View All Stories

Celebrating Spring’s ISV Program Mentors: April 2024

This image has an empty alt attribute, its filename is Info-Session-FBLITW-18.png

Spring’s Impact Startup Visa (ISV) Program has been an inspiring initiative for impact-driven entrepreneurs across the globe. The program not only provides opportunities to immigrate and set up a home base in Canada but also valuable mentorship on Impact – also known as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Today, we want to highlight some of the exceptional mentors who have played an essential role in shaping the entrepreneurial journeys of our ISV participants.

Bradley Zaytsoff: Fractional Head of Marketing, Luna XIO and e4score

Bradley Zaytsoff, the Fractional Head of Marketing at Luna XIO and e4score, stands as a seasoned marketing leader with over two decades of experience. His expertise lies in crafting and executing effective marketing strategies that drive growth for SaaS products. With a track record of surpassing revenue expectations and tripling software trial sign-ups, Bradley’s analytical thinking and strong communication skills make him an invaluable asset to startups navigating the competitive landscape of digital marketing.

Fatima Kamenge: Lead of Validation and Launch programs,  District 3 Accelerator

Fatima is a serial entrepreneur and strategy consultant empowering people through business development and financial independence. She is Head of Social Ausum, co-creating safe spaces for growth, and leads Validation and Launch programs for Balsam by D3 at Concordia University. Fatima advises startups with Spring and Foresight, and volunteers on the board of Vibe Arts and Blacks in Tech Foundation. She sits on the grant Review Committee of OTF, passionate about community engagement, art, and social entrepreneurship. Born in Burundi, Fatima has lived and worked in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, and more.

Pankaj Bagga: Director, Tech Hub

Pankaj Bagga, a born entrepreneur from Punjab, India, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication and specializes in Robotics and Computer Vision from the University of Dijon, France. With an MOT MBA from SFU, he has a rich background in research and development, having advised various European companies. Pankaj co-founded Tech Hub, Yes Payments, and Digital Fogg Technologies, showcasing his passion for innovation. With over a decade of experience, he has mentored and advised numerous organizations globally, including prestigious Canadian institutions like UBC and SFU. Pankaj’s negotiation skills and commitment to fostering entrepreneurship make him a valuable asset in driving partnerships and supporting startup ecosystems.

Pascal Masson: Senior Product Manager

As a seasoned Senior Product Manager, Pascal Masson possesses a keen understanding of the challenges faced by tech entrepreneurs. With a track record of successfully launching digital products and driving revenue growth, Pascal’s expertise in product management and user research is invaluable to startups seeking to find product-market fit. His commitment to creating a better world through technology resonates deeply with the ethos of Spring’s Impact SUV program, where innovation meets social impact.

Paul Burgener: Consultant, Burgener Consulting Inc.

Paul, a seasoned Materials Engineer, brings a diverse skill set honed over years of experience in various industries. His expertise spans manufacturing, instrumentation, electrical, and optical devices. With a background in mining exploration, geophysics and geochemistry, Paul is well-versed in physical and chemical testing laboratories, as well as high-power microwave heating. Notably, his 13-year tenure with the Federal Government’s National Research Council in the Industrial Research Assistance Program demonstrates his commitment to aiding technology companies in technical, business, and funding aspects. 

Richard Miller: Principal, Richard K. Miller Strategic Consulting

Richard K. Miller is a seasoned strategy advisor and consultant with over 25 years of experience in commercialization, management, and innovation planning. He has advised emerging companies across various industries, including software, SaaS, mobile, biometrics, ERP, tourism, health tech, and more. Richard has mentored startups for New Ventures BC since 2014 and participated in Due Diligence projects for eFund. His recent role as VP of Operations & Partnerships at involved establishing collaborations with industry giants like Nintendo and Sony. Previously, as VP of Sales & Marketing at PressReader Inc., he played a pivotal role in establishing the company as a global leader in digital print media distribution.

Rita Kim: CEO & Founder, Partners for Growth Advisory Services Inc.

Rita Kim’s multifaceted background as an entrepreneur, banker, and podcast host uniquely positions her as a finance industry specialist with a heart for community impact. As the CEO of Partners for Growth, Rita’s mission is not just to obtain capital for her clients but to foster a ripple effect of positive impact throughout the business ecosystem. Her commitment to supporting entrepreneurs extends beyond financial transactions, as evidenced by her role as a podcast host and advocate for industry knowledge sharing.

Sara Wang: CEO, VIV Coaching

Sara Wang’s passion for sustainable growth, strategic development, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) training shines through in her role as CEO of VIV Coaching. With a wealth of experience as a management executive and consultant across diverse industries and geographies, Sara brings a global perspective to her work with small-medium-size organizations. Her dedication to building a kinder world where nature and humanity thrive together is a guiding light for entrepreneurs navigating the complexities of leadership and growth.

Stephen Roger Deller: Director at Deller & Associates

Stephen is an expert in SMSE (Sales, Marketing, and Service Excellence) with extensive experience in different industries and regions, including Nunavut and Ghana, West Africa. He has worked in various fields, such as B2C, online and offline marketing, brewery planning, tourism, agri-business, and trade and development. He co-founded Western Canada’s first corporate mail-order pharmacy and has advised on potential free trade strategies in Belize. Stephen applies a value-driven approach in all his engagements, using empathetic listening and mutual identification of solutions and new strategies.

Tehmina A Chaudhry: President, Canada Startup Association

Tehmina A Chaudhry’s commitment to innovation and community engagement has been a driving force behind her entrepreneurial endeavors. Through her work with startups and nonprofits, Tehmina fosters a culture of innovation and inclusivity, shaping the future of Canada’s business landscape.

Tim Kolke: Head of UX, Workday

With over 15 years of experience in product design, including roles at Hootsuite,, and Amazon, Tim brings a wealth of expertise to the table. As a co-founder of a design studio and currently leading a team at Workday,Tim specializes in product design. Tim’s main focus is on evaluating features, refining them, and aligning product direction with user needs based on thorough research. 

Yasmin Jalali: SUV Program Coordinator, Wealth Theory Inc.

Yasmin Jalali’s specialization in assisting early-stage startups through the entrepreneurial journey in Canada reflects her dedication to supporting emerging ventures. With expertise in idea validation, product-market fit, and business modeling, Yasmin offers invaluable guidance drawn from her diverse experience across various industry sectors. Her role in mentoring SUV Program teams underscores her commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the tech and IT industries.

The Impact Startup Visa program owes much of its success to the dedicated mentors who generously share their knowledge and expertise on a regular basis. As we celebrate their contributions, we also recognize the ripple effect of their guidance, shaping not just individual ventures but also contributing to the growth and resilience of the Canadian Impact startup ecosystem as a whole.