Meet the Open Office Mentors

Published on Monday, November 03, 2014


Mentors provide one-on-one timely advice to registered ventures every Monday afternoon and Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Read their bios below then check out our Open Office program page to book a meeting with one of them today!

Sean Lumb, Director of New Ventures


Sean is currently Director New Ventures for entrepreneurship@UBC, supporting e@UBC ventures from ideation to financing and company building. Sean has been involved in creating and financing new ventures for 15+ years, primarily in the chemical, advanced materials, and pharmaceutical industries.  Recently, one company was sold to a multinational pharmaceutical firm for $75 million.  Check out Sean’s LinkedIn profile for his full bio.

Tom Urban, Entrepreneur in Residence


Tom has mentored early stage ventures as an advisor and investor. Tom has extensive experience in investment banking, working for Goldman, Sachs & Co. as well as in the agricultural biotechnology industry and forestry genetics. Check out Tom’s LinkedIn profile for his full bio.

Jenny Yang, Entrepreneur in Residence

Jenny Yang

Jenny is a technology entrepreneur and investor.  Most recently she co-founded and was CEO of Metafor Software. Prior to Metafor, Jenny was a VC at BDC Venture Capital where she led and managed BDC’s investments in startups such as Bycast (acquired by NetApp) and OctigaBay (acquired by CRAY). Jenny has also been a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from UBC and an MBA from INSEAD. Check out Jenny’s LinkedIn Profile for his full bio.

Karen Boodram, Entrepreneur in Residence


Karen has over twenty-five years of life sciences industry experience including as Principal of BioManna Consulting, Biotech Analyst for PI Financial Inc., Director of External Affairs for Novartis Pharmaceuticals and several senior management positions (including Manager of Health Economics) for Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, spanning both the Canadian and European marketplace. Karen works with biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies across North America.

David Sum, Guest Entrepreneur in Residence

David is a senior management professional with a background in commercial software and corporate IT. He specializes in software product and development management, product visioning, market analysis and team building. Check out David’s LinkedIn profile for his full bio.


Garth Edgar, Guest Mentor


For companies that do not have the work flow or cannot afford a full time resource. Garth Edgar is available to assists start-up, small and medium sized enterprises improve and maintain best practices for accounting and corporate governance activities. Specialties:Accounting systems, legal and audit administration, public company governance, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, business strategy execution. Check out Garth’s LinkedIn profile for his full bio

Erik Kaas, Concierge Service Advisor

Erik Kaas

Currently an advisor with the National Research Council of Canada, Erik guides startups and small businesses on government funding and resources. Erik is also an experienced technology executive with a proven track record of commercializing technology innovations. Check out Erik’s LinkedIn profile for his full bio.

Dr. Gabe Kalmar Genome BC Vice President, Sector Development

GabeKalmar Genome BC

Before his current role as VP Sector Development, Dr. Gabe Kalmar was engaged in strategic consulting activities with several early stage pharmaceutical companies which included overseeing operations, implementing technology development and providing merger and acquisition planning. Check out Gabe’s LinkedIn Profile for his full bio.

Dr. Rachael Ritchie Genome BC Director, Business Development

RRitchie Genome BC

Dr. Rachael Ritchie brings to Genome BC two decades of experience in the life sciences as a researcher, manager and policy analyst. Following postdoctoral work at Harvard University (Children’s Hospital, Boston), Dr. Ritchie spent eleven years at the New Brunswick Research & productivity Council (RPC) working to identify, develop and apply technical and non-technical solutions to a range of challenges facing businesses and regional economic development in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada. Check out Rachel’s Linked In Profile for her full bio.

Sherry Zhao, Mitacs Business Development Specialist


Sherry Zhao joined UBC and Mitacs as a co-appointed Business Development Specialist after obtaining her PhD in Chemistry. She spends quite a lot of time accumulating the knowledge of faculty research interest and partnerships across campus. She helps companies and communities address their business challenges by providing connections to university talent and expertise, and funding options. Check out Sherry’s LinkedIn Profile for her full bio.

J.P. Heale, University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) Interim Managing Director

J.P. Heale has worked at the University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) at The University of British Columbia for the past thirteen years. He has overseen intellectual property management and licensing associated with UBC’s Affiliated Hospitals as well as overseeing sponsored research and clinical trial agreement negotiation and implementation. J.P. was active in the formation of a few UBC-affiliated startup companies, such as Indel Therapeutics, viDA Therapeutics, Boreal Genomics, Sirius Genomics, and ELIX Technologies which have raised over $40 million in private capital. Check out J.P.’s LinkedIn Profile for his full bio.

Brad Wheeler, University-Industry Liaison Office Technology Transfer Manager

Brad Wheeler has 12 years of experience in the assessment, patenting, marketing and/or licensing of over 300 life science based inventions while at UBC’s UILO. He has negotiated many exclusive commercial licenses in the therapeutic, medical device, medical software and research tool fields with university spinoffs, large licensees, and overseas receptors, and is the custodian of over 600 commercialization related agreements and over 750 patents from over 100 patent families. He has also assessed over 200 new ventures that have sought UILO assistance through the UILO’s Voucher Program. He has also assessed new ventures as a pre-screener for VANTEC, a judge the Sauder School of Business, and has served on the Executive Council of the Vancouver Chapter of the Licensing Executive Society for many years. Check out Brad’s LinkedIn Profile for his full bio.

Law Services

Michael Macaulay – Partner


Michael practices primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, securities and private equity and venture capital transactions. He has extensive experience working with entrepreneurs, emerging companies and venture capital funds in the technology, clean technology and life sciences sectors, including on matters relating to company formation and structuring, financing, and commercial agreements.

David Allard – Partner

DAA col1

David practices primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance and securities law. David has extensive experience focused on advising private and public company clients on transactional and general corporate commercial matters, corporate reorganizations and restructurings, as well as corporate governance issues and regulatory and stock exchange compliance. David has represented and worked closely with significant businesses in a variety of industries, including forestry, technology, financial services and retail, as well as with emerging growth companies and entrepreneurs.

Intellectual Property (IP) Services

Ian Bell – Pacific Region Business Development and Partnership Officer for the CIPO


Ian Bell has spent 15 years in technology transfer and commercialization. He has commercialized inventions across all technology areas, been involved in university start-ups and helped researchers obtain non-dilutive financing. Ian is currently the Business Development and Partnership Officer for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), responsible for IP education and outreach to entrepreneurs, SMEs and government stakeholders in the Pacific Region.

Guest Mentors

Joshua Bixby