Our People

Our Executive Team

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Keith Ippel (he/him)
Co-CEO & Founder

With over 25 years of experience as a leader in technology & impact businesses and as an angel investor, Keith has accelerated the growth of both small and large companies and raised over $80M in angel investment and venture capital. As a global keynote speaker, teacher, and advisor, he has an unparalleled ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, employees, and investors to grow businesses and change the world. Keith has trained more than 400 impact entrepreneurs on investment readiness and raising capital, including Hootsuite (first three rounds), StoryTap, SocialNature, Nada Grocery, Foodee ($200m exit), Ministry of Programming, ehsAI (acquired), Brightkit (acquired; 3x in 2 years), Careteam, and FoodMesh.

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Caroline von Hirschberg (she/her)

A female founder, impact investor, business leader, international citizen and mother, Caroline brings these multiple, complementary perspectives to co-leading Spring. Prior to Spring, her experience included building an internationally acclaimed social enterprise developing renewable energy solutions for off-grid households, working for UNICEF in Laos and growing CPG brands in the UK and Ireland. As such, she brings Spring and its global community her deep understanding of the interplay between impact and profit at both a strategic and operational level, firsthand knowledge of testing and iterating both product and business model, and how to build effective partnerships for maximum impact.

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Marlon Thompson (he/him)
Chief Experience Officer

Marlon is an angel investor, startup founder and experienced advocate for diversity in business. He has worked with industry-leading tech and ecommerce startups and has been dedicated to creating pathways to success for underrepresented leaders in the startup ecosystem. He founded Future Capital in 2020 to change the landscape of startup investing across North America. Spring acquired Future Capital in 2023 bringing Marlon onto the Spring Team. He also serves on the Advisory Council for Diversity at lululemon, as a member of the Board of Directors for QueerTech – a Montreal-based non-profit organisation that aims to queer the tech ecosytem, and as a Venture Partner for LOI Venture – a Canadian VC fund lead by Ryan Holmes (Hootsuite Media, League of Innovators).

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Avary Kent (they/them)
Chief People Officer

Avary Kent is a serial Social Entrepreneur with deep expertise in bringing ideas to life. They co-founded Conveners.org where they first met the team at Spring. Avary is a world-class experience designer and they are excited to build a strong team culture and expand the reach of Spring’s incredible programs.

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Allison Gibson (she/her)
Chief Design Officer

Allison is a social enterprise strategist and entrepreneur based in Toronto. She has a track record for creating impact-driven programs and supporting startups to take scalable business ideas from beta to producing revenue. She provides consulting and program development for purpose-led organizations with a focus on impact and community building. She utilizes her 20 years of experience managing teams and leading projects to help organizations develop training, incubator and accelerator programs.


Our Impact Startup Visa Team

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Tina Ippel (she/her)
Operations Director

Tina can be found filling in the gaps wherever they may exist to make sure Spring runs efficiently, focusing on administrative support for the company and operational program support for the team. Tina also leads Spring’s Impact Startup Visa program with an amazing squad, supporting immigrant entrepreneurs from around the world to launch their impact ventures and settle in Canada. She lives by the proverbial notion that there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place, which is why you will find her constantly telling the team to put things in their proper trackers.

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Zavosh Zaboliyan (he/him)
ISV Program Manager

I’ve joined Spring as an Entrepreneur Program Manager for ISV and will be working closely with the team to manage and grow the incubator and accelerator programs. To me the process is more important than the outcome. Impact to me is about rewarding progress and building a future that is more fair and fun for everyone. We need to be able to measure impact through small achievements leading to creating a bigger change that is for the better of the planet and all people.

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Lucy Cullen (she/her)
ISV Program Manager

Lucy can be found on a daily basis helping impact-driven businesses scale, researching circular economy systems, initiating team lunch and learns on sustainability topics, and brainstorming new ways businesses can further their impact.

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Dil Bola (she/her)
Program Operations Lead

As a child of immigrants, Dil has always been passionate about helping others. This led to her studying Political Science, World Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, and World Religions with a focus on human rights at McGill University. She worked as a journalist for the university and for online publications both within Canada and globally. Eventually, she entered the tech industry as a marketing associate but wanted to return to her roots of helping create an impact which led her to Spring. At Spring, Dil aims to use her skills to help members of the Impact Startup Visa program start their business within the Canadian ecosystem. Feel free to contact her with questions on the ISV program at Spring Activator.

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Loreen Catubay (she/her)
ISV Program Associate

In her role as a Program Associate at Spring, Loreen provides vital support for the Impact Startup Visa program, ensuring seamless coordination, implementation, delivery and follow-up of necessary activities to ensure international impact entrepreneurs a smooth professional and personal transition into Canada. Loreen thrives on assisting others, embracing fresh challenges, and striving to always add fuel other’s goals to make a meaningful impact. Off the grind, Loreen is a wanna-be water bender and mermaid. She can be found chasing waterfalls or diving underwater, making her your ultimate go-to for advice or inspiration on any water-related adventures in British Columbia.

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Fabíola Borba (she/her)
ISV Community Associate

Fabíola has been active in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for more than 10 years, as a member of program execution teams and by being a co-founder in an edtech business for over 7 years. She has participated in several startup accelerators in South America and has been a Tedx talker before. At Spring, she brings her passion for Community Building, Immigration and Entrepreneurship!

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Tra My Pham (she/her)
Managing Director, SE Asia

Tra My is a startup founder, angel investor and big advocate of user-centric design. Having lived in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Silicon Valley, and Vancouver, Tra My weaves a global perspective into her role as mentor and coach for startup founders. Previously, she co-founded two startups in the retail sector, serving arts and crafts brands and end-users in two-sided marketplaces. She has also invested in numerous startups across different sectors, including health, education, and most recently, recycled materials.At Spring, she finds a wonderful team with whom she can continue doing what she loves: supporting entrepreneurs along their journeys of customer discovery, product launches and growth. Currently, she divides her time between Hanoi and Vancouver, where her work at Spring allows her to continue bridging global resources to grow local impact.

Our Investment Team

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Mari Mathews (she/her)
Director of Business Development

Mari enjoys innovative collaboration together with our partners from government, organizations and the corporate sector to achieve success in driving a thriving, purposeful and diverse national innovation ecosystem. Reach out to Mari to learn more about how you and your organization can create impactful and meaningful change. Be prepared: Meetings may include mountain tops, chairlifts and ‘ma & pa’ coffee shops!

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Davina MacPhail (she/her)
Investment Program Director

After a degree in Development Studies, I started my career working in microfinance impact research. I worked in India for over a year and traveled around the country to find partner organizations keen to set up randomized impact evaluations. I then went on to work in the banking sector, working in risk management and client facing roles in leading international banks (Citigroup and HSBC), in London, Paris and Taiwan. Strengthened by these experiences, I then went back to the development world and developed a social enterprise in Cambodia. After four years in the organization, I then went on to work for a Social Impact Investing fund in Paris, Phitrust. I spent four years investing in social enterprises in Europe and Africa.

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Neema Rimber (she/her)
Investment Program Manager

Neema likes to think of herself as an amalgam. With a degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of British Columbia where she was also a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, her academic background and values for support and engagement feed a keen interest in social impact and financial inclusion ventures, especially with underserved and equity-seeking communities. Her experience includes roles in impact measurement, competition policy and operations and logistics and she is excited to bring these intersectional experiences to support the Spring team as a Program Manager.

In her free time you may find her spotting continuity errors and other “cinema sins” on your everyday tv shows and films over a warm beverage.

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Christine Whiteside (she/her)
IRP Program Manager

A true startup enthusiast, Christine has worked with ventures at all stages and industries. As an operator, she is passionate about early stage companies, leading fundraising and business operations. Christine is a natural people leader and well-seasoned with inner workings of corporate structure, having spent some time in VC, she brings deep experience to founders and funders alike. Located in Atlantic Canada and excited to contribute to growth in the startup ecosystem nationally, working with entrepreneurs in Investment Readiness.

