The teams presenting their business plans are given supportive advice to guide their development during our meetings by the following professional experts who are kindly volunteering their time to evaluate and guide new ventures.
Brett Clelland joined Parlee McLaws LLP as an associate in 2015, after working as a summer student and completing his articles with the firm. His practice is focused on the area of intellectual property law. During his articling year, Brett gained experience in the preparation and prosecution of patent, trademark and industrial design applications, providing patent and trademark opinions, trademark opposition proceedings, and copyright matters. Prior to entering the legal field, Brett graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, where his research experience encompassed the areas of molecular biology, protein and nucleic acid biochemistry, and microbiology. Following this, Brett attended law school in order to pursue a career in intellectual property.
Carmen Wyton, Founder & President of Ripple Enterprise, has 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector – in health, human services, disabilities, education and employment. Areas of expertise include experience in strategic planning, government relations, policy influence, stakeholder relations, fund development, formation of sustainable relationships with stakeholders, and identifying innovative solutions with measurable outcomes and high return on investment. She has worked on policy development, advocacy and government relations in health, pharmaceuticals, non-profit, recreation and disability sectors.
Brooks Tanner, Founder and President of Sunburst Ltd., is a Real Estate sales and marketing specialist who offers knowledge and expertise to developing sales and marketing solutions. Entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic and a strong technical background has contributed to this track record of successes. Brooks has applied his skills to marketing and sales since 1998, where he realized how leveraging technologies could streamline systems. As a senior-level relationship builder, he mentors and manages teams who have increased operating results, delivered sales revenues and increased value, and led to real estate trades of > $150 million.
Charles McOsker is Project Operations Director at Biomotiv and has over 30 years of experience in both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Before joining BioMotiv in 2012, he founded Airway Therapeutics, a biotech company developing therapeutics based on pulmonary research. He began his career at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, and held numerous management positions in drug discovery and development and was responsible for teams that discovered two products that successfully entered late-stage clinical development. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Hope College in Michigan and his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at Cornell University.
Colin Coros, Chief Commercialization Officer at Nanostics Inc. As Executive in Residence at TEC Edmonton, Colin provided mentorship in areas of health sciences, company mentoring, and strategic consulting. As the CEO of the Delta Genomics Centre, he built a national biobanking, genotyping and sequencing company for the livestock industry. He is also the co-founder of Helios Genomics, a metagenomics company specializing in the Energy sector, and former executive of Livestock Gentec. Colin holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario, an MBA from University of Saskatchewan’s Edward School of Business, and completed postdoctoral studies at the Wadsworth Centre in Albany, New York, and the University of Calgary.
Cory Janssen is President of Galt Capital, a private investment firm, and co-founder of Janalta Interactive, an online media company. He is also a director at Brace Tool Inc, a private oilfield tools company. He was a co-founder of Investopedia.com, a financial education site that provided content and tools to help educate individual investors. Cory is past-President of the Edmonton chapter for Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and active in the Edmonton entrepreneurial community as a member of the A100 as well as the Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) program at the University of Alberta. Through Janalta Interactive, Cory is in startup mode again with a new machine learning venture to help solve old problems in new ways.
Deborah James is the Executive Director of Innovation in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta and is CEO of eDJe Consulting Inc, a strategic healthcare consulting firm with a commitment to upholding the tenets of sustainable health and health care. Deborah’s ability to conceptualize and persuasively deliver new ideas contributes to her success at business development. She has expertise in precision medicine, in vitro diagnostics, pharmaceutical development, genomics, immunology and translational sciences.
Harold Jahn is the founder and sole shareholder of Prosperity Investments LLC. He has over 30 years of international business experience in the industries of renewable energy, internet, mining, energy, real estate development, fintech, and commercialization of new technologies. He has developed an extensive network of professionals globally in industry, locally, and politically to ensure successful ventures. His long term goal is to create a minimum of 1,000 full time positions per annum in smaller communities throughout the US and Canada.
Ian Murray, President & General Counsel of IMC, has extensive experience providing services to private and public clients, with a focus on the natural resources and manufacturing industries. Prior to founding IMC in 1989, Ian articled for the law firm Parlee McLaws, worked in the acquisitions department of Varity Corporation and was Executive Assistant to the Alberta Minister of Forestry, Lands and Wildlife. He has experience in the areas of project management, commercial negotiations, finance, law and government. His work has included providing clients with active hands-on project management of large greenfield projects as well as transition management services for large private and public sector clients during restructurings or periods of change.
Jairo Riveros, Director at Monitor Deloitte. Financial services strategy executive and entrepreneur with experience across North America. Strong track record of partnering to set strategic imperatives and build-out transformation initiatives. Former Managing Director at Artemis Worldwide, focussing on identifying new business opportunities and lead sale/engagement process, and spearheading development of a startup investment platform facilitating the research for companies seeking investors, and investors seeking opportunities in emerging markets. Previously Head of Corporate Strategy at AIMCo, one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers.
Joanna Preston is Associate Director of the Technology Management team (Health Sciences) at TEC Edmonton, and oversees the provision of IP management and commercialization services to local inventors in the health sciences area. She spent a decade in production roles in the biomanufacturing industry, first with a private Alberta firm, and later with the Alberta Research Council. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and an MBA in Technology Commercialization, both from the University of Alberta. Joanna is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executive Society. She is also a case study discussion leader for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and a grant reviewer for the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
Julie Woda is Director of Technical Operations at BioMotiv, and has over 23 years of biological research and drug development experience. Prior to BioMotiv, she worked as Director of Translational Research for Juventas Therapeutics, overseeing all aspects of preclinical development of novel biologics. Juliana also spent four years at Athersys developing cell therapy for the treatment of cardiovascular, immunological, and neurological indications. Juliana completed her PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University, specializing in Cell and Developmental Biology. Her postdoctoral fellowship with Massachusetts General Hospital focused on examining the normal function of the protein mutated in Huntington’s Disease.
