schulich School of Business, Jonathan is a CFA Level II Candidate and speaks proficient Spanish and German. He holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, received a BA in Political Science and Italian from McGill University and earned a Nonprofit Leadership Diploma from the University for Peace, Costa Rica.


Allyson Hewitt, Senior Fellow, Social Innovation, MaRS Discovery District

Allyson leads the social innovation programs at MaRS including the Ontario node of the national initiative, Social Innovation Generation (SiG@MaRS).  With funding from the Province of Ontario, this program supports social entrepreneurs and promotes social innovation through the provision of advisory services; the social finance programs and services of the Centre for Impact Investing; ecosystem development; education; and public policy.  She is also establishing the MaRS Solutions Labs, a change lab designed to tackle complex challenges and Studio Y, a new initiative to support youth in creating and thriving in the new economy.

A life long social innovator, she last worked at SickKids where she led Safe Kids Canada and was a passionate advocate for children.  She was also the Executive Director of Community Information Toronto where she initiated 211, providing streamlined access to human service information.  For this work she received the Head of the Public Service Award and several other prestigious awards for meritorious public service.

Allyson has been leading and volunteering in not-for-profit organizations for over 25 years.  Her academic background is in Criminology, Law, Public Affairs, Voluntary Sector Management and Organizational development including Leading Change.


Ray Hoemsen, M. Sc., FEC, P. Eng., Director, Applied Research & Commercialization, Red River College, Winnipeg MB CANADA

Ray Hoemsen, M. Sc., FEC, P. Eng., has held numerous leadership positions in the public and private sectors, and as a volunteer in his community and profession.  Since 1986, he has specialized in “The Business of Science™”, and is the former Director of the University of Manitoba’s Industry Liaison Office, as well as the Vice-President/Director of Operations for the University’s Smart Park Development Corporation. As President of NEXUS Manitoba, he has focused upon innovation, technology transfer and commercialization, incubators and research parks, as well as Canada’s SR&ED program. In June 2004, Ray was appointed Director, Applied Research & Commercialization at Red River College, where he has led the establishment and growth of the College’s applied research enterprise.  In 2007, Ray completed a 17-month half-time secondment as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC’s) Visiting Executive/Manager of NSERC-Prairies, and led the establishment of the regional office in Winnipeg.

During his tenure at the College, a robust research enterprise has evolved, with the support of local, national and international corporate and institutional research partners; resulting in over $25 million in capital investments for applied research infrastructure, an annual research budget of $2 million, several Research Centres and Chairs, as well as international research partnerships.

Ray has led or been an active volunteer with more than 70 professional, sports, and community organizations. He currently serves as a volunteer in organizations such as the Alliance for the Commercialization of Canadian Technology, the Association of Canadian Community College’s National Research Advisory Committee, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba, the APEGM Foundation, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, the Conference Board of Canada’s Innovation Council, the Composites Innovation Centre, Manitoba’s Centre for Emerging Renewable Energy, the Manitoba Foundation for Sport, Manitoba’s Vehicle Technology Centre, Rugby Manitoba and Sport Manitoba. He also has served as a reviewer or advisor for organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and US Small Business Innovation Research Program.

His work has been recognized with awards such as the ACCC’s 2010-2011 Leadership Excellence Gold Award (2010-2011) for his leadership in applied research (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=010PnpZDK0o), appointment as a Fellow of Engineers Canada (2010), an NSERC Bravo Award (2007) for his role in establishing NSERC-Prairies, the Outstanding Service Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and GeoScientists of Manitoba (2005), the Investor Group Community (Winnipeg) Sport Administrator of the Year (1996), the Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineering’s Young Agricultural Engineer of the Year for “outstanding contribution to technology transfer and diffusion which have led to closer cooperation between government, industry and academic communities’” (1994), the City of Winnipeg Assiniboia Community Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year (1993), the City of Winnipeg Merit Award (1988), and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers North Central Region Agricultural Engineer of the Year (1984). Ray is a 1991 alumni of the Governor General’s Canadian Study Conference.


Raphael Hofstein, President & CEO, MaRS Innovation

Dr. Hofstein joined MaRS Innovation as President and CEO in June 2009.

Dr. Hofstein received his PhD and Master of Science degrees in Life Sciences and Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. His Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Physics was attained from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Awards received while completing postdoctoral training and research at the Harvard Medical School in Boston in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Neurobiology include the Hereditary Disease Foundation Fellowship in 1982-83, and the Chaim Weizmann Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1980-82.

During the 1980s, he held the roles of Scientific Director of Biotechnological Applications Ltd., and Manager R&D and Chief of Immunochemistry at the International Genetic Scientific Partnership; organizations that were pivotal in the development of Israel’s world-leading biotechnology sector.

Dr. Hofstein was Scientific Director of the Israeli office of Ecogen Inc., a subsidiary of Monsanto, for over six years before assuming the role of Vice President, Business Development for Ecogen in Langhorne, Pa.

From 1997 to 1999 Dr. Hofstein was President of Mindsense Biosystems Ltd., an Israeli company that develops neuropsychiatric immune assays. From 1999 to the present, he has held the position of President and CEO of Hadasit Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem. Later on, Dr. Hofstein joined Medica Ventures, a lead VC in Israel and served for 10 years as the President and CEO of Hadasit, the commercialization company of Hadassah, the largest teaching hospital in Israel.

Dr. Hofstein was the founder and served as Chair of Hadasit BioHolding Ltd., a publicly traded holding company (10 startups under management) on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), since 2005. Other directorships held on TASE publicly traded companies include: Bioline RX (drug development); Exalenz (medical devices); and Evogene (agri-bio). He has also served as Chairman of BIOMED, Israel’s annual biomedical conference, from 2005 to 2007. In addition, Dr. Hofstein is a co-founder and board member of ILSI, the Israeli Life Science Industry Organization, and a co-founder and executive in Israel’s Tech Transfer Network (ITTN).

Dr. Hofstein is currently member of the board of directors of Life Science Ontario and of Clinical Trials Ontario as well as a member of the Organizing Committee of the Public Policy Forum (part of the Quebec City Conference).


Ajay A. Jagtiani

Ajay A. Jagtiani is a Shareholder and founder of Alchemy-Partners, PC. Mr. Jagtiani has nearly 22 years of experience in all phases of patent prosecution, including patentability, validity and infringement opinions, procurement of international patents, client counseling, licensing, agreement negotiations, and mergers/acquisitions. He has extensive knowledge in all areas of electrical engineering, including computer hardware/software, electro-optics, and communications technology.

In addition, Mr. Jagtiani supports numerous clients in all areas of biotechnology, including diagnostics, genomics, immunotherapy, proteomics, pharmaceuticals and other microbiology techniques.

In the state arena, Mr. Jagtiani has advised the Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia in intellectual property matters, and has drafted proposed intellectual property legislation for Virginia.

At the federal level, he has advised such government agencies and laboratories as the Department of Energy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Mines, Naval Medical Research and Development Command, Naval Command and Control Center, NASA, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and the Naval Research Laboratory.

In addition, Mr. Jagtiani has testified before the Science and Technology Committee of the U.S. Senate. He has maintained security clearances with both the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.

Mr. Jagtiani received an “AV Preeminent” Peer Rating in Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Jagtiani also has extensive experience in the academic world, having provided assistance in intellectual property matters and technology transfer to such universities as the University of Arkansas, the University of California System, Catholic University of America, Colorado State University, University of Central Florida, Florida State University, George Mason University, Georgia Medical College, Georgia Tech, the University of Maryland, McMaster University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Notre Dame, Oregon Health & Science University, University of Ottawa, the University of Texas System, Wake Forest University, the University of Western Australia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech.

Education: J.D., Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1993.
B.A. (Electrical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and History), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988.

Bar Admissions: Virginia, 1993, District of Columbia, 1994, Canadian Patent Agent, 1993


Liang Ji

Liang Ji joined the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in 2010 as a Patent Examiner of the Electrical Division. Previously, Liang worked as an R&D engineer for Agilent Canada in BC, and as a research engineer for Agilent Labs in Scotland. Liang holds a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, U.K., and an M.Eng from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Gary N. Keller

Gary Keller is CEO of Xomix, a Chicago-based technology accelerator and international consultancy on technology strategy, intellectual asset management, commercialization, and global businesses development services. Keller has more than 25 years of experience in international business development for leading biotechnology companies and is responsible for the development, funding and launch of numerous technology and commercialization initiatives and startup companies. He is Vice President and Managing Director of the Midwest University Research Network (MRUN) and author for the development of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Guide to Commercialization of Intellectual Property.

His startups include Conkwest Inc. a San Diego based biopharma company developing natural killer (NK) cell based products and the Florida Institute for Commercialization of Public Research, a statewide, quasi-government, not-for-profit enabling commercialization of new discoveries generated from public and privately funded research.  He directed Strategic Initiatives and Workforce Development for the Chicago Technology Park Corporation.

He serves as an International Delegate for LES and is V.P. of Knowledge Management for LESI. He is a member of AUTM, served as Co-Chair BIO Technology Transfer Committee and is member of the Board of Trustees of Sinai Hospital System – Chicago. Keller has Masters of Biotechnology from Northwestern University and a Bachelors of Science from Pennsylvania State University.


Steven Klein

Dr. Steven Klein is IRICoR’s VP, Business Development, with over 12 years of experience in a variety of fields, including oncology, vaccines,  and CNS-related indications, at a number of organizations.  Prior to joining IRICoR, Dr. Klein was Director, Business Development at Labopharm, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company focused in the drug delivery and pain areas. Dr. Klein also served in a business development capacity at Neurochem/BELLUS Health, a leading Montreal biotech firm developing therapies for amyloid-related diseases.

As a key team member at the Canadian Network for Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics (CANVAC), Dr. Klein led its business development activities including forming and managing over two dozen partnerships with industry, government, and non-government organizations. During his career, Dr. Klein concluded a wide range of agreements covering both products and technologies, with industry leaders such as Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, GSK, Vertex, Grunenthal, Nippon Shinyaku, BD Biosciences, and MDS Pharma Services.

Dr Klein holds a B.Sc. (Honors) in Chemistry from Concordia University, a Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine from McGill University, and a MBA from Queen’s University. Dr. Klein is a Board member of the Alliance for Commercialization of Canadian Technologies and BioTalent Canada.


Mr. Sylvain Laporte, Commissioner of Patents, Reg. of Trademarks and CEO, Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

Sylvain Laport was appointed as Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-Marks and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) effective April 16, 2011.

Sylvain joined Industry Canada in March 2007 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Before joining the public service, he worked for Canada Post Corporation in various sectors, such as marketing, retail logistics and information technology.

Sylvain gained extensive experience as an Aerospace Engineer over the course of his 20 year career with the Canadian Forces. He held various positions in such fields as engineering, maintenance, and human resources management.

Sylvain earned a Bachelors degree in computer science from Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean, and a Masters degree in computer engineering from the Royal Military College in Kingston.


Marnie LaVigne, PhD, Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development University at Buffalo (UB), Director of Business Development, NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences, Co-Director, UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology

Dr. LaVigne has spent more than 25 years in both the private and public sectors creating new products and start-up businesses involving innovative applications of technology in a broad range of health care and life sciences sectors, including work with managed care (e.g., Aetna), pharmaceuticals (e.g., Bristol-Myers Squibb), medical devices (e.g., Welch Allyn) and medical informatics (e.g., Medscape/MedicaLogic, now GE Medical and WebMD) and executive management roles in two initial public offerings.  In 2012 she was named Associate Vice President for Economic Development for UB, leading the new Office of Economic Development to leverage university-based resources on behalf of growing the regional economy through start-ups, expanding firms and relocating businesses particularly in innovation-based sectors. This university-wide position builds upon her private sector experience combined with her UB-based roles leading business development and technology commercialization since 2005 for the NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences and the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology.

