Startup Canada Panel Launch


Startup Canada has been spearheaded from the grassroots by co-founders Victoria Lennox and Cyprian Szalankiewicz, supported by a core Team of entrepreneurial volunteers and a larger community of contributors and supporters from across Canada. Check out how you can Join The Team



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Co-Founder & CEO

Victoria has a track record of stimulating public discourse and developing meaningful political and policy inroads to advance the entrepreneurship agenda. She is an expert in entrepreneurship policy, building enterprise networks (national, communities and campuses), catalyzing movements, and 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;,, and 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 and 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 and further education students and 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 and host of Startup Nations, Victoria supports and mentors the development of  enterprise organisations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organisations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and 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 and ‘One to Watch’ by Spectator Business.

Cyprian Szalankiewicz
Co-Founder & VP Multimedia & Technology Officer

Cyprian Szalankiewicz is an entrepreneur, award-winning cinematographer and the owner, artistic and technical director of Genie Media Ltd., an Ottawa-based start-up that offers pre- and post-production services, specializing in camera motion control for the film and television industry. 


Cyprian brings diverse experience in sales, multi-media, web development, design and systems development to Startup Canada - infusing the initiative with creative flair and inspiration. Cyprian was a member of the Founding Team of NACUE, a charity supporting young entrepreneurs in the UK, for which he continues to sit on its Trustee Board. Cyprian is a passionate advocate of entrepreneurship in the creative and digital media industries and sees Startup Canada as a powerful platform to advance entrepreneurship in Canada.  

Executive Assistant

Living and working in South America, United States and now in Canada, Monica has gained international experience in the corporative world that gave her the opportunity to know about diversity and different cultures. With professionalism and dedication she loves what she does and always gives the best in every step of the road.


Passionate about businesses and the entrepreneurial world she has always been interested in their systems, organization structures and financial literacy, as well as the social and economic influences that entrepreneurial world has in the communities and countries.


Having had the opportunity to participate as a volunteer in the organization of the RAEM (Rendez-vous Avec les Entrepreneurs Multiculturels) event in Gatineau, she combined her interests: volunteering, administration and event organization, while learning and getting to know local immigrant business owners as well as their experiences.


With a positive attitude towards life and able to communicate in four languages, she enjoys working with people from different backgrounds, giving her best and learning from each other.


She is grateful of the opportunity to be a part of the Startup Canada team.

Board Assistant

Sajani is passionate about entrepreneurship and youth engagement. She believes in helping young people discover their potential through being actively involved in the community. While attending Carleton University last year, she joined an international organization called AIESEC, and had the opportunity to network with many industry professionals and attend personal developmental conferences which discussed about entrepreneurship and social innovation. Currently, she coaches local chapters in Northern Ontario as a member of the national support team for AIESEC Canada.


She also supports her younger brother’s entrepreneurial initiatives by helping manage his mobile auto detailing business-Crown Detailing.


Some other interests of Sajani include: travel, photography and nature.

Inbound Account Manager
Kris Slemko is a Product Manager at Canada Post. At Startup Canada he is the Inbound Account Manager.


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Government Relations Manager

Frank Drouin is currently a Consultant with The Capital Hill Group (CHG), a privately owned government relation’s firm. Frank joined CHG’s Ottawa office in 2008, where he lends his political and business expertise in support of clients representing a range of sectors including defence, IT, business development and health.

Among Frank’s greatest strengths is his ability to read the political environment, recognize the interests of stakeholders and create achievable, results-based strategies that keep organisations on track. He quickly understands an organisation’s priorities and the environment in which they operate, and helps them establish realistic government relations objectives that complement their business development goals. Frank is particularly effective troubleshooting issues arising in the course of an organisation’s procurement or government relations campaign. He understands the complexities of the chain of command and related decision-making and the knowledge to navigate the regulatory processes.

A skilled manager and communicator in both English and French, Frank led a party nomination campaign and served in several roles in the Office of the Premier (Ontario), including Special Assistant in the Premier of Ontario’s regional office. He also provided strategic communications, media relations and IT support in other successful campaigns at the provincial and federal level.

