Vancouver Enterprise Forum

The Evolution of Angels, September 16th

  • 16 Sep 2014
  • 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • VIFF's Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC)
  • 81


  • A $200 membership includes registration to 8 events during one year membership. Tickets are individual (holder only) and non-transferable.
    Guest tickets must be purchased separately.
PRE-REGISTRTION NOW CLOSED, SOME TICKET AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR PRICED $50. Venue: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver. 
Doors open 5pm for registration & pre-event networking with presentation starting at 6pm.

Hear from our panel of Pacific Northwest Angel Investors as they discuss:

- just what is currently getting them hot under the collar
- the difference and evolution of Angel investments in BC versus globally 
- are BC Angels more risk averse? 
- why are US investors more aggressive and taking deeper dives into early stage bets?

Moderated by Ray Walia, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Launch Academy. Panelists to date include:

Geoff Entress, Venture Partner at Voyager Capital
Amir Javidan, formerly of Avigilon and now a private Angel Investor
Gary Yurkovich, Founder and Managing Partner at Espresso Capital
Marcus Daniels, Executive Director of HIGHLINE
Brenda Irwin, Founder & Partner at Angel Links Capital

*Note our date is one week earlier than normal due to the International Film Festival at the Vancity Theatre*

Geoff Entress is an active angel investor in the Pacific Northwest, focusing broadly on investments in information technologies. A current venture partner with Voyager Capital and a former venture partner with Madrona Venture Group, Geoff is a current investor in over eighty private companies in the Pacific Northwest and is a current board member of several of those companies, including Big Fish Games, White Pages, Meritage Soups, Bonanza, Walk Score, Judy's Book and LiquidPlanner.

Geoff is also a long-time member of the Executive and Screening committees of the Alliance of Angels, the largest angel investor organization in the Pacific Northwest, and is an advisory board member of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Notre Dame and of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. 

A former securities lawyer and financial analyst, he has also held positions at Perkins Coie, Jones Day,, Salomon Brothers, The Prudential Home Mortgage Company, Mellon Bank, Priority Investment Management and Duquesne Capital Management. Geoff is a graduate of the The University of Michigan Law School, the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Notre Dame.

Amir Javidan - former VP at Avigilon, investor, advisor has many years experience in the tech industry, having worked with Electronic Arts, Creo, and Avigilon. He was one of the early guys at Avigilon and helped take it from stealth mode startup to a public company worth over $1 billion. He played a key role within the Avigilon product team, and later focused on operational efficiencies which enabled the business to scale through its hyper growth.

Gary Yurkovich has over 30 years of senior executive experience in the technology industry. He has been an active angel investor and board director with several successful exits. He is currently the founder and Managing Partner of Espresso Capital, which has provided venture debt to over 150 technology companies in Canada. Previously he was Vice President, Sales and Corporate Development of Brightside Technologies, which was purchased by Dolby Labs in 2007. Gary also served as the Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Service for Creo Products, helping to grow the company from $6M to over $125M in revenue over a three-year period prior to being purchased by Kodak for $1B in 2005. He also served as COO of Resolution Health in San Jose, which was purchased by Wellpoint in 2008. Prior to that he was the manager for Eastern Canada for Digital Equipment Corp.

He has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of British Columbia and is a BCIT graduate in Electronics. Mr. Yurkovich is currently the Managing Partner of Espresso Capital, Board Director at Bit Stew Systems, Lead Board Director of Wolf Medical, past director of Clevest Solutions, and past director on the Board of Directors at BC Social Venture Partners, a provider of capital and business expertise to non-profit organizations.

Marcus Daniels is the Co-founder & CEO of HIGHLINE, a VC-backed founder driven co-venture platform that helps early stage digital startups supercharge growth and raise institutional capital. Marcus is a digital product entrepreneur, seed capital investor and innovation platform architect, and for over 24 years, he's started digital ventures, held entrepreneurial executive leadership positions, served on profit/non-profit boards and created innovation education programs to help strengthen the Canadian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Founder & Executive Chairman of MeshSquared Ventures, an investment and education company focused on evolving mobile products. 

Marcus holds an MBA from Queen's School of Business, a BA in Psychology & Economics from McGill University and completed the Venture Capital Executive Program from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.

Brenda Irwin is the Founder of ‘Angel Links Capital’, an angel investment group & consulting business focused on companies operating in the fields of ‘Health Technology, Sport, Fitness & Nutrition’. Angel Links Capital fosters the development oftechnologies, products and services that both enhance and promote an individual’s ability to stay optimally healthy & active over an entire lifetime. Brenda is a former life science venture capitalist for Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a national evergreen fund with over $1 Billion under management. While at BDC she had personal responsibility for management of a healthcare portfolio exceeding $100 million in value.

As a strategic advisor and investor, Brenda specializes in both assessing and top grading the investment potential of early stage companies. She has been a Board Director for 15 private and public for profit life sciences and biotechnology corporations in fields ranging from therapeutic, medical device & diagnostic businesses, to forest biotechnology, health technology & wellness organizations.

Her current portfolio varies from Curatio (mobile health) and Continuum Medical Care (an integrated medical clinic), to the mobile bike repair business of Velofix & the online endurance training platform, Kicker Endurance Training.

Brenda’s not for profit leadership includes former Vice-President for the Take A Hike, Youth at Risk Foundation, and current membership on the Board of Directors for Providence Health Care. Providence is one of the largest health care organizations in Canada, operating 16 facilities in Greater Vancouver. At Providence, Brenda chairs the Innovation Committee.

The Vancouver Enterprise Forum (VEF) is the premier networking forum for technology entrepreneurs. The VEF holds eight events each year - usually on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Participation at a VEF event provides attendees with personal connections, assistance with the identification of industry partnerships, academic faculty, management talent, financial agencies/investors and educational resources for developing and growing enterprises in British Columbia.

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