BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Senior Managers

Darrell Petras
Darrell PetrasExecutive Vice President, Business Development
Darrell has extensive experience managing the commercialization needs of university and non-university clients, from securing intellectual property rights to the creation and development of technology-based companies. Within TEC Edmonton, Darrell leads a team with deep expertise in accelerating the growth of technology-based companies. Working with his team and colleagues, Darrell consistently seek collaborations among clients, government, universities and private industry for the benefit of all stakeholders and the commercialization of innovation. Darrell is a Board Member of Delta Genomics and he belongs to the Alberta Institute of Agrologists. He also has 15 years of business ownership experience and currently owns two businesses. Prior to joining TEC, Darrell was a joint owner and operator of a diversified and award-winning beef, dairy and grain operation.
Gigi Ho
Gigi HoManager, Business Development
Gigi has been with TEC since 2010. As Manager, Business Development, Gigi acts as a strategic advisor on all business matters relating to company creation and development. Additionally, she manages and provides direction and guidance to Business Development Associates and consultants, as well as provides project management oversight to TEC clients. Gigi holds a Masters in Biomedical Technology, a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Cultural Anthropology, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. In her spare time, Gigi enjoys playing board games and trying new food.

Program Directors

Sharon Barker
Sharon BarkerDirector, Health Accelerator
Sharon joined TEC Edmonton to lead the TEC Health Accelerator in 2018. As Director, Sharon is responsible for leading the next evolution of the Health Accelerator to foster the growth of Alberta biotechnology companies and strengthen the link between small and medium-sized enterprises and the needs of Alberta Health Services.

Prior to joining TEC Edmonton, Sharon was a Medical Science Liaison with Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceuticals Canada) where she worked with clinicians on the adoption of innovative medicines in healthcare. Sharon brings a range of experience in health and medical innovation having previously held roles in academic medical research, technology transfer and industry support, and business development with Alberta SMEs.

Shaheel Hooda
Shaheel HoodaExecutive in Residence; Program Director, T-Squared Accelerator
Shaheel is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who got his start at the age of eight working in a variety of family businesses. In addition to his position as Executive in Residence for ICT and Energy Technology sectors and Program Director for TEC’s T-Squared Accelerator, Shaheel serves as a board member at Login Radius, a high growth Software as a Service (SaaS) company. Prior to joining TEC Edmonton, Shaheel has been CEO of construction software company Element Solutions, CEO of CodeBaby Software, Director of Business Development for Trilogy Software (USA), and strategist at McKinsey & Company, driving the launch and rollout of one of Canada’s first online banking institutions.

Under Shaheel’s leadership, Codebaby Software was named a Top Ten Fast Growth Company in Alberta. Shaheel also served as Chairman of the A100 Tech Entrepreneurs, a group dedicated to mentoring the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. He holds a Harvard MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance and International Business, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. In his spare time Shaheel enjoys playing Wallyball (you read that right), spending time with his wife and children, and volunteering in the community.

Craig Milne
Craig MilneExecutive in Residence
Craig joined TEC in 2017. In his role as an Executive in Residence, he works with health technology companies to develop strategic plans, raise money and access the resources they need to grow. Furthermore, he is involved in the development of the Diagnostics Accelerator, a project between TEC, DynaLIFE, Health City and others. Before joining TEC, he was President of Stream Technologies, where he helped build an imaging device for agriculture, medical and R&D industries. He also worked with ATB Financial in 2016 to launch the ATB Entrepreneur Centre. Craig is a member of VA Angels, University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and the co-founder of Prairie Noodle Shop, an award-winning Edmonton restaurant. Craig has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Toronto and an MBA in Finance from the University of Alberta.
Ryan Heit
Ryan HeitDirector, Merck Invention Accelerator
Ryan Heit is the Director of Merck Invention Accelerator, where he guides the tenant companies through the accelerator and with their interactions with Merck. He is also the Co-founder of multiple startups including Pacylex Pharmaceuticals, Valhalla Private Capital and Prairie Noodle Shop. Ryan rejoined TEC after managing TEC VA, the partnership between Valhalla Private Capital (formerly known as VA Angels) and TEC Edmonton. Ryan holds an MBA, Technology Commercialization Specialization as well as an MSc, Experimental Oncology.