Frank is currently a board member of La Cité collégiale, the largest francophone college in Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Entrepreneurship) from the University of Ottawa.

Frank joined Startup Canada because he believes and wants to contribute in the grassroots movement to make Canada a better place to innovate and stimulate entrepreneurship.

Parliamentary Events & Outreach Manager

Esha Abrol currently owns and leads BrandsRole, a company that offers professional marketing services and international trade consulting. Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, she has a tremendous appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit. Esha has been entrepreneurial since childhood as she re-sold CDs and sold homemade greeting cards when she was 10 years-old, then launched her first start-up while studying business at The University of Ottawa, which led to new exciting leadership opportunities. Along with working in the start-up world, she has worked with large private companies, government, and charitable organizations, leading a wide-range of projects in marketing, business development, and international trade.  She also enjoys chatting about investments and real estate.


She is delighted to be a part of the Start-up Canada team. Challenges faced by entrepreneurs can be harsh. Through Start-up Canada, she is looking forward to bringing more ease into these day-to-day challenges by creating awareness and social capital by building a strong global network made-up of individuals and organizations genuinely willing to provide support to empower and encourage entrepreneurship.


Patrick Kluer
Startup Connect Manager

Patrick founded Kleurvision Inc. visual communications studio in 2004 for the reason of expanding his creative expression. An entrepreneur at heart, Patrick is used to wearing many hats.  His background is in graphic design and creative direction, though more recently has become an expert in web development, as well as social and digital marketing in regards to business growth and strategy. Spending four years at the beginning of his career in motion and broadcast graphics on a national level, he quickly became adapt to deploying high impact visual communications that made a statement and engaged the audience. 


Patrick is also the Chief Marketing Officer of The Software Colony - for profit incubation firm that extends services and business expertise to the startup community. The Software Colony was launched in the third quarter of 2012 and launched its first two businesses by Christmas of that year.


"Entrepreneurial opportunity shines everywhere but the traditional path to market has shifted to a predominantly digital battleground. Exploration and innovation in revenue models, marketing strategies, user interface, and more importantly, user experience is what is going to make one business stand out from another."

Startup Communities Manager

Amanda is a cofounder of Hacker Studios, a startup hub and coworking facility in London, Ontario, where she's also active with a number of organizations that are working to build a stronger local economy by fostering entrepreneurial growth.


Community development is a genuine passion for Amanda, and she devotes most of her volunteer time to projects that build bridges between various organization and individuals in order to make her hometown a better place for everyone.


Amanda's focus at work is on using her background in communications to help early-stage startups with customer development and strategic marketing. Each day at Hacker Studios, the team reminds themselves that everything they do should help entrepreneurs succeed at what they do best. She believes strongly that a solid entrepreneurial ecosystem fuels great social and economic progress.


Amanda is excited to be able to combine her passions for community-building and helping entrepreneurs succeed at Startup Canada.

1000 Startups Manager

- Ten plus years of experience in product and marketing management in telecom industry
- Successful experience in targeted B2B and B2C marketing of mobile devices and services
- Business market manager responsible for corporate clients / SME / SOHO and B2B projects development (product, marketing, strategy)
- MBA degree from Schulich School of Business


Twitter Coordinator and Startup Canada Awards Manager

Stephanie is a problem solver, critical thinker, and passionate about economic empowerment. As a marketing and communications professional in Toronto, Ontario, she has experience in the automotive, agriculture and beverage alcohol industries. Stephanie started her career at an advertising agency, has recently crossed over to the public sector, and plans to start her own business in the near future.


She completed an undergraduate degree in Arts and Contemporary Studies with a minor in Human Resources Management at Ryerson University and an advanced diploma in Advertising and Marketing Communications Management from Sheridan College. Her studies inspired her to pursue economic equality for all and focus on the sociology of work.


In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys training for 5K races, hot yoga, and indulging in international cuisine. She also lends herself to writing business plans for young entrepreneurs. Stephanie is excited to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada and advance its growth and success!


