VENTURE PARTNERS
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Our ventures team draws upon the expertise of a group of experienced individuals, our "Venture Partners", who work closely with the team. The Venture Partners make significant contributions to deal flow, due diligence, portfolio company operations, business development, management and other areas crucial to our continued success. 

Gord Breese.jpeg
bart copeland.jpeg
kelly edminson.jpeg
lynn frazer.jpeg
paul geyer.jpeg
colin harris.jpeg
derek hemmes.jpeg
david roberts.jpeg
hamed.jpeg
malcolm steenburgh.jpeg
vlad tucakov.jpeg
wendy porter.jpeg
rich simons.jpeg

Gord Breese

Gord is an executive with more than 20 years of sales and marketing leadership at high growth tech firms including ServiceMax, SAP, Business Objects, Apple and Oracle. He was on the leadership team that took Pivotal Software public and played a key role in expanding Crystal Decisions / Business Objects’ global footprint, prior to its acquisition by SAP. Gord co-founded SignalHill, an industrial SaaS start-up serving the North American telecom industry. He currently serves on the board at BasicGov and is an active, hands-on adviser for Charli AI, ScopeMedia and FinCAD. He holds a B. Comm Honours Degree from the University of Manitoba and successfully completed the Kellogg School of Business “Expert Negotiation” program.

Expertise: Building go-to-market teams and partner ecosystems in emerging, high growth markets.

Bart Copeland

Bart has been the CEO and President of ActiveState Software, the Open Source Languages Company, since 2006, and has a passion for building and delivering enterprise solutions that just work. He has been involved in numerous M & A transactions over the years – the most recent being the sale of the ActiveState Stackato Business Unit to Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Bart is also an angel investor who loves the intersection of technology, business and the enterprise, as well as working with individuals and teams who have great ideas but need a business mindset and perspective to help them get to the next level. Bart holds an MBA in technology management from the University of Phoenix and a mechanical engineering degree from UBC.

Expertise: Strong operator, technology expert, experience in M & A.

Kelly Edmison

Kelly is Chair of PenderFund Capital Management, which he founded in 2003. Kelly spent over 20 years practicing as a commercial lawyer, in Calgary, Hong Kong and Vancouver. For much of that time he was focused on representing private and public BC-based technology companies. For the last 17 years he has been a director or officer of a number of public and private companies in a variety of sectors, including technology, products and services, and healthcare with a particular focus on software. The public companies included eDistpatch.com (telematics), ALI Technolgies (medical software), Carmanah Technologies (solar powered lighting) and QHR Technologies (electronic medical records) and private companies included Icron Technolgies (communication hardware), ActiveState Software (open source software) and Monexa Technolgies (payment services). Kelly is currently on the board of Pender Growth Fund and BSM Techologies. Kelly holds a BA in Economics from the University of Toronto and a law degree from Queen’s University.

Expertise: Legal, governance, mentoring.

Lynn Frazer

Lynn is a Human Resources Executive with over 20 years of experience in human resource management across private, public and private-equity held organizations in the print and digital media, software and transportation sectors. Believing that success is achieved through high performing teams, aligned to deliver a clear organizational vision and mission, Lynn focuses on coaching leaders to create business strategies and plans that balance company, employee and profitability interests. Most recently, as the head of the Human Resources group at autoTRADER.ca, Lynn led the human resources strategy through periods of growth and downsizing, as the business evolved from its roots in traditional print media to one of Canada’s premier digital brands and software solutions providers to automotive dealerships. Through this transition autoTRADER.ca delivered double digit revenue and EBITDA growth, raising the company’s value to $1.58bn CAD realized in the sale from APAX to Thoma Bravo Equity Partners in 2016. Lynn holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC, is a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certified practitioner and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CHRP).

Expertise: Human resources management.

Paul Geyer

Paul has been a prolific medtech entrepreneur, board member and angel investor in the Vancouver area for over 25 years. In 1991, he founded Mitroflow, a tissue heart valve company, where he was CEO and CFO. Following the successful sale of Mitroflow, Paul started Medical Ventures (Neovasc). Paul held the position of CEO at Neovasc until June 2008 and is currently on the Board. He was responsible for raising over $40 million in equity financing and overseeing the acquisition of three other companies. In 2009 Paul joined Dr. Maurer, founder of LightIntegra Technology, as the company’s first CEO until March 2017 when he assumed the role of Executive Chair. Paul is currently the CEO of Discovery Parks and Nimbus Synergies, a unique investment program focused on Medical and Digital Health opportunities. Paul is engaged in the community as a philanthropist and active member of Social Venture Partners Vancouver, a board member of Entrepreneurship at UBC, a G7 fellow with Creative Destruction Lab and is an active investor and board member for a number of local technology companies. Paul holds a BASc. in Electrical Engineering along with various post graduate programs in Biomedical Engineering and Canadian Securities, as well as certification as a Certified Director from UCLA.

Expertise: Medtech expert, strong financing and acquisition experience, extensive network, active board member.

Colin Harris

Colin co-founded PMC-Sierra (now Microchip), a NASDAQ listed semiconductor company, and was Chief Operating Officer from 2005 to 2015. Colin was an elected member of the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) Board of Directors from 2005 to 2012. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Design for E-Beam (DFEB) initiative and Yaletown Partners. He is also a long-time member of the board at Redlen Technologies, a medical imaging company. Colin is an active angel investor in Vancouver and has been involved in several successful exits. He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from UBC in 1980 and is the holder of five patents relating to semiconductors.

Expertise: Operations expert; deep technology connections in Silicon Valley; start-up to large public company experience.

