Give StartUps A Chance Guest Bios - Social Media Pearls

Give StartUps A Chance Guest Bios


Partner in Crime. Co Producer of Give StartUps A Chance Bio

Tanya Krackovic

TanyaKrackovic CoProducer #GiveStartUpsAChanceTanya brings an unmitigated passion for helping people through the change process and is uniquely tuned into cultural context, providing keen insight on how to move organizational culture through change in a positive, forward motion. A committed change leader, a master enabler, often called out as a pioneering spirit. Underpinning her consultation process is a solutions focus approach, intent to remain aligned during execution with an eye on outcome sustainability.


She delivers value by creating meaningful context for complex change enables organizations to leverage key program/ project activities to increase their opportunities for performance. Exceptionally competent at identifying and elevating opportunities and constraints; those assumptions that either lift or slow the change process, which are often embedded in organizational culture. Clients experience value as reduced risk, increased performance, and increased capability and capacity as it relates to implementing new programs, technologies, processes and products. A cross functional background in performance consulting, professional services delivery, program management and operations informs the development of holistic plans. Always seeking to leverage the natural change opportunities at play within complex human systems. Learn more about Tanya by visiting her LinkedIn Profile


Social Media Specialist of Give StartUps A Chance

Kelly Gordon

Kelly Gordon, Give Startups A ChanceKelly Gordon is a Media Studies student at the University of Guelph-Humber, in Toronto. Kelly has developed a love and aptitude for media. Kelly is passionate about public relations, social media and broadcast journalism. Kelly’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious, a great asset to our small team. On that topic,  Kelly is also passionate about teamwork and building valued relationships.  Kelly has joined our program for the Summer of 2013,  to engage our Social Media Pearls Twitter community and support the social media effort. 




Give StartUps A Chance Guest Bios

Andrew D’Souza

Andrew D'Souza on Give Startups A ChanceGive Startups A Chance Guest, Andrew D’Souza is the Chief Operating Officer of Toronto-based Top Hat Monocle, a mobile learning platform for the classroom. Andrew leads the company’s sales, marketing and business development teams, splitting his time between offices in Toronto and San Francisco. He has contributed opinion pieces on education technology, the Canadian startup ecosystem, startup hiring to Mashable, Business Insider, VC Journal and the Toronto Standard.


Andrew studied Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo and began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company’s media practice. A Canadian sports enthusiast, he took a short sabbatical to manage the events staff of the Whistler Media Center at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Andrew is on the organizing committee of TEDxSan Francisco and has been an advisor to Engineers Without Borders, Ashoka, the Khan Academy and a number of Canadian startups.

Drew Green

Drew Greeb on #GIveStartUpsAChance

Give StartUps A Chance Guest, Drew is founder, CEO and chairman of SHOP.CA and is responsible for overall corporate strategy, sales, marketing and operations. Having spent his entire career connecting online audiences with retailers through digital media, marketing solutions, mobile marketing and marketplace platforms in the United States, Drew is now focused on his homeland, with a vision to significantly improve and ease the online buying experience for the millions of Canadian SHOP*per’s that buy online every week.


Prior to founding SHOP.CA, Drew served as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Vibes Media. In this role, Drew was responsible for defining, implementing and leading the execution of Vibes’ Sales, Business Development and Marketing strategy. With over 14 years of online marketing, eCommerce and sales leadership experience, Drew has a proven track record of results based management and high growth strategy development and execution. Prior to joining Vibes in 2009, Drew was a member of SHOP.COM’s executive team since 2005, where he led the sales, merchant operations and business development departments during his tenure, and was responsible for ramping product supply from under 1 million products to over 25 million unique product SKUs from thousands of leading retailers and manufacturers in the US. SHOP.COM’S Marketplace platforms provided demand generation and branding for thousands of retailers and product brands in both the US and the UK. Prior to SHOP.COM, Drew held sales and sales leadership roles with Flonetwork, (acquired by DoubleClick) and DoubleClick (acquired by Google).



Gal Smolar

Gal Smolar in #GiveStartUpsAChance

Give StartUps A Chance guest,Gal is a Practitioner of Foreign Law and brings to Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC) his experience as a global Corporate lawyer focusing on technology companies. Beginning his legal career in Israel, Gal moved his practice to FMC’s cross-border platform in 2010. He represents individual investors and venture capital funds investing in high growth emerging companies, and acts for investors forming technology investment funds. Fluent in four languages, Gal has experience in media, cleantech and life sciences technology transactions in various jurisdictions, including Canada, US, China, Europe and the Middle East. Gal is a legal adviser for entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capital funds and purchasers of new technologies. His areas of industry are consumer web and mobile, data analytics, SaaS, medical devices, drug delivery, energy efficiency and green chemistry.