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Web Developer

Michael is the co-founder of Ottawa-based website development company Simplificare. Built out of a desire to assist small businesses develop online presence Simplificare has tripled its client base since being founded in 2009.

Designer and Multi-Media Expert

I'm a semi-recent graduate from the Interactive Multimedia and Design program at Carleton University and Algonquin College in Ottawa. I have more of a balanced approach to multimedia, in that I am really "multi" and do not fit into the typical classifications of "graphic designer", "web developer", "programmer" etc. I like that I can do many things, and I think that having more than one skill is definitely a benefit.


I have had many different types of jobs, and I always enjoy my work experience, always keeping a positive outlook no matter what I am doing.

Javaid Malik
Videographer & Editor

Javaid A. Malik, Founder & CEO, is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of television & film production experience, almost 15 years of start-up & show pilot experience. 

Developing a reputation as a highly skilled director of photography and producer/director for many corporate, educational, medical, promotional commercials, indie films and documentary programs.


Graduated from San Francisco State University obtaining a Broadcast Communications Radio & TV Degree. Javaid was President for the College Students in Broadcasting Program for San Francisco State University. For 6 years Javaid also owned and operated a Café Supreme restaurant franchise in the capital. A café for the intelligent generation -serving fresh panini and salads - fresh cakes, muffins, pastry, cookies and desserts. Recruitment, Training & Development, Training Needs Analysis, Coaching hundreds of employees gave a taste of living the franchise dream. Currently Javaid is working towards CHRP Human Resource Management Certification & French Studies, active member of HRPA and working with numerous non-for-profit organizations.


Javaid Malik’s production company work includes serving on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmy Awards Committee) for 4 years , ZDTV, TECHTV, CBS, Warner Bros, California Music Awards, JAM Productions (International Video/Film Company), Bollywood Productions, Forte Films & ABC News to name a few.


Mr. Malik has conducted interviews with CEO’s and Technology Experts working professionally with animators and media celebrities. Experience creating initial studio launches of many show pilots including a political show recently that focuses on the four main mountains of society: Religion and Culture, Politics and Government, Business and Commerce and Science and Technology. 


Currently Javaid is offering HD video services at - Canada wide.

Graphic Designer

Ruth is a professional graphic designer and founder of Whistler Creative, a full service print and web design company based in Whistler, BC. They provide a range of expertise in brand identity, print, website design and development, and marketing.


Ruth has a passion for working with start-up’s, local businesses, festivals and events to get their message across through the use of visual communication.

Enid Chen
Graphic Designer
As an advocate of design, I believe that better design means better business. Design to deliver value, design to create emotional bonds and better experience, design to foster innovation. In this emerging design-driven world, incorporating design means adopting the future. Having over 7 years of experience working as a designer and a project assistant, and having recently obtained my Master’s Degree in Design Management in the UK, I have worked hand-in-hand with marketing executives and clients, providing effective design solutions to projects in various scales, as well as keeping pushing boundaries to incorporate design as an important role. By adopting a fresh approach combining both design and business minds, I help building brands with rich profile and compelling brand experience
Data Analyst

Glowing from a 13 month, 26 country solo adventure around the world. Startup and photography enthusiast.


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Communications Manager
Jana Makar is a Communications Consultant in Calgary, AB with more than a decade of experience in journalism, public relations and event management. Her areas of expertise include tech communications as well as small business PR. Prior to starting her own consulting business, Jana was the Director of Communications for Cybera Inc., an Alberta not-for-profit organization that works to spur and support innovation through the use of cyberinfrastructure.
Her position at Cybera, combined with a role as Volunteer and Membership Chair with the Calgary Council for Advanced Technology, helped initiate the connection with Startup Canada as well as other Alberta-based entrepreneurial initiatives. Leading up to her time with Cybera, Jana worked with Netera Alliance, Alberta's advanced research and education network, and previous to that spent many years working as a freelance writer and community newspaper reporter.
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#StartupChats Host

Edwin J. Frondozo is a CEO and Co-Founder of Slingshot, a Toronto based telecommunications technology company providing hosted business phone solutions for start-ups and small businesses. Their current target goal is to acquire at least 100,000 customers throughout US and Canada.