Dr. LaVigne holds a BS in neuroscience and a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester. She is an editorial board member for Disease Management, and a member of the Board of Directors for Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, New York State Economic Development Council, Western New York Venture Association, and several high-tech companies, including Blue Highway, Inc. Her efforts have supported dozens of high-tech start-up firms, growth of regional funding for entrepreneurial ventures, and significant programming such as the Bright Buffalo Niagara Venture Forum (www.brightbuffaloniagara.com).


Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder of Startup Canada, Founder of NACUE, entrepreneurship expert, evangelist, catalyst, and policy advisor

Victoria has a track record of stimulating public discourse & developing meaningful political & policy inroads to advance the entrepreneurship agenda. She is an expert in entrepreneurship policy, building enterprise networks (national, communities & campuses), catalyzing movements, & ecosystem governance.

Victoria is the co-founder of Startup Canada, Canada’s first-ever, entrepreneur-led, national movement. Victoria is the catalyst of a national grassroots network of local Startup Communities; PIVOTmagazine.ca, 1000startups.ca, & the Canadian Mentorship Challenge among other high-impact, national programs to advance Canadian entrepreneurship – recognised by PROFIT Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 30 entrepreneurs in 2012.

Victoria is the first Canadian & one of the youngest recipients of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion on the recommendation of the British Prime Minister. Victoria won the award for having pioneered a grassroots youth entrepreneurship movement in the UK. Since founding NACUE, today it is the centerpiece of the UK’s youth entrepreneurship ecosystem, supporting more than 55,000 higher & further education students & graduates across more than 100 institutions.

On the global stage, Victoria participates actively in entrepreneurship & innovation policy discussions – e.g. UNCTAD, G8, APEC. As the catalyst for Startup Generation & host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports & mentors the development of youth enterprise organisations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organisations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; & supports colleges & universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities.

In 2009 Victoria was awarded the SFEDI ‘Enterprise Support Network Builder Award’, ‘Overall Enterprise Champion of the Year Award’ and was recognized as a ‘Champion of Entrepreneurial Britain’, ‘Top 30 Under 30’ by Real Business Magazine & ‘One to Watch’ by Spectator Business.


Alexander Levy

Alexander Levy is the CEO & Lead Designer of MyVoice Inc., an award-winning assistive technology company that makes innovative communication aids for people with speech disabilities. MyVoice’s two flagship apps – RocketKeys and TalkRocket for iPad, iPhone, and iPod – are giving a voice to thousands of kids and adults with challenges such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, and Parkinson’s every day. Alexander has been named PROFIT Magazine’s Entrepeneur of the Year, the Univerity of Toronto’s Inventor of the Year, and is the Ontario Centres of Excellence Martin Walmsley Fellow for Technological Entrepreneurship.


Joel Liederman, Vice President, MaRS Innovation

Joel received his Bachelors  Degree (with Distinction) from McGill University and his M.B.A. from Concordia University.

At MaRS Innovation, Joel carries out technology due diligence, project manages IP development and proof-of-principle projects, develops and executes commercialization plans, and helps launch companies in information and communication technology.

He has helped launch numerous early-stage and rapid-growth, high-technology companies with strategic and business planning; developing and implementing go-to-market strategies; project management; intellectual property management; human resource management; and strategic partnering.

Joel was a managing partner and company builder with Primaxis Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital company focused on the physical and engineering sciences (electronics, semiconductors, communications, advanced materials and infrastructure software). Prior to Primaxis, he held positions in engineering design, project engineering management, marketing, sales and business development for various high-profile organizations, including General Electric, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Alcatel and Spar Aerospace.


Susanne Liou

After receiving her BSc in Microbiology from McGill, Susanne joined Agriculture Canada where she worked for the better part of a decade as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Food and Animal Research. This gig was followed by a brief stint in Sales at Fisher Scientific and a few years at Ottawa high tech firm, JDS Uniphase. Finally, after getting an MBA from Ottawa U., she had the good fortune to join NSERC.

At NSERC since 2003, Susanne has been involved with the Research Partnerships Program (RPP), specifically Strategic Project Grants. Since 2010 she has been with the Division within RPP called “Colleges, Commercialization and Portfolio Planning”. This included exposure to projects in the commercialization and technology push program called “Idea to Innovation”. More recently however, she has been working with the College & Community Innovation (CCI) Program where she gets to see many different kinds of applied R&D proposals coming out of Canadian colleges.

(In her spare time Susanne plays piano and is a hospice volunteer).


Angus Livingstone

Angus Livingstone is Managing Director of the University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) at The University of British Columbia (UBC).  He is the President of the University’s wholly owned subsidiary, UBC Research Enterprises Inc.

Angus graduated from UBC with a B.Sc. in Computer Science in 1983. In 1988, he joined the UILO where he has held various positions relating to industry sponsored research, technology transfer, and the management of UILO operations. He has played a founding role in The Centre for Drug Research and Development, entrepreneurship@UBC, ACCT Canada (Alliance for the Commercialization of Canadian Technology), and Flintbox™.  Angus is currently the Project Lead for Genome Canada/BC funded GREAT project aimed at providing entrepreneurial training to genome researchers.

Angus serves on numerous boards including CDRD Ventures Inc., Webnames.CA, Inc., Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., Paragon Testing Enterprises Inc., UBC Research Enterprises, Inc. and NeuroDevNet NCE. He is currently a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executive Society.

The UILO provides Knowledge Mobilization, Industry Engagement and Entrepreneurship support to the research community at UBC.  UBC consistently ranks among the top ten North American universities for its patenting and commercialization activities. UBC currently has over 350 active licenses or assignments with companies around the world and has actively supported the creation of over 153 spin-off companies.


Paul N. Lucas

Mr. Lucas served as President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Canada from 1994 until he retired in 2012. Previous to joining Glaxo Canada in 1986, he held progressive management positions at Eli Lilly Canada and McNeil Pharmaceutical.

