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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 

If you would like to sign up or learn more about UCW's Internship and Capstone program as an employer, please contact us at


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

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

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 Head of Innovation and 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

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.

Innovation Fuel Podcast

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