Vancouver Enterprise Forum

A Look At Local Accelerators - February 28th

  • 28 Feb 2012
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC)
  • 0


Registration is closed
The recording of the event is now posted for viewing:

This event is brought to you in partnership with NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada).

Accelerators can play a key role in growing early-stage companies and university research and intellectual property into market ready ventures, but not all accelerators follow the same model or offer the same services. 

Hear from a panel of BC accelerators from both Industry and University sectors as they discuss the approaches they take to address some of the key issues faced by local entrepreneurs. The panel will also debate the success of BC in growing Silicon Valley-style accelerators and connecting entrepreneurs with industry mentors and financing.

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to tour the presenting accelerator facilities shortly before the VEF event (details on our website

In conjunction with NSERC, VEF will be offering two Memberships as a draw prize to pre-registered students on the night.

Moderated by Brent Holliday - Capital West Partners and a VEF Board member.

Panelists will include:

Brad Lowe 
(Wireless Accelerator Architect) - Wavefront
Darrell Kopke (Skool Principal
) - instituteB
Todd Farrell (Chief Acceleration Officer) - Entrepreneurship@UBC
John Seminerio - VentureLabs
Jason Bailey - Growlabs
Owen Matthews - Alacrity Foundation


Brent joined Capital West in 2008. Prior to that his experience includes more than a decade of technology company investing in his former role as a partner of an institutionally-backed venture capital fund. As a board member in portfolio companies, and a software entrepreneur, Brent developed an understanding of the challenges and rewards of the rapid growth of technology companies and he has specific knowledge and experience in financing and acquisitions.


Brad Lowe
Brad Lowe has been active in the Vancouver technology community for more than 20 years, working in management positions at Nokia, Redback Networks, Abatis, and MacDonald Dettwiler. At Wavefront, Brad is responsible for accelerating the growth of companies in the Wavefront Accelerator by providing mentorship and business and technical advice. Brad also leads Wavefront’s outreach to the academic sector to unlock the commercialization capacity of university research and personnel.
Prior to Wavefront, Brad was Director of Research and Development and Head of Nokia's Program Centre in Vancouver, BC. He also served as the chair of Nokia's Canadian Management team. While at Nokia, Brad drove the integration of Nokia into the greater Canadian wireless community, working with academia and industry associations to build up the ecosystem of developers and researchers. Brad developed the Nokia University Relations program which provided research topics, equipment, course material, funding and an opportunity for collaboration between Canadian universities and the wireless industry. Brad also served on the board of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and WinBC.

Darrell Kopke
Darrell Kopke, institute B’s Skool Principal, is considered a member of the group of founders of lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU), a Vancouver, Canada-based yoga-inspired athletic apparel retailer. Since joining lululemon athletica as General Manager in 2001 and until the sale of lululemon to private equity in late 2005, he oversaw the company’s expansion from one store in Kitsilano to 60 stores internationally, about 100 percent annual growth and $200+ million in sales. When he left lululemon in January 2009, Darrell was the Managing Director for Asia Pacific, responsible for the region’s store operations based in Hong Kong.

Darrell has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing from Concordia University in Montreal and an MBA in Supply Chain Management from the University of British Columbia. In 2006 Darrell was announced as a member of the Business in Vancouver’s "Forty Under 40". He is most proud of his wife Maria and two children Kai and Kennedy.

Todd Farrell
Todd manages a new seed investment fund targeting emerging companies that are associated with UBC.  The e@UBC Seed Accelerator Fund works closely with a new incubator and entrepreneurship initiative under development at UBC (known as entrepreneurship@UBC).

Todd has thirteen years of venture capital experience working locally with both GrowthWorks Capital and Vancity Capital.  He has a successful record of early stage funding of local technology companies that includes several UBC startups (e.g. D-Wave Systems, Wavemakers Research Inc).  Todd is also an experienced entrepreneur having founded and managed his own spin-out company from a UK based research institution that was acquired by Thomson Reuters.   Previous to this he worked for four years as a technology transfer manager at a set of research institutes as well as having worked as an assistant economist for the Forestry Commission in the UK.   

Todd studied both Science and Business as an undergraduate at UBC and received a MBA from University of Bath in England.

