A business podcast featuring guests with entrepreneurial stories that connect BC businesses with the UCW community. Through weekly episodes, our students gain exposure to the Canadian entrepreneurial scene and local businesses, learn about how other companies stay agile and innovative during COVID-19.
If you are interested in being a guest on Innovation Fuel and would like to share your story with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to sign up or learn more about UCW's Internship and Capstone program as an employer, please contact us at email@example.com
Episode 2 - January 18, 2022
A Walk Down An Academic Path
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Kristen Morgan, Founder of Morgan Academic Consulting! Kristen joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss how she helps guide parents through the process of journey mapping and identifying steps for them to take during their child's academic journey. Kristen also talks about academic consulting, building the confidence of children in their capacity and why it's important to keep academic doors open when planning a path during what can be an expensive process for parents.
Episode 1 - January 11, 2022
Coping With Change
University Canada West's Innovation Fuel Podcast has returned with its first episode of season 2! Dave and Gelareh have invited back Christina Furtado, a Mental Health and Wellness Specialist at Guard.me, to discuss the life changes and stressors of an international student while adapting to life abroad. Christina also speaks about what it means to be an international student, an expat or an immigrant and how reprioritizing your worries is a helpful tool to navigate the change.
Episode 54 - November 30, 2021
The Genius Behind Future Smiles
In this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Dr. Kevin Aminzadeh and UCW MBA alumnus Amir Rad of Implant Genius! Dr. Kevin Aminzadeh is one of the foremost world experts on implant placement and technology. He is a doctor, educator, innovator, entrepreneur and also the founder of Implant Genius. Amir is the Head of Research and Development at Implant Genius and received his Master of Business Administration from University Canada West. Dr. Aminzadeh and Amir join Dave and Gelareh to discuss their innovative journeys towards giving dental practices the ability to elevate their results and help more people have healthy smiles. They also talk about facilitating more successful implant procedures by providing detailed planning and fabrication services to everyone.
Episode 53 - November 25, 2021
Defining Your Happiness
On this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Christina Furtado, a Mental Health and Wellness Specialist at Guard.meCARES. Christina joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss the mental health effect of COVID-19 and its impact on our core values in our personal and professional life. She also discusses the definition of living normally and learning how to find balance in adjusting to things beyond our control.
Episode 52 - November 16, 2021
Discovering Data Intelligence
On this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Hamed Taheri and UCW MBA alumnus Reza Raissjalali from Sniper Intel! Hamed is the Founder and Reza is the Co-Founder of Sniper Intel and Robust Choice.
Hamed and Reza join Dave and Gelareh to discuss the victorious discovery of Sniper Intel and the solutions they provide to their clients. They speak about the use of Sniper as a communication tool for salespeople and the benefits users receive by capturing more revenue opportunities. Hamed and Reza also discuss how Sniper strives for simplicity and effectiveness using artificial intelligence.
Episode 51 - November 9, 2021
Preparing For The Transitional Win
We're back from our break with another episode of Innovation Fuel as we welcome Melanie Ewan! Melanie is an international speaker, writer and startup coach known for her work in community-based research and advocacy for women in business and tech. She is also the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Volition, an organization that builds connectivity, capacity and knowledge in global startup ecosystems. Melanie joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss her successful journey as a startup coach, and her specialization in helping entrepreneurs build and deliver a compelling pitch narrative with confidence.
Episode 50 - October 12, 2021
The Entrepreneurial Experiment
On this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Dr. Mohammad Keyhani! Dr. Mohammad Keyhani is an Iranian-Canadian Associate Professor and Area Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. Dr. Keyhani joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss entrepreneurship in technologies and no-code entrepreneurship. He also speaks on his development of tools and resources for startups and entrepreneurs.
Episode 49 - October 5, 2021
The Ultimate Gaming Experience
On this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Spiro Khouri, CEO at The Gaming Stadium! Spiro joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss his journey as an entrepreneur and the passion he had for gaming at a young age that led to his success in the industry. Spiro also talks about his goal of connecting fans and brands by creating faster Esports experiences for the future of gaming.
Episode 48 - September 28, 2021
Building The Community Garden
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome UCW Women in Leadership recipient, Kerry Gibson! Kerry, President of EcoCentury Technologies and VP of Strategic Partnerships for ZiphyCare, joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss her journey and a sustainable model that keeps people healthy at home. Kerry also discusses the importance of a green community in British Columbia and how to improve your food insecurities.
Episode 47 - September 21, 2021
The Reality Check
On this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Greg Ryder, Co-Founder and Vice President of Operations at Bam Digital! Greg joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss strategic decision-making and Bam Digital’s design and engineering strategy-based solutions. Greg also talks about Bam Digital’s clients, services and approach in creating digital solutions for the real estate industry.
Episode 46 - September 14, 2021
The Problem Solver
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Michael Cheng, CEO and Co-Founder of Lumen5, a video creation platform! Michael joins Dave and Gelareh to share his incredible insights on how Lumen5 uses video creation for brands and businesses to drive audience engagement. Michael talks about his discoveries as an entrepreneur and problem solver and how that helped him throughout his journey.
Episode 45 - September 7, 2021
The First Step
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Kim Kaplan, CEO of Snack, a video-first dating platform that looks to merge the popularity and format of TikTok with the dating world. Kim shares her experience working in the dating app industry and how that inspired her to create the innovative app.
Episode 44 - August 31, 2021
Following The Finance Trail
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome back Curtis Campbell, Vice-President of Business Markets at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)! Curtis joins Dave and Gelareh to share insights on the different ways RBC can help clients with their businesses. Curtis also discusses RBC’s data protection and the finance and banking support offered to help clients make effective decisions.
Episode 43 - August 24, 2021
A Look Into The Future
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome Curtis Campbell, Vice-President of Business Markets for the BC Region at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)! Curtis joins Dave and Gelareh to share highlights from his journey over the last 24 years at RBC. Curtis discusses business health and the continuous aim to educate, support and advise his business clients while maximizing value.
Episode 42 - August 17, 2021
Reaping The Rewards
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we are excited to welcome Shirin Saleh, Managing Broker at 88West Realty. Shirin joins Dave and Gelareh to share her amazing journey on how she entered the world of real estate. Shirin also shares with us the tools she uses to help her better understand the needs of each client.
Episode 41 - August 10, 2021
The Gifted House
In this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome back Chris Hobbs, Founder and President of TTT Studios, who joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss the talent management process. Chris also shares the hiring process and opportunities that TTT Studios has to offer for those wanting to work for a startup company.
Episode 40 - August 3, 2021
The Magical Experience
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Chris Hobbs, Founder and President of TTT Studios, joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss how to improve the user journey through a UX and UI design strategy. Chris also shares the design process and his experience working with industry leaders to solve their problems through technology.
Episode 39 - July 27, 2021
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome back Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC. Raghwa joins Dave and Gelareh to discuss the BC Government's funding and support process, in addition to highlighting some of the different accelerators within Canada.
Episode 38 - July 20, 2021
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Abbie Morris, Marketing Director and Founder of FarOut Wilderness, joins hosts Dave and Gelareh! Abbie shares her entrepreneurial journey and the two key products she currently offers: Vancouver Island Roof Top Tents and FarOut Wilderness.
Episode 37 - July 13, 2021
The Venture Journey
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we are excited to welcome back Brazilian entrepreneur Ingrid Polini! Dave, Gelareh and Ingrid discuss how to find accelerators and the benefits of finding a mentor, networking opportunities and startup pitches.
Episode 36 - July 6, 2021
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, joins hosts Dave and Gelareh to discuss the world of trade and resources in British Columbia. They also discuss the Surrey International Trade Centre, where they create global business connections within a digital environment.
Episode 35 - June 29, 2021
The Wake Up Call
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Paul Brassard is back to discuss the different types of fundraising for startups and the trick to finding strategic investors. Dave, Gelareh and Paul also talk about unlocking the Vancouver startup landscape and community.
Episode 34 - June 22, 2021
The Big Push
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Samarth Mod, CEO of FreshWorks Studio, talks about his entrepreneurial journey and the challenges he faced launching a tech startup as a student. Sam, Gelareh and Dave discuss what Sam learned along the way and how that journey motivated him to become an entrepreneur.
Episode 33 - June 15, 2021
The Startup Therapist
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Paul Brassard, Managing Partner and Founder of Volition, discusses his entrepreneurial journey and the first-hand experiences that led to him becoming a Master Pitch and Presentation Coach. Dave, Gelareh and Paul further discuss Investor Pitching as a career and the problems Volition solves in creating networks and opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing across startup sectors and stakeholders.
Episode 32 - June 8, 2021
One Idea, Many Solutions
In this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, guest Carrie Goetz is back to discuss the services she offers and the problems she tackles as Chief Information Technology Officer at StrategITcom. She talks about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing tech services and discusses providing solutions through data centers and construction management.
