Dr. Sarah Lubik is the Executive Director of the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. She builds platforms, programming, relationships and shared vision to unleash entrepreneurial mindset at SFU and across the country. Sarah’s favourite construct within the entrepreneurial mindset is resilience because it allows us to feel confident and thrive in the midst of the constant changes the world throws at us.
Janice OBriain is a community builder and mindset mentor and has been at the forefront of engaged entrepreneurship at SFU for more than a decade. In her role as Programs Director for the Chang Institute she develops, resources and leads programs that support early-stage ventures, founders, and entrepreneurial mindset development. She is particularly proud of her work leading the Institute’s signature incubator program Coast Capital Venture Connection, which has provided incubation services to 250+ startup teams since 2008 and has helped to launch such impactful ventures as Buyatab, Moment Energy, Employ to Empower, Zennea and Ionomr.
Prior to SFU, Janice was Executive Associate with Calgary’s Arts Commons and General Manager of Kaleidoscope Theatre, a professional theatre for young audiences.
Janice holds both an MBA in Arts & Media Management and a Diploma in Non-Profit Management from the Schulich School of Business (York University), a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from UVic and was the recipient of the 2020 SFU Staff Achievement Award for Innovation.
Ben Chow is the Operations Director with the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. His experience ranges from engineering and technology product development to business development. He led corporate functions such as asset divestitures, strategic relationships, and R&D partnership programs as well as providing consulting services to companies in the areas of investor relations, strategic planning, corporate valuation and international market entry.
Ben has a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering-Chemistry Honours from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University and is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng. – Non-Practicing) in British Columbia.
Maycko seeks to put community first – always looking for the win-win solution for everyone involved. At the Chang Institute, Maycko manages communications, oversees social media, and develops the events strategy. Maycko uses his systems-thinking brain to make complex functions work together and elevate the entrepreneurial experience for all. Maycko’s communication style is direct, but thoughtful. With several years of experience in communications, Maycko uses his ability to drive clarity.
Maycko also spends much of his time working on creative projects with his peers or volunteering with the International Association of Business Communicators where he serves as Vice President for the 2023-2024 board year. On the side, Maycko is a content creator, and a houseplant enthusiast which has plunged him into a multi-year journey rediscovering his heritage as Filipino. This has allowed him to explore the world of digital and public broadcast media. He eventually looks to make an impact in that industry. What that may be is yet to be determined. Ask him about his newest project!
Thomas Partridge is the Incubator Programs Manager with the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. He manages the mentorship network, Coast Capital Venture Connection Incubator, Science Entrepreneur Accelerator, Entrepreneurship Co-op, Mentor Meet, and Spark programs. He loves working with startups and is extremely proud to see entrepreneurial passion turn into thriving businesses.
Thomas has a PMP designation and a BBA with a specialization in Marketing from Capilano University. His background is program and project management in the energy, tech, incubator, and accelerator space. He has worked for BC Hydro, FortisBC, Innovate BC, and Foresight (Canada’s Cleantech Accelerator) among others, and utilizes this diversity of experience to advise, position, and support ventures on their journeys of scaling and growth.
Krysta Pallone Helm is the Events and Engagement Coordinator at the Chang Institute. Where there is detailed information and complex ideas needing to be simplified, you’ll find her right at home developing it into messages that resonate and connect our community together.
Krysta’s passion for bringing people together extends to event planning where she thrives off of seeing her plans result in positive, engaging human connections. Previously, Krysta worked in events at nonprofit organizations and different golf courses in the area. She also has experience in sales and public relations during her time at a biotech company. Krysta is also an SFU alumna.
Fiona Li is the Incubator Programs Coordinator at the Chang Institute. She works with pre-incubation programs (Spark, Mentor Meet), incubation programs (Venture Connection incubator, SEA stream, eCoop), and supports general day-to-day operations.
Being a recent SFU alumna, she brings to the role a student perspective as well as a wide range of skillsets, including communications, graphic design, digital marketing, event management, data analytics, and project planning.
Carson is the institute’s Digital Media Specialist. He manages public-facing communications including social media strategy, graphic & web design, campaigns, and analytics. He is also the host and producer of the Chang Institute’s podcast: Inspiration Station.
Carson is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration at SFU’s Beedie School of Business and has recently completed an Extended Minor in Contemporary Dance. As a lifelong dancer, Carson researches the combination of dance, music, and visual media in an effort to innovate practical approaches to art. He is inspired by a constantly evolving society, its counterparts, and wishes to leave others with a glimpse of the edges of our era.
Jad Alriyabi is the Project Coordinator and is thrilled to be a part of this year’s OppFest. Drawing from his leadership experiences at multiple SFU student clubs, he plans to leverage his event planning skills to ensure seamless project execution and coordination. Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Jad has witnessed firsthand the invaluable lessons one can glean from leading and building businesses. This has instilled in him a fervent desire to see people thrive and deepen their passion for entrepreneurship.
Outside of his professional commitments, Jad is deeply invested in community work, with a particular emphasis on giving back to the Muslim community that raised him. He believes in the transformative power of community and entrepreneurship combined, and is committed to fostering this spirit in all his endeavours.
Izabelle is the institute’s Communications and Events Co-op student for Fall 2023. Her role supports the incubator programs, communications and media content. She comes from a diverse background in sports and performing arts. Izabelle approaches her personal projects and passion in global environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues through an intersectional lens rooted in her international upbringing as a Malaysian-Filipino from Malaysia.
Izabelle is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Minor in Political Science focusing on sustainability, strategic governance and Asia-Pacific relations. Outside of work, she has been recognized for her advocacy for capacity-building efforts in the Philippines through music and continues to advocate for immigrants, climate change and indigenous communities in Canada through policy reform, academia and outreach.