Meet our Advisors
Our team of expert advisors come from all backgrounds and industries. We have entrepreneurs, former industry executives, and
“With so many options available to consumers now, the value your business brings to customers will separate you from the pack. My advice is to keep it old-school and focus on your product and customers first. Be a perpetual student, by always learning about things you are unfamiliar with. Reach out to professionals and mentors for help. Embrace social media.”
Ana Misra is a result-driven executive with focus on value creation, with solid entrepreneurial and corporate experience. Ana is a founding member and Member of the Board of the York Angel Investors Inc. and serves as the Director of Finance. As an advisor at ventureLAB she provides guidance to entrepreneurs in all areas of the business including strategic planning and operations, helping companies grow to the next level and achieve successful exit.
“A successful entrepreneur has the ability to lead a balanced and committed team that is fearless in gathering the information required to deeply understand the pain points of prospective customers – and flexible enough to iterate when the solution proposed falls short of addressing the customer’s pain.”
With over two decades of both public and private financial market experience and as a co-founder of several start-ups, Chris Cory currently heads the Capital Investment Program at ventureLAB. The Capital Investment program seeks to provide strategic financial advice to scaling technology companies in Canada. Chris is a co-founder of Pond Technologies, a Markham based clean technology company that has raised over $35 Million since inception.
“Being a successful entrepreneur in today’s hyper-connected, hyper-competitive, always-on world requires additional skills than in the past. Yes, you still need to be hard-working, determined, goal-oriented and resourceful. But today, an entrepreneur needs to be open-minded (your next customer or investor could be in your yoga class), socially conscious (attracting top talent is more than just paying a good salary), and embrace iteration (try, fail, try again, really fast). Having a brilliant idea is awesome, but being an individual/company that people want to do business with and work for is the real key to success.”
Colin Hung is an award-winning Marketing and Product Executive with more than 20 years of healthcare experience. The five companies he has worked for have all gone on to be acquired. Colin founded one of the most popular open healthcare communities and hosts a bi-monthly podcast on Healthcare IT Today. Colin is currently CMO and Editor at Healthcare Scene and is a Healthcare Advisor at ventureLAB and Haltech where he helps companies scale their businesses.
“In order to succeed, an entrepreneur needs to be an exceptionally talented, resilient, disruptive individual who believes in themselves and their vision enough to weave through the ecosystem and build something of net new value.”
Danielle Graham is an accomplished investor and consultant experienced in leading business transformation by designing and delivering innovative, long-term process improvements.
“To be a successful entrepreneur requires relentless focus on building things that customers cannot live without.”
Garry is a tech entrepreneur, investor and mentor, focused on advising and building early-stage companies. He is a Fintech & SaaS Advisor at ventureLAB and a member of the Maple Leaf Angels. Previously, he was VP, Products at VersaPay, a Toronto-based Fintech company that specializes in accounts receivable software. For 15+ years before that, Garry was a founding Managing Partner at Procase Consulting Inc., building IT professional services in Canada, the United States, and China.
“The personal qualities of a successful entrepreneur have not changed: perseverance, resilience, intelligence, a learner and assimilator with comfort in uncertainty. You need as lots of luck and a supportive community. However, the impact of technology as an enabler of any business means that business development has sped up greatly and that competitors can enter markets more readily. A relentless focus on your business model is critical now as well as the ability to pivot.”
Heather Crosbie helps high-potential technology entrepreneurs to build sustainable companies as an adviser at ventureLAB. She also teaches entrepreneurship at some of ventureLAB’s partner organizations. Through her consulting company, Innovaction Consulting, she provides consulting and advisory services to social entrepreneurs and impact investors. Previously, her career was spent as an entrepreneur and business leader in startup, scaling and mature retail organizations through times of fast-scaling opportunity and times of existential threats.
“Entrepreneurs today are bombarded with more conflicting information and agendas than ever before. Digging deep for self determination, commitment to the cause, and purity of focus; while maintaining the ability to listen to and internalize the hard questions from advisors, mentors, employees and potential clients, is a must-have ability for growing a successful company.”
A 25-year startup veteran, John has headed and mentored diverse teams in Product, Sales, Engineering and Marketing, serving markets around the globe. In 2018 John founded Incendify Inc. with a mission to advise, mentor, and provide executive services to start-ups in their early revenue stages, and has offered these skills to the ventureLAB community since 2019.
“Succeeding as an entrepreneur is like flying a plane. Many things need to be checked and planned in advance, and many more need to be checked, adjusted, and re-routed along the way. Yet, despite the rigour and discipline, an air of adventure permeates the entire endeavour.”
Paul Rivett has been active in the York Region entrepreneurship ecosystem for 15 years, applying business and technology experience to help technology companies launch, grow and scale. After extensive operations and engineering experience at Alcatel Canada, serving telecom, medical, avionic and industrial markets with advanced photonics hardware, Paul founded Resonance Photonics Inc and raised seed and venture capital investment.
“Vision without execution is hallucination,’ said Thomas Edison years ago. Nothing can be further from the truth even today. I would reflect his sentiments and say to today’s entrepreneur, “Believe in your vision, device a plan, build a trusting team and execute, execute, execute!’ And, I would add, ‘Remember, you need to deliver something the customer needs and not what you think the customer wants. So, stay very, very close to your customers.”
Ravi is an execution-focused leader with over 20 years of experience in leading engineering development, product management, and business development for both small, entrepreneurial technology companies as well as for large, Fortune500 technology companies. He has a passion for new product development and has successfully defined, developed, and launched several hardware/semiconductor products internationally in the PC gaming, Digital Camera, Mobile Phone, and Consumer Electronics markets.
“Any great entrepreneur needs a great plan, the skills and resources to execute it, and the determination to overcome the obstacles along the way.”
As a founder, investor and policy maker, Yuri has spent the last 15 years working to support the success of early-stage technology companies. He has built a network of over 4000 Angel investors, VCs and family offices globally. As one of the architects of the Startup Visa Program, he is a champion of the Canadian startup ecosystem and innovative models for global startup and investor communities.