Episode 31 - June 1, 2021
An Honest Legacy
In this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, our guest is Carrie Goetz, Chief Information Technology Officer at StrategITcom. Join Dave, Gelareh and Carrie as they discuss the impacts of COVID-19, changes made while staff work from home and gaining employees during a global pandemic. Carrie also talks about the range of services offered at StrategITcom – from strategic planning and design and project implementation to supporting the next generation of talent, with a focus on women, veterans and the trades in tech. Listen now to hear Carrie’s tips for running successful companies and public entities.
Episode 30 - May 25, 2021
The Startup of You
In this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, we hear from Pedram Ataee, an Artificial Intelligence Architect who invented a breakthrough AI algorithm with several US patents. Join Dave, Gelareh and Pedram to hear about how you can become invested in AI and technology and learn the benefits of choosing the right investor for a tech start-up. Listen now to hear Pedram’s strategy for turning an idea into a business!
Episode 29 - May 18, 2021
The Leap in Technology
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Idan Meir, Co-Founder and CEO of RightHear shares how he started RightHear and how the company uses technology to turn public spaces into accessible environments for people with low vision or orientation challenges. Idan further discusses the process of working with venues to make their public spaces more accessible for people with limited vision.
Episode 28 - May 11, 2021
The Beginning of Success
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we welcome back Ralph Kison, a leader in strategy, coaching, leadership and business development. Ralph discusses his consultation process and how he helps clients develop growth and success. Listen now to hear Ralph talk about the free consultations he offers to organizations and professionals to help them excel both personally and in the workplace.
Episode 27 - May 4, 2021
The World of Change
In this week’s episode of Inovation Fuel, Dave, Gelareh and Ralph Kison, President of Kison Inc., discuss organizational development, team building, conflict resolution and achieving personal and professional goals. Ralph talks about the turning point in his life that led to launching his business and his passion for empowering individuals and organizations. Join us and hear Ralph's amazing journey through coaching, training and consulting.
Episode 26 - April 27, 2021
Creating Your Success Story
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, we meet Colin Weston, Co-Founder of Startup Vancouver, who says, "You need to create something and get it out there." Colin shares his entrepreneurial journey and connections with Startup Vancouver, highlights the importance of building relationships and helping people, and the failure factors that entrepreneurs should overcome.
Episode 25 - April 20, 2021
The Big Boom
Concerned about your electric bill? Join us for this week's Innovation Fuel episode to find out about Solar Alliance, an innovative energy solution for homes and businesses. CEO Myke Clark talks about how he never gave up on his goal of being an innovative entrepreneur, the concept of relationship building and the market penetration of the Solar Alliance, and the impact of COVID-19.
Episode 24 - April 13, 2021
The Happier Voice
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel Maryam Mobini, co-founder and CEO of transformative technology company to:Resonate shares her focus on mental, emotional and social wellness. Join Dave, Gelareh and Maryam to discuss human purpose and performance to become our best selves and helping people live a happier and healthier life. Maryam further discusses how she helps individuals develop healthier habits. Hear from this vibrant entrepreneur about the techniques used to raise mental health and emotional well-being.
Episode 23 - April 6, 2021
On this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, Lili Molavi, a Registered Nutritional Counsellor and health food store owner, talks about how growing up on a diet of organic foods contributed to her passion for nature and food as medicine. Lili shares how her health journey led to dissatisfaction with the side effects of medications and her research on natural healing based on alternative medicine and healing methods. Lili further discusses how she helps clients pick the right products and plan their holistic health.
Episode 22 - March 30, 2021
Education Through Technology
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Wayne Van Damme, Founder, CEO and President of BlocksEDU Learning Corp, shares his journey and the chances that he took building a company from scratch and against all odds. He further discusses the learning models, resources and free services relating to the goal and intent behind BlocksEDU, reminding us that every step of the journey matters along with the financial benefits of being a socially responsible corporation.
Episode 21 - March 23, 2021
The World of Connections
On this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC, discusses his entrepreneurial journey and networking experiences before and after joining Innovate BC. Raghwa further discusses with us Innovate BC's entrepreneurial ecosystems and how they connect innovators with government funding.
Episode 20 - March 16, 2021
The Choice of Power
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, knows all about working hard and building a brand. In this episode of Innovation Fuel, Anita talks about the challenges she faced as a woman from a multicultural background. She shares the reality of the unique challenges women face, and the factors of emotional intelligence and gender leadership.
This is an episode you do not want to miss! Join us to hear Anita talk about entrepreneurial ecosystems and her role as a CEO, the pandemic and how it has affected women, and the diverse portfolio of services the Surrey Board of Trade offers.
Episode 19 - March 9, 2021
Every Brick Counts
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Muse Greenwood, CEO of Inspiration FX and author of Cyber Security Handbook, tells us about the start of her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 4 and how her love for business led her to the world of Cyber Security. Join us to hear the many ways Muse's passion helped her overcome obstacles and her inspirational story as a woman in the tech industry.
