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Entrepreneurs-in-Residence + Mentors
Recognizing that many Laurier students want to start their own businesses, the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship offers the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) program to complement the classroom learning experience.
The EiR program provides an opportunity for students to meet with successful entrepreneurs to discuss their aspirations as an entrepreneur and to ask any question about entrepreneurship in a confidential setting, such that it will enhance their knowledge of entrepreneurship and increase the chance for business success. Students receive multiple benefits:
- Ideas and feedback on the student’s business concept, strategy or venture
- The chance to learn best practices for starting a business
- Confidential answers to questions
- The opportunity to broaden the student’s professional network
Mentor. Entrepreneur. Writer. Enthusiastic Twitterer. In addition to his other responsibilities, Alan is the CLO (that’d be Chief Learning Officer) of Quarry Communications, and is always seeking out new means of engaging with people, learning and teaching. He teaches Marketing Communications to 4th year and MBA classes at the Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business in Waterloo and Marketing Strategy in the Executive MBA program for the University of Windsor. Alan travels extensively, speaking to groups around the world about improving customer relationships and converting branding into buying.
Joining Quarry as its third employee after 5 years in marketing with the Canada Trust head office, Alan has been instrumental in the growth and success of the organization. A two-time nominee for Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year (in 1998 and 2009) in the national Ernst & Young contest, Alan was Entrepreneur In Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University for 2010 and 2011. Alan has also been a director of the Institute of Canadian Advertising and is a past president of the Trans Canada Advertising Agency Network.
His personal mantra, “Think and feel like the customer, always anticipate and have fun,” – pretty good advice for life overall.
David Ceolin (BBA ’89) was the founder of Digital Cement, a firm globally recognized for its innovative capabilities in digital marketing strategy and execution. Digital Cement’s Innovative multi-channel marketing programs delivered top line revenue for international clients like Kraft Foods, FedEx, and Dell and was acquired by Pitney Bowes.
David now runs his own investment firm, Innovation Grade Ventures, focusing on disruptive ventures in health & wellness, housing, education, and media both in private industry and social ventures.
David is also the author of a best-selling book about business planning (The Idea Guide) and has also received the Top 40 under 40 award, given annually to individuals from multiple disciplines that demonstrate vision, leadership, innovation, achievement, and community impact. He serves on a number of boards in Canada and internationally.
John Beresford – LaunchPad Mentor Program Coordinator
John Beresford has over a decade of experience driving business results in the Canadian technology sector. He was on the frontlines of the smartphone revolution spending eight years with BlackBerry managing a number of different North American sales and marketing teams. John’s final role at BlackBerry was Director of Enterprise Marketing.
Anxious to join the vibrant start-up community in the Waterloo Region, John made the transition from BlackBerry to Primal, a ground breaking technology start up, as the Director of Business Development. John is also a managing partner and the Chief Sales Officer for Eventpeeks, a Social Media company born out of the Laurier LaunchPad Program and recently profiled in the National Post.
As the Laurier LaunchPad mentor coordinator, John has established a formal program structure that pairs ambitious student entrepreneurs with successful Laurier alumni to provide guidance, insight,s and connections to help ensure the success of entrepreneurial projects. John’s role encompasses program management, promotion of the LaunchPad, community relations, mentor recruitment, mentor training/on-boarding, and program quality control.
John holds Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Mark has a proven track record in world class business strategy, product development and manufacturing execution for the last 30 years. He is a founding member (Employee #5) of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), serving as Director of Product Development and Director of Hardware Engineering. Mark has led the development of many projects, including the first BlackBerry and the first BlackBerry with voice. Mark is an inventor on several patents, has won a technical Oscar and an Emmy and has been a key contributor to the Intellectual Property Strategy Group at BlackBerry.
Mark is passionate about entrepreneurial, Engineering and business development processes, and looks forward to applying right sized development knowledge to growing ventures. In his spare time, Mark is a volunteer in community organizations and an amateur musician and songwriter.
Mark has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and is a Professional Engineer.
Rick Endrulat is the Founder and President of Virtual Causeway, one of Canada’s fastest-growing sales and marketing services companies. Founded in 2001, Virtual Causeway is a leader in sales, marketing, research and technology services for medium to large sized technology businesses in North America. Under Rick’s leadership, Virtual Causeway has grown rapidly and was recognized for three years as one of “Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies” by Profit Magazine.
Rick is a strong leader and trusted advisor in the local community. He is a founding member and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Waterloo Region, a local environmental non-profit organization. Rick also advises and mentors local young entrepreneurs and business leaders through his involvement with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Schlegel Center for Entrepreneurship, the Laurier LaunchPad, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, and Communitech’s Hyperdrive tech startup accelerator program.
