Each person on our dedicated, exceptional team has extensive experience helping tech startups succeed. They are motivated to help you evaluate your idea and “get out of the building” to test your market.

Executives in Residence

Joseph Bowes

Entrepreneur, senior executive, and advisor – Joseph’s passion and experience has always revolved around early-stage ventures, and includes significant experience in commercialization strategy, corporate development, and financing. In this regard, he has worked with technology companies, as well as resource-based, and B2B (retail sector) ventures. Notable C-Suite roles include: his own several startups and successful exits; a senior executive role in a B2B startup which, in less than two years, grew to over $1M per week in revenues, and; serving as a founding director of a Florida-based specialty finance company, which grew during his involvement to $50M USD in net loans ($312M, 2016).

Skiing, racquet sports, and boating are some of Joseph’s favourite pastimes.

Ean Jackson

Ean “Action” Jackson has invested the past 25 years of his professional career in management, technical and business development roles in the technology industry. He has been employed by businesses across North America ranging from startups to major multinational corporations including IBM, Oracle Corporation and Sprint International. When not building business, Ean likes to run trails and climb mountains.

Beth Gallup

Early experience with the Asian Institute of Technology launched Beth on a career of bringing new ideas to life. Her strengths include identifying viable, defensible markets, then coaching clients through the practical steps required to connect with those markets, generate cash flow and turn a profit. She knows how to communicate value – to investors, joint venture partners, customers, company teams and supply chains.

Her experience includes on working on boards and across borders, in different cultural milieus.  Beth has an MBA in New Venture Development. In addition, she studied at the European Summer School for Advanced Management. Beth is endlessly curious and a serial entrepreneur.

Mentor roster

Bob de Wit

Jury Chair and Mentor “wrangler” | 20+ years

A Vancouver technology entrepreneur and angel investor, Bob de Wit is on the board of directors for New Ventures BC and serves as the jury and mentor “wrangler” for the BCIC New Venture competition. A co-founder and past-director of TIMIA Capital Corp., Bob’s 20-year career includes experience in corporate development, corporate finance and competitive market intelligence. An active member of the VANTEC angel network and the WUTIF angel fund, he previously founded the SFU Venture Connection entrepreneur-in-residence program.

Bob holds a BBA (marketing) and MA (economics) from Simon Fraser University. His personal interests include golf, recreational running and following professional sports, particularly hockey.

Robert Armstrong

Robert Armstrong worked with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers from 1997 to 2014. He served in a variety of senior executive positions, including four years as Chief Financial Officer, four years as Chief Operating Officer and most recently as Chief Strategic Development Officer. Since leaving Ritchie Bros., Bob has been focused on board and advisory work, assisting organizations and management teams as they deal with the challenges of growing, expanding and innovating, with an emphasis on strategic planning and leadership development.

Prior to joining Ritchie Bros. he worked for several years with KPMG and held financial management positions in the shipping and television production industries. Bob is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and has obtained his ICD.D accreditation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Christene Best

Christene Best is a consistently successful Sales Leader and General Manager with a broad B2B background. She has led sales, marketing, customer service, tech support and QA teams for a variety of companies ranging in size from startup to Fortune 500. Most recently, she was a consultant with Beanworks Solutions, a Vancouver startup. Prior to that, she worked for Klein Systems Group, 1-800-GOTJUNK, Hcareers and Xerox Canada.

Best has a track record of building and developing successful sales & marketing teams, establishing effective customer-focused processes, and fostering customer intimacy. She has been a mentor with NVBC since 2010. In her spare time, she is an avid golfer, cook and sci-fi geek.

Jamie Birch

Jampie Birch has a proven track record of leading by example, championing core value and purpose, and bringing a balanced approach to everything he does. Currently, he is COO and Co-Founder of Deliberate Ventures, a cloud-based business information system designed to simplify, automate and track the performance of daily operating procedures and quality control activities for the healthcare industry (with a focus on seniors housing operators, community pharmacies and home healthcare providers). A CPA with managerial experience at Ernst & Young, KPMG, and many other prestigious firms, Jamie has close to 20 years of experience in the financial sector.

David Dunnison

Mentor | 10+ Years

David Dunnison’s experience is drawn primarily from the cleantech, semiconductor and software industries. He was President and CEO of mesh-networking pioneer Accuzone, and the Founding President and CEO of Protexis, a leader in software licensing and digital rights management. In fuel cells, David launched Ballard’s $400m distributed generation business leveraging $25m of investment. At 6N Silicon, David negotiated and secured contracts and commitments with industry leaders totalling into the billions of dollars.

Tom Mitchell

Tom has been a Founder, CEO, COO, CTO, and is a Director or Mentor of several start-up and early stage companies. He has obtained over $50 million in funding for technology companies resulting in successful new ventures. Over the span of his career, Tom has developed technologies for the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, and the Institute of Ocean Science. He also has experience with medical devices, the FDA and 510k pathways.

Tom is a Registered Professional Engineer and holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and MSc. in Technology Management. He teaches several management, entrepreneur and innovation courses in Technology Management at the BC Institute of Technology.

Paul Koros

Paul is acknowledged for excellence in leadership and in executive coaching. He has played a key role on the management teams of numerous start-ups, with a focus on fundraising, finance, and culture. A licensed professional engineer, he is currently a candidate for the Chartered Professional Accountant designation. His advisory work centers on due diligence preparation, financial forecasting, and the process of securing investment.

Paul has held roles as CFO, CEO, and finance advisor at startups that have raised several million dollars. He mentored the first place BCIC-New Ventures Competition winner in 2015. His expertise extends from life sciences and mining to disruptive technology, apparel, and software.

See all past winners