Executives-in-Residence

Jim Armstrong
Jim ArmstrongExecutive in Residence
Jim has started, led, and sold several technology companies including Edmonton based Mecca Media Group, which received the Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award and Alberta Venture’s Award for the third fastest growing company in Alberta. An IT specialist, Jim has pioneered and implemented a broad range of technology solutions across industries from aerospace to oil & gas, pulp & paper, 3D animation, e-Marketing and recently in the sports and entertainment industries. Jim focuses on mergers and acquisitions, on technology-oriented risk and opportunity assessments.
Mark Benning
Mark BenningExecutive in Residence
Mark is an experienced entrepreneur who founded and led four investor-backed, technology startups in Silicon Valley, California over a 20-year period. As an Executive in Residence at TEC since 2017, he acts as a mentor to entrepreneurs and executives and as an advisor to TEC’s Business Development team. Over the years, he has worked for various private equity and venture capital firms and has raised over $100 million in angel and venture funding for his startups and others he advised. Mark has a BA in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University, where he focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. Between his time at Harvard and Stanford, he played professional ice hockey in Europe and traveled extensively throughout the world.
Kurian Tharakan
Kurian TharakanExecutive in Residence
Kurian has been a TEC Executive in Residence since 2014, assisting TEC clients with their go to market strategy. Kurian brings over 27 years of sales and marketing experience to his practice. Prior to TEC Edmonton, he founded StrategyPeak Sales and Marketing Advisors, a marketing strategy consulting firm, advising companies in numerous sectors including professional services, manufacturing, distribution, high technology, software, non-profit, medicine, and the life sciences. Preceding StrategyPeak, Mr. Tharakan was a vice-president sales & marketing for an Alberta-based software firm where his team achieved notable wins with several members of the US Fortune 500. Beyond advisory services, a significant portion of Kurian’s work involves teaching and writing on sales and marketing topics.
Jake Burlet
Jake BurletExecutive in Residence
Jake joined TEC in 2016. As an Executive-in-Residence, Jake investigates and assesses the commercial viability of various technologies and business concepts. He provides direction and oversight of TEC’s Business Development Associates and Analysts, in addition to mentoring  entrepreneurs and executives. Prior to TEC, Jake has worked in mergers & acquisitions, corporate turnarounds and corporate directorships, and has been CEO of various startups including one named Profit 100 Fastest Growing Company in Canada (2011). Jake holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Saskatchewan), a Preventative Health Management Certificate (Guelph), an MBA (Western Ontario) and Professional Director (Toronto). For fun, Jake enjoys back country adventures including canoeing, hiking, fishing and camping.
Rick Brommeland
Rick BrommelandExecutive in Residence
Rick has been a part of the TEC Edmonton team since 2014. In his role as an Executive-in-Residence, Rick mentors and coaches leadership teams, as well as plans and leads in business development for TEC clients. Rick is a professional engineer and business consultant with a 30+ years focused in the technology development and company growth environment. He has held several executive roles for companies including President, VP Business Development, General Manager and CFO. Rick has served as a board member for both public sector and private sector organizations, including a public company, and several private, advanced technology start-ups.
Shaheel Hooda
Shaheel HoodaExecutive in Residence; Program Director, T-Squared Accelerator
Shaheel is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who got his start at the age of eight working in a variety of family businesses. In addition to his position as Executive in Residence for ICT and Energy Technology sectors and Program Director for TEC’s T-Squared Accelerator, Shaheel serves as a board member at Login Radius, a high growth Software as a Service (SaaS) company. Prior to joining TEC Edmonton, Shaheel has been CEO of construction software company Element Solutions, CEO of CodeBaby Software, Director of Business Development for Trilogy Software (USA), and strategist at McKinsey & Company, driving the launch and rollout of one of Canada’s first online banking institutions.

