Some of our alumni have gone on to be local and global successes.

Learn more about our Featured Founders and the companies they’ve built.


Featured Founders



The most valuable lesson I've learned in my entrepreneurial experience is that it's a marathon, it's not a sprint. No matter who tells you it's a sprint, it's not.

Cliff Mander

CEO & Founder, CKM Sports & HockeyData


After spending years playing a number of sports for local and national teams, Cliff Mander applied his entrepreneurial acumen to the sports industry. 

Out of this fusion of passions emerged CKM Sports Management, one of the leading hockey specific player agencies in the world. The company is building an international player job portal, currently being used by 5000+ players and teams from 35 countries.

Yet, the SFU Beedie School of Business graduate didn't stop there. In 2016 he also created HockeyData, which provides hockey specific analytics and information to teams, players, agents, and scouts.

While his competitors keep Cliff motivated, he credits his entrepreneurial drive to watching his grandfather, a WWII veteran, spend late nights building his car dealership business from the ground-up. 

The most important lesson I've learned is about building a team. I think there is no company if there is no team.

When Maryam Sadeghi first started out as a Computing Science PhD student at Simon Fraser University, she didn't realize that she would develop a deep passion for cancer research. She discovered her calling after spending days and nights with patients, realizing that the research she was doing is important and necessary.

Together with her Co-Founder Majid Razmara, they created MetaOptima Technology to assist healthcare professionals in better screening and detecting skin cancer. MetaOptima developed two propietary products, the MoleScope™ and DermEngine™, a mobile ‘dermoscope’ that tracks mole transformations over time and an intelligent dermatology platform that works with MoleScope, respectively.

Today, the company is branching into global markets, with a recent investment of over $8 million from Australian investors.

Through all of this, Maryam has always maintained her unwavering positivity. For her, there are no ifs, ands, or buts in questioning whether or not MetaOptima will succeed, because she knows there are real people who need her solution, and she's here to deliver. 

Ben Britton and Ionomr are paving the way for a greener world. 

The company manufactures the world's most durable, high performance, anion-exchange membrane in the world. Anion-exchange membranes drive the performance of many clean technology innovations in the energy storage and water treatment sectors.

Ionomr was born out of the Holdcroft Lab under SFU's department of Chemistry and further developed in the Invention to Innovation graduate program, Venture Connection, and Venture Labs.

Ionomr's innovative impact on clean technology will create a better future for all. 

Matias Marquez

CEO & Founder, Buyatab


Back in 2008, Matias Marquez came across a common problem we face when we get caught up with our busy schedules; he'd procrastinated in sending out a birthday gift and it needed to be delivered that same day. Except in 2008, the options for delivery were complicated and limited. That's when he realized that there must be an easier way for this.

Buyatab digitizes comany gift card programs for web and mobile convenience and for pairing with programs like, the Apple Wallet.

Today, Buyatab's clientel lists a number of big-name brands, such as Cineplex Entertainment, Tim Hortons Inc., and Whole Foods. Matias was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in 2017 and the company has been listed as one of Canada's Fastest Growing Companies for the third consecutive year.

In fact, Matias has said growth management may be one of his biggest challenges - a problem he's happy to have, of course. 



More Success Stories


Launching in Vancouver, artsALLY online is a local art portal that enables communities to discover local art they love and support local artists. artsALLY was acquired in 2015 by Kabuni (formerly Whole New Home).

Read the full story.

BioInteractive Technologies

BioInteractive Technologies (BIT) is developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered gesture recognition software engine to detect users' hand and arm movement in real-time. BIT graduated from the Techstars Anywhere program and is now being accelerated at Innovation Boulevard, a health-tech accelerator. 

Learn more about BIT.

Catstatic Interactive

Catstatic Interactive specializes in creating user-friendly interactive 3D applications for mobile, web and kiosk.

Empower Operations Corp.

Empower Operations provide leading edge software that enables engineers to efficiently explore and optimize product design based on complex engineering simulations. Empower is now being accelerated at Innovation Boulevard. 