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Ashima Chopra (she/her)
Investment Program Manager

As an advocate for innovation and a living embodiment of resilience, Ashima is a first-generation lawyer turned angel investor. Challenging the status quo, Ashima has carved out her own path to success and believes in inspiring others to do the same. Her mission to democratize access to capital, champion women, and cultivate spaces for the world’s troublemakers and truth-seekers is fundamental to her ambitions. This through-line comes to life across venture, business and tech in her roles as Community Manager at Toast, Board Member of two award-winning organizations, Obsidian Theatre Company and hEr VOLUTION, and the founder of a holistic wellness company. Embodying “the sky’s the limit” ethos, Ashima is drawn to supporting heart-centered teams with goosebump-y missions.

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Vanessa Ferlaino (she/her)
Investment Program Manager

Vanessa is an award-winning author, artist, and activist. She is honoured to support the impact investment challenge team at Spring, working with ecosystem partners to connect impact ventures with national investors. We also make impact investment more accessible for investors, being able to support both accredited and non-accredited status with deal flow and impact investment education. Outside of Spring, Vanessa is an award-winning author recently featured in Times Square, host/producer of The Human Challenge, certified mindfulness meditation guide on Insight Timer, and founder of The Being Human Foundation.

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Liv Stukator (she/her)
Investment Community Associate

Liv is passionate about building great communities as well as learning and sharing knowledge. She has a background in Global Development and Project Management. Liv started her career at an educational non-profit organization, travelling across Canada providing science, math, and coding programs to Indigenous Youth. Liv has since worked in tech, government and more. She focuses on problem solving, life-long learning, and making an impact in her community.

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Selina Powszedny (she/her)
Investment Program Operations Lead

As an Investment Program Operations Lead at Spring, Selina supports the investment team to ensure that all investment programs run smoothly. She enjoys taking on challenges and learning new things, especially when she knows it is making a positive impact. Selina has been passionate about protecting and caring for all beings since a young age. This passion led her to study Environmental Studies and Geography, with a concentration in Urban, Health and Development Studies, at the University of Victoria. She completed an Honours thesis, researching environmental and social sustainability initiatives in urban Cascadia. During her time at university and after, she has worked at various non-profits and companies with a focus on the environment, social justice, and education.

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Natalie Youssef (she/her)
Investment Program Associate

Natalie is a mission-driven individual with an entrepreneurial mindset and a background in investor relations, compliance, sustainability and the private markets. She strongly believes in the role and power of capital in creating resilient and equitable communities, and is passionate about equipping impact entrepreneurs and investors with the tools needed to thrive and succeed. Throughout her career thus far, Natalie has had the pleasure of assisting early-stage startups and social purpose organizations in Canada with their crowdfunding capital raises and business needs, and developing strong relationships with investors nation-wide. Currently, she supports the operations of Spring’s investment programs.

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Adaeze Zita Edokwe (she/her)
Investment Program Associate

Adaeze is a results-driven Investment Program Associate with eight years of experience in project management and leadership who is passionate about driving success, growth and creating lasting impact for small businesses. Adaeze’s expertise lies in designing and implementing strategic programs that foster sustainability and drive significant growth. When not immersed in the world of business, she finds joy in taking long walks, exploring new paths and spending time with loved ones.

Our Corporate Ops Team

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Heena Narula (she/her)
Director of Customer Experience

Heena describes herself as passionately curious. This trait came to the forefront when she founded and managed her own school at 25, leading a team of 15 and positively impacting over 400 families. She believes in equal access to knowledge and creates engaging learning experiences for people of all ages, from 3-year-olds to 60-year-olds. Her efforts have impacted over 8,000 learners in 75+ countries. At Spring, Heena integrates learning philosophies, builds relationships, and uses analytics to design customer experiences driven by operational excellence and data insights.

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Jitender Banga (she/her)
People Operations & Finance Manager

Jitender is the People Operations & Finance Manager at Spring, she is skilled in utilizing financial data to inform strategic operational decisions and is committed to fostering a positive and collaborative workplace culture through a unique blend of empathy and financial acumen. She is passionate about People Operations and loves to bake, journal and spend time outdoors.

