Executive in Residence

Discovery Foundation Executive in Residence Program

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?

Discovery Foundation


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.


Our Executives in Residence

Chair and Director
Neil is currently the Chair at Agreement Express and at Photon Control Inc., as well as, the Executive Chair at Response Tek and Director at Symbility. Learn more about Neil…
Entrepreneur
Michael is currently the Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at FTSY by Digital Animal Interactive, and is involved in mentoring early-stage startups to strengthen BC's tech community. Learn more about…
Consultant, BC Tech Association
Bill has been an entrepreneur & startup advisor for over 20 years. In 2017, Bill stepped down from his role as President & CEO at BC Tech. Learn more about…
Advisor, Nexterra Systems Corp.
Mike is a Senior Executive with over 20 years of experience as a Corporate Lawyer, Investment Banker, & Cleantech Entrepreneur. He is currently an Advisor at Nexterra Systems. Learn more…
Director, Business Development, QHR Technologies
Paul has many years of experience as a Senior Sales, Marketing & Business Development professional in the medical industry. He previously worked for Telus and American Vanadium Corp. Learn more…
Digital Media & Technology Consultant
James is a seasoned interactive & game technology entrepreneur & former CEO of Roadhouse Interactive. He currently consults with a number of companies & organizations in the industry. Learn more…
President, Braziller and Associates Inc.
Clay has spent over 25 years leading business initiatives with organizations that are trying to make a positive impact in the world, particularly in cleantech and health tech. Learn More…

Program Overview


The Forms

Level Set
CEO Worksheet
Status Update
Term Report


Interested in our Discovery Foundation Executive in Residence Program?

For more information or to get started with our program, please get in touch.

Contact Us


Chair and Director

Neil McDonnell

Neil is currently the Chair at Agreement Express and at Photon Control Inc., as well as, the Executive Chair at Response Tek and Director at Symbility.

Learn more about Neil

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.

Entrepreneur

Michael Henson

Michael is currently the Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at FTSY by Digital Animal Interactive, and is involved in mentoring early-stage startups to strengthen BC’s tech community.

Learn more about Michael

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.

Consultant, BC Tech Association

Bill Tam

Bill has been an entrepreneur & startup advisor for over 20 years. In 2017, Bill stepped down from his role as President & CEO at BC Tech.

Learn more about Bill

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.

Advisor, Nexterra Systems Corp.

Mike Scott

Mike is a Senior Executive with over 20 years of experience as a Corporate Lawyer, Investment Banker, & Cleantech Entrepreneur. He is currently an Advisor at Nexterra Systems.

Learn more about Mike

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.

Director, Business Development, QHR Technologies

Paul Casey

Paul has many years of experience as a Senior Sales, Marketing & Business Development professional in the medical industry. He previously worked for Telus and American Vanadium Corp.

Learn more about Paul

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.

Digital Media & Technology Consultant

James Hursthouse

James is a seasoned interactive & game technology entrepreneur & former CEO of Roadhouse Interactive. He currently consults with a number of companies & organizations in the industry.

Learn more about James

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.

President, Braziller and Associates Inc.

Clay Braziller

Clay has spent over 25 years leading business initiatives with organizations that are trying to make a positive impact in the world, particularly in cleantech and health tech.

Learn More about Clay

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.