Board of Advisors

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Carolynn Reid, a born and bred Hamiltonian has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University and her professional economic development designations (CEcD and EcD) from IEDC and EDAC. She is a Business Development Consultant with the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development and Real Estate Division. Carolynn started the City’s Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) program in 2001 having gained over eight years of experience developing small business programming and coaching and mentoring our small business community. Today Carolynn is the staff lead for the Life Sciences and Technology Sectors working closely with Hamilton’s community stakeholders.


David Carter is the Executive Director at Innovation Factory. Prior to joining iF, David was CTO and Co-founder of Awareness Inc.  His company raised 20 million in venture capital and worked with brands like New York Times, Major League Baseball, Sony Pictures and McDonalds. David will tell you his sweet spot is where technology, sales, and marketing intersect. He is quick to warn that technology alone does not ever solve the problem. During the 90s David worked for Microsoft and saw the arrival of graphical computing, smart phones, tablets and the Internet.  He left Microsoft in 2001 to begin his first start-up.


Gay Yuyitung is the Executive Director at the McMaster Industry Liaison Office, supporting faculty and staff at McMaster and the affiliated hospitals in working with industry for sponsored research contracts and in the commercialization of their research. She has experience in negotiating license agreements to transfer technology from the university to both large multinationals as well as small and medium sized enterprises. Gay has been a board member and provided management support for several McMaster related companies, from initial start-up, growing to mature companies raising angel and venture capital investment, with significant revenues. Prior to joining McMaster, she has had experience with marketing at MDS Nordion and Eli Lilly. Gay has her PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from McMaster.


Glen Crossley is the Assistant Director, Business Development, at the McMaster Industry Liaison Office, supporting commercialization and industry liaison at McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Prior to joining McMaster, Glen was the Director of Product Engineering at Spheral Solar Power, a division of ATS Automation in Cambridge, Ontario. Before Spheral Solar Power, Glen led an R&D group at E Ink Corporation, an MIT startup that developed the display technology used in the Amazon Kindle and Kobe E-readers. Glen has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering from Queen’s University.


Greg Stewart has deep experience in finance and early stage, most prominently President of GreenSky Capital. He holds directorships and/or executive roles in three Ontario technology start-ups and is President of Istic, Illic Pictures, an independent film production company. Greg started his career in corporate planning with Bankers Financial, a diversified financial services firm, and then as an Equity Analyst at Neuberger. Greg spent the next nine years at American Strategic Insurance (ASI) where he was CFO. He was instrumental in building an organization that grew from 20 to 200+ employees, winning Best Workplace in the Tampa Bay, Florida area multiple times along the way. Greg also has a BSBA degree from the University of Florida and an MBA degree from the University of Toronto (Rotman), each with Honours.


Hongwei LiuHongwei Liu is the CEO of Mappedin, a Waterloo startup making the indoors discoverable. He has led the company’s growth from the founding team to a 35-person operation based out of their downtown Kitchener office. He was born in China, grew up in Ottawa, and came to KW to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Today, Hongwei focuses on dreaming big, talking to customers, and finding amazing people to help build the dream.


Jim Skinner is Chairman, COO and Broker with Special “Finds…” Inc., a boutique real estate firm located in North Carolina with operations across the US and internationally. He founded Terregena Inc. in 2007 in the US and Canada to bring new, research-based agricultural technologies to the worldwide marketplace. Jim is also a consultant and contractor with Federal Economic Development Agency of the Canadian Federal Government. In addition to serving as President and CEO of three publicly traded companies, Jim has also served as Corporate Vice President and General Manager and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for several multi-national corporations including Phillips Medical Systems and Becton Dickinson, following a successful career in sales and marketing with Johnson and Johnson and Bayer.


John Preston is a Professor in Engineering Physics at McMaster University with technical expertise in nanotechnology.  He is responsible for Entrepreneurship and  Innovation  for the Faculty of Engineering and is actively engaged in initiatives involving big data analytics for digital/e-health, advanced manufacturing, autonomous transportation and smart city development



Kevin Browne is the founder of Software Hamilton, an online portal for the regional startup and technology community. As part of this initiative he has organized community events such as the tech DemoCamp, business hackathon Startup Weekend, and many more. Kevin completed his PhD in computer science at McMaster University in 2016. He is a partner at CoMotion Group, a dual location co-working space hosting Hamilton’s largest entrepreneurial community of over 100 freelancers, digital workers, and young professionals. He most recently co-founded the Hamilton Code Club program funded by the Hamilton Community Foundation to put lunch hour and after school learn-to-code clubs in Hamilton-area elementary schools.


Sean van Koughnett is AVP (Students and Learning) & Dean of Students at McMaster since 2013. Sean focuses on fostering an engaging, challenging and supportive experience for McMaster students. His portfolio consists of Athletics & Recreation, Housing/Residence Life, the Registrar’s Office, Student Accessibility Services, Student Conduct & Community Standards, the Student Success Centre, and the Student Wellness Centre. Under his leadership, “Spectrum” (now Forge@Mac) was established in 2014 to support student entrepreneurs at McMaster. After obtaining his BA (Economics) and his Master of Applied Environment Studies from the University of Waterloo, Sean spent five years in the private sector before returning to the University of Waterloo, where he took on several roles in Development, the Registrar’s Office, and Business Operations. Sean founded Velocity, a program for student entrepreneurs at the which is now the world’s largest free startup incubator and whose companies have attracted over $250M in venture capital and created more than 800 jobs. He then launched Waterloo’s Student Success Office and became its inaugural director.


Ted ScottDr. Ted Scott is Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Strategy at Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario. As Chief Innovation Officer, Ted focuses on bringing resources, partnerships and thought leadership to the significant efforts that already exist in the organization to develop new ideas, processes, technologies and approaches. With dual responsibility for advancing the strategy, Ted also ensures that HHS initiatives are focused on achieving the North Star metrics that have been deemed important to the success in realizing the vision of Best Care for All. In addition, Ted is the prime interface with IBM and HHS partners in the exciting Collaboration and Innovation Centre (CIC). Previously, Ted was the inaugural Chief Innovation Officer at Mohawk College and led the development of the college’s applied research and innovation programs. Ted was a faculty member for the Mohawk-McMaster Medical Radiation Sciences collaborative degree program.


Valerie Fox is the Chief Innovation Consultant at The Pivotal Point, which helps build successful incubation models with corporations, academic institutions and regions, and brings communities of diverse skills together to collaborate, design and deliver impactful innovation, world-wide. Valerie cofounded the DMZ at Ryerson University. She was responsible for its opening and development for these last 6 years. The DMZ has grown to become North America’s number 1 university business incubator and number 3 in the world (UBI Global 2015). Valerie has over 30 years in the creative digital industry and has been recognized for multiple awards, including the Canada Innovation Leaders team, the Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and a number of notable patents through IBM.