Derek Hemmes

Derek has over 15 years of entrepreneurial and management experience. He co-founded one45 Software in 2001 where he was CEO until it was acquired by Cytiva Software in 2008. From 2008, he worked on the executive team at Cytiva as VP Product Development until Cytiva was acquired by Taleo Corporation in 2011. In 2008, he co-founded eRezLife Software, where he has been COO since 2011. Derek holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UBC with a major in bio-psychology and minors in commerce and computer science. He also studied business at Curtin University, completing 7/8 of its MBA program.

Expertise: Excellent innovator and operator; expert in building management teams.

David Roberts

David is President of Y Tara Capital, a private investment company. He has over 30 years of senior operational and investment experience in the venture capital, information technology, communications and life sciences sectors. David has held various directorships in public and private companies since 1983. He is currently Chairman of ActiveState Software Inc. and was Chief Investment Officer of Pender Financial Group Corporation from 2008 to 2016. Previously, David served as a Director of RDM Corporation, Chairman and President of BasicGov Systems, Inc., President and CEO and Director of Santa Rosa Resources Corp., a Director of Pender Growth Fund (VCC) Inc., Chairman of Icron Technologies Corporation, and President and CEO of PenderFund Capital Management Ltd. David is a graduate of University College London (B.Sc.).

Expertise: Seasoned technology executive; experienced at exits and turnarounds; extensive executive and board level experience.

Hamed Shahbazi

Hamed founded TIO Networks as a kiosk solution provider in 1997 and transitioned it into a multi-channel payment solution provider specializing in bill payment and other financial services over the next 20 years. TIO Networks was acquired by PayPal for CAD$304 million in July 2017.

Hamed has extensive strategic M&A and divestitures experience, both as an operator (TIO) and as a board member (BroadbandTV, WELL, etc) with more than a dozen successful transactions. He is a passionate advocate of impact entrepreneurship where new companies aim to make a difference, and in doing so grow. He regularly mentors founders and entrepreneurs of early stage companies. In 2003 Hamed was named to the Hall of Fame of PROFIT magazine as the youngest leader on the PROFIT 100. The Cantech Letter named him the TSX Venture Tech “Exec of the Year” (2014 – 2016) and TIO the TSX Venture Tech “Stock of the Year” (2014 – 2015). In 2017 he won both Business in Vancouver CEO of the Year, mid-market category and EY Entrepreneur of the year, financial service category. Hamed earned his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in civil engineering from UBC, specializing in fluid mechanics, environmental engineering and engineering economics. He has also completed Harvard Law's program on Negotiation for Business Executives.

Expertise: Technology focused operator; start-up to exit experience; fintech expert.

Malcolm Steenburgh

Malcolm has a background in software development. He was a co-founder of Point Grey Research - a company that focused on the development and manufacturing of industrial machine vision cameras.  The company grew to over 300 employees before being acquired by FLIR in 2016. Throughout the company’s 20 year history, Malcolm was a key contributor to a variety of different functions including engineering, manufacturing and business process, product management, IT and customer service. He played a key role in the sale and subsequent transition to FLIR before leaving the business in 2017 to pursue personal interests. 

Malcolm brings energy to all of the projects that he is involved with.  He has been spending time understanding new business areas and trying to help groups refine, identify and expand their business.

Expertise: Dynamic problem solver, management expertise, technology expertise.

Vlad Tucakov

Vlad is the co-founder of Point Grey Research (acquired by FLIR Systems, Inc. in 2016) which spun out of the UBC Computer Science department and has grown to an organization with over 300 employees worldwide with offices in Canada, USA, Germany, Japan, China, and Italy. Vlad worked across many departments and ultimately as CEO. He was instrumental in growing the company that was entirely bootstrapped for its entire 20-year existence. Upon acquisition, Vlad joined FLIR as the General Manager of the Integrated Imaging Solutions group, leaving in fall of 2017 to pursue personal goals. Vlad is passionate about new business ventures and has been actively advising start-up companies, especially in technology.

Expertise: Versatile operator; start-up to exit experience; technology expertise.

Wendy Porter

Wendy is a payments industry expert and was the visionary behind the creation of Moneris Solutions Corporation, Canada's largest credit card acquiring company. In 2000, she envisioned a combined MasterCard and Visa payment solutions company, and was responsible for spinning off Bank of Montreal's acquiring division to create Moneris Solutions. She has experience in the US where she served as President of Vital Merchant Services (now TSYS Acquiring Solutions) and was responsible for the Harris Bank payment acquiring division in Chicago. Wendy spent most of her career with the Bank of Montreal in various executive roles in corporate marketing, information technology and electronic payments. As Senior Vice President, Merchant Acquiring, she managed the credit card and debit card acquiring business. She has served on a variety of business and not-for-profit boards, including payment industry boards and global committees for the Interac Association and MasterCard. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and an MBA degree from York University's Schulich Business School. She also holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. 

Expertise: Start-up to large financial institution experienced fintech expert; active board member. 

Rich Simons

Rich is a proven business leader with over 35 years of success and experience as a top-level business executive and entrepreneur. His background includes building companies in Vancouver, Toronto and Seattle. His diverse experience, with a full range of marketing and business building skills, provides a unique perspective, as well as strength and depth. His started his career in 1968 when he founded what is today DDB Advertising Canada. Rich spent 10 years in the US as a business builder and moved back to Vancouver in 2001 when he became President and CEO of a leading ASP for customer loyalty and reward programs.  Rich is currently actively involved in early stage companies focused on tech, health sciences and natural food manufacturing. He is a Director of Science World, past Chairman of Daiya Foods Inc and Elastic Path Software Inc and a past Director of Arc Medical Devices Inc and Otono Networks Inc. 

Expertise: Advises on board composition, business structures and commercial transaction formulation; provides entrepreneurial guidance for new CEOs and plays an advisory role in business building across many sectors.