Under Shaheel’s leadership, Codebaby Software was named a Top Ten Fast Growth Company in Alberta. Shaheel also served as Chairman of the A100 Tech Entrepreneurs, a group dedicated to mentoring the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. He holds a Harvard MBA in Entrepreneurial Finance and International Business, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. In his spare time Shaheel enjoys playing Wallyball (you read that right), spending time with his wife and children, and volunteering in the community.

Kevin Ens
Kevin EnsExecutive in Residence
Kevin is a seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology and medical devices sectors. He has held senior positions in startup, early-stage and growth stage companies including sales and marketing, business development, operations and C-level leadership positions. He was President of a clinical diagnostics start-up company from inception and financing to successful product marketing. Kevin’s international experience includes Director/Acting CEO of a natural health products company in Switzerland, and he was COO of a Swiss medical device company where he played a key role in bringing a Class IIa device to market in Europe. Most recently he was CEO of an Edmonton-based medical device company where he led the company from startup to clinical trials of a Class 3 device. Kevin also has experience in the areas of vaccines, biological therapeutics and natural health products. He has a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Waterloo.
Craig Milne
Craig MilneExecutive in Residence
Craig joined TEC in 2017. In his role as an Executive in Residence, he works with health technology companies to develop strategic plans, raise money and access the resources they need to grow. Furthermore, he is involved in the development of the Diagnostics Accelerator, a project between TEC, DynaLIFE, Health City and others. Before joining TEC, he was President of Stream Technologies, where he helped build an imaging device for agriculture, medical and R&D industries. He also worked with ATB Financial in 2016 to launch the ATB Entrepreneur Centre. Craig is a member of VA Angels, University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and the co-founder of Prairie Noodle Shop, an award-winning Edmonton restaurant. Craig has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Toronto and an MBA in Finance from the University of Alberta.

Business Development Associates

Kelly Gibson
Kelly GibsonSenior Business Development Associate
As a member of the Business Development team since 2012, Kelly works with the Natural Sciences and Engineering projects and collects and presents data in various business reports (such as market assessments and business plans), has operational involvement, and provides implementation strategy to companies, as well as leveraging internal and external networks to provide support and assistance to entrepreneurs. Before joining TEC Edmonton, Kelly was a Senior Investment Associate at National Bank Financial. She holds a Bachelor of Science with specializations in Mathematics and Finance and an MBA, both from the University of Alberta. Kelly is a proud sorority girl (Alpha Gamma Delta), and in her spare time enjoys baking, home renovations and DIY projects.
Shahroze Khan
Shahroze KhanBusiness Development Associate

Shahroze has been with TEC Edmonton since 2018. In his role as a Business Development Associate, Shahroze provides strategic business support to healthcare and technology companies through market research, business development recommendations, and funding strategies. He’s worked previously as a Compliance Officer with the Canada Revenue Agency and as a Business Investment Analyst with Avanza Solutions. Shahroze holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, both from the University of Calgary. When he’s not creating business strategies, he is probably cooking or playing soccer.