Mark Benning is an experienced entrepreneur who founded and led four investor-backed, technology startups in Silicon Valley, California over a 20-year period. As an Executive in Residence at TEC Edmonton since 2017, he acts as a mentor to entrepreneurs and executives and as an advisor to TEC’s Business Development team. Over the years, he has worked for various private equity and venture capital firms and has raised over $100 million in angel and venture funding for his startups and others he advised. He has a BA in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University, where he focused on leadership and entrepreneurship.
Michael Oshry began his entrepreneurial career establishing a diverse number of local businesses in retail, hospitality and business services fields. He co-founded and served as President and CEO of Firma Foreign Exchange Corporation, which facilitates foreign exchange transactions and payments for small and medium size enterprises. He was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Michael was elected to represent Ward 5 on Edmonton City Council. He is a past board member of the Alberta Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) and is currently a board member of the Alberta YPO Gold Chapter.
Ray Muzyka is the CEO & Founder of Threshold Impact. He originally trained as a medical doctor, and cofounded and was CEO of BioWare, a video game development studio. BioWare was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2007, and Dr. Muzyka took on the roles of Senior Vice President at Electronic Arts and General Manager of EA’s BioWare division. At ThresholdImpact he focused on sustainable, profitable impact investing: mentoring and angel investing in information technology, new media, and medical innovations with social entrepreneurs. An active angel investor and entrepreneurial mentor, he is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the A100, the Ashoka Support Network. He is Chair of the University of Alberta’s entrepreneur Venture Mentoring Service and a venture advisor at iNovia Venture Capital.
Riya Ganguly, Innovation Coach, University of Alberta, developed her career in research partnerships and technology development as a Technology Manager at the University of Manitoba where she was involved in patenting and negotiating licensing agreements with commercial partners. She worked with Innovate Calgary as an Intellectual Property Manager, supporting industry partnerships and technology-transfer activities. Riya obtained her master’s degree from York University, where she focused on adipokines in cardiovascular disease, and her PhD focusing on nutraceuticals and cardiovascular disease from the University of Manitoba.
Ryan Heit has a diverse background in research, technology commercialization, business development, and financing early stage companies. Ryan has provided business planning and company development for many early-stage, technology-based ventures in health-related fields in his position at TEC Edmonton and as an independent consultant. Additionally, he has helped multiple Alberta companies in obtaining financing in his role with the angel investing network, TEC VA. He received his Masters in Experimental Oncology and his Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Technology Commercialization from the University of Alberta.
Samarendra Maiti, Distinguished Scientist at Brass Dome Ventures, obtained his PhD from the Kalyani University, West Bengal, India in 1980. He has over 35 years of experience in medicinal & synthetic chemistry and has collaborated with large pharmaceutical companies in important therapeutic areas such as, antimicrobials, cardiovascular, CNS, and metabolic disorders. He has written chapters in two books, written five reviews, and has 15 patents and 60 publications. During the 35 years of his research career Dr. Maiti was involved in three antimicrobial projects that successfully produced three clinical candidates, one of which is already in the market, and two that are in development.
Sameeh Salama, Vice-President of Business Development at Brass Dome Ventures, and VP of Fedora Pharmaceuticals. He was formerly VP of NAEJA Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he was involved in over a dozen licensing and partnership agreements, including the licensing of NAEJA’s Beta-lactamase inhibitors to Fedora Pharmaceuticals Inc. and later the licensing of the same assets to F. Hoffman La Roche in a US$750 million deal. Dr. Salama was previously a Director of Microbiology at SynPhar laboratories Inc. He received his PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Salford, U.K. and postdoc’d at the University of Alberta.
Scott Reed is the Director, Business Development at Brass Dome Ventures. He obtained his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2007 and his MBA in 2013. He has been working in the financial and consulting industry since 2002. He has worked in both small and large organizations and has a variety of experience. Ted Yoo, Partner at Bennett Jones, is a registered patent and trademark agent in both Canada and the United States. His practice covers all matters related to intellectual property, but is particularly focused on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, licensing, patentability and freedom to operate opinions. With a background in microbiology and chemistry, and an enduring personal interest in all areas of technology, Ted acts for clients in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, forestry and agriculture, and the oil and gas industry. He is a Sessional Lecturer in IP Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta and has lectured in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta.
Ted Yoo, Partner at Bennett Jones, is a registered patent and trademark agent in both Canada and the United States. His practice covers all matters related to intellectual property, but is particularly focused on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, licensing, patentability and freedom to operate opinions. With a background in microbiology and chemistry, and an enduring personal interest in all areas of technology, Ted acts for clients in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, forestry and agriculture, and the oil and gas industry. He is a Sessional Lecturer in IP Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta and has lectured in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta.
Thach Lang, Alberta Health Services, provides business, corporate and consulting services. Focus on technology evaluation (HTA, technology appraisal, pre-market assessment, reviews), IP management related to health care innovations and funding for interventions/use in health system. Former researcher and lawyer by training, instructor and program development for health and medical sciences courses, skilled in research methods, patent drafting/prosecution and IP law and practice. Leads multidisciplinary teams and health care projects, developing processes and policies.
Investment experts and business advisors from firms including Azure Capital, Pangaea Ventures and Mad Ventures have also been invited to join.