Discovery Foundation Executives-in-Residence

The backbone of our program is the mentorship and customized expert advice that entrepreneurs receive from our Executives-in-Residence (EIRs)—a seasoned group of accomplished individuals who have started and sold their own companies and have functional and sector-based knowledge to help you grow. Having seen and done it all, our EIRs understand success, but they also understand failure—and who better to help growing tech companies avoid pitfalls than those who have traveled that road before?

The Program

The Executives-in-Residence are the highest level of mentorship available at BC Tech. Stage 2-4 member CEOs receive a dedicated Executive to guide them past pitfalls and toward business excellence; they are the sounding board that keeps the company on track. The Executives provide high level, strategic mentorship. They teach ‘how’, but it will always be the CEO’s responsibility to ‘do’.

Once approved for the program, startup CEOs will meet with the Executive in one-on-one meetings for 3 month terms. There is no limit to the number of terms a member may participate in the program.

Pitch Reviews

A few of the Executives offer available time for pitch reviews. These hour long, one-on-one sessions will be held either virtually or at the Innovation Hub. The executive will critique all aspects of the presentation and provide guidance on how to improve. If you are interested in attending a pitch review, please email programs@wearebctech.com.

Our Executives in Residence


Neil McDonnell

Neil McDonnell, Executive-in-Residence

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Unemployed.

What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned?
Make a decision and be prepared to change it if it is the wrong decision. Indecision is a killer.

What is the most recent book you've read?
Born to Run.

Who do you look up to? Why?
My wife. She gets angry if I don't.

Michael Henson

Michael Henson, Executive-in-Residence
Entrepreneur

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A scientist.

What are your three biggest career highlights?
1. Having the opportunity to work with Clayton, Dylan and Neil (not in that order).
2. Building a highly successful property development company and still continuing with my passion for tech startups.
3. Creating, running and selling multiple tech startups.

What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned?
Learning how to build intelligent machines. Required figuring out life first.

What is the most unusual thing on your desk?
A stuffed platypus.

Bill Tam

Bill Tam, Executive-in-Residence
CEO, BC Tech Association

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional baseball player.

What are your three biggest career highlights?
1. Taking a small startup company (MetroNet) public in 1998 and then being part of the merger with AT&T a year and a half later.
2. Doing startups within larger (deep-pocketed) corporates to launch awesome new products like broadband internet, voice over IP services, e-commerce and video streaming.
3. Launching the BC Tech Innovation Hub and helping to coalesce the community around a new platform to grow awesome companies in Vancouver and BC

Who do you look up to? Why?
Angela Merkel. For doing the right thing no matter how hard or unpopular.

How do you take your coffee?
Often.        

Mike Scott

Mike Scott, Executive-in-Residence
Advisor

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut.

What are your biggest career highlights?
1. Growing Goepel McDermid (Canadian investment firm) and selling it to Raymond James (a US investment bank).
2. Growing Nexterra Systems Corp. from a local cleantech start-up to multi-million dollar international sales.

What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned?
Keep it simple, even when it's complicated.

What is the most unusual thing on your desk?
A sculpture of a Mobius Loop.

Paul Casey

Paul Casey, Executive-in-Residence
Director, Business Development, QHR Technologies

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A hockey player.

What are your three biggest career highlights?
1. Getting my Master’s degree in Biology and later my MBA.
2. Managing the relationship between two companies and leading the project team that started from scratch to develop and get FDA approval for a rapid detection infectious disease test in 18 months.
3. Engineering an end to an industry-wide price war and emerging with the highest priced offering that retained the largest customers. However, it should also be noted that armed with my new MBA and my understanding of game theory, I was also responsible for inadvertently starting the price war.    

What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned?
When you get really busy and are pursuing many opportunities, identify the top 2-3 opportunities and make sure that every day you have advanced those opportunities before moving onto any others.

James Hursthouse

James Hursthouse, Executive-in-Residence
Digital Media and Technology Consultant

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Happy and excited to be getting out of bed every day (not necessarily every morning).

What are your three biggest career highlights?
1. Growing Roadhouse to 180 people.
2. Selling my Japanese company.
3. Touring with Iron Maiden and launching the Legacy of the Beast mobile game.

What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned?
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.

List several things on your bucket list.
1. Appalachian Trail.
2. One month Zen retreat in Japan.

Clay Braziller

Clay Braziller, Executive-in-Residence
President, Braziller and Associates Inc.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An architect and a dad.

What are your three biggest career highlights?
1. Leading a government relations program for the inclusion of implantable pain and tremor control devices (deep brain stimulation, baclofen pumps) on the Medical Services Plans across Canada, then meeting the people whose lives were changed by receiving the devices.
2. Working with the Neil Square Society to remove the barriers that stop people with disabilities from living independent lives and becoming active members of the workplace and our society.
3. Founding the Power Technology Alliance, which led to BC's first sustainable energy call, and the creation of the Community Energy Fund.

Who do you look up to? Why?
My friend Paul Shore; he chases his dreams no matter how frightening and out of reach they appear.

What is the most meaningful lesson you have learned?
There is nothing as important in life as your family and friends.