Edwin graduated with a Computer Systems Engineering degree from Carleton University in 2000. In 1998, he did a 16 month internship Nortel Networks as an Optical Networking Planner providing competitive analysis within the Marketing Organization. This was the high times of the Internet boom and upon graduation, Edwin accepted a role at Nortel within the post-sales, implementation and delivery team. In 2001, Nortel began its global layoffs and took this opportunity to pursue his first "startup" business providing consulting services for wireless solutions for multi-tenant unit (MTU) buildings.


Edwin joined IBM Canada, in his first real sales role selling into the US market where he was professionally trained and learned the ABC's of selling. After about a year and half, he moved to a smaller telecommunications consulting company where he built up the wholesale side of the business from the ground up. Realizing that he can build a business, he decided to leave and go out on his own. In 2005, Edwin started PTS Integrated Technologies which provided telecom solutions for small and medium sized businesses.


Having over 15 years of experience working and building businesses through strategic partnerships and insightful solutions, Edwin brings in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team and organization.

Social Media Manager

Certified Project Management Professional experienced in Digital Media, Broadcast, Interactive Media Platforms, Primary Packaging and the Pharmaceutical Industry. Experience creating and delivering B2C Interactive 1:1 Digital and Print campaigns using Intelligent Data Marketing. PPC Campaigns and SEM opportunities. A highly motivated results oriented team leader and team builder delivering campaign requirements, in budget and on time while meeting client expectations even while under extreme pressure and deadlines.


Excellent knowledge of Web and Interactive Campaign Life-Cycle and Broadcast Project Life Cycle. Social Media Campaign research and campaign delivery. Strong Project Management Skills utilizing formal tools, techniques and knowledge in order to manage project activities to deliver the designated project requirements.


Specialties: Digital Projects, Schedule and Scope Management, Agile Methodologies, Client Relations, Resource Management, Quality Assurance and Method Development, Strong Contract Negotiation Skills, Project Collateral Creation, Budget Management, Research & Analysis of Emerging Technologies and Platforms.

Twitter Manager
Alex is a Communications Specialist with a passion for event planning, entrepreneurship, and social media. In 2013, Alex completed her Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. Alex is the Start-Up Program Manager for Alberta Women Entrepreneurs where her focus is on group client service delivery and program coordination, where she works to recruit new aspiring women entrepreneurs into successfully achieving their business goals.
Facebook Manager
Ashley Hobb is a media marketing professional with a passion for digital and new media. She has worked in brand strategy within the broadcast industry where she managed social media for a popular specialty network. Previously, she worked in project management and communications for the provincial government. She has an International MBA from IE Business School in Madrid. Specialties: Marketing, Social Media, Project Management, Business Strategy, Communications
PIVOT Magazine Writer

Erin Gee is a lover of most things, but primarily: pop culture, food, music, words, sports, fashion, public policy, and technology. writes two blogs: Haus of Hybrid and #GovLife, and contributes to the Canadian Government Executive magazine, the Huffington Post Canada, and GTEC.


Erin believes in the collective power of people to do good. She is an organizer of TEDxElginSt and volunteers with Five Hole For Food. Erin is also a former Team Canada softball player, and now is an Assistant Coach at the University of Ottawa.

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Executive Writer

Barbara Balfour is an award-winning public speaker, writer, and editor with an extensive background in public affairs and communications. As a former Calgary Herald journalist and a columnist for two national publications, her work has appeared in several anthologies, magazines such as ELLE, and almost every major newspaper in Canada.


At the European Voice, an independent newsweekly published by The Economist Group and distributed throughout Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg and London, she covered a range of European Union affairs. She’s published two children’s books, co-edited a volume of essays on the enhancement of Canada-EU relations, and contributed to a guidebook on Iceland, coming out in 2014. A fluent speaker of Russian and French,


Barbara holds degrees in journalism, commerce, and Russian studies. Barbara has held positions in investor and media relations, community relations, and public affairs in the fields of healthcare, oil and gas, government, research, and education. She’s traveled to more than 30 countries around the world and counting!

