(Co-Founder & CEO)Bret Conkin
Bret is an entrepreneur with a vision to develop a better way to capitalize good ideas. As a growth expert, branding consultant and accomplished business executive, Bret has guided brands from Crest Toothpaste to Lotto 6/49 to Rodney Dangerfield. Now, Bret is co-founder and CEO of Fundfindr.com, an entrepreneur success community with an exciting new take on venture funding and support.
Bret's extensive Internet/software experience includes launching the first interactive website for the $1B+ revenue BC Lottery Corporation and directing software product management, marketing and licensee support for Softec Systems International. As COO of web design/software firm nject, clients included the Air Canada Championship, GNC and DIS (Yellow Pages). Bret also helped direct the multi-million dollar private label funding division, Homeworks Financing and worked in product management with Procter & Gamble. Bret was co-winner of the Premier's Finalist Award for Innovation in 2007 as part of the Province's Energy Savings Plan, is a Board Member of the Stanley Park Ecology Society and an active hockey coach. Like most entrepreneurs, he gets back to work once the kids are asleep!
(Co-founder & CTO/COO)Paul Botelho
Paul currently runs the Paul George Group specializing in marketing technologies and supplying technology solutions for companies. With over 10 years experience in marketing and technology, Paul has a knack of bridging these opposing forces resulting in multi-million dollar revenues in the Internet sector. Prior to running his consultancy, Paul was the Managing Director of Scorecard Media which was responsible for the marketing of a variety of brands. Previously, Paul was involved in the development of gaming and ecommerce products that generated over $100M in revenues for a variety of companies.
(Development Director)Kevin McLeod
Kevin McLeod has embraced the vision laid out by founders Bret Conkin and Paul Botelho and is working to manage the day-to-day design and development of fundfindr.com and fundfindr.tv. Coming in with a range of project management experiences, Kevin is able to manage all the human and non-human variables necessary to ensure a clean and efficient deployment. Kevin's energy and passion for web2.0 make his involvement with fundfindr a perfect fit.
As a Business Development Consultant, Kevin has worked with several small to medium sized businesses facing various start-up and growth challenges. His clients include SFU's Learning Strategies Group, Ocean Fisheries Ltd., Kibo Ventures, Greenfield Management, Transparent Solutions, Spirit West Consulting and the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society. After receiving his B.Sc. in Plant Biology and Ecology from UBC, Kevin moved straight into management and has held positions in Business Analytics, Operations Management, and Regional Management. His education and wide range of experiences allow him to approach projects with a broad appreciation for the interaction of various business elements. As an entrepreneur himself (founder of Yardstick Services), Kevin also understands the challenges faced by business leaders and is driven to helping clients grow both personally and financially.
(Technical Director)Douglas Schlenker
Doug's track record includes working with America Online (AOL), DivX, Finning Canada, IndoChino, LinkedIn, LindenLab, Moving Off Campus and Royal Roads University. Doug is an experienced software developer, with deep and broad understanding across many platforms including Ruby on Rails, PHP, Drupal, .NET and Mozilla. His expertise covers all facets of the software life cycle required in the development of web applications, hybrid applications, and optimal user experience. Doug is a Senior Partner at Adevia Software.
Doug has worn the hat of Software Developer, QA engineer, Project Manager, Resource Manager, Business Analyst, Systems Administrator and Account Executive. Doug commented, .I have always had an entrepreneurial attitude; I started my first company in my teens and continued to start new ventures as I saw great opportunities throughout my early career. I am deeply interested in the start-up phase of young companies and their interactions with investors, service providers and the general community. fundfindr is a fantastic fit and is working in areas I am very passionate about.
(News Anchor / Marketing)Danita Harty
Danita Harty is fundfindr's news anchor. Join Danita for interviews with up and coming entrepreneurs, investors and experts. Danita has acted as the host and as a media and research specialist for a number of entrepreneurial productions in the travel, oil, horticulture and construction industries. Danita brings an international perspective after extensive study overseas and a business degree in International Marketing.
Danita's passions include business, promotion, travel and health and wellness. She has recently founded an adventure travel company with the intent of incorporating what she enjoys most into her every day life as a news anchor.
