Our instructors are thought leaders in their respective industries and understand what it truly takes to be an entrepreneuer. They are not professors and will not bog you down with a bunch of unnecessary theory. Instead, they will provide you with real, practical, and raw knowledge that helps you get your startup off the ground.
Depesh Parmar is a huge advocate for entrepreneurship! As the Executive Director of Saskatchewan’s largest business incubator, he works closely with aspiring entrepreneurs in pursuing their shared passion for entrepreneurship and creative ideas. Depesh enjoys sharing knowledge and perspective with those around him, including experience gained through ventures in entertainment, technology and petroleum construction. He takes a community-focused approach to helping entrepreneurs become success stories. Depesh strongly believes in supporting his community and serves on a number of boards and committees around Saskatoon. Depesh has a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Regina.
Ryan has worked closely with emerging small businesses and entrepreneurs over the last four years in his role as Business Development Director at Ideas Inc, which has provided him with an abundance of insight into a variety of business industries and strategic approaches. Additionally, his background in finance and personal entrepreneurial ventures contribute to his diversified knowledge in business development —which he is always excited to share with others.
Dean is President and Strategic Branding Lead at MGM Communications, a Saskatchewan-based advertising and branding agency. For over 15 years, Dean has been promoting the agency’s strategic creative, and his expertise in branding has been instrumental in the success of many local and national businesses and organizations. Dean’s roots are in creative development and design, having attended art colleges in both Vancouver and Toronto. Dean also expanded his understanding of strategy and digital marketing through Edwards School of Business while transitioning from his previous role as Creative Director. Prior to working at MGM, Dean was a partner of a Toronto design firm and worked at global agencies, including BBDO and Ogilvy. It was through developing national campaigns for Shell, