Our Team

Our team is here to support innovators in every step of the way to grow and succeed.

Gay Yuyitung

Gay Yuyitung

Gay Yuyitung

Acting Director

Gay Yuyitung is the Acting Director at The Forge and Executive Director of McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO). Gay has negotiated license agreements to transfer technology from the university to both large multinationals, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. Gay has also represented the university on the board and provided management support for several McMaster startups and not-for-profit organizations, including ProSensus, Turnstone Biologicals, and Triumvira, as well as the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC). She assists faculty and companies with obtaining government grants or seed investments to support commercialization. Prior to joining MILO, she has had experience with marketing at MDS Nordion and price reimbursement at Eli Lilly. Gay has her PhD in chemistry from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from McMaster.

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Mariya Leslie

Mariya Leslie

Mariya Leslie

Manager of Student Entrepreneurship

Mariya Leslie is the Manager of Student Entrepreneurship at McMaster University, where she focuses on helping campus entrepreneurs launch and grow their startups. Originally from Ukraine, Mariya is now a proud Hamiltonian whose mission is to help build and strengthen the local entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. Prior to her role at McMaster, Mariya led the operations of Altitude Accelerator, Peel Region’s hub for innovative technology startups. Mariya received a Master of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto and an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo.

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Riley Moynes

Riley Moynes

Riley Moynes

Incubator Manager

Riley joins The Forge from the Innovation Factory, where he was a Client Services Manager. Riley is a filmmaker turned design/business strategist originally from Regina, Saskatchewan. Riley has an entrepreneurial background having owned and operated a film and video production company for 8+ years while living in Saskatchewan.

Prior to starting his MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of the Arts, Riley started a Saskatchewan-based, solar energy company. Riley is incredibly excited to offer support to fledgling startups in the Hamilton business ecosystem and to utilize his design thinking skills in the process.

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Jessica Rudden

Jessica Rudden

Jessica Rudden

Program Coordinator

Jessica is The Forge’s office & finance manager and ensures that operations run smoothly. She joined The Forge back in 2015 as one of the first team members and is proud to have helped form The Forge into the successful program it is today. She believes everyone should spend their lives doing what sets their soul on fire and she is delighted to support entrepreneurs doing just that. Prior to her role at The Forge, Jessica specialized in sales in both the hospitality and retail sectors.

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Elina Ojanen

Elina Ojanen

Elina Ojanen

Communications & Events Manager

Elina Ojanen is the Communications and Events Manager at The Forge. Every day she showcases clients’ key achievements on their journeys to success. She has numerous years of experience in Marketing, Communications, Project Management and Event Planning and prides herself on being part of a team that helps entrepreneurs transform their dreams into reality.

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Marissa Principato

Marissa Principato

Marissa Principato

Communications & Events Coordinator

Marissa Principato is the Communications & Events Coordinator for The Forge. She oversees our social media profiles and ad campaigns as well as coordinating student programming. Student opportunities include Startup Survivor and Startup School. Marissa is a proud McMaster Alumni with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce and is passionate about helping other McMaster students achieve their startup dreams at The Forge.

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Tancred Yip

Tancred Yip

Tancred Yip

Volunteer Coordinator & Makerspace Technical Lead – On Leave

Tancred Yip is The Forge’s Volunteer Coordinator & Makerspace Technical Lead. He helps The Forge startups connect with volunteers and prototyping their products. After graduating from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Technology in Automation Engineering, Tancred founded of MyPalate Inc. and became a Design Consultant at TransPod Inc. Tancred has experience with Rapid Prototyping, IoT, Ideation, and Project Management.

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Julian Lombardi

Julian Lombardi

Julian Lombardi

Communications Assistant

Julian Lombardi is The Forge’s Communications Assistant, helping the Marketing Team with digital media, social media management, promoting programs and events, and assisting in developing relationships within the innovation ecosystem. Julian is currently a third-year student in the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.

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Sumanya Gulati

Sumanya Gulati

Sumanya Gulati

Program Support Assistant

Sumanya Gulati is The Forge and Student Success Centre’s Program Support Assistant, where she carries out various administrative support functions such as compiling and synthesizing department-related data and planning and hosting events. She conducts directed research to update and improve upon various programs currently run by the departments. Sumanya is a second-year Software Engineering student at McMaster University.

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