We are thrilled to have an amazing speaker lineup for our first ever entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week! From panel discussions and fireside chats, we’ve gathered some of the best and most innovative entrepreneurs, leaders and disruptors to share what they’ve learned building ventures and transforming industries.
Our speaker list is being updated in real time: keep checking back for more updates as speakers are added through September!
Track 1: Entrepreneurial Leadership & the Future of Work
Co- founder of Globalme
Entrepreneurship runs in the family for Emre. After spending a few years at large enterprise jobs, Emre co-founded Globalme in 2009 and has grown it to be one of BC's Top 100 Tech Companies, fully bootstrapped. He is most proud of growing Globalme with a diverse workforce, representing 28 nationalities and 50% female including in management positions. Globalme was acquired in 2019. Emre is grateful for all the opportunities life has presented to him and looking forward to returning the favor by mentoring and coaching new entrepreneurs.
Director at Angel Forum
Pieter Dorsman is seasoned advisor, investor and mentor. Pieter is director at E-Fund, an angel investment fund and director at Angel Forum. He is chairman of Lambda Solutions and director at Interpodia and VitaminLabs. Pieter has been conducting workshops on term sheets, valuation and angel funds across Canada and internationally. Prior to relocating to Vancouver, Pieter held a number of senior positions in the project and corporate finance divisions of UBS in Hong Kong, he started his career at Barclays Bank in London. Pieter graduated from the Erasmus Universiteit in The Netherlands.
VP, People & Culture, Clio
Natalie is the interim Vice President of People at Clio. An experienced people and culture leader, Registered Clinical Counsellor, and Leadership Coach, Natalie brings a unique perspective from her time in the public sector, academia and from within the justice and healthcare systems. Passionate about helping make our workplaces and communities more successful, collaborative and impactful, Natalie is on the Board of Directors for the Smart Justice Network of Canada and the organizing committee for One Girl Can. Outside of work, you can find her working on her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UBC, out on a run, cooking something delicious in the kitchen or blasting '90s hip hop
Co-founder at Globalme
Hanna’s entrepreneurship journey started during her MBA at the University in Portland. In 2009, along with her partner (also her husband now), she incorporated Globalme in BC and started a 10 year long roller coaster ride as an entrepreneur. During these 10 years, Globalme grew from zero to 90 full time staff, made it to Profit500, and top 100 tech companies in BC list for several years in a row. Globalme was successfully acquired in 2019, and Hanna exited the business in July 2020. She is currently on a break and will be looking for new opportunities in the year to come.
EIR at entrepreneurship@UBC
Chang Han is an entrepreneur, consultant-investor, and professor, specializing in entrepreneurship, startup growth strategy and market entry. He co-founded 3 currently operating businesses in biotech, international trade for sports performance beverages, and electric mountain bikes, and is also an investor and shareholder for several other startups in urban mining, CPG and tech. Chang provides consulting and advisory for several SME's, often acting as in-house counsel or Chief Legal Officer for incorporation of startups, and for IP, contracts, regulatory, and HR. Chang is an Entrepreneur in Residence at entrepreneurship@UBC.
Vice-President, Research and Innovation at UBC
Gail C. Murphy is a Professor of Computer Science and Vice-President Research and Innovation at the University of British Columbia. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as co-founder, board member and former Chief Scientist at Tasktop Technologies Incorporated. After completing her B.Sc. at the University of Alberta in 1987, she worked for five years as a software engineer in the Lower Mainland. She later pursued graduate studies in computer science at the University of Washington, earning first a M.Sc. (1994) and then a Ph.D. (1996) before joining UBC. Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by providing the necessary tools to identify, manage and coordinate the information that matters most for their work. She also maintains an active research group with post-doctoral and graduate students.
Founder and CEO at Abcellera
Carl Hansen is the founding CEO at AbCellera, a therapeutic antibody discovery company that was created based on technology developed in his academic group at UBC where he was an Associate Professor. Throughout his career, he has co-authored over 65 manuscripts in the fields of microfluidics, immunology, genomics, and nanotechnology. He is an inventor on more than 50 patents and patent applications related to this work (38 granted) that are represented in 7 commercial microfluidic products. Dr. Hansen is a scientific co-founder of Precision Nanosystems and previously served on the SAB of Fluidigm Corp.
Founder and CEO at AVA
BC 30 Under 30 winner Valerie Song is the CEO of AVA, a startup making smart indoor gardens to help people get growing. Valerie is a passionate and bold leader that loves growing both plants and people. While working in brand management at blue-chip consumer product companies, she found a passion for brand building. She launched and marketed products from organic granola to craft beer. Under her leadership, AVA has gone to file 3 patents, raise $3M in funding, and win 15 different awards. Outside of work, Valerie is a proud advocate for diversity in STEM and youth entrepreneurship.
Track 2: Opportunities in The Innovation Economy
President + CEO at Innovate BC
A serial entrepreneur who has extensive experience starting, growing and selling numerous businesses, Gopal joined Innovate BC from Accelerate Okanagan (AO), where he was Chief Executive Officer. At AO, Gopal was instrumental in the creation and management of successful programs for technology companies at all stages of growth, and he has been a driving force in the development of the Okanagan’s tech sector into a $1.6 billion economic contributor. A graduate of New Zealand’s Central Institute of Technology in information technology, Raghwa has also received degrees in computer science from Australia’s Collier MacMillan School and the University of the South Pacific.
EIR at entrepreneurship@UBC
Tiffany Hamilton led mobile initiatives at Subway Restaurants, launching their first nationwide mobile app across the U.S. and Canada. She was formerly a Client Partner at digital agency, Blast Radius, driving new digital marketing initiatives. Previously, Tiffany lived in Germany for six years working at Bertelsmann, Europe’s largest media company, on new opportunities in disruptive media technologies. She holds a Bachelor of Mathematics and Masters in Applied Science from the University of Waterloo.
EIR at entrepreneurship@UBC
Paul Needham is a Fintech and Cleantech serial entrepreneur with over 19 years of experience as founder, CEO and board member, leading companies from inception to successful exits. Paul currently serves as board member and senior advisor to energy access enterprises, financing facilities and social impact investment funds that are accelerating the energy transition. Paul cofounded and led Simpa Networks, the leading rooftop solar leasing company in India. Simpa was acquired by ENGIE in November 2018. Paul is an Entrepreneur in Residence at entrepreneurship@UBC.
EIR at entrepreneurship@UBC
Michele Wallcraft is a passionate and creative sales driven professional with an extensive track record (+20 years) in direct sales, business development and integrated marketing for both startup and Fortune 500 technology companies. Michele is currently an Executive in Residence at entrepreneurship@UBC and loves mentoring, training and coaching sales teams. She has a keen interest in new concepts, social impact, chocolate and owns/operates a boutique shared workspace in Vancouver.
Principal Designer at Todd Wood Design
Vancouver based Industrial Design professional with 30+ years of experience — a career arc that has included leadership roles with BlackBerry, Nokia and Nortel. Todd's practice focuses on consulting and mentoring organizations and teams. He is passionate about collaborating with brands to unlock the full potential of design as a strategic business tool. His ambition is to create products that are functional, beautiful and built to last.
Founder & CEO of TasteAdvisor
Alyssa Farr is Founder and CEO of TasteAdvisor, the Okanagan-focused wine app that helps people discover their new favourite wines, in amazing venues, all while enjoying a local wine experience that was custom-crafted for them. Additionally, Alyssa acts as a business coach, is the owner of Unlimited Contracting (a social enterprise residential and commercial maintenance renovation company) and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Purppl.