PIVOT Magazine Writer

I was born and raised in Calgary. I have been involved, in one way or another, in the local music and technology scenes for many years. Active volunteer, lover of music, writing, photography, and everything to do with 3D printing, I thrive when I am exploring the possibilities of human connection and growth within this great city.

Jordan Stevens
Linkedin Manager

Almost born with a guitar in his hands, Jordan Stevens is a music industry entrepreneur and marketing consultant. He is the founder of TreBrand, which helps companies establish their signature sound and an active music teacher. He is also an avid reader and fitness geek.

Blog Writer

Catherine is a scientist turned entrepreneur.  She has a passion for entrepreneurship, writing, and health care.

She been an educator for children with autism for the past 6 years and runs a website that aims to help parents of children with autism make great decisions about the people that help their children.  She has been nominated for a WEGO Health Activist Award.

Catherine holds a BSc in Integrated Sciences from the University of British Columbia with a background including cancer research and laboratory medicine.

She is a member of the organizing committee for TEDxRenfrewCollingwood and resides in Vancouver, BC.


My goal is to harness the power of online media, reach audiences and promote brand awareness. She is an expert in community management, web video, copy writing for blogs, press releases and marketing materials.

PIVOT Magazine Writer

Kristy is co-founder, Creative Strategist and business developer for Scout & Burrow Consulting. Her unofficial title is Storyteller and Narrative consultant. Kristy’s passion for social enterprise, renewable energy and mission-based organizations is what pushed her to take the leap and Start-Up once again. She believes she can change the World by crafting meaningful narratives for her clients and ‘making people look.’ She lives and breathes her client’s stories; helping them take their businesses to the next level by creating ambassadors and inspiring people to take action.

Storytelling and business both come naturally to her. Born into an entrepreneurial family she was engaged in family business from a very early age. Her Father had a knack for marketing his own businesses and always used great stories to do so. She was a CowBird early adopter and made the beta ‘Master Class’ placing her 12th among the first 10,000 users. Her storytelling has been featured in the Washington Post and she was also the recipient of a Banff Centre for the Arts scholarship for her online narrative work.

Kristy brings a diverse background to her team. She holds degrees in both Political Science (Carleton University) and Fine Art (NSCAD University.) Her studies help her contextualize our changing World and provide insight into how and why people engage. Previous to opening her first business she has a promising career as a Fine Artist working in New Media. Kristy was the Artist-in-Residence for the Town of Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and showed her work internationally.

Most importantly, she believes we can use Storytelling to inspire people to make the changes we need in order to face our many global challenges.

PIVOT Magazine Writer
I am excited to be apart of the Startup team. After finishing my studies at the University of Windsor, I went to South Korea where I lectured at a university for four years. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to be exposed to a different culture both sociably and professionally. Returning to Canada, I've worked as a Research Associate specializing in enhancing business development and growth for economic development and private organizations. During this time, I've been in contact with many companies and spoken with their executives, the most exciting ones for me were the start-ups in various industries such as IT, Renewable Energy, Healthcare and Business Services. Speaking to their founders and understanding their vision for expanding and growing their businesses has been influential and encouraging for me. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and finds it rewarding to be a part of a team contributing to a very worth cause.
Pivot Magazine Writer
I am an idea generator, a passionate, relentless entrepreneur, learner and educator, who loves to share ideas and hopefully inspire and assist others.

Christina Buiza is a trailblazing sociologist-turned marketer and writer. She helps entrepreneurs share their story with the world through branding, content, positioning and digital media. She has worked with clients from bootstrapped startups to million-dollar ventures.


