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Transforming invention to innovation

Graduate Certificate in Science & Technology Commercialization

i2I Venture Pitch

On October 18, 2023, the Chang Institute at SFU and the Beedie School of Business will host the annual i2I Venture Pitch Competition, which gives scientists the opportunity to grow into more business-savvy scientist-entrepreneurs to attract investors, commercialize their inventions, and sell the value of their products or services.

At this event, qualifying students pitch their product-ready or emergent venture to a panel of judges comprised of angel investors, IP experts, and successful serial entrepreneurs for their chance at winning cash prizes.

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Time: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Location: Segal Graduate School, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

Registration: Attendance is complimentary, but registration is required. Please reserve your spot by registering online.

Mark Betteridge

Mark Betteridge is a highly accomplished and versatile leader in real estate, innovation, and entrepreneurship. As the CEO of Mark Betteridge & Associates (MBA) Inc., he brings a wealth of experience and a track record of notable achievements to his current role.

Mark's impressive career includes serving as the CEO of Discovery Parks and Discovery Foundation, where he oversaw the creation, operation, and sale of 2.0 million square feet of privately financed buildings in the high-tech, life science, digital media, and clean tech sectors. His work was recognized with awards, including Canada's second LEED Platinum Office Building and the Association of University Research Parks "Park of the Year." He was the inaugural President of the University of British Columbia Real Estate Corporation, where he structured the company and delivered an initial profit of $81 million for the University. Mark also has extensive experience in multi-family projects and innovative real estate developments.

His contributions extend beyond real estate and include active involvement as an angel investor in various early-stage technology firms. He secured impressive returns and has been recognized for his contributions to the technology industry with the Bill Thompson Award from the BC Technology Industry Association.

Mark Betteridge's dedication to social causes is evident through his leadership roles in organizations like Covenant House, his involvement with the Ocean Wise Advisory Committee, and his service on numerous boards, demonstrating his commitment to making a positive impact on his community. With a solid educational background and a career marked by success and innovation, Mark continues to be a driving force in multiple industries.

Jesse Vincent-Herscovici

Jesse Vincent-Herscovici is the CEO of Axelys. He has over 15 years of experience building partnerships with government, academic institutions, and industry in the innovation community.

Jesse Vincent-Herscovici is passionate about driving innovation ecosystems, collaborative research, and connecting talent and opportunities. His expertise helps companies, organizations, and universities to successfully navigate in a very competitive world to sustain the knowledge economy and the creation of new strategic partnerships for the benefit of an ever more innovative and thriving Quebec society.

Before joining Axelys, he was Vice-President of Business Development at Mitacs since 2009. He was also President of the management team. Jesse Vincent-Herscovici has been a member of multiple advisory committees and boards of directors, such as the Concordia Institute for Water, Energy, and Sustainable Systems as Chair of the Board of Directors, the Centre for Applied Mathematics in Bioscience and Medicine of McGill University, and the BioFuelNetCanada Network. He is a member of the Banting Research Foundation and the Institute for Mobility and Aerospace in Canada.

Jesse Vincent-Herscovici holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University.

Kelly Nolan

Kelly Nolan is the Senior Director of Research and Innovation Partnerships at Queen’s University.

With over 20 years of experience as a senior executive, Kelly has a proven track record in partnerships, research, external affairs, business development, and communications/reputation management. She has led divisions of over 35 staff members and managed budgets exceeding $3 million, consistently surpassing targets in business development, strategic affairs, and fundraising.

With a strong network of industry, association, and government contacts, Kelly has established influential connections and partnerships in Canada and the US, including expertise in opportunities with government programs and industry/academic alliances.

During her time at Compute Canada, Kelly secured over $125 million in advanced research computing, leveraging her deep understanding of high-performance computing and effective marketing to government departments.

Most recently, Kelly served as Simon Fraser University’s strategic partnership lead in Ottawa, focused on federal funding opportunities and industry engagement, working to leverage partnerships for the Vice-President Research and International as well as all eight faculties and core facilities.

Omar Mawji

Omar has a background in investment management in energy and late-stage venture capital. He wants to understand how companies will cooperate and invest in the clean energy transition.

Dr. John Dick

John is the Director of Velocity Campus. He leads Velocity programming on the University of Waterloo campus and develops strategic initiatives to inspire, train, and support entrepreneurs.

Before joining Velocity, John was a Co-founder and CSO of Nicoya for seven years. As Co-founder, he worked on IP creation and prototype development while supporting pitching and early business development activities. As CSO, he led its R&D efforts, early product development, and customer support through his experience in nanotechnology-based sensor development.

John holds a Ph.D. in Materials from the Imperial College of London and earned his Master's and Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from McGill University. He also completed an MBA from Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Laurier University.

Sponsored by:

The i2I program is perfect for people like me who are deeply involved in science, and who want to look for opportunities in the business world. A program like this opens your mind and teaches you that there is another world of possibilities outside of the lab.

Elena Groppa, i2I

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine

University of British Columbia Biomedical Research Centre

My key lessons from the program were learning how to effectively frame and structure a problem or situation, manage a tight schedule, know what to prioritize and how to prioritize it, and identify core problems quickly and addressing them.

Bobbie Dhillon, EMBA

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Planning

G&F Financial Group

The comprehensive simulations provided the greatest learning for me. They helped change my mindset and connect the different areas of learning into a comprehensive view of how an organization runs.

Matthew Grunert, MOT MBA

Sr. Director, Digital Operations & IT

Motorola Solutions

The MSc Finance program gave me the technical foundation that I couldn’t function without. I work with clients in very senior roles, and it’s important to demonstrate your technical knowledge to gain their trust.

Christine Jakshoej Sangha, MScFin

VP of Customer Success - Capital Markets


The immediate impact of the GDBA has been a change in the way I approach my day professionally. I am equipped to make better decisions. My confidence level has been elevated significantly, and I am enjoying a new sense of optimism in my career.

Percival Chang, GDBA

Manager & Investment Funds Advisor

PH&N Investment Services

I always saw myself working beyond clinical pharmacy. I felt that I could also shine on the business side of healthcare. I knew that with my strong clinical training an MBA would help open more doors and give me the mobility I was looking for in my career.

Morenike Akinyemi, FT MBA

Senior Project Manager, Transformation Delivery

Provincial Health Services Authority

The Part-Time MBA was excellent. It gave me exactly what I expected to receive, and I think that is the highest compliment you can pay a program. It met all my expectations and provided a solid grounding in business skills and strategies.

Oliver Zihlmann, PT MBA

Director of Development and Alumni Engagement

UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The learners I work with are 95% Indigenous, and I find that they become more interested and retain information more, when we speak and learn from an Indigenous lens. The Indigenous content integrated into the program has been very beneficial to me in terms of how I can incorporate Indigenous information into the curriculum I currently teach.

Wanda Rockthunder, EMBA IBL

Business Instructor, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies

Cree, a citizen of the Muskowekwan First Nation, Saskatchewan

i2I: Elena

EMBA: Bobbie

MOT MBA: Matthew Grunnert

MSc Fin: Christine

GDBA: Percival

FT MBA: Morenike

PT MBA: Oliver


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