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Somto Esomeju (he/him)
Corporate Operations Associate

Somto, the global vibe master 🌎. With ties to Canada, the USA, and Nigeria, he’s diverse and dynamic. Transitioning from tech geek 🖥️ to Corporate Operations Associate at Spring, he champions the planet 🌿 and diversity. Off-duty? He’s all about sushi and pho. 🍣🍜

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Nina Yumul (she/her)
Operations Assistant

As an Executive Administrative Assistant, you’ll find me keeping things in check, primarily for the CEOs & CPO. I will make sure that their lives at Spring are as organized and systematic as it can be. If ever they lose track (or get distracted) it’s up to me to shepherd them back to the fold and be one with the flock again. What I can do for the stakeholders is to ensure that whatever needs their utmost attention will be brought up as real-time as possible and guide them in addressing urgent and important matters. The team can reach out to me for anything work-related (or not and you just need someone to listen!) and rest assured that everything will be kept in confidence unless otherwise indicated.

Our Marketing Team

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Erin Skillen (she/her)
Director of Marketing

Erin is a media professional fuelled by impact. Passionate about the power of storytelling, she draws on her repertoire as a documentarian, journalist, creative writer, podcaster, interactive website producer and social entrepreneur to create compelling marketing strategies and brand experiences to inspire meaningful action.

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Rithu Jagannath (she/her)
Content Marketing Manager

Through volunteerism, activism and learning, I discovered that my purpose was to make a positive impact in the media and content space. I learned that learning and growing your perspective is the key to becoming more understanding and empathetic to others. So I aimed to share the stories and experiences of those people who have done incredible things for our world and educate the world about the possibilities of the human spirit.

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Meet Trivedi (he/him)
Marketing Coordinator

I have worked in marketing for about 5 years now, creating data-driven marketing strategies, event planning, marketing automation, email campaigns, website management, graphic design, and search engine optimization (SEO). I graduated Master’s in Business Administration from New York Tech Vancouver, where I also worked as a part-time Student Life Assistant, I helped organize various student community engagement events and activities for international students. Outside of work, I’m passionate about everything pop culture & exploring the great outdoors through hiking.

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Taylor Van Luven (she/her)
Content Coordinator

Following an impressive journey spanning various corners of the marketing world, Taylor became a Content Marketer at Spring. Taylor has a background that spans circular economy to entrepreneurship. She is passionate about making a positive impact on our world and facilitates this through Spring’s social media presence and content creation.

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Rhea Alleyne (she/her)
Marketing Manager

Rhea has extensive knowledge of brand marketing and is passionate about developing effective content marketing, and digital and social media strategies. With over 6 years of B2B marketing experience delivering profitable solutions to drive brand awareness, attract leads and sustain relationships with existing customers. Rhea has always had a keen interest in making a social impact and supporting the Spring team will allow her to work with like-minded people to bring impactful projects together seamlessly.

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Marlubi Gomez (she/her)
Client Marketing Strategist

Marlubi has travelled the world wearing many hats such as actress, writer, marketer, journalist and entrepreneur. Originally from Venezuela, she has developed a deep passion for human-centred design and how it can be used to transform the world through entrepreneurship. In Chile, she started her own modelling academy, helping young girls develop their confidence and self-esteem.

Our Impact Capital & Collective Teams

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Graham Day (he/him)
Managing Partner, Spring Impact Capital

Previously Chief Investment Officer at Spring Activator, providing programming for startup entrepreneurs and impact investors. Former Investment Manager at LGT Impact (now Lightrock with $3b AUM) leading climate and agriculture diligence. Former CFO of Sistema.bio, a global regenerative agriculture company. Ex-Oliver Wyman.

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Olivia Hornby (she/her)
Managing Partner, Spring Impact Capital

Former VP at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, in the Alternative Investments & Manager Selection team. Former consultant to Vancity’s impact investing fund portfolio, investor relations at a $5bn London-based hedge fund and portfolio advisor at RBC Dominion Securities.

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Tarini Sharma (she/her)
Investment Associate, Spring Collective

Tarini is a McGill University graduate with a double major in Economics and Gender, Sexuality & Social Justice Theory, with a minor in French. As an immigrant, her journey has been one of adaptability and resilience. For six years, she thrived in the corporate retail sector as a buyer, diligently infusing her portfolios with strategies focused on social impact. Recognizing the power of aligning values with vocation, she transitioned into a career deeply rooted in impact and purpose. Her mission is to create meaningful change through her work – bridging her academic knowledge with real-world action to foster a more equitable and compassionate society.