Currently completing her final year of studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, she has worked on many projects which have sparked her passion in entrepreneurship, community involvement and helping others to reach their goals. Her involvement with AIESEC, the world's largest student-run non-profit organization, gave her unforgettable opportunities to attend, organize and facilitate in over 20 leadership and professional development conferences across Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. In 2012, she led her local university chapter to become the 'Most Improved Chapter' out of a national entity of 28 universities.


Apart from AIESEC, Christina has also organized the inaugural OMG (Online Media Generation) Social Media Conference in Vancouver, which gathered together over 120 small business owners and experts with the purpose of simplifying social media for business owners. She also plays a role in organizing TEDxSFU 2013, which gathers together 400 students and professionals to hear about thought-provoking ideas. In the fall, Christina will be taking part in the Vancouver Board of Trade's year-long Leaders of Tomorrow program.


Apart from her community involvement, she spends most of her time reading, writing or planning her next adventure. Incredibly fascinated and curious about people and the world, she loves learning about new ideas and brainstorming all sorts of possibilities in the world.


Christina is a strong advocate for following the path less taken, one that puts values first. She writes a blog where she has created a community of empowered life-long learners, entrepreneurs and leaders who want to lead value-aligned lives and businesses. Her website may be found at


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Mindy is the founder of The Write Web Design, specifically adhering to the designing needs of those in the writing industry. She is a passionate entrepreneur, writer, volunteer and worker. She is known to have plenty of energy and really loves the colour red.


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Startup Nations Manager

Amy currently works at Business Development Bank of Canada in the St. John’s Entrepreneurship Centre. She recently participated in a youth trade and development mission to Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia with Canadian non-profit Global Vision where she explored the Asian start up and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

She is excited to connect and collaborate with organizations around the world to advance the Canadian and global startup movement.

Startup Nations Communications Lead

Currently I'm studying for my MSc. degree in Global Innovation Management in Finland and planning to graduate this Spring. Entrepreneurship has been one of my major interests for a long time, because of the inspiring drive and creativity of startup communities. Originally I come from Saint Petersburg, Russia where I have been taking part in organizing entrepreneurship support projects. In the beginning of summer I'm moving to Toronto, ON and I am looking forward to the new experiences that are waiting for me. Planning and organizing is something I am totally crazy about, but I'm also interested in PR and marketing development.

Online and Communications Lead

I’m an entrepreneur, occasional writer, marketer, growth hacker, consultant and non-linear thinker. I have always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, which lead me to starting my own creative consulting firm. I spend way too much time in front of a computer but then again, I’m happiest when I’m creating, and given the pristine value of time, I think the ability to encapsulate, educate and automate human possibility through technology is one of the greatest opportunities of our lifetime.


I love technology and very passionate about start-ups, because of the tremendous opportunities innovation brings to making our lives easier. I’m a news junkie and my favourite book is Sun Tzu’s Art of War.


Volunteer Manager

Temanuia is currently an IT Consultant for CGI Inc. in Montreal.

Her work experience includes providing outstanding customer service to internal bank clients, process improvements and leadership roles within Technology of the Investment Banking division at Societe Generale, a French headquartered bank.  She has worked globally in Paris, New York and Montreal as part of the team and hopes to continue her growth in the Australasia region in the coming years.

Originally from Tahiti in French Polynesia, she holds a Master's degree from EFREI engineering school in Paris. Along the way, she has lead a team in charge of assisting foreign students settling in Paris, coordinated a project to raise funds for a humanitarian trip to Africa and organized job fairs/get togethers as part as the student union activities.

She joins Startup Canada to work with passionate people and learn more about the Canadian entrepreneurs culture.

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Volunteer Incentive Lead

By personality and training, Laura Aslan is an outlier. She enjoys working with people and technology equally, and she is greatly inspired by innovation and change. She likes to explore roads less traveled and bring fun along the way.


Laura holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from UBC and a Master’s in Psychology from University of Bucharest. Her work experience is as varied as her personality: she has held various positions from market research to cutting edge bioinformatics programming.


Most recently, entrepreneurship has taken first seat in Laura’s life and she became the Co-Founder of a Vancouver based mobile development company. She is a strong believer in bringing people together and to that end likes to throw a good party.

Strategic Projects

 Growing up north of Toronto, Jonathon attended the University of Ottawa and began working in Ottawa’s thriving tech sector during the late 90s. Jonathon has spent more than 15 years helping organizations change the way they do business through technology.


With a background focused on the internet, hosted technologies and most recently 'cloud services' Jonathon focuses on helping firms of all sizes realize the business changing benefits of services including, Google Apps, Asana and hosted communications such as Versature's Hosted PBX.


Jonathon is active both in and out of work; he races sailboats north of Toronto and in the nations capital, organizes Versature’s hockey team and has recently become a certified ski instructor.


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Legal Affairs Manager

Nancy Situ is a recent graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School where she focused her studies on intellectual property and technology law. She has researched and written extensively on these subjects, both academically and professionally.


Nancy developed her understanding and love of startup culture while at Stanford Law School, where she served as a Visiting Student Researcher. During her time in Silicon Valley, Nancy conducted research on technology transfer policy, developments in legal technology, and the effect of patent monetization on startups. She also worked for an intellectual property litigation analytics company and co-authored an article with a Stanford Law instructor.


In addition to her legal knowledge, Nancy is a policy expert. She is currently an analyst for the Canadian federal government on copyright and international trade issues.


Tomasz Popiel
Finance & Audit Manager
Tomasz Popiel is a Financial Analyst, Chartered Accountant and entrepreneurial enthusiast with a passion for business and numbers.

Tomasz has a diverse background working in service, software development and business consulting with small and medium size organizations. Tomasz is actively involved in mentoring accounting students in Ottawa and online through his blog.

Kenny Teng
Kenny is a software developer in the telecommunications industry living in Vancouver, BC. Throughout his career, he has used technical means to solve business problems with the hope to learn how to also use business means. In his spare time, he reads non-fiction books, sci-fi and fantasy novels, learns Mandarin, and practises his harmonica.
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Data Analyst

Bruce Damaren  is the Director of Finance & Process Management at Facilisgroup Canada

Armin Majedi
Data Analyst

Armin is completing a Master of Science in E-Business Technologies at the University of Ottawa. He has completed two honored degrees, a Bachelors in Business Computing specialized in e-marketing at the Staffordshire University, and a Bachelors in Information Technology at the Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT).


As a professional expert, he has managed different national and international market research projects. He is also experienced in implementing online and offline marketing strategies. Armin is passionate to share his experience with Startup Canada

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Data Analyst

Eduardo is an Industrial Engineer with over 5 years of experience in project management, supply chain, warehousing and distribution.

Holds a Masters Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Ottawa and has had the opportunity to work in the energy and telecommunications sectors, looking for spaces to improve processes and streamline operations.

Eduardo is passionate about sports, especially soccer, understanding that teamwork is essential to achieve goals.

Data Analyst

Simon Pelletier is a lawyer and consultant in sustainable business and community relations.

Simon has developed an expertise in community relations and social impact measurement. He has participated in a socio-economic baseline study, socio-economic impact assessment and has reviewed environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA). He is currently part of the community relations and sustainable practice team ata sustainable management firm. Prior to joining this firm, Simon co-founded and ran a sustainable consulting business in Sherbrooke for two years where he conducted socio-economic studies and qualitative data research. During the same period he has spearheaded a free website initiative to help businesses and consumers understand various environmental certifications and labels. These experiences made him discover a true passion about entrepreneurship.

In his past time, Simon loves surfing, snowboarding and traveling whenever he has an opportunity. "

Financial Analyst
Kevin is a recent commerce graduate from the University of Ottawa with a finance concentration. Passionate about business, he hopes to build his professional acumen by being an active participant in the Startup Canada cause. Kevin currently works in the Grants and Contributions division of the Public Health Agency, after completing a work term last year in the Resource Management Division of the same agency. He hopes to attain his CPA designation in the future and expand his career horizons from there.
Junior Accountant

Denuka is a student at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton. He is in the accounting concentration and pursuing a CPA designation.


