Jeff Cates – Intuit – Managing Director, Canada
Currently, Jeff is Vice President and Managing Director of Intuit Canada ULC. Intuit’s flagship products include – Quicken, QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint.com – these products stand as testament to Intuits commitment to revolutionize the way people manage their small businesses and personal finances.
Prior to joining Intuit, Jeff served as General Business Division Manager at Apple Canada (2009-2011), and Executive Vice President of PSG Consumer Products with Hewlett Packard (2003-2009).
Jeff specializes in Marketing, Brand Management, Product Management, Strategy, E-Commerce, Leadership, Product Development, P&L, Revenue Growth, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business Development, Partner Management, and Sales. Jeff graduated from McMaster University (B.Com) and York University – Schulich School of Business (MBA)
Douglas was born in Penticton and was raised in Oliver, BC. He is a graduate of UBC, with a BASc in Chemical Engineering. He also holds a degree from the Insead Executive Programme. He joined the ICI plastics division in 1960 and moved to National Starch and Chemical (NSC) in 1961, retiring from NSC in 1997. NSC was US based and was one of the largest specialty chemicals companies in the world (with over $2 billion in sales).Doug worked in senior executive roles for NSC in Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Japan before taking responsibility for the management and development of all of NSC’s European, Middle Eastern and African businesses. In 1989 he was named Group Vice President and he was elected to the Board. Currently, Doug is consulting and mentoring on a part time basis with a focus on businesses with young leadership, generating under $20 million in sales. Doug was formally the Chair of ORIC before its amalgamation with OSTEC to form Accelerate Okanagan.
Lane Merrifield – Investor / Entrepreneur
Lane Merrifield is co-founder of Club Penguin, one of the largest virtual worlds and digital brands for children.
As CEO, Lane worked to develop and launch Club Penguin in 2005, playing an integral role in its phenomenal growth and continued success. Commitment to creating a safe and ad-free online playground helped propel the Kelowna, British Columbia based studio to international acclaim, and a partnership with the Walt Disney Company which acquired it for $350M in August of 2007.
Recently, Lane left his role at Disney to pursue a new startup in the field of Education. His team is working to bring state of the art assessment software into the classroom and provide teachers, parents, and students with new visibility into a child’s learning.
Lane has always maintained a passion for utilizing technology as a way to connect people in new and innovative ways. He and the Club Penguin team have been recipients of a BAFTA Award, several People’s Choice Awards, Parents’ Choice Awards, and a Webby Award. Lane has received an Honorary Fellows Award and several leadership awards.
Mark has more than 25 years experience in leadership, sales, marketing, emerging technologies and business development. Mark joined BCIC as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and member of the Executive team in 2010 and was initially focused on establishing a framework for province-wide incubation and accelerator facilities and programs. He led the merger of ORIC and OSTEC, which resulted in the creation of Accelerate Okanagan, the new organization focused on helping technology companies start and grow in the Okanagan.
Mark specializes in working with companies going through significant change, ranging from driving early-stage acceleration and revenue growth to reorganization and business turnaround. His roles have included CEO, Managing Director, board and non-executive director, consultant and investor. Experienced in international organizations, early-stage companies and startups, Mark has worked in the private and public sectors in Europe, The Far East and North America.
David Quail – YouSendIt – (Co Founder Attassa, Acquired by YouSendIt)
After graduating from the University of Regina with a Computer Science degree, David co-founded Attassa with a vision to improve the way people collaborate over documents. Attassa raised investment from San Mateo, California based Tandem Entrepreneurs, and was recently acquired by Silicon Valley’s YouSendIt where he is now leading mobile application development.
Since the acquisition, David has been giving back to the startup community – he guest speaks at numerous conferences, mentors young entrepreneurs, and has joined the C100 as a Charter Member.
Jason Richards – Procera - Senior VP of Global Business Development
Jason Richards is responsible for global business development and partnerships for Procera. Jason brings more than 13 years of product development, operations and sales experience in the network management industry to Procera. Previously, Jason co-founded Vineyard Networks (acquired by Procera) and held a variety of sales and product management roles at Packeteer, an industry pioneer in network monitoring, management and optimization technologies. He previously held a senior position in engineering at Workfire Technologies, a British Columbia-based company focused on Internet acceleration technologies. Richards holds a BS in physics and a BS in mathematics from the University of British Columbia.
Kevin Swan – iNovia Capital – Principal
Kevin is a Principal with iNovia Capital, one of the top venture capital firms in Canada focusing on internet, mobile and cloud technologies. It currently has a portfolio of over 30 companies across North America.
Kevin’s beginnings in the technology industry were with Nexopia.com, Canada’s largest social network. At Nexopia he learned the valuable relationship product plays between technology and the end user. Kevin held various product and operational roles in the company leading up to serving as the CEO. On the other side of the table, Kevin founded Cardinal Venture Partners out of graduate school in 2007. The fund focused on the opportunities in early-stage capital in Western Canada and the changing economics of IT-based start ups that were suited to a small seed fund.
Academically, Kevin completed a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta and a MS in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University concentrating on control systems, dynamics, mechatronics and entrepreneurship. He serves on the boards of Growlabs and Startup Edmonton.
Steve Wandler – metabridge
Steve Wandler is the founder and CEO of YourTechOnline.com (YTO). YTO became the #1 ranked Online Tech Support Company in North America beating out Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which lead to the acquisition of the company to support.com a San Francisco Bay Area company(NASDAQ: SPRT) in 2008.
After living in the Bay Area, Wandler returned to Canada and has become extremely active in the Canadian technology startup community by starting www.metabridge.ca, an initiative designed to provide small Canadian technology startups direct connections and access to key technology players in the Bay Area for companies seeking investment, joint partnerships, mentorship and advisory opportunities.
Steve is a current board member of DigiBC, is on the steering committee for Start Up Canada, is very active on startup advisory boards and has been instrumental in setting up matching relationships to several high tech companies to being acquired.
Simone Brunton CA, CBV – Grant Thornton LLP
Simone is a Senior Manager in the Kelowna office of Grant Thornton LLP. Simone specializes in business valuation, litigation support, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. From 2002 to 2007 she worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Toronto, as an auditor and business valuator specializing in clients in the technology and telecommunications sectors.
Simone is a Chartered Accountant and member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (2005) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia (2008). She is also a Chartered Business Valuator and member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (2007). Simone graduated from Queen’s University with Bachelor of Commerce (2002).