Episode 18 - March 2, 2021
In this week’s episode of Innovation Fuel, Adele Farhadian, an Information Security Architect with more than 16 years of experience in planning and implementing security systems, tells us how she started her career in security before launching her own IT security consulting business, InfoSec Assured.
Adele shares how she guides companies in performing security assessments and developing strategies for maintaining security posture. She also talks about how individuals can start a career in IT security. Join us to hear Adele’s risk, privacy impact and vulnerability assessment solutions, recommended security practices and security roadmap planning for organizations.
Episode 17 - February 23, 2021
The Experiential Path
On this episode of Innovation Fuel, Ingrid Polini, CEO of SafetyDocs, shares how her experiences and willingness to explore opportunities led her to create a business. Ingrid reveals her business secrets, her process for managing documents, and the security and accessibility of having cloud-based software. She also discusses her clientele and the competitive advantage of being a new business in Canada. Join us to hear Ingrid disclose the solutions to managing your documents for greater efficiency.
Episode 16 - February 16, 2021
The Coin Toss
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Jennifer Gervès-Keen, Master Corporate Executive Coach and author of "Show Up Like A Coach," shares her personal story of achievements within different industries and the lessons she learned starting from the ground up. Jennifer talks about the ongoing rewards of coaching as an entrepreneur and the importance of mastering the hardest skills. Join us to learn about Jennifer's success in coaching, which began with a coin toss.
Episode 15 - February 9, 2021
The Key to Building an Influential Brand
In this week's episode of Innovation Fuel, Andry Tanusdjaja, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of MuseFind, shares his experience in connecting brands and businesses with influencers and how to work with an influencer to integrate a product offering for your brand. He further discusses the benefits of personalized strategies and insights that can help build your brand and business to drive effective results. Join us to hear Andry’s tips for rate negotiations and ideal strategies for a brand campaign.
Episode 14 - February 2, 2021
Bruno Gerves is back to discuss his business model. From the start of helping retailers creating a brand for their liquor store to receiving a better return on investment. Bruno further discussed his clients' liquor store successes through the implementation of staff training, product selection and liquor distribution. Join us as we talk to Bruno about the reason behind liquor pricing and his strategies in developing his clients' wine lists.
Episode 13 - January 26, 2021
The Liquor Business
Bruno Gerves, a liquor industry expert and owner of Caudalys for 15 years, discussed his experience and skills in marketing, budgeting and managing his liquor consulting business. Bruno further discussed the process for obtaining and managing a liquor store, which includes the product, price, place, promotion, as well as the restrictions to selling liquors and regulations. Join us to hear Bruno reveal the competitive advantages and strategies on how to attain and retain customers in the market, along with informing us of the changes in the liquor industry due to the effect of COVID-19.
Episode 12 - January 19, 2021
Road to a Successful Venture
Amir is back to discuss the million-dollar question of what makes a venture successful. He talks about the importance of a leader and a team of good listeners and the need for a clear vision and strategy that motivates their team to work towards them. He also discusses the importance of featuring a USP (unique selling proposition) and the best time to launch a product. Join us to learn from Amir on how to navigate towards your success.
Episode 11 - January 12, 2021
Investing in the Future
Amir Vohooshi is a serial entrepreneur from a young age and he is best known for understanding start up challenges. In this episode Amir, the Founding and Managing Partner at 7 Gate Venture shares his knowledge and experiences that led to his success and position. As an entrepreneur himself, he speaks about helping people create their own products to grow into a billion-user company. Join us to hear Amir highlights your potential growth through startup investment.
Episode 10 - December 22, 2020
From Pharmacy to Doors
This week, Mat Rezaei, Founder and CEO of Caplet and UPGUYS, talks about a new way to get medication and prescriptions; and a better way for patients to access professional medical advice. Mat also discusses how his career led to a new startup, UPGUYS, a digital health resource for men. Join in to hear this week’s entrepreneur enlighten us on his digital pharmacy that delivers medications right to your door.
Episode 9 - December 15, 2020
Learning with Riipen
Interested in collaborating with post-secondary students to solve challenges in real-time? Dana Stephenson, Co-founder and CEO of Riipen, shares with us the development of the technology platform and how it connects industry partners with educators to collaborate on short-term projects with students.
Dana shares how Riipen helps students by providing opportunities to boost their skills, career and gives them the ability to network with potential employers. Join us to hear more of what Dana has to say and some insight into what made him one of BC Business magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2018.