(News Anchor / Producer)Shannon Kaplun
Shannon Kaplun's career began in Communications working in Lower Mainland Aboriginal treaty negotiations but soon shifted to incorporate her degree in Anthropology (UBC) with her education in television broadcasting (Fanshawe College). In 2000, Shannon Kaplun began as a Producer for the weekly half hour magazine show First Story at VTV/CTV and APTN. She spent three seasons profiling the people, politics and art of Aboriginal cultures. In 2002, Shannon's reputation attracted attention from Woman Works (WWW) and she join their team as a writer, producer, and researcher for two seasons on music series, Beyond Words (APTN, BRAVO). During this period she also acted as judge for two Juno Award ceremonies. Since 2004, Shannon has worked as an independent producer. She has helped launch two smaller independent production companies and their projects. Her own recent projects include developing a .musicmentary" series, and a children's television series; and has just shot a short documentary about the missing women on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Shannon is thrilled to be a reporter on fundfindr.tv and looks forward to researching and delivering stories while supporting entrepreneurs in their ventures. She is working hard to deliver you the success snacks you crave!! Fundfindr CEO, Bret Conkin says, .Shannon is a great asset to fundfindr and she has the instincts to find good stories and interviews well worth watching. Tune in, learn and enjoy!
Ben Z Cooper has been fascinated with photography ever since picking up his father's SLR camera when he was young. From an early age, he began capturing images of his surroundings and the lens reflected his viewpoint of the world around him. Ben's passion garnered him top marks in high school creative arts courses and eventually led him to the famed Media Arts program at Sheridan College. During his last year in the course he participated in almost every movie shoot to some degree as a director of photography, stills photographer, story advisor, gaffer and production assistant. Despite this hectic schedule he was able to graduate with honours.
Films that Ben has shot have been nominated for various awards and this has fueled his ambition to better his craft. When not busy with work, Ben enjoys making short films and panoramic photography. Ben loves music of all kinds. He particularly enjoys, and misses, shooting bands on tour. Currently Ben continues to pursue his passion for images, both still and motion, while residing in the beautiful city of Vancouver.
(Web Developer)Jason Powell
Jason Powell received his first computer for Christmas at age 7 and, as they say it was all downhill from there. Over the years he's developed a knack for programming and has become an expert level developer in almost every programming language in use today and has an in-depth knowledge of several Web 2.0 related acronyms. He can read code as fluently as English and if it can't be done he's the man to do it.
Since graduating with honours from Seneca College's Television Broadcasting program in 2006 Jason has run several live-to-web broadcasts ranging from the Maple Leaf Foods annual employee awards to the Ontario Citizen's Assembly for Electoral Reform with TVOntario and several audio-only learning events for Streetkids International.
Outside of fundfindr, Jason currently has a host of personal projects on the go ranging from content management systems to Facebook applications to making Flash do things Macrodobe never thought it would.
Matt Goodfellow has been involved with computers since he was a child, and his interest has only increased as the years have gone by. He created his first website in grade 6 for a school assignment and studied computer hardware and tech support in high school. He has also continued developing small-medium sized websites throughout his education.
After attending Dalhousie University and the University of New Brunswick as a psychology major, he made his way to the Art Institute of Vancouver to pursue a career in video game programming. During his studies in programming, he was drawn back to web development and continued in that direction. He is currently working on several exciting personal projects that are sure to turn a few heads.
At fundfindr, Matt is a jack-of-all and gets his hands dirty wherever he can. He wears many hats including: development, promotions, and quality assurance. He also takes care of user support issues, so if you have a problem he will be the first to know and resolve it.
Mark Bains has successfully raised over $50M in funds in his more than 14 years of financial and operational experience in the US, Canada and India. He has structured numerous transactions that have been instrumental in the growth of companies. Most recently, Mr. Bains was CFO of TSX listed company in Vancouver. Prior to that Mr. Bains was CFO of Catalytic Software Inc., a Seattle based services company which provided offshore software development services. He led the Finance and Sales functions for the organization.
Previously, Mr. Bains was CFO with Wildseed Ltd, a Seattle start-up, where he raised second round funding and structured bank financing. While there, he was also responsible for Human Resources and Information Technology departments. Wildseed Ltd. was acquired by AOL in 2005. Prior to that Mr. Brains worked at KPMG in Vancouver, Canada where he was Senior Manager responsible for eBusiness. He also worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers in their Audit Department. Mark is a Chartered Accountant and has served on numerous community boards. Mr. Bains holds a Bachelor of Economics from Simon Fraser University.
Jeffrey Kearney owned his first business at the age of 18 and hasn't looked back. For the last 3 decades, he has worked in a range of entrepreneurial, crown and corporate environments, the most recent as Vice President of Production and Senior Producer with Radical Entertainment, a privately owned Vancouver video game production company of 200 employees. In 1998, Jeffrey became one of 6 principal owners of Radical dedicated to lifting the company back to its feet from bankruptcy. At Radical, Jeffrey led a team of 12 direct reports responsible for 125+ staff. His team was accountable for the creative design and development of multiple projects, each lasting up to 18 months.
Within this environment, Jeffrey's strength in coaching and directing leaders and developing support systems flourished. His team's goal was to create a company culture that attracted and kept demanding high-end Gen X and Gen Y art and technical staff and supported the creation of outstanding work. Within 4 years, Radical Entertainment went from losing half its staff, most key employees and all its revenue to being named the Best Place to Work in BC (Watson Wyatt/BC Business Magazine) and one of Canada's 50 Best Run Privately Owned Companies (Globe & Mail Survey). Radical created such hits as The Hulk, Simpsons Hit and Run and CSI and recently completed a Master Development/Option to Purchase deal with Vivendi-Universal valued at US $20 m+.
Prior to joining Radical, Jeffrey was, for 9 years, a freelance project leader in Toronto. He brought together project teams to work on a diverse range of projects including international traveling exhibitions, interactive science centre exhibits, magazines and corporate identities. In his first post-university job, Jeffrey lead several successful project teams for the Expo 86 Corporation including the controversial Highway 86, Land Plaza and others.
Tim has provided experienced, decisive and visionary leadership while overseeing web technologies, governance and policy; business strategy, project management, and personnel administration at various corporations including IBM and Kodak / Creo, and most recently, with a small IT company in San Diego, California that provides Internet-based EHS (environmental, health, and safety) compliance solutions delivered via the "software as a service" model.
Tim is a highly-experienced senior business and IT manager with over 20 years of leadership encompassing wide-ranging industries such as communications, distribution, finance, government, life sciences, retail (ecommerce), transportation and travel. He has guided highly-skilled, multi-national teams on over 30 Web-related projects . all validated by measurable results . enabling organizations to improve their efficiency, competitiveness, and customer self-service by integrating business processes both internally and externally with partners, suppliers and customers. Tim was selected by IBM in 1999 to form a 35-member User Experience Design Team charged with enhancing customer revenue growth and delivering lasting business value by unifying the strategy, design, and technology of multiple customer experience channels and is the recipient of IBM's Bravo and Team Success awards. He is a seasoned entrepreneur who in 1990 founded and operated a corporation with annual revenues exceeding $1M which was subsequently acquired by a competitor in 1998.
Just breaking in to his 30's Ben has a list of experiences and accomplishments that rival some of the most senior executives. Starting his career in retail marketing he has managed the in-store marketing campaigns of Canada's leading retailers (Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire), directed the North American PR / Marketing efforts of Germany's largest gaming software publisher, was the Managing Director of one of Vancouver's top 10 creative agencies, and now serves as the Vice President of Marketing for BC's leading residential real estate developer. With specialties in change management, new business ideation / development, and general dreaming, Ben is the guy who dreams up big ideas, figures out how to make them happen, and then implements before anyone notices things have changed.
With the same drive he carries in his business life, Ben is an ardent family man. Married since his early 20's having four beautiful children along the way the Smith family lives in Vancouver where they enjoy an urban lifestyle that is close enough to the mountains and ocean to feed their passions for the outdoors.
Dr. Mark Selman has been creating and leading innovative training and educational initiatives across a wide range of business practices and professions since the mid 1980s. Mark's guidance of the Learning Strategies Group combines an imaginative vision of learning with his experience as a business owner. He has worked with many organizations, from large companies such as Teck Cominco, Alcan, and Weyerhaeuser to small First Nations communities and grass roots community organizations to provide innovative approaches to training and is also on the boards of 3 entrepreneurial companies and two social ventures.
Before joining LSG as an Associate, Areef was President and CEO of Homeworks Services Inc., a Canada wide residential energy efficiency company. His particular area of interest is in the execution of business ideas with action on the ground. He helps teams provide business definition around opportunities and make actions relevant for customers and other stakeholders. Areef has founded several businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors and held senior positions in a number of organizations in Canada and the UK. He is a graduate of Imperial College, London with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and is currently a pursuing a master's degree at Simon Fraser University.
Mr. Jackson speaks frequently on business and technology issues and has served on the boards of numerous industry and not for profit organizations including the International Internet Marketing Association (IIMA), the BC Internet Association (BCIA), BC Science World, the Leaders of Tomorrow program of the Vancouver Board of Trade and the UBC Executive Mentor Program. He is an angel investor in early stage technology companies and has a keen interest in corporate governance. As a volunteer mentor for New Ventures BC, he coaches entrepreneurs and startup companies.