Striving to become a young entrepreneur, Denuka took his passion for cars, skills of detailing and high ambition to create Crown Detailing Ottawa. Last summer the business received the prestigious Summer Company award from the Government of Ontario and was mentored by Invest Ottawa.


Executive Team

Francene has worked with many entrepreneurs over the span of her career as an Independent Contractor in a variety of industries from Media, Independent Business, Not for Profits, Government and NGO's. Most notably assisting with the launch of Live Local Alberta a not for profit organization aimed to help citizens, independent businesses and communities support entrepreneurs to create healthy, vibrant communities.


Francene is an advocate for entrepreneurship and believes not only do entrepreneurs contribute significantly to the growth of our economy but if empowered and supported can create change to solve social, economical and cultural problems within our communities and the world.


“There has never been a platform like Startup Canada for entrepreneurs. I am truly grateful and excited to work with an innovative group to highlight and support one of the most important sectors of our economy.”


Francene currently works in the oil and gas industry and lives in Calgary with her husband and daughter.

Strategic Projects

Matthew is a relationship builder, creative thinker and passionate about innovative new ideas.

Matthew works with start-up and growth-stage organizations to build and optimize digital and brand strategy which guided him to this very unique opportunity volunteering with Startup Canada. This experience has granted him with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the responsibilities and challenges of smaller, more mobile organizational structures.


Matthew began his career working for the Government of Ontario where he served as a Special Assistant and Scheduler to the Minister of Transportation, Legislative Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Special Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Working for the Government of Ontario right out of school proved to be a very challenging and rewarding experience that helped to develop Matthew’s skills in strategic communications, stakeholder relations and community outreach. Most importantly it underscored the importance of community engagement and civic duty.


After 3 years with the Ontario Government, Matthew and his partner decided to embark on a trip of a lifetime to see new parts of the world, exploring Asia’s diverse culture and traditions – an opportunity to build perspective and enjoy the open road. 42,000 kilometers travelled by plane, boat, train but mostly by countless hours on a bus providing a firsthand observation of innovation and grass roots startups in emerging markets.


He completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Business and a certificate in Human Resource Management at Saint Mary’s University. His studies inspired him to pursue more creative outlets in business and focus more on problem solving and organizational management.

Brian Wu
Startup Canada Thought Book

Brian is a former tech geek who, through strange twists of fate and choice, became a coach and education consultant with a mission to help parents create highly-effective home-based learning environments that empower their children to become world-class entrepreneurs.


During his engineering studies in university (which focused on systems design), Brian realized that while techno-centric systems have dramatically improved human society in many ways, they are essentially tools subjected to human intention. Technological tools can amplify or enable capabilities, but whether they do any good depends on the nature of their wielders’ intentions (e.g. nuclear energy versus weapons). On the other hand, human-centric systems (e.g. family, education institutions, and enterprises, etc.) are molders and shapers of human intention; they can foster good or bad intentions, which in turn influence how techno-centric systems are used. Brian’s epiphany was realizing the bottleneck in human advancement is not the lack of technological progress, but rather the painfully slow pace of innovation in human-centric systems, which is outstripped by the lightning-fast advance of techno-centric systems. 


Brian graduated from university in 2011 and began searching for ways to improve human-centric systems. After several aborted attempts at creating technology-powered scalable solutions (including a slow and painful startup failure), Brian finally tasted success in the field of transformative coaching and consulting. In late 2012, Brian founded Sage’s Apprentice, a company that teaches high net-worth clients how to create effective home-based learning environments for their entrepreneurially-minded teenage children. Though the company is still in the early stages of development, Brian has built up a roster of clients including world-class entrepreneurs, senior executives and experienced professionals at the top of their industries. His clients are primarily from China and the overseas Chinese immigrant community, where there is strong demand for deep transformative work due to the prevalence of vast generation gaps, cultural differences, broken family dynamics and absence of clear life purpose.


Brian holds a BASc in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a huge fan of robotics and artificial intelligence. He resides in Vancouver, British Columbia.