Mr. Lucas also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for TM Bioscience, a member of the Boards of Biochem Pharma, the Toronto Regional Research Alliance, Montreal inVivo, and AllerGen. In addition he was a member of the Principal’s Advisory Council of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Queen’s University. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) for three terms.

Currently Mr. Lucas is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Genomics Institute, consults with Queen’s University and Rx&D, and is President and Chair of Life Sciences Ontario.

He received his BSc (Honours) in Biology and Chemistry from Queen’s University, and obtained his Chartered Directors designation (CDir) from the Directors College, a joint venture of McMaster University and the Conference Board of Canada, in 2009.


Alvira Macanovic, BSc, PhD, Business Development Manager, Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC)

Dr. Alvira Macanovic obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry in the field of diagnostics from Concordia University.

She started her career as a research scientist in the immunochemistry department of a multi-national Contract Research Organization (CRO) developing and validating immunoassays for domestic and international clients. In that role, she gained practical knowledge of GxPs (GCPs, GLPs, GMPs), as well as regulatory guidelines, policies, standards and practices and requirements.

Prior to joining CIMTEC, Alvira worked as a scientific consultant for two Toronto law firms where she gained experience in all areas of patent law and practice, including patent drafting, prosecution, patentability, freedom to operate, validity, infringement and litigation in the medical device, chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. In addition, she applied her regulatory knowledge to advise clients on regulatory requirements and in developing strategies for bringing products to market in regulated industries, including, medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, biologics and biotechnology, natural health products and functional foods.

Alvira applies her vast knowledge and skill set at CIMTEC providing intellectual property and regulatory assessments, as well as advice about the product development pathway in the medical imaging and device sector.


Jennifer MacInnis

Jennifer MacInnis, Senior Director of Applied Research and Commercialization, with the Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation, is an accomplished intellectual property and contracts lawyer.  With significant university and hospital experience in research contract drafting and negotiation, invention evaluation and licensing, and research policy development, Jennifer plays a key role in the administration of research investment in Ryerson.

In her role as Senior Director of Applied Research and Commercialization, Jennifer serves as a research liaison to the University, facilitating collaborative relationships with industrial, not for profit and government partners to undertake applied research with University faculty.  Jennifer facilitates the accessing of research funding and provides commercialization advice, support and oversight.  In addition to her responsibilities as Senior Director, Jennifer serves as Legal Counsel to the University on research related matters.  Jennifer oversees a team of three Research Contracts Officers and ensures their efforts and contributions support both the internal and external activities of the Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation.


Katya Marc

Katya is on a two-year secondment to the Faculty of Engineering from the Commercialization Unit of the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) as the Industry Liaison Manager. Based in the Innovations Catalyst in Engineering (ICE) hub (http://www.mcgill.ca/engineering/research/ice), she works closely with faculty members on the promotion of technologies and expertise of the Faculty to potential partners and facilitates interaction between the various stakeholders in the projects to achieve successful collaborations and transfer of outstanding research from the labs to the marketplace.

Katya administers the new William and Rhea Seath Awards in Engineering Innovation that support and recognize annually two outstanding individuals in the Faculty of Engineering ─ either undergraduate students, graduate students or professors ─ who are conducting groundbreaking research with commercial potential. Details of this award:


Katya has been working at McGill for over 14 years, servicing mainly the Faculty of Engineering for their research/service contract and intellectual property commercialization needs. Prior to joining OSR, Katya was an industrial technology advisor with the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC’s IRAP), and before that worked for Eastman Chemical Company in Canada, USA, and Malaysia for over six years in multiple areas: technical sales, process and development control, production, and technical service.

A three-time McGill graduate, Katya earned her B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in Chemical Engineering, and her MBA from McGill.


Murray McLaughlin

Murray McLaughlin is the Executive Director of the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre and is also President and CEO of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance. He has a long history of involvement in Canadian agriculture and bioindustry and he has held various positions in private industry, government and non-profit sectors. His career has focused on agricultural science including research, development and product management and marketing. He is a member of numerous boards of directors and advisory committees, including Biotech Canada, BioAtlantech and Bioenterprise. In 2010, Dr. McLaughlin received awards from both BIOTECanada and The BioTechnology Initiative (now Life Sciences Ontario) in recognition of his leadership in the commercialization of biotechnologies and the growth of innovation-based companies.


Michael Midmer, MSc, MBA

Michael has more than 10 years of experience in the life science industry and capital markets.

Michael is a Director at Rosetta Capital (Canada) Limited, an international venture capital firm, where he plays a key role in managing a portfolio of over 30 companies and maintaining relationships with investors in North America and Europe. He is responsible for the firm’s Canadian business activities which include managing funds for Desjardins Venture Capital and Roseway Capital. He also held board and observer roles for several portfolio companies and monitors the non-life science investments.

Before joining Rosetta in 2004, Michael was Business Development Manager at KS Biomedix (now Xenova) in Europe, where he was responsible for running the diagnostics division focused on developing and marketing monoclonal antibody-based products. Previously, he was Investor Relations Manager at Cardiome Pharma Corp. (Vancouver) where he raised the company’s profile in the financial community. Prior to Cardiome, Michael was at BMO Nesbitt Burns (Toronto), where he conducted equity research in the biopharmaceutical sector.

Michael has an MSc in molecular biology from the University of Toronto (Canada) and an MBA from Imperial College Business School (UK), specialising in biopharmaceuticals and corporate finance. He has also completed the Canadian Securities Course.


Carol Miernicki

Dr. Carol Miernicki is a Canadian and U.S. patent agent.  For the last 18 years, she held the position of Vice President, Intellectual Property at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen=s University.  Her responsibilities at PARTEQ included assessing the patentability of inventions, drafting patent applications, prosecuting patent applications in the U.S. and Canadian Patent Offices, giving validity and infringement opinions, managing the extensive foreign patent portfolio, heading the PARTEQ patent group and guiding the patent portfolios of numerous PARTEQ spinoff companies.  She was a key player in developing a patent strategy and licensing framework for GreenCentre Canada, a national Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, and she managed GreenCentre’s patent portfolio for its initial years.  Dr. Miernicki has extensive IP experience spanning many disciplines, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, engineering, informatics, chemistry and materials.