Episode 8 - December 8, 2020
Failing to Fail
In this episode, Iman Aghay, Founder & Director of Success Road Academy, shares his personal story of successes and failures and the lessons he learned. As an entrepreneur himself, he talks to our students about his hiring process and the importance of using their young age as an advantage. Join us to understand how Iman failed to fail.
Episode 7 - November 24, 2020
A Pet Friendly Culture
Have you ever struggled to find places you can take your pet? This is what inspired Aliya Bhatia to start her shared-economy venture. PawSwap allows you to see all pet-friendly events and businesses in Vancouver, and users can earn points that can be redeemed for rewards. Aliya, co-founder and CEO, joins hosts Dave and Gelareh to discuss her journey, the search for a business partner and her personal experience behind the creation of this furry-friendly app.
Episode 6 - November 10, 2020
A New Perspective on Gender-based Expectations
Our guest, Paulina Cameron is back to discuss the ripple effect of gender-based expectations in the workplace, the impact of leadership on business culture and the significance of emotional intelligence in leadership. We believe both students and businesses will benefit from this conversation that hosts Gelareh and Dave had with Paulina.
Episode 5 - October 27, 2020
Female Leadership Challenges
In business, one of the many challenges that we are facing in 2020 is social. Paulina Cameron, author of Canada 150 Women: Conversations with Leaders, Champions, and Luminaries discusses with Gelareh and Dave the importance of women in entrepreneurship and having female leadership while Gelareh opens up about discrimination she faced in her professional life. Listen to more of what Paulina has to say and hear what makes her one of Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40.
Episode 4 - October 13, 2020
From Student to Founder
In this episode, UCW Alumni Shreyas Cotha a.k.a. Mr. Bean shares his passion for coffee and how curiosity led him to launch a successful business in British Columbia that adds happiness to our mornings.
Episode 3 - September 29, 2020
Pioneering in Technology
VIP Parking Solutions' (Total Parking Solutions) Co-founder and Principal Director, Hamidreza Mohammadi shares the pains of importing new technologies into Canada. In this episode, Gelareh, Dave and Hamidreza discuss the importance of partnerships, the struggles he faced with selling an unknown technology as an entrepreneur and the regulations that were involved in the process.
Episode 2 - September 15, 2020
The International Founder Experience
Hermann Fink, CEO at Niki, shares with us how international students can benefit from his business model and guides us from ideation to execution and user experience. Funding, how to be unique, international investment, and the advantages of having co-founders are some of the topics we covered in this week's discussion. Join to listen to this exciting testimonial from one of our UCW Entrepreneurs.
Episode 1 - September 1, 2020
The Science Behind Personalisation
LimeSpot, an online AI plug-in is responsible for a big part of your shopping experience. Its CPO and Executive Chairman, Aidin Tavakkol, shares with us his entrepreneurial journey and the ripple effect of COVID-19 in the ecommerce industry.
About the Hosts
Dr. Gelareh Farhadian brings extensive industry experience in Management Consulting in HR Development, Corporate Strategy, Organizational and Leadership Development, Start-ups Development, as well as Corporate Culture in Venture Capitals, Banks, High-Tech companies, Oil and Gas, Mining and Construction. Her global work experiences include Middle Eastern countries, Venezuela, Russia, Estonia and Scandinavian countries.
She has seven years’ teaching experience at Master and a Doctorate level and as a research assistant at SFU in Human Resource Management. Dr. Farhadian holds a Doctorate in Business Administration (2011) and Master of Research in Business (2009) from Bordeaux IV University in France; a Master in Information Technology Management (2008) from Industrial Management Institute (Tehran), as well as a Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (1999). Her interests are in start-ups, innovation management, e-commerce and entrepreneurship.
Dave Keighron is an E-Commerce Business Strategist with 15+ years of professional e-commerce, retail and hospitality management experience. He's worked with large organizations as well as small to medium start-ups to create and launch successful, thriving business models. Over the last 6+ years, he narrowed his focus to the E-Business/E-Commerce space where he had the opportunity to launch a national wellness brand and restructure the entire operations and functions for 25 e-commerce stores.
He launched a management consulting business in 2016 where he had the opportunity to work with many small to medium enterprises to help them with restructuring their organisations to capture additional value.
Currently, Dave teaches at UCW and is the creative mind behind UCW's new technological pivoting with initiatives such as Innovation-as-a-Service, new Master degrees and the Internship/capstone program.
Rafah Al-Mutarreb is a University Canada West MBA alumna. Her extensive background in Creative Advertising and passion for content creation led her to become the producer for Innovation Fuel.
Rafah and her team strive to improve the student learning experience by connecting the UCW community to businesses through innovative storytelling.