Rick has an Honours Degree in Arts and a Masters of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is also a Quantum Shift Fellow with the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. In 2009, he was recognized as one of Waterloo Region’s “40 Under 40.” Rick has also received Wilfrid Laurier’s MBA Alumni Award in 2008 and 2013, Communitech’s Tech Impact Award for outstanding leadership and involvement in the local technology community, and is also a member of Laurier’s President’s Council of Advisors.
Paul Lucier joined Research In Motion/BlackBerry in 1999 and spent 14 years in sales and business development roles, most recently as the Vice President of Global Government Solutions. Prior to this, Paul held positions with increasing P&L responsibility as Managing Director, Northern Europe and Russia, Vice President, Global Carriers and Director, Government Sales. He had the good fortune of helping to shape the strategic direction during BlackBerry’s rapid global expansion and explosive growth.
Paul currently resides in Elmira, Ontario with his wife Nancy and their 3 children; Owen, Sarah and Evan. He enjoys the striking contrast of raising his family in a small town with Amish roots while working with cutting edge technology on a global stage. Paul is passionate about the outdoors, including hockey, golf, cycling and canoeing. He is a board member of the New Vision Family Health Clinic and the Canadian National Amputee Hockey team and a coach with Woolwich Minor Hockey.
Paul holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Windsor.
Kevin Magee is a senior sales executive and cyber-security professional with over two decades of experience in creating innovative technology, building sales organizations and driving significant growth for both Canadian companies and Silicon Valley companies looking to expand into the Canadian Market.
Currently, he leads Palo Alto Networks Public Sector team of sales and sales engineering professionals driving growth and adoption of Next Generation Fire Wall technologies across Provincial Government, Healthcare, Education, Police Services, Municipalities and Utilities verticals.
Mr. Magee has held previous positions at Oracle Canada managing the Healthcare Core Technologies team, Hewlett Packard Canada where he lead the Healthcare and Medical Imaging Technology team and Citrix Canada where he managed Ontario sales. Before changing careers to join the ranks of major corporations, Mr. Magee held CTO and Vice President level positions with several technology startups focusing on healthcare and security solutions.
A very active and enthusiastic participant in the startup community, Mr. Magee volunteers as a Mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence at Laurier’s LaunchPad program, as an Advisor in the Life Sciences and Healthcare practice at MaRS, as an advisor to Hacking Health and serves on several pre-revenue stage technology startup advisory boards.
In his home town of Brantford, Ontario he serves as Chairman of the Board of the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts and has been a long standing member of both the Brantford Economic Development Advisory Board and the annual Campaign Cabinet of the Brant United Way.
Norm’s passion is new product ventures within startups and existing companies. He is an experienced executive manager of the cross-functional teams who are responsible for getting to a product-market fit, for generating early stage revenue, and for executing on growth strategies. Norm enjoys exploring new business concepts with fellow entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, helping them to test their ideas and to find a sustainable business model. He has co-founded two technology companies, leading the teams through market-oriented product development and early stage business development, resulting in viable and sustainable businesses. Norm’s areas of interest are Internet, IoT, Energy, Industrial Automation, and Big Data (data science and machine learning).
Jennifer Moss is the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Plasticity Labs; research-backed, enterprise software that combines behavioral sciences and psychological research to improve the way organizations measure, manage, and stimulate positive workplace culture. Plasticity measures social emotional intelligence and harnesses this valuable data to enhance psychological performance skills and attract, train and retain the happiest, highest-performers.
Jennifer is a recognized public speaker. She frequently presents on the topic of Happiness at Work; most recently at TEDx Women, SXSW Interactive Festival (2013, 2014), Vocus Demand Success 2014 Conference and GirlsRaising. Jennifer is a Professor of PR and Digital Media, a guest Professor in the Wilfrid Laurier University MBA program and a mentor for the Laurier LaunchPad Program. She has written articles for Catalyst Magazine, TechVibes, Globe and Mail among others and has appeared on Canadian and US National news programs in both print and broadcast cycles.
Jennifer’s long-standing passion for improving workplace culture stemmed from her “60,000 Hours” campaign where she worked with a global team to increase public service awareness. The campaign resulted in 10,000 employees worldwide donating 60,0000 hours of public service in just under one year. For this program, she won The Award of Public Service from the Office of President Obama.
David has extensive experience across telecoms, digital media, mobile software, embedded hardware, and aerospace sectors. David’s 12-year tenure at BlackBerry encompassed roles based in both the UK and Canada, and management of staff and partners across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Most recently, David was Senior Director, BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), leading a global team of 35 people across functional areas including Product Management, Big Data/Advanced Analytics, Business Development, Content Licensing, and Media Sales. Prior to that, David led Corporate Development activities within the “Consumer” technology sectors, and closed numerous multi-million dollar acquisitions, investments, and inbound technology licenses. Previous roles included outbound software licensing, execution of channel/distribution strategies, and management of commercial/product relationships with telco and OEM partners.