Prior to coming to PARTEQ in 1995, Dr. Miernicki was a member of the Intellectual Property Group of Blake, Cassels & Graydon in Toronto, a scientific liaison for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Mount Sinai Hospital Research Institute in Toronto.  She received a B.Sc. with Distinction in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cornell University.  She is a Fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada.


Earl Miller

Earl Miller is  Director Strategic Partnerships at MaRS Discovery District,  responsible for government and international relations. He leads MaRS’ Regional Innovation Centre and is responsible for funder relations, stakeholder relationships in the Toronto Region and business development with Canadian trade and economic development officials, foreign governments and international partners. He collaborates with public and private sector partners looking to source new technology, invest in start-up companies and undertake projects to share knowledge about innovation best practices.


Joseph Orozco, Executive Director of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery and Adjunct Professor – University of Toronto

Executive Director of The Hatchery, Adjunct Professor Joseph Orozco (Centre for Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship) at the University of Toronto brings an international perspective through his professional experience in Canada, the United States and South America. His entrepreneurial spirit help him to communicate and develop successful, long-lasting relationships and businesses.

His first venture was launched while he was still attending university, manufacturing metal frames for stoneware. Next, he landed a role in sales and business development at the Dow Chemical Company. This key opportunity led him to found and lead several companies, including C.R., a logistics company on contract with Dow; Telequote, which was ultimately sold to Reuters; Latamtrade, an agnostic trading platform for the Latin American community and ‘POP’ system for brokerage firms; and Simeon International, a Canadian company providing soundfield amplification systems for the classroom. Angel investor in Medipattern Corporation until 2010.

Orozco earned his Bachelor of Industrial Engineering (Laureate Thesis Award) from Javeriana University in 1986, and his Masters in Marketing from Andes University in 1992. Orozco has also studied at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in its Mergers and Acquisitions Executive Program in 2007 and at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, where he completed its Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Board Effectiveness Program in 2011.


Ayah Norris, Marketing & Community Manager, Indiegogo

Indiegogo is the leading global platform for crowdfunding, empowering anyone, anywhere, to raise money for anything.


Tony Orsi

Tony Orsi is a patent agent and partner at Bereskin and Parr LLP in Toronto.  Tony’s practice focuses on patents with an emphasis on electrical, biomedical, software, and mechanical innovations as well as patent drafting, evaluating new technologies, and IP management strategies. Tony drafts and prosecutes patent applications relating to medical devices, medical imaging systems, electronic circuits, electronic devices, communication systems, radar systems, video and signal processing systems, mass spectrometry, fuel cell technology, alternative energy sources, and internet systems as well as mechanical and clean tech devices.


Ted Paranjothy

Ted Paranjothy, U of T MBiotech Class of 2015, is a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree with distinction, majoring in microbiology. When he was in high school, he sought out Dr. Marek Los, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics at the University of Manitoba and CFI Canada Research Chair in New Cancer Therapies, to become his mentor. Dr. Los allowed him to join as a volunteer researcher after he wrote the PhD entrance examination in Biochemistry — which he passed!

Ted’s innovative cancer research won him the 2007 Manitoba and National Sanofi BioGENEius Challenges, and he is the only Canadian to place first in the Sanofi International BioGENEius Challenge. In addition, he has been recognized with numerous academic and citizenship awards and scholarships, including the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership, the Manning Young Canadian Innovation Award, Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 Award, the Genome Prairie Award, the Canadian Cancer Society Researcher of Tomorrow Award, and the City of Winnipeg Medal of Honour, among many others.

Ted sits on numerous boards and committees and has served as a member of the Gairdner Foundation and the University of Manitoba Senate Committee on the Ethics of Research Involving Human Subjects and Senate Committee on Awards.  He has also serviced as the Chief Scientific Officer of the UofM Science Students’ Association.  He is both a founding and national advisory board member for a Canada-wide aboriginal youth biotechnology conference and has served on the youth advisory committee for the 5th Annual World Conference on Breast Cancer.

Ted has been highly involved in improving the quality of life of individuals living with cancer.  He has been an active biomedical researcher in the area of experimental and translational cancer research at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology and the Depts of Biochemistry & Medical Genetics and Human Anatomy & Cell Science at the University of Manitoba. Ted has filed a patent on an anticancer agent with the ability to induce cell death in leukemia, breast, lung and prostate cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue.


Mike Pellegrino

Mike Pellegrino is the Founder and President of Pellegrino & Associates, LLC. As a leading expert in the embedded software and intellectual property valuation industry, he focuses on providing credible and equitable valuations for investment and tax reporting purposes. With his cutting-edge approach, he challenges old practices and develops new, applicable methods to aid IP valuation. His approach helps valuation analysts assess risk and quantify discount rates, select proper valuation methods, and perform necessary due diligence. Mike has testified in court proceedings regarding IP and software valuation cases and has been applauded for his efforts. One North Carolina court stated that his work is “clearly in the mainstream of IP valuation methodologies.”

Mike continues to educate the industry with articles based on technology and IP valuation methods found in the likes of IAM Magazine, Valuation Strategies, The Journal of Taxation, CFO Magazine, Business Valuation Resources, Entrepreneur.com, MSNBC.com, etc. He is the author of the first and second editions of the book titled BVR’s Guide to Intellectual Property Valuation, a handy guide containing real-world case studies and explanations for drawing credible and defensible IP value conclusions. Mike also frequently speaks at various forums around the globe regarding valuation, intellectual property, and embedded software topics. In addition, he has developed a state-of-the-art decision tool engine to help clients evaluate technological innovations based on their market viability.

A strong advocate on the importance of valuations and tax matters, Mike became an instrumental player in changing Indiana law regarding the valuation of embedded application software for personal property tax reporting purposes and the taxation of patent-derived income. He authored the administrative rules that Indiana’s Department of Local Government and Finance now uses to administer the evaluation of software appraisals for property tax matters.

Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and a Master’s degree in business administration. He also attended accounting classes and fulfilled requirements in the leadership development program at the Center for Creative Leadership. He has completed both the 15-hour and 7-hour update USPAP training programs, is current with all USPAP training, and has passed all required USPAP exams.


Xavier Pena

Xavier is the Entrepreneurship Manager for the Innovations and Partnerships Office in the Physical Science and Engineering area. In this role he has mentored engineering services start-up companies, managed intellectual property portfolios, and negotiated licensing and financing agreements to transfer innovative technologies into the marketplace. Previously he worked as a consultant and analyst for a number of companies including Rogers Cable, Microsoft, and Bombardier Transportation. He has an Executive MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters in Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and is a licensed member of Professional Engineers Ontario.


Duncan Phillips

Duncan Phillips is Vice President of the Strategic Enterprises team at Mitacs. Based in Vancouver, BC, Duncan’s current focus is on working with Canadian and International companies to create multiple-company public-private research consortia in response to industry innovation needs, primarily utilising Canada’s IRB (Industrial and Regional Benefits) program. Duncan joined Mitacs in 2007 following a 30-year career in “bleeding edge” technology in the UK and Canada, where he worked with pioneers in technologies as diverse as handwriting recognition in the 1970s, protocol conversion and video conferencing in the early 1980s, and international trade automation using SaaS (software as a service) in the 1990s. As Vice-President Operations of an international company prior to joining Mitacs, Duncan was responsible for developing  IP and license agreements, preparing and filing patent and SR&ED applications, and corporate restructuring – skills which are invaluable in Duncan’s work establishing the complex agreements needed to support public-private consortia. Duncan is also currently serving as Vice-President of the not-for-profit Canadian Satellite Design Challenge Management Society.


Matthew Phillips

Matt is a founding partner of Renaissance IP Law Group LLP in Portland, Oregon, USA.  Before forming Renaissance in 2012, he was a partner in a large firm that he had joined in 2003 after a two-year clerkship for Judge Alan D. Lourie at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Matt is experienced in patent litigation, but now focuses his practice on matters before the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), where he has expertise in post-grant proceedings, including reviews, reexaminations, and reissues.  Twice a year Matt teaches a three-day course entitled “Post-Grant Patent Practice” for Patent Resources Group.  He is co-author of a multi-volume treatise having the same title, and he regularly writes articles on such topics for Intellectual Property Today magazine.  In addition to USPTO post-grant proceedings, Matt’s practice includes preparing and prosecuting patent applications for complex electronics and computer inventions at the USPTO.  Matt has a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Utah, and he worked for several years as a communication systems engineer before entering the patent field.  He received his law degree with honors from Georgetown University while working full-time first as a patent examiner at the USPTO and then as a patent agent in Washington, D.C.  Matt has been recognized by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.


Pratima Rao

Pratima Rao joined the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) in 1996 as a foreign service officer. Since 2009, she has served as a Trade Commissioner, Innovation, Science & Technology (and Life Sciences lead, since 2012) at the Toronto Regional Office of DFAIT where she works with Canadian clients (SMEs and partners) to support their international business efforts and connect them to international commercial opportunities. Ms. Rao has served abroad at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, the Consulate General of Canada in New York, and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York. In Ottawa, she has worked in the Legal Bureau, the Policy Planning Bureau and the Office of the Foreign Minister. She holds LL.B. and B.A. (Economics) degrees from the University of Alberta.


Honourable Michelle Rempel, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

Matt is a founding partner of Renaissance IP Law Group LLP in Portland, Oregon, USA.  Before forming Renaissance in 2012, he was a partner in a large firm that he had joined in 2003 after a two-year clerkship for Judge Alan D. Lourie at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Matt is experienced in patent litigation, but now focuses his practice on matters before the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), where he has expertise in post-grant proceedings, including reviews, reexaminations, and reissues.  Twice a year Matt teaches a three-day course entitled “Post-Grant Patent Practice” for Patent Resources Group.  He is co-author of a multi-volume treatise having the same title, and he regularly writes articles on such topics for Intellectual Property Today magazine.  In addition to USPTO post-grant proceedings, Matt’s practice includes preparing and prosecuting patent applications for complex electronics and computer inventions at the USPTO.  Matt has a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Utah, and he worked for several years as a communication systems engineer before entering the patent field.  He received his law degree with honors from Georgetown University while working full-time first as a patent examiner at the USPTO and then as a patent agent in Washington, D.C.  Matt has been recognized by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America.


Emma Saffman

Emma Saffman is a patent agent at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada.  Emma practices in all areas of chemistry and the life sciences, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, genomics, diagnostics, biomarkers, vaccines, nutraceuticals, agricultural biotechnology, food science, coatings, polymers, green chemistry, and cleantech. She has a broad range of experience in Canadian, U.S., and foreign patent prosecution, strategic portfolio development and management, patentability and freedom-to-operate analysis, opinions, and due diligence evaluations. Emma represents a comprehensive range of clients from individuals to multinational corporations, including start-ups, early-stage ventures, universities, research organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. Before joining Norton Rose Fulbright Canada (then known as Ogilvy Renault) in 2006, Emma was Director for Intellectual Property at Neurochem Inc., where she managed the company’s patent and trademark portfolios, filed and prosecuted patent applications, performed patentability and freedom-to-operate assessments, and conducted due diligence analyses. Emma has a PhD in Biochemistry from Stanford University and a B.Sc. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University.


Ted Scott

Ted Scott is Chief Innovation Officer at Mohawk College. Working closely with start-up companies and SME’s, Ted has helped to create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among students working in Mohawk’s research centres. Ted helps to translate government funded research, commercialization and technology transfer programs into industry driven projects engaging our expert faculty, students and staff.  With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Ted helped to establish the Mohawk eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) and recently the Smartgrid Innovation Centre (SIC).