John Seminerio
John is a serial entrepreneur and is currently the Managing Partner of Magellan Angel Partners an innovative “Mentor Capital” approach to Angel Investing in the high-tech community.

In 2005 John was the recipient of the Faculty of Engineering Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo recognizing his achievements and contributions to the Canadian High Technology Community.

In 2004 John was named “Person of the Year” by the British Columbia Technology Industries Association (BCTIA) for his continued entrepreneurial achievements.
John was previously the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cray Canada Inc., which was formed after the acquisition of OctigaBay Systems Corporation in April 2004. John held positions as the Chairman, President & CEO of OctigaBay, a development stage company he co-founded in December 2001 which pioneered a new Supercomputer platform. OctigaBay closed the largest seed financing in Canadian history of over $24 million CDN in December 2002. Only 14 months after financing, OctigaBay was acquired for over $155 million CDN by Cray Inc., the world leader in Supercomputer systems.
Previous to OctigaBay John was the President & CEO of Abatis Systems Corporation, a Vancouver High Technology telecommunications vendor that was acquired in September 2000 by Redback Networks of San Jose, California for $1.3 billion CND. This represents the largest sale price of any private Canadian High Technology company to date. Following the acquisition John was the Vice-President of Business Development for Redback Networks until his departure in 2001.
John has over 28 years of experience in the telecommunications, networking, and high- performance computing industries and has held leadership roles in the sales, marketing and business development aspects of several early phase companies. He has also held senior positions in large industry leaders, such as DSC Communications Corporation, and Nortel Networks.
John is a founding partner of Magellan Angel Partners, an Angel investing arm focused on high technology opportunities across North America. He is a co-founding Limited Partner of Yaletown Venture Partners an early stage Venture Capital group focused on high technology companies in Western Canada.

Johnʼs depth of professional experience is supplemented by a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi where he graduated with a 4.0 GPA and received the “Outstanding Graduate Student Award”, and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Jason Bailey
Jason has built a handful of successful Internet businesses over the past 15 years. As the founder of KITN Media, he bootstrapped Super Rewards from zero revenue to a 100mm run rate in just over 12 months. In July 2009, he successfully sold the company to Adknowledge, one of the largest online advertising marketplaces.
Jason has invested in and is mentoring many local companies including DES Games, Compass Engine, PayPhone App, CrowdFanatic, and OverInteractive Media. He is also an LP in Real Ventures and Bootup Labs.

Owen Matthews
Owen is an Executive Vice President at Wesley Clover. In this role, Owen is responsible for strategy and business development activities for the Wesley Clover portfolio, both domestically and internationally. Prior to his position at Wesley Clover, Owen was the founder and CEO of Newheights Software. Newheights was a pioneer in enterprise unified communication products.
As CEO of Newheights, Owen was responsible for all aspects of the business. Achievements worth noting include OEM agreements with major enterprise communication system vendors, carrier equipment manufacturers and direct agreements with telephone companies. Newheights was acquired for $21.6 Million in 2007. Prior to Newheights, Owen co-founded TDC, a web development firm. Owen is an active member on the Board of Directors for Counterpath Corporation and Taraspan.
Owen is also passionately committed to the development and growth of Canadian athletes and youth development. He was the co-chair of the Advancement Committee for Canadian Sport Centre Pacific Institute, a $28 million dollar training facility for high performance athletes. He is also active on the board of advisors for the Business school at University of Victoria and Power to Be, a charity founded to enrich the health, education and quality of life for vulnerable youth. Owen studied Computer Science and Psychology at the University of Victoria and joined Wesley Clover in August 2007, following the acquisition of Newheights.

Please note: invited local Accelerators will be presenting during our Lightning Pitch segment at this event.  Applications for Lightning Pitches will be accepted for our March event onwards.  

Ideal for early stage companies looking to raise funds or create visibility.  The places are strictly controlled, 100 second time slots at the beginning of the VEF presentation. Apply through our website: 

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. These events provide attendees with an opportunity to network and learn. The evening involves a feature presenter, covering topics especially relevant to technology entrepreneurs such as financing and CEO war stories. Networking sessions are included before and after the presentation for speakers and attendees to connect with each other. 


Pre-registration tickets are $45.00 each, door registration tickets are $50.00, memberships at $200 for a one year period includes admission to our eight events per year.

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