David has an Honours BBA from Laurier. He resides in Waterloo with his wife and two kids, and is thrilled to be a part of the LaunchPad team.
Ross is the co-founder of educational children’s products company Worx Toys, and a veteran of the wireless industry with the innovative service provider TELUS.
Ross conceived the idea of developing a fun and interactive way of learning about and experiencing how cool things work – like race cars, helicopters, and fire engines. The concept evolved into Worx Toys – an innovative combination of content and technology. An included interactive book lets kids learn about how mechanisms work like engines and motors, brakes, propellers, and more, and then the kids trigger a sequence to see them working inside the corresponding vehicle. The Worx Toys team designed the vehicles, developed the interactive books, secured production, established a distribution network across the United States, Canada and Europe, and after building out the company ultimately sold for a successful exit.
At TELUS, Ross has led the product management and development of multi-million dollar product lines across messaging services and applications, music applications, and voice services, both on wireless and across multiple screens. As part of his role, he has monitored technology and industry trends, defined long term strategy and product roadmaps, defined the service user experience, built out and managed partnerships, defined and managed in-market service enhancements, and defined marketing plans to grow adoption and revenues.
Ross is also the father of an active 8 year old boy who keeps busy touring the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum and Maker Kids, and enjoys playing hockey and t-ball, as well as the piano and drums.
Dan Shaw has over twelve years of experience in the Canadian technology and software sectors. Dan currently leads the Americas Account Development organization at OpenText and is responsible for over 25 employees driving account growth in the United States, Canada and Latin America regions. Prior to OpenText, Dan spent six years at BlackBerry with his most recent post as Director of Sales and Carrier Operations, where he led a team responsible for managing strategic partnerships with wireless carriers in the U.S. market. Prior to joining BlackBerry, he held sales and sales leadership positions in the education sector including a software startup and Microsoft Canada. Dan has engaged with a variety of charities over the years, including raising funds to build a library in Nepal with the Room to Read foundation. He has his Honours Bachelor in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and has completed leadership courses with Harvard Business Publishing. On a personal note, Dan is a husband and proud father, marathon runner, Ironman triathlete and lifelong learner.
Nigel is a seasoned business professional with more that a decade of experience in technology and wireless telecom. Nigel is currently the Senior Director of Channel Accounts at BlackBerry, managing the company’s largest Canadian sales channel. Prior to this role, Nigel occupied senior positions at BlackBerry in business development, channel development and channel management. His accomplishments and contributions at BlackBerry include:
- Management of BlackBerry’s largest US and Canadian carrier sales channels
- Established business partnerships with +625 network operators and distributors making BlackBerry one of the most widely available smartphone platforms
- Spearheaded BlackBerry’s entry into the Middle East and Africa and developed into a top performing market
- Developed and managed BlackBerry’s largest distribution partner in EMEA, with sales growing to $1B annually
- Developed and patented a system and method for locking and branding a wireless devise ‘over the air’ resulting in significant supply chain efficiencies and flexibility
Outside of the office, Nigel’s interests centre around technology, entrepreneurship, and his alma mater – Wilfrid Laurier. Between 2003 and 2006, Nigel chaired the Board of Advisors of Accelerating Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) at Wilfrid Laurier University. ACE Canada, now Enactus, recognized Nigel’s contributions to student entrepreneurship in 2006 by naming him Alumni of the Year. Nigel also served as a Board of Director of the Wilfrid Laurier Alumni Association in 2005/2006. Currently, Nigel is an Executive Mentor at Laurier LaunchPad, a incubator/accelerator program.
Karen has extensive experience with high tech companies both domestically and internationally. Karen is currently Senior Director, Strategic Programs at BlackBerry where she leads activities with a cross-functional scope and key to evolving BlackBerry’s business. Throughout her 15 year tenure at BlackBerry/RIM, she has been responsible for various aspects of Product Management, Partner Management, Operations as well as Marketing. She was directly involved in securing the first carrier partner for RIM in Europe and then establishing, and managing, several teams to support a very successful global expansion.
Prior to RIM, Karen was based in Germany working in Siemens’ head office where she provided product and business development expertise to US and emerging market teams.
Karen is excited about the opportunity to connect with the local start-up community and mentor teams to turn ideas into successful businesses thru the LaunchPad program.
Karen has a CPA, CMA designation and a Systems Design Engineering degree from U of Waterloo. She enjoys time with her family, international travel, being outdoors (either hiking or gardening) as well as volunteering and mentoring.