Donna Shukaris, Sr. Commercialization Manager, Innovations and Partnerships Office at the University of Toronto

Donna has an extensive background in early stage company development across various sectors that includes raising private equity capital, government funding, intellectual property and commercialization strategy development.    With over 10 years of experience in technology transfer, she has accelerated research into commercialization successes by developing and managing relationships between investors, angels, entrepreneurs, government organizations and researchers.  Her portfolio consists of over 20 institutional start-ups in the IT sector with 3 exits over the past 5 years.  She continues to support innovation at the University of Toronto through a new IT entrepreneurship program “UTEST” (University of Toronto Early Stage Technology) focusing on building the next generation of leading edge companies.


Pat Spadafora

Pat Spadafora, a social worker by training, is the creator and founding Director of the Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC), located on the Oakville, Ontario campus of Sheridan College. Ms. Spadafora has a proven track record of bringing innovative projects to fruition; the centre enables researchers to go from “lab to life”TM with its consumer driven focus and its emphasis on knowledge translation.

Since SERC’s inception, Ms. Spadafora has been successful in receiving a number of grants that have enabled  SERC to conduct applied research that directly benefits older adults and their families. By partnering with small and medium-sized businesses and community organizations, Ms. Spadafora’s research team helps support Canadian entrepreneurial endeavours by helping organizations to design innovative solutions and/or to improve the quality of existing products, programs and services. Ms. Spadafora’s expertise and interests include, among others, the business of aging, aging-in-place, accessible technology, program evaluation, health promotion and building community capacity. Her experience combining meaningful research questions with practical, measurable outcomes has helped to make SERC a success.


Adam Spence, Founder of the SVX and Associate Director, Venture & Capital Programs @ MaRS

SVX is a local, impact investing platform connecting impact ventures, funds, investors and service providers to mobilize private capital towards public good.


Rick Spence, President, CanEntrepreneur Communications

Rick Spence is a Toronto-based business writer and consultant dedicated to helping businesses grow. Rick is the former editor and publisher of PROFIT, The Magazine for Canadian Entrepreneurs. He writes a weekly column on entrepreneurship and innovation for the National Post, as well as columns for PROFIT and other publications.

He wrote the first Canadian book on growth business (Secrets of Success from Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies). Rick has taught “New Venture Startup” at Ryerson University and sits on the board of directors of a geophysical software company.

He blogs at Canadian Entrepreneur (www.canentrepreneur.com), and tweets his best business advice on Twitter under the handle “RickSpence.”

And yes, in 2008 he won the grand prize on the CBC national quiz show, “Test the Nation.” Go ahead, ask him about it.


Wendy Stanyon, RN, BN, MAEd., EdD , Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

A faculty member in the UOIT-Durham College Collaborative BScN program, Wendy is recognized for her practicum expertise and strong links with clinical practice partners. An advocate of collaboration, Wendy has also developed numerous partnerships with health and social services groups. Her primary interests are mental health awareness education and community-based research with a focus on the determinants of health, vulnerable populations, and mental health.


Meghan Verstraete

Interested in a career in biotechnology, Meghan Verstraete pursued her first two years of post-secondary education at the University of Victoria, then transferred to and completed her B.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia. During her undergraduate degree, Meghan immersed herself in the research environment completing two NSERC undergraduate summer research awards. Following graduation, Meghan began graduate studies in Dr. Michael Murphy’s lab at UBC where she received an NSERC CGS M award. She is currently studying iron acquisition by Staphylococcus aureus and learning techniques in protein crystallography. Recently, entrepreneurship has sparked Meghan’s interest following participation in a genomics entrepreneurship workshop held by the genomics.entrepreneurship program at UBC. Meghan has also become involved in a start-up company focused on the biosynthetic production of pharmaceutical intermediates.


Dr. John Wallenburg

Dr Wallenburg has spent much of the last 25 years at the interface of technology creation and development.  He joined the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) in 2007 as Director of Industry Partnerships, where he established OICR’s Commercialization infrastructure and launched the IPDC Program (now the IPDC Fund).  Prior to the OICR, John managed the Life Sciences group of the Office of Technology Transfer at McGill University.  He serves as a member of the CIHR’s Proof of Principle program review committee and until 2006, he was a member of the Intellectual Property and Data Release Group of the International Hap Map Project.  Between graduating with a PhD from the Université de Sherbrooke and joining McGill in 2000, he held research positions at the Canadian Red Cross R&D facility in Montreal, and the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute in Florida where he was cross appointed to the University of Central Florida, and served as product manager at QBiogene, a research reagents company.  He is a co-founder of Morphogenesis, Inc., a biotechnology company in Florida; served as President and Chair of TORCell Therapeutics, Inc, (a UHN-OICR startup) and currently sits on the Board of DLVR Therapeutics, Inc.


George Wells, B.Sc., M.B.A., P.I.M., Director, Technology Transfer, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Product Technology Center, Nestlé Research Center

George grew up in Toronto, Canada and went to the University of Guelph, Canada, graduating with a degree in Biomedical Sciences. He holds an international M.B.A. from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and from ESADE (Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas) in Barcelona, Spain. He has worked in both Pharmaceutical and Nutrition companies like Solvay and Merck and presently Nestlé.

George spent the beginning of his career as a VP of the Canadian division of Nestlé Purina PetCare in Sales and Marketing. His current work centers around Technology transfer, Venture Capital, Intellectual Property and Alliance Management, functioning internally to foster Open Innovation and to accelerate the Innovation Process within Nestlé Purina PetCare and, indirectly, the greater parent company Nestlé.

