Mentor Corner: Meet Doug Buchanan
Mentor Corner is a monthly feature highlighting the incredible contributions made by our mentor network to our venture community.
At entrepreneurship@UBC, we are privileged to work with a pool of 250+ mentors across the Vancouver and BC innovation ecosystem who invest their time, expertise and insights into growing the early-stage ventures of tomorrow. From entrepreneurial leadership development to scaling venture creation, our mentor network is fundamental to what we do here and we are excited to introduce you to them in our monthly feature, Mentor Corner!
Meet Doug Buchanan.
Doug has been a part of entrepreneurship@UBC's Mentor Network for the past 3 years, working with venture teams across our CORE stream including Cyberspline, Kids Shield, Limoo, CloTech, Aerobox and more.
An alumni of UBC, having graduated with a BASc Mechanical Engineering, Doug is the Founder of Yalty Software and is a lifelong entrepreneur and student. He started his first business with 3 like-minded colleagues while still in school and never looked back. He enjoys building and leading innovative and high performance teams and creating business from the start.
Learn more about how Doug works with ventures as a mentor, what advice he’d give to our community and the most important lessons he’s learned along the way.
How did you get into mentorship? What brought you here? What keeps you coming back?
I started coaching sports while still a teenager and found the experience fulfilling. Seeing people improve and the satisfaction this gave them left a big impression on me. This also transitioned into my professional career. A few years ago when I had a bit more time, I was introduced to Blair Simonite by a mutual friend who thought I might be interested in mentoring at entrepreneurship@UBC and she was right. Blair and I had a few interesting conversations and next thing I knew I was part of the program.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your mentorship career?
People will (almost always) solve their own problems/challenges if given the proper guidance. As a mentor it’s best to allow people to push themselves versus handing them the/an answer.
"People will (almost always) solve their own problems/challenges if given the proper guidance. As a mentor it’s best to allow people to push themselves versus handing them the/an answer."
- Doug Buchanan
Working with early-stage startups, you have the opportunity to make a huge impact on the founders you are working with. What impacts have founders made on you?
I am constantly reminded of all the things I don’t know and how important it is to keep learning. This is one of the things that keeps me excited about being a mentor.
If you could impart one piece of sage advice for our community, what would it be?
Stay curious beyond your area of expertise. Curiosity leads to discovery.
"Stay curious beyond your area of expertise. Curiosity leads to discovery."
- Doug Buchanan
What book are you reading? What playlist are you listening to? What is the app you can’t quit?
I suppose eBooks are the same as books? Recently...The Startup Owner's Manual, Unlimited Memory, How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t A-holes, Hooked-How to Build Habit Forming Products, Art of the Start, What’s Your Problem.
My Playlist seems to change daily as my daughter drops songs in there regularly. Keeps me on my toes though, we both agree the songs from Frozen need to be removed.
The app I have used most in 2021 is Noom. When I was working with a UBC team who were developing a healthy lifestyle app we all got onto the Noom program. I use many fitness related apps (I like to quantify myself) and I also use a few word game apps pretty regularly.
What would you share with mentees?
Always have a few big goals in both your personal and professional life. If you are working towards these goals then, most of the time, you will be doing what you want to be doing.
Thank you Doug for your expert insights and continued impact on our community!
Are you interested in joining our mentor network? Learn more here.