Madiha Mueen
Madiha MueenBusiness Development Associate
Madiha Mueen has been with TEC since 2017. She is responsible for health system engagement though the identification of SMEs to address gaps, needs and priorities in the Alberta health system. She also engages in business development and planning for companies in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors. Previously, Madiha worked in the Department of Family Medicine at University of Alberta. She studied at the University of Alberta, achieving both a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in psychology and a Masters in Public Health, Health Policy and Management. Outside of TEC, she sits on the executive board of Emerging Health Leaders. She enjoys practicing yoga and exploring local restaurants and cafes.
Kevin Parker
Kevin ParkerBusiness Development Associate
Kevin joined TEC Edmonton in 2016 as a Business Development Associate. He assists companies in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors with market research, product scoping, and commercialization strategy. Previously, he worked with groups in synthetic biology, data science, and academic tech transfer. He has degrees in Molecular Biology and Biomedical Technology, both from the University of Calgary. When he’s not writing business plans, you can find him on the golf course.
Shaunaugh Whelan
Shaunaugh WhelanBusiness Development Associate
Shaunaugh joined Business Development in December 2017 and works with companies to develop market entry strategies, identify funding strategies and provide sound strategic business recommendations. She has over a decade of customer service and research experience, and prior to joining TEC, worked as a business development consultant in the non-profit world. She holds a BSc in Geology and an MSc in Economic Geology specializing in geochemistry and gold exploration, both from the University of Alberta. Shaunaugh also achieved an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Windsor. When she’s not powering through market research reports at work, she can be found volunteering with Rotaract, Girl Guides and other national non-profits.

TEC VA Angels

Randy Thompson
Randy ThompsonDirector, TEC Valhalla Angels
Randy Thompson is a builder of companies, an angel investor and a leader of Canada’s most active angel group. He has been working in the startup venture space for 20+ years. Early in his career, Randy founded Alberta SuperNet and worked as a venture capital advisor to the Province of Alberta. Randy is the Founder and CEO of VA Angels, which has led him to be a finalist for TechVibes Angel of the Year in Canada for the last two years and the recipient of Startup Canada’s Investor of the Year Award in 2014. A graduate of the University of Alberta, Randy manages the TEC VA Angels program, helping Alberta-based startup companies prepare their pitches to investors. Randy helped create TEC VA Angels in 2012 by combining TEC Edmonton and VA Angels, two of Canada’s largest angel investor networks. Since 2012, both TEC Edmonton and VA Angels helped their clients raise more than $100 million.
Kristina Milke
Kristina MilkeExecutive in Residence, TEC Valhalla Angels
A TEC Executive in Residence since 2014, Kristina Milke is the Deal Flow Director for the TEC VA Angels. Kristina’s strong financial background includes a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of Alberta and a Chartered Professional Accountant designation, in addition to having studied International Business at Sweden’s Uppsala Universitet. She is the president of K-GAR Consulting Inc., providing CFO and Business Advisory Services, as well as a founding mentor and Board of Advisors Member of the University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Services. Kristina is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta), the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), and the VA Angels. She previously served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Investopedia, and the Corporate Divisional Controller of Intuit Canada. Kristina’s favourite thing to do is travel, and looks forward to an annual trip.
Ryan Heit
Ryan HeitInvestment Coordinator, TEC Valhalla Angels
Ryan Heit is an Investment Coordinator, managing the investor network for TEC VA Angels. Since joining TEC in 2013, Ryan has been a member of the Business Development team, screening companies for TEC VA Angels and organizing regular investor events. Prior to TEC, Ryan was co-founder of Pacylex Pharmaceuticals and Prairie Noodle Shop. Ryan holds an MBA, Technology Commercialization Specialization as well as an MSc, Experimental Oncology. According to Ryan, one fun fact about himself is that he is not fun. Not even when he is rock climbing, running a successful noodle restaurant, or building home arcade machines out of Raspberry Pi computer parts.

TEC Global Connector

 James Mohr-Bell
James Mohr-BellLatin America Expert, Brazil Lead
James Mohr-Bell is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He completed his MBA at the University of Sao Paulo. James also trained as a mediator and arbitrator at the IMAB Institute in Brazil. He has cultivated business ties with Canada for 35 years.