Associate Director, entrepreneurship@UBC at The University of British Columbia
Sean is passionate about translating research innovation into transformative startup opportunities and working with entrepreneurial researchers. Trained as a research chemist (PhD'99, UBC Dept of Chemistry), Sean's career spans technology licensing and commercialization, startup founding and fundraising, seed-stage investment analysis, and mentoring entrepreneurial researchers to investigate and develop new ventures based on their research innovation. Sean has worked as a Senior Technology Transfer Manager with the University-Industry Liaison Office at UBC, as a Senior Business Development Manager at Melbourne Ventures at the University of Melbourne, Sean has served on Uniseed's investment committee, and most recently, Sean works as an Associate Director at entrepreneurship@UBC, leading the Lab2Launch Venture Building Program.
EIR at entrepreneurship@UBC
Shannon Bard is the global Director of Innovation for Hemmera and Ausenco. She developed and launched a global corporate Innovation Program for >2000 staff to undertake industrial-academic-government R&D collaborations to solve sustainability issues. She oversees a Board-directed innovation incubator to invest in applying new technologies and approaches to reduce the environmental footprint of industry activities. Shannon was a professor of Environmental Science at Dalhousie University, Director of the Marine Ecotoxicology Laboratory and co-winner of the Senate Environmental Award. Shannon is an Entrepreneur in Residence at entrepreneurship@UBC.
Arthur is co-founder and CEO at Verdi, developing AI-powered precision irrigation systems to help farmers increase profitability and save water. He graduated from UBC Engineering Physics in 2020 and is an alumnus of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamps. Before starting Verdi, Arthur co-founded Changenuity, the world’s first freelancing marketplace for jobs in sustainability.
Track 3: HATCH Foundations
Managing Director at entrepreneurship@UBC
Kari LaMotte is the Managing Director of entrepreneurship@UBC, UBC’s venture building and accelerator program for ventures formed out of the student, staff and faculty of the university. A lifelong entrepreneur, Kari has been involved in the BC technology sector for 20 years and is passionate about the growth of BC’s innovation ecosystem. Kari is the Co-Founder of Women Tech Founders, and is an active advisor and mentor to startups and founders.
Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Commercialization Strategy
Francis Steiner specializes in building early stage companies from idea identification and team building through to business development and sales. He has launched four companies with the last one exiting to Phillips. He has worked in the UK as a strategy consultant across multiple industries for PE firms. Francis has a BA from the University of Toronto and an MBA from London Business School.
Norma Biln is a leading figure in the Biotechnology sector recently recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in 2017, and BC’s Most Influential Women 2018: STEM Stars. Before her role of CEO at Augurex, Norma worked in various senior management roles in Business Development, Commercial and Communications. She holds an MBA and is pursuing her PhD, part-time at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health. Norma is the Lead Director of the Board of Resverlogix Corp (TSX:RVX), member of the board of BIOTECanada, the national industry association and Board Vice-Chair of New Ventures BC, the province’s premiere tech competition and early-stage accelerator.
Public Speaking Coach
Julie Howgate has facilitated for hugely successful organizations such as TEDX East Van, Pecha Kucha, UBC Science & Engineering Dept, Peak Potentials, Master Training, Warrior Sage and World Luminaries among others. She has been a speaker coach and acting teacher to over a thousand students from all walks of life for over a decade. She has used her processes to help speakers reduce anxiety and improve presence and with delivering communications with clarity and integrity from scripting to presentation. As a coach, she inspires clients to lead with passion and conviction, be more effective and powerful facilitators, presenters, entrepreneur’s leaders and speakers.
Business and Leadership Coach
Kristin Constable is a certified leadership and business coach, and Founder of Winning Defined by You, a coaching, consulting, and leadership development company. Kristin is passionate about unlocking the full potential in organizations, teams, and leaders so that they can disrupt their industries and win at what they do.
Through her Whole Life Leadership philosophy she brings purpose driven leadership to business so that communities of purpose driven leaders that leave a legacy can be born.