George is a past member of the Board of the Canadian Animal Health Institute, the Scientific and Advisory Council of the Grocery Products Manufacturing Institute of Canada, Industry Canada Advisory Council on Self-Regulation of Pet Foods, the Strategic Leadership Forum of Toronto and the Small Grants Fund Steering Committee for the Canadian Society for International Health (CIDA). Presently he is a member of the Association of Alliance Professionals and a member of the Association of University Technology Managers.


Stace Wills

As Vice-President, Company Creation, at Innovate Calgary Stace Wills leads a team of business development professionals and oversees the launch and acceleration of some of Alberta’s most promising tech startup companies.

Stace has a 22-year track record of helping generate exceptional shareholder value for early to mid-stage Canadian technology companies. Prior to Innovate Calgary, Stace served in senior corporate development roles with Elluminate, Inc., a Canadian eLearning software company that was acquired by NASDAQ-listed Blackboard Inc. in 2010, as well as Alta Genetics Inc, a global ag-biotech leader in the dairy sector.  Stace was also a co-founder of venture capital firm Accolade Capital Inc., where he co-managed the Accolade Private Companies Fund LP.

Stace currently serves on the Board of Helix BioPharma Corp., a biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates for the prevention and treatment of cancer.  He is also co-founder and Board Chairman of The Strongest Oak Foundation, a Canadian-registered charity that provides mentorship and financial support to youth in East Africa.  Stace has a Chartered Investment Manager designation, as well as a B. Comm. degree (International Marketing) from the University of Calgary


Arlene Yee, DVM, MSc, RTTP – Director, Industry Partnerships and Commercialization, Hospital for Sick Children

Arlene is responsible for technology commercialization and industry engagement activities at the Industry Partnerships and Commercialization Office (IP&C) at The Hospital for Sick Children.  She leads a team of professionals at the IP&C where her role includes evaluating and assessing technology disclosures, commercialization of technology opportunities, licensing, spin-off company formation, sponsored research, and industrial liaison. With more than 15 years of technology transfer and business development experience in academic health sciences and life sciences, her vast expertise includes commercializing a variety of intellectual property, and establishing and managing professional teams for technology commercialization.  Arlene’s previous appointments were at McMaster University and the University of Guelph. Before joining SickKids, she was an Industrial Liaison Manager at McMaster University where she interfaced with McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences and its two affiliated teaching hospitals, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare. Arlene has a degree in veterinary medicine and a Masters of Science degree in microbiology from the University of Guelph. She is also a Registered Technology Transfer Professional, a designation that recognizes professionals in the tech transfer and business development areas of the profession.

She is Chair of the ACCT Canada Membership committee and an active member of The Licensing Executive Society (LES) and The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).


Randall Yatscoff, Executive Vice-President, Business Development

Dr. Yatscoff has spent the last five years at TEC Edmonton initially as an Alberta Heritage Foundation Medical Research Executive in Residence and more recently as Executive Vice-President of Business Development.  He is responsible for a team that works with over 80 companies on an annual basis.  He has over ten year’s experience as a Biotech Executive in publically traded companies.  He is a seasoned director on both public and private company Boards and actively participated on several Advisory Boards and Committees both Industry and Academic related.  He was part of the team that raised over $200M in equity financing for a Biotech company.  He provides guidance and mentorship to local start-up companies on technology commercialization, business planning, presentations, investor relations and financing.  He is actively involved with assisting start-up companies to secure financing.   He currently holds more than 20 patents.  He is an accomplished Academic with almost twenty years spent in increasing roles in several Canadian Universities, having attained the status of Full Professor.  He is an active and involved community member, fully supporting key groups, participating in Board responsibility and fundraising for causes.


Stephanie Yong

Stephanie Yong is the Director of the W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan, a university Centre designed to help grow the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Originally from Saskatoon, Stephanie has both a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan. Stephanie has used her experience as a business strategist, an entrepreneur and a University lecturer to build her enterprise networks, stimulate awareness and recognition of the current entrepreneurial trends, and develop experiential programs to further enhance the entrepreneurship agenda. An entrepreneur herself, she currently works at the Wilson Centre, offering programs to help students create feasible and sustainable businesses. Stephanie is also a lecturer at the Edwards School of Business, with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and evaluation of business ventures.

In addition, Stephanie serves on a number of boards and committees including the Saskatchewan Opportunities Corporation (SOCO), the Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (SYPE), Startup Canada and the Kolo Project. Stephanie is committed to supporting the innovation and growth in the entrepreneurial sector of the economy.


Andrew Yui

Mr. Yui was appointed as Director, Canada of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in July 1993.  HKTDC is Hong Kong’s statutory trade promotion agency. It is also the founder of an online platform facilitating global IP monetization and technology commercialization: AsiaIPEX portal (http://www.asiaipex.com/Home/Index_EN) of which ACCT Canada is a strategic partner
Mr. Yui is in charge of the Council’s Branch Office in Canada, based in Toronto. His “Team HKTDC Canada”, in close co-operation with many like-minded multipliers, assists Canadian companies in accessing business opportunities in Hong Kong, and in the Chinese Mainland and Asia through the Hong Kong platform.

Prior to his emigration to Canada and the present appointment, Mr. Yui served in a variety of trade promotion posts in Hong Kong including Assistant Manager of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Market Officer at the HKTDC Head Office and Attaché commercial of the Québec Government Office in Hong Kong.


Karen Zavitz

Karen enjoyed fifteen years in government and industry as an executive, seed equity investor, administrator of a province wide university technology transfer program, policy analyst in technology and innovation, and management consultant. Her background has included senior positions at Innovation Ontario Corporation (a Crown Corporation investing equity in early stage technology companies), Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and Peat Marwick Consulting. She also served as a director on numerous boards. Karen has reviewed hundreds of business plans. While at Innovation Ontario she made 16 investments, 3 of which went public.

In 1995 Karen opened her consulting practice in Toronto focusing initially on business plans for companies raising venture capital. For the past 6 years Karen was the Managing Director of the Ontario Partnership for Innovation and Commercialization – a group of 9 Ontario universities collaborating to commercialize their research. Today Karen is working in grants facilitation at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.