James has 18 years’ experience with Alcan, a company involved in bauxite mining, power generation, aluminum smelting, and downstream fabricating activities. During his time with Alcan, he developed expertise in the specifics of the mining industry, as well as the economics of long-term and capital-intensive investment. As Executive Director of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (CCBC) for 15 years, he has continued to engage with the mining sector in Brazil. Activities include organizing a Mining Committee for the CCBC in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in close cooperation with the Canadian Consulate. He expanded the reach and influence of the CCBC through the organization of trade missions to and from Canada, and by establishing contacts with local business organizations and government authorities in both countries. James has supported Canadian participation in a technical conference at Exposibram in Brasilia between Canadian specialists and Brazilian Government authorities in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export (CAMESE).

James is a founding member and former Chairman of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, British Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Brazil. He is currently the treasurer of an NGO dedicated to charity and social assistance in Brazil. James is fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish.

George McIsaac
George McIsaacLatin America Expert, Chile Lead
George McIsaac is the owner and operator of Geology & Mining Evaluation Consulting and operates out of Chile. He has a Mining Engineering degree from McGill University in Montreal, a Masters in Mining Engineering from the same university, and a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston. He has 35 years’ experience in consulting, operations, teaching, and research.

George is a specialist in hard-rock underground mining specializing in vein deposits with complex geometries, and has relevant experience in other types of deposits and in open pits. He worked as an engineer for several mining companies across Canada and Chile in the first twenty years of his career. His last position was that of Superintendent of Engineering at Barrick’s El Indio Mine in Chile, responsible for the design, planning, services, and special projects for three underground mines, and for the development of the closure plan for the site.

George is a registered professional engineer in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. He is a Qualified Person under the concept of the National Instrument 43-101, and a Qualified Valuator under the concept of CIMVal (mineral properties valuation standards of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy).

He is a Director, Secretary and Treasurer of Fundacion Mineros Contra El Cancer (Foundation Miners Against Cancer), a Chilean charitable organization dedicated to helping families with scarce resources with children affected by cancer.

George works across South America, North America, and Africa. He is fluent in Spanish, English, and French.

Consultants

Randy Yatscoff
Randy YatscoffExecutive Advisor
Randy has been with TEC Edmonton since 2007 – initially as an Entrepreneur in Residence, then as the Executive Vice-President of Business Development, and now as a consultant. Dr. Yatscoff was formerly CEO and President of the drug-development company Isotechnika, raising over $200M in equity financing. He has over 30 years’ experience as a biotech executive. In an earlier lifetime, Dr. Yatscoff was an accomplished academic, a full professor and researcher at several Canadian universities. In total, he holds more than 20 patents.
Marvin Cervantes
Marvin CervantesRegulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance Consultant
As a product development and commercialization professional, Marvin has led and managed the implementation and development of the design control systems for class I, II and III medical devices and other industries such as oil and gas, automotive and telecommunications to ensure compliance to different regulatory bodies in Canada, US, Europe and Asia.

Marvin is an accomplished QA and regulatory specialist with 18+ years of progressive experience and proven record of significant, successful contribution in quality management, project management, process improvement, business analysis/evaluation, product development life cycle methodologies, supplier management, and quality management systems in different industries that previously had no standards or programs in place. He had held quality and regulatory senior and managerial positions in both start up and fortune 500 companies.

Marvin is a certified quality auditor and has a significant experience with the implementation, maintenance, and auditing of quality systems in accordance with Europe, Canada, US FDA, QSR and ISO regulations. He also holds several patents in the US.

Administrative

Jillian Martin
Jillian MartinBusiness Development Coordinator
Jillian joined TEC in 2017. In her role as Business Development Coordinator, she is responsible for managing electronic calendars, providing administrative and project management support and assisting in the implementation of the Executive Vice President’s initiatives. Jillian
previously worked in the hospitality industry and worked at Residence Operations at the University of Alberta. She completed the Culinary Arts program from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and additionally took classes in psychology and linguistics at the University of Alberta. Outside of TEC, she enjoys making jewelry, playing ukulele and swing dancing.