I have always been driven by curiosity; as a kid, it involved taking things apart to see how they worked (and not putting them back together) and spending hours in nature, poking at bugs and frogs. Curiosity drove me to study genetics, neuroscience, and physiology to see how the body works, and then to find the best way to deliver that science to the world. There have been twists and turns in my career as I follow that drive, including research communications, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization (with a stint at business school in there somewhere to keep things interesting), and now to VC where I get to build companies, improve healthcare, and let my inner nerd out to play every day.
I love my job. Nothing can match the thrill of building companies and helping big ideas come to life, with the added benefit of having a real impact on human health. But if you had asked me when I was 18, I would never have thought I would be where I am. I pursued computer science in school, and quickly found myself in banking after graduating, which was a great learning experience but not the best fit. In search of bigger challenges, I went back to school for an MBA, with the dream of becoming a management consultant. That was until an internship at a VC firm changed my mind; as a VC, you get to dive deep into companies and provide strategic recommendations like a management consultant, with the added excitement of implementing and living with the consequences of those recommendations. I’ve been happily living and breathing (and eating and sleeping) VC ever since, while still trying to make time for family, golf, and of course good food and wine.
I was motoring along towards a career in academia when I recognized during my Ph.D. that there was a life outside of research; one where I could still be involved in science but not have to do a single experiment ever again. After dabbling in a career in science communication and consulting for the pharmaceutical industry, I realized telling people what to do was fun, but helping them build great things was more satisfying. Now, as a VC, I believe in rolling up my sleeves, wading into the muck and working with our entrepreneurs as they flesh out their ideas into reality.
Those that know me well, know that my favorite words are “Super”, “Great” and “Awesome”. The geek part of me is energized solving the complexity of biology and improving the delivery of care. I learned patience, hard work and entrepreneurship growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan and teamwork in the rinks and ballfields of my hometown. After working in Europe and then dealing with bare-knuckle politics in Saskatchewan, I migrated west to Alberta where I began to hang out with some crazy guys doing something called “the Internet” which led to me being the CFO of a publicly-traded company. After selling the company, I crossed over to the VC side and during a meeting with a vaccine company I had the epiphany of “I can make money and help people at the same time? Awesome!” and I have been working for or financing healthcare companies ever since.
I started my professional career as a wannabe entrepreneur, building two start-ups from the ground-up while writing my thesis. After a couple of years drinking from that particular fire hose, I took a sabbatical to complete a MBA. I was then recruited by a global pension fund to join the dark side as a VC and never looked back. I’ve been scouting Canada ever since, trying to find the next big idea that will disrupt healthcare. I have a passion for people who share a common vision to build global leaders in their marketplace. When I’m not on a plane on my way to meet with great people, you can find me on a bike somewhere between Montreal and Mallorca, or in the car driving the kids to the dojo or cheerleading classes.