Infrastructure and Technology
Vasilii is a PhD Candidate in Chemical & Biological Engineering UBC working on smart polymers. He is a graduate of UBC GMCA mini-MBA program and a winner of 2016 GMCA business case competition. He’s also chaired a conference and advised a UBC student design team. In 2016-2017 he co-founded his company Tesseract Technologies treating brain aneurysms with a novel material. The team won medals in a local start-up competition and won a place in the e [at] UBC Lean Launch Pad program.
A hi-tech generalist with experience in angel investment, business modelling and government funding for technology companies. Most of his work has been in the software industry, but he has also worked on electronic hardware, biomedical devices, and optical systems. His focus is on helping early stage technology companies raise money from private investors. He does this through his work at Open Angel Canada and as an angel investor and corporate director.
His interests in Africa include the educational development and mentoring entrepreneurs through his work with Unreasonable East Africa. He is currently working with a Fintech start-up in Uganda and hopes to expand his work and investments into other parts of Africa.
Faith is responsible for managing and providing program management support across a portfolio of Education and Learning projects and initiatives focusing on secondary and higher education systems and youth leadership development at the MasterCard Foundation. Faith has a certificate in Data Science from Harvard University and was instrumental in the development of an Education Information Management System (EMIS) for the Foundation’s Scholars Program. Prior to joining the MasterCard Foundation, Faith worked at Essential Skills Ontario (ESO) where he was responsible for tracking, manipulating and analyzing high-quality data suitable for strategic and operational support, planning, and new research initiatives and policy development. He holds a Master of Economics degree from the University of Ottawa in Canada, and a Bachelor of Economics degree from the American University of Nigeria.
Born and raised in Ghana, Maame Afon is Proudly African, Boldly Christian and Unapologetically Feminist. She is passionate about transformative leadership, coaching and mentoring for women and girls in Africa and the Diaspora. Her vision is “to support and inspire leaders, especially women and girls to enjoy a fulfilling leadership journey.” She identifies herself as a “Whole Woman” and believes that when we bring all of who we are to everything we do everyone benefits. Maame holds an M.A. in international policy studies, gender and development and a B.A. in French and Spanish. She is also a graduate of the Hive Global Leadership Program and the Global Women’s Leadership Network Program.
In 2016, she was named a Cordes Fellow as a Delegate at the 2016 Opportunity Collaboration (OC), and in 2017, attended OC as a Moderator for the Colloquium for Good. She has dedicated herself to supporting social justice efforts, using her experience in grant-making, philanthropy, women’s rights, leadership and development. Furthermore, Maame is an international recording artist (with four (4) albums to her credit), a speaker, wife and mother of three young children. She mentors and coaches emerging leaders internationally and serves as board member and strategic advisor for several organizations including African Women’s Development Fund-USA, We Care Solar, Women Thrive Alliance, Girls Empowerment Sierra Leone, Ghana Bamboo Bikes— (Bright Generation Community Foundation), and Cocoa360. She serves as Director, Programs and Partnerships at Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa
Current student at Harvard and is a former Allan Gary Orbis Fellow. He currently serves as CEO of FNS Energy an award-winning Level 3 B-BBEE South African energy service company based at the Climate Innovation Center in Pretoria. It offers a broad range of energy efficiency tools for residential, commercial and utility-scale applications and turnkey solutions for integrated energy production with renewable generation units.
Marie works on the SVX team at the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing with triple bottom line ventures and impact investors. She leads investor engagement through managing client relationships, education initiatives, and issuer due diligence. Marie also manages a portfolio of venture clients, where she provides advisory services focusing on investment readiness, as well as delivery and content creation for venture education programs. Additionally, Marie drives special initiatives with strategic partners to build the impact investing marketplace. She has a background supporting entrepreneurs and impact management with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Palestine and MEDA in Tanzania. She also worked at The MasterCard Foundation where she supported the Youth Livelihoods portfolio, research and new project development. Marie graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BSC (GRS, Hons).
Dr. Laryea is a recognized international law expert, with a specialty in Africa-related investment and government relations matters and sovereign debt restructuring. His practice tends to involve the representation of investors and African governments in their international finance and development dealings. While Dr. Laryea has a special interest in Africa, his experience is truly global. Prior to Cooke Robotham, Dr.Laryea was Assistant General Counsel at the International Monetary Fund, responsible for the IMF’s legal relations in finance and economic surveillance with each of its then 187 member countries.
Prior to joining McLarty Associates, Mr. Pence served as a Director for the Whitaker Group, where he advised multinational companies on their strategies in over 20 markets throughout sub-Saharan Africa. He has written extensively on doing business in frontier markets in outlets including Financial Times, New York Times, Reuters, CNN and the National Interest. He was recognized by Diplomatic Courier as a Top 99 Foreign Policy Leader and was selected by the Global Public Policy Institute as a Global Governance 2022 Fellow.Mr. Pence is also the founder of the software start-up Upstream Analytics and the Africa Expert Network (AXN). He is on the boards of the Africa Leadership Network, Market Atlas and the Pan-African Network.
Infrastructure and Technology
Michael is the director of Engineering at Arbutus Medical. Michael brings medical device design, manufacturing, and project management experience from his time at Verathon Medical, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Health & Sherwood. He worked in the mining and manufacturing industry before shifting to medical devices and recently pursuing an MEng in Biomedical Engineering. At Arbutus, he led our regulatory efforts to achieve ISO 13485 quality certification, as well as FDA, Health Canada, and CE submissions.
Infrastructure and Technology
Mari has been actively involved in FinTech and Blockchain technologies since 2013, advising startups including the SFU Bitcoin club. As an early adopter, she highlighted the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain to organizations such as the Deloitte Innovation Council in Canada at a time when the firm still considered it an outlier technology. Mari was the architect and lead the development of a distributed organizational strategic design, execution and performance management platform openaxyz deployed by Barclays and a number of other enterprises internationally which earned her a nomination as MaRs/RIC Innovation Idol in Ontario in 2012.