Gavin McCarry


Gavin McGarry on Give Startups A Chance 


Before founding Jumpwire Media in 2009 Gavin worked for online video start up Joost and was the Head of Cross Platform Business Development at global television production company Endemol.


Gavin has been working in media space for over 20 years. His past experience includes positions at major television networks as well as owning and operating a television production company and a boutique advertising agency. His company created some of the first cross media TV content and worked with major networks including NBC, Discovery, CTV, and Global Television. The full service ad agency serviced two national clients and explored integrating brands into television and online properties. In 2004 he moved from his native Canada to the UK to better understand the rapidly emerging mobile phone space. Through his position at Endemol he worked closely with the UK’s largest mobile operator O2 and helped develop leading edge content for multiple platform release. In 2007 he moved into the web video arena based out of the Joost’s New York office. He has spent time in Japan, Africa, Europe and China exploring and understanding the global digital media content market place. He is invited to speak at media industry conferences on a regular basis including: MIPCOM, International Institute of Communications, Harvard Business Club of New York, Ryerson University, NAPTE, Xmedia Lab, etc.



Hadi Salah 

Hadi Salah on Give StartUPsAChance

Give StartUps A Chance guest, Hadi is a Life Sciences Industry Analyst with MaRS Market Intelligence. He also plays a supporting role as an Investment Manager with the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF). Hadi’s main role at MaRS is to support clients with their market research needs as well as to publish Market Insight reports in the healthcare space.

Prior to joining MaRS, Hadi worked as an Industry Analyst/Consultant at Frost & Sullivan, focusing on emerging technologies in the life sciences, healthcare, nanotechnology, and cleantech market verticals. He has also contributed to the success of Frost & Sullivan’s medical devices conference, by connecting biotechnology and medical devices companies with venture capitalists and large pharma business development officers.

Hadi holds a Bachelor’s Degree (Biology and Biotechnology) from the University of Ottawa and a Master degree in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology from the University of Toronto. His background also contains technology commercialization, evaluation, and market due diligence at The Innovations Group of the University of Toronto, at theUniversity Health Network Business Development Office, and investment banking with Dundee Securities’ Healthcare Team.




Dr. Nicole Judge

Give Startups A Chance: Entrepreneurship in rural Canada by Thomas Wison and Nicole JudgeDr. Judge is a veterinarian and co-owner of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery. Dr. Judge is a 1995 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. She worked as a small animal practitioner for five years before joining Hill’s Pet Nutrition where she held various roles including Veterinary Customer Marketing Manager and District Sales Manager for Central & Eastern Canada. Dr. Judge is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Ontario Veterinary Group, a group of six hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa. She and her husband, Thomas Wilson own and operate Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, a wood-fired oven bakery, farm shop and winery.

Thomas Wilson

A fifth generation farmer, Thomas returned to the family farm after graduating from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts in 1996. He is past president of the Peel Soil and Crop Association and Golden Horseshoe Soil and Crop Association. As well, he has served as a director with the Peel Federation of Agriculture for 13 years and was a member of the Region of Peel Agricultural Advisory Group for 5 years. In 2005 Thomas and Nicole purchased a new farm and opened Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in 2009.

The Spirit Tree Estate CideryGiveStartupsAChance: Entrepreneurship in Rural Canada Spirit Tree Cidery

Spirit Tree is an award winning straw bale construction apple winery/ wood-fired oven artisan bakery/farm shop/cider mill.  Thomas and Nicole have taken cider making courses in Somerset, England and Geneva, New York. They also studied artisan bread making at the Cordon Bleu Paris, and the San Francisco Baking Institute. Since opening Spirit Tree Estate Cidery , they have been awarded Commercial Building of The Year 2009 by the Canadian Farm Builders Association, Environmentalist of the Year 2010 by the Town of Caledon, Impact Award 2010 by the Caledon Chamber of Commerce, Culinary Destination 2010 by the Headwaters Tourism Association, Ontario Farm Market of the Year 2010 by the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, a Premiers Award in Agricultural Innovation, and Ontario Cider Makers Challenge 2010 for Best Cider in Ontario. Nicole & Tom live in Caledon with several pets and their four year old son, Kiernan, a baker and cider connoisseur in the making.



Mark Evans

Mark Evans Photo (Jan. 2012)Give Startups A Chance Guest, Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, which provides strategical and tactical marketing services to startups and entrepreneurs. Mark’s focus is providing core messaging, brand positioning, marketing strategy and content marketing. Mark writes a popular blog, Mark Evans Tech, about startup marketing, as well as a weekly newsletter, “This Week in Canadian Startups“.









Yevgeniy Brikman [Jim]

Yevgeniy Brikman [Jim] on Give StartUps A Chance
















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