We are thrilled to welcome the following group of purpose-driven entrepreneurs into the Spring family and wider Canadian business community! Eager to scale their impact businesses across North America, these venture founders are participating in the IMPACT Startup Visa Accelerator (ISV) Program—a program supporting entrepreneurs seeking to immigrate to Canada under the Canada Start-up Visa immigration pathway.
From polar bear sanctuaries to improving internet connection in rural communities and maximizing business efficiency through bartering (yes, bartering!), this intake of ISV participants inspires us to reflect upon what matters most, especially in the current state of the world, and pursue it with gusto.
As such, we invite you to grab a coffee, have your LinkedIn open, and connect with this bunch of impact-motivated trailblazers.
Introducing the Cohort
Founded in 2016, BioLuum Architecture specializes in Bio Construction and Biophilic Design, designing, restoring and building constructions from natural materials with low environmental impact. As part of the company’s commitment to supporting locals, it sources its materials from local communities. Additionally, BioLuum seeks to make a difference by improving people’s health and wellbeing through bio architectural design. The organization is on a mission to create more mindful spaces for people and the planet.
Alan is an engineer turned entrepreneur committed to taking care of the environment and improving people’s health and wellbeing. His appreciation for bio construction and architecture stemmed from his involvement in community service, where he also learned about natural resources and how to use them responsibly. With his family’s background in architecture and experience in construction for seven years, Alan became interested in social and environmental impact. In 2016, Alan launched BioLuum with a mission to build socially and environmentally sustainable spaces.
Alan Zamora | Founder and Managing Director, BioLuum
Polar Bear Refuge
Jake is a behavioural ecologist specializing in the interface between animal welfare science and conservation biology with a particular interest in species at risk of extinction in the wild and prone to welfare challenges in captivity. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of London in Zoology, a Masters Degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Behavioural Ecology from the University of Glasgow. Jake has advised governments and NGOs across four continents on species conservation and animal welfare policy and management. He has two decades of executive leadership experience running some of the most extensive wildlife facilities in Europe and North America. Most recently, Jake has pioneered the development of evidence-based systems to identify psychological priorities to ensure habitat design and management can ensure animals have the opportunity to experience peak welfare.
Jake Veasey | Founder and CEO, Care for the Rare
Gary has over 20 years of executive leadership experience as a business owner/manager in the well-known London Insurance Market. His innovative business approach, leveraging emerging technologies to build data-led business models, has delivered a long history of sustainable business growth and profit throughout the distribution chain. Recognized for exceptional strategy development, leadership, relationship management and an ability to deliver the ‘impossible’, Gary has a history of building successful businesses in challenging markets taking his previous company from four employees to a business operating from multiple locations across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Recently relocated to Alberta, Gary is keen to bring this business experience to bear in the conservation and animal welfare arena and contribute to the greater good of his new community.
Gary Edmondson | COO, Polar Bear Refuge
Jingxin is a B2B data analyst, market research expert and entrepreneur engaged in text-mining technology in the field of B2B firmographic data. Before founding Datahoot, Jingxin worked with multi-national companies such as Capgemini Consulting, Intel Corp, Bekaert, and MYOB in charge of competitive intelligence and customer intelligence management in Asia Pacific Regions. Jingxin majored in Business Information Management in college and got his MBA degree from CEIBS. He is a fan of classical music and traditional opera.
Jingxin Yang | Founder and CEO, Datahoot
An entrepreneur at heart, Michelle is the CEO & Co-Founder of Earth Studio. With more than 18 years of experience in sales, management, and the Green Tech industry, Michelle has found her passion for people and teamwork through installing vertical green walls. She has an eye for seeing ideas and strategies in collaboration through innovation. Michelle initiated the import of vertical green walls and bespoke earthenware, which services key partners in Canada’s residential and commercial market. She has installed over 250 vertical green walls throughout her career and serviced over 80 000 plants weekly with a team of employees above 120 members. Michelle is target-driven, yet family comes first and time with her husband and children is a priority to the overall success in her life.
