Speakers & Coaches
We proud to announce that the UpStarts curriculum will be delivered by a team of dedicated and talented professionals. Check them out!
Emma Hason, speaker
Imminently sixteen, Emma Hason has been telling stories since before she could hold a pen. She was the recipient of her school’s Trillium Scholarship in 2015, and she’s participated in and won prizes for numerous writing competitions. When she’s not battling it out on the hockey rink or racing sailboats on the lake, she’s writing poetry, creating new stories, and attempting to reconcile the theory and practice of teenagedom into a comprehensive survival guide.
Emma hopes to achieve, through her writing and poetry, the kind of voice that inspires people to find the beauty in everything and make the world a better place.
She lives with her two preteen sisters and helicopter parents who, despite driving her crazy all the time, she still loves very much.
Stuart Spence, team coach
Stuart worked as a computer programmer for two years before returning to school to study computer science and education at McGill. He is now a master's student at Concordia in education technology. He has been teaching technology topics part time in high school for two years, and has led several technology workshops. His interests include education software, education games, free software, and technological literacy.
Caroline Bérard Garcia, team coach
I am Mexican-Canadian and am currently studying International Development and Social Entrepreneurship at McGill University. I like to meet new people from different backgrounds and learn from their values and experiences. I have a deep appreciation of traditional dances and the exposure to different cultures that it allows me to have. I speak French, English, Spanish and Italian and wish to learn many more. I truly believe all of us make a positive change in the world. You just have to take the first step!
Justine Tupe, team coach
I study Economics and International Development with a minor in Computer Science at McGill University. I've become enamored by Social Entrepreneurship because it questions the "why" and "how" we do things, creating a space that has allowed me to create innovative solutions that shift the balance. I think of myself as a student for the rest of my days - driven by gaining understanding and knowledge which empowers me with empathy and power. With my past achievements in national speaking competitions, provincial debate, and my current involvement in the university Model UN circuit, I believe that I have learned the techniques of public speaking, collaboration, and leadership that get creative ideas flowing! I'd like to share my passion to learn, create and innovate to those around me, especially high school students, who facing the grim realities of today need to look forward and learn how they can enact change.
Peter Wilkinson, team coach
Spending much of the last 15 years in China, I've been passionately involved in helping young people get noticed and succeed in the creative industry. A jack of all trades, I've been a part of successes and spectacular failures along the way. I'm always happy to pass on the knowledge and experience I have to strengthen up the next creative idea. Peter Wilkinson: Educator, Tech/Design/Dev/UX Professional, Calculated Risk Taker and Creative Consultant at your service!
Haya Kamal, team coach
I’m a 4th year student at McGill University studying International Development and Biochemistry. Within the past two years, I’ve taken multiple courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Human Centered Designed through McGill and +Acumen which have sparked my passion for the entrepreneurial process. Over the summer I started working at OOHLALA, a tech startup for mobile education. Being part of a fast-pace and growing start-up has allowed me to witness first the hand the challenges and rewards of growing a business. I hope to take this knowledge and use it to inspire young entrepreneurs of Montreal!
Johny Duval, team coach
Since graduating from McGill University with a major in Biochemistry, Johny has been interested by all things technology. Aside from volunteering his time in several non-profits, he loves working on ventures that have real positive impacts on people’s lives. He’s been active in the startup community of Montreal since its early beginnings. He currently works as a product manager in a fast-growing Montreal startup and as an organizer in a creative incubator. His experience in striving for change and disruption has given him a passion he hopes will be passed on to younger generations.
Haider Ali, team coach
A McGill graduate in Economics, Haider has spent most of his professional life working in higher education. Haider completed his MBA in 2016 from JMSB, winning the GardaWorld Case Competition in his final year. He is the co-founder of the Presentations Workshop - an organization that helps businesses and individuals develop their presentation skills. Formerly the Associate Director of Business Intelligence at McGill, Haider joined OOHLALA in May 2016 as the Director of Growth and Marketing. Some responsibilities in that regard include, content development, email campaigns, social media marketing and strategy development.
Alice Ying, team coach
I am an audit assistant manager in the Deloitte private company services group with a special focus in technology, financial, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing industries. I am passionate about promoting entrepreneurship through helping startup companies meet their objectives, and building relationships in the technology, media and telecommunication space. I have acquired skills in entrepreneurship from previously owning my own company, judging and evaluating business plans, and coaching/mentorship. I have mentored and coached for Technovation Challenge, Co-opérathon, Start-Up Weekend Women, Fondation Montréal Inc. and judged for the Concordia Dobson Practicum.
Danial Mazhar Shafi, team coach
Danial Mazhar Shafi works in technical sales at Maya Simulation, Canada’s largest simulation software company, where he provides value through his experience in consultative sales along with the technical background from his BEng at McGill University. Danial is passionate about youth leadership, as he has spent over a third of his life leading youth-run initiatives ranging from community projects in high school, to promoting international relations through Model United Nations for over six years. Danial served as president of AIESEC Canada Inc., the Canadian chapter of the world’s largest youth-run organization that provides leadership development opportunities for young people through the participation and facilitation of global exchanges. It was in this time that Danial understood his passion for sales and his desire to continue developing his technical background. He looks forward to interacting with the delegates at MTL UpStarts and sharing his experiences about entrepreneurship and the awesomeness of sales.
Diana Cheptene, pitch coach
Diana is an Interactive Experience Consultant at IBM, where she helps large corporate clients embark on digital transformation with a focus on experience-driven interactive and mobile solutions. She has worked closely with client teams to define their business and product vision in a variety of industries, like healthcare, telecommunications, oil and gas, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and HR.
Expertise: product development, product vision and design, customer experience strategy, business value assessment, iOS enterprise apps
Abhishek Gupta, pitch coach
Architect of the Future! Founder at ENERj Thinker, Techie, Squash addict, Food junkie.
Abhishek Gupta has spent his years in Montreal deeply embedded in the startup ecosystem working on projects spanning travel, food, innovative authentication mechanisms, etc. He was a Prestige Scholar at McGill writing often about trends in Science & Technology. His research papers on the intersection of Economics and Technology have been published by the Cornell Economics Society. He is currently working on ENERj with the vision of fighting climate change via a bottom-up approach providing tools to everyone right now! ENERj represented Quebec & Canada at the world's largest climate change conference, COP22 in Morocco this year.