Learn more about Empower.


Human in Motion

Human in Motion Robotics is a company that has designed the most advanced wearable lower limb exoskeleton system, called Exomotion.

Learn more about HIM.


Layerboom Systems, Inc.

Layerboom’s “BoomBox” appliance enables companies & hosting providers to turn their existing server hardware into a virtual private cloud.

Joyent Inc. aqcuired Layerboom in 2010, making the company Venture Connection's first start-up acquisition.

Read the press release.

MAPT Media Inc.

Mapt Media has integrated digital advertising and way‐finding technologies to create advertising within kiosks in large public spaces such as malls and campuses.

MobiSafe Systems

MobiSafe develops foambag technology for power-assisted mobility devices, to protect the upper body of user in case of fall and tips.

Nu Experience Design Inc.

Nu Experience Design (NuXD) is a creative firm committed to the design and delivery of exceptional consumer experiences.


TT Distribution Inc.

TT Distribution Inc is a manufacturer and wholesaler specializing in the development and distribution of some of the most innovative fetal doppler products available on the market today.


Transcription Ninjas

Transcription Ninjas is a Canadian-based professional transcription service offering accurate, timely, and ethical service to ensure transcripts are completed on time and on budget!



VeloMetro is a boutique design engineering company specializing in custom electrical and mechanical engineering projects. 

VeloMetro's Veemo electric-assist velomobile sharing service liberates you from traffic congestion, the need to have a driver's licence, inactivity, exposure to the elements, and the cost of operating a car.

Addictive Ads

Addictive Ads is a mobile ad agency that delivers innovative performance-based advertising. Addictive Ads continues to grow with 300+ clients and 42M+ app installations.

Brazilian Vibe Magazine

A bilingual (Portuguese/English) quarterly Brazilian cultural magazine focused on the Brazilian community in the Lower Mainland as well as locals who are interested in Brazilian culture. 



Daily Delivery



Daily Delivery is a B2B e-commerce and logistics platform empowering SMB's to offer on-demand deliveries in less than an hour.

Learn more about Daily Delivery.


Hire the World

The HiretheWorld design competitions allow to quickly, easily and affordably get professional quality designs for their websites and logos. Founder and CEO, Terry Beech is currently the Burnaby North-Seymour MP and was recently named one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader. 


Iconic State Digital Agency

Iconic State provide hand-crafted interaction design and development solutions to create a visually stunning online presence for customers.


Libreria Leo

Latin America’s biggest online medical bookstore, which sells medical books online to doctors in Mexico.



MetroLeap Media Inc.



MetroLeap Media's flagship product,, is the first lyrics-dedicated site to provide users with the largest database of licensed, complete and accurate song lyrics through its partnership with Gracenote. In 2011 MetroLyrics was acquired by CBS Interactive, making founder Milun Tesovic the youngest entrepreneur to sell their company to a major American conglomerate.

Read the full story.


Mr. Arancino

Mr. Arancino presents a new and innovative take on a traditional Sicilian recipe. Mr. Arancino’s deliciously gooey risotto balls are all made gluten-free and available in meat, vegetarian and vegan options. 

You can find Mr. Arancino on the streets of Vancouver or parked at one of the breweries down Port Moody's Brewers Row. 


Orello Hearing Technologies

Orello Hearing Technologies Inc. offers the only custom fit hearing aid with built in tuning technology, giving people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss an easier and better user experience.



Tochtech improves the care/quality of independent senior living by providing non-intrusive activity and health monitoring solutions that enables remote caring for designated families and/or senior care service providers.


V7 Entertainment

V7 Entertainment is an end-to-end high quality video game development company founded by industry professionals in Vancouver, BC.


Witty Cookie Digital Agency

WittyCookie is an award-winning Vancouver web design studio and has been expertly crafting websites for clients since 2011. WittyCookie truly believe in their work, simply because they love what they do and have a good time doing it. Their goal is to help you refine your online presence and grow your audience. Instead of hiring just another agency, they want to think of them as an extended part of the family. People you can always depend on.