Michelle Hinde | Co-Founder and CEO, Earth Studio
An entrepreneur at heart, Dylan is the Co-Founder of Earth Studio and Managing Director and shareholder of Safeloadusa Inc. Dylan has found his passion for people and teamwork by importing high-quality products. He has an eye for seeing ideas and strategy in collaboration through innovation for new products and sales. Through this vision, his strategy to import into the GreenTech, trucking and telecommunications industries began, servicing key partners throughout North America. With more than 18 years of senior high-level management positions throughout his career and being a business owner from an early age, he comes with a wealth of experience. Dylan is goal-driven, yet family comes first and time with his wife and children is a priority to the overall success in his life.
Dylan Hinde | Co-Founder, Earth Studio
Currently in the final semester of his MBA program at Cornell Johnson, Anh Tuan has a background in computer science with a Ph.D. in computer networks. In 2011 he founded a tech startup leveraging his research to build a video streaming system. In seven years, Anh Tuan grew the company from five engineers to more than 40 before selling it to a Japanese software company. At Johnson, he focuses on strategy and finance. He is an active member in the entrepreneurship community at Cornell while serving as a Fund Manager at Big Red Venture Fund, a student-run V.C. fund at Johnson. Passionate about applying technology to improve people’s lives and businesses, Anh Tuan actively looks for problems that technology can solve. Having spent many years studying and working overseas, he noticed a gap between the authenticity and quality of Vietnamese food in Vietnam and that in overseas markets. Driven by the desire to bring high authentic and quality Vietnamese products to Vietnamese communities overseas across the world, Anh Tuan launched GAN and is currently working on his startup as its co-founder and CEO.
Anh Tuan Nguyen | Co-Founder and CEO, GAN
Growth Recipes is a platform helping business owners and startup founders grow their businesses by providing them with the tools and resources in the form of recipes and creating actionable roadmaps to either implement themselves or hire a certified expert to do it with them. The organization’s mission is to help one million entrepreneurs and business owners become better marketers and scale faster, believing that marketing is the core driver of every business. The platform assesses company growth goals and prepares a roadmap for growth in the form of ‘Growth Recipes’—a checklist so easy to follow that anyone can realize their goals by following step-by-step instructions, or better yet, hire a Growth Ambassador from the platform to do it for them.
A native of Calicut (Kerala), RK is the Founder and Director of WebNamaste, an award-winning inbound marketing agency serving clients worldwide. He has a team of about 30 young, bright and smart professionals with specialization in Inbound Marketing, Social media, Copywriting, Design & Development. He received his Bachelor of Science in Applied Biotechnology from Bangalore University. He also holds a Diploma in Human Resource Management from Rai Business School, Bangalore. He has completed an Advanced Management Development Program at IIM Bangalore to deploy the Scale-Up best practices for startups. Rk is a passionate traveller, plays musical instruments, and is an absolute foodie. His coveted accomplishment is his mission to travel to 30 countries by the age of 30. During his school and college days, he has won several awards in performing music. He plays Violin, Guitar, Flute, and Piano.
Radhakrishnan KG (R.K.) | Founder, Growth Recipes
Shivani is a passionate entrepreneur and consultant with over 14 years of diversified work experience helping organizations become more effective in their mission. She loves to go beyond a conventional approach to more transformation and creative roles. She has a natural ability to facilitate learning experiences across all levels, helping people bring out the best in themselves and those around them. Her clients have described her as easy to connect with, a careful listener, collaborative, professional, and encouraging. Shivani enjoys her neighbourhood Zumba class, reading biographies, Numismatics, and exploring new places around the world. She is creative with her approaches to writing business articles and loves writing poems and stories. On a day off, you might find her enjoy a walk or jog at the local park, reading at a coffee shop, or learning something new.
Shivani Gupta | Co-Founder, Growth Recipes
I Hear You
With a BSc in Computer Science and five years of experience in IT Consulting, Information Technology, and Business Development, Mohammad is passionate about using his technical skills to help people. Mohammad’s impact-motivated drive combined with his entrepreneurial career trajectory led to launching and the current plans to scale the I Hear You platform.
Mohammad Aboelazm | Founder, I Hear You
InfraOne Tech Corporation is an ICT services company in British Columbia on a mission to bridge the digital divide by helping under-served communities access high-speed broadband connectivity. Through cost-effective and upgradable last-mile telecom infrastructure, the organization plans to impact communities with new opportunities in education, health care, employment & economic development. InfraOne Tech is located ‘in the interior, for the interior’ and shall provide e2e services towards this goal.
Geeteshwar is a senior telecom trailblazer with over 39 years of management and execution experience in the global telecom industry, including setting up and running wireless, wireline and fibre networks in rural and remote areas. His most valuable skills are tackling telecom and IT infrastructure assignments and projects overseas, which he’s done in 29 emerging markets across Africa and Southeast Asia. Geeteshwar is passionate about using his experience to find solutions and improve rural internet connectivity through high-speed broadband for under-served communities. Throughout pandemic restrictions, he’s been networking aggressively in this direction. Geeteshwar has been visiting Canada often in the past few years and has recently decided to settle down in ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ because he and his wife, Kavita, love nature and rural environments.
Geeteshwar Anand | Founder, InfraOne Tech
JUICE Music Technologies Inc.
JUICE is on a mission to help aspiring musicians study music theory anywhere, anytime, at affordable costs. Initially established in South Korea, JUICE uses AI to analyze various components of music, providing online tutorials for learners of different skill levels in music. With just a click of a button, students can log into JUICE’s platform and access quality learning content at their convenience.
In her previous role as CSO at JUICE Korea, Sophia developed and implemented the company’s product strategy and spearheaded its global expansion. A firm believer that everyone- regardless of social or economic status- should have equal access to quality education, Sophia strives to bring JUICE’s quality music education services to North America through the Canada Startup Visa program. Aside from her work, she enjoys doodling on her iPad and watching cat videos!
Sophia Park | Co-Founder and CEO, JUICE
SmallScape creates and operates affordable and accessible digital products and platforms, allowing individuals, creators and small businesses worldwide to compete and thrive. By combining elements of a startup studio and a PE fund, SmallScape’s portfolio of products and solutions provide users with features, accessibility and affordability, matching various budgets and needs. The brand empowers its users to take advantage of digital adoption and transformation, improving their market competitiveness, productivity and ultimately their profitability and economic wellbeing.
Ravi is a serial entrepreneur with over 30+ years of experience as a technology and business leader in multiple markets and across domains. He has co-founded industry-leading companies like McAfee.com, the world’s first web-based antivirus platform, and TutorVista, an education and learning startup raising over US$100M in funding before being acquired by Pearson International. Ravi has been part of the AtWorks ecosystem in India since 2016, and serves as a mentor and advisor to over 30 startups in the network.
Ravi Kannan | Co-Founder, SmallScape
With over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and technology leader, Ashwin has driven technology-based transformation for startups and larger companies in multiple markets in North America and Asia, including startups and client organizations such as NYSERDA, CalTrans, NDTV, TCS, TimesInternet, PearsonEnglish, Chargebee, Pickyourtrail, as well as government-backed institutions in the US, India, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand. A passionate entrepreneur and promoter of strong local ecosystems through AtWorks, since 2014, he has supported over 300 teams and 500 founders from India through their early stage journeys. Ashwin is an inveterate tinkerer outside of his work, exploring ideas and new skills from robotics to music, organic gardening, and anything else that catches his fancy.
Ashwin Shankar | Co-Founder & CEO, SmallScape
WingZ Business Barter
Hossein Rezaei is an architect turned entrepreneur with diverse work experience in front-end development, project and marketing management, design thinking, and prior experience in launching a business. All of which makes him a cross-functional individual with deep insights into the challenges that companies face today. Hossein founded WingZ Business Barter with a mission is to help small businesses unlock their full potential and survive economic downturns. Hossein is honoured to have received the Top Entrepreneur award from the University of Applied Science and Technology in 2020.
Hossein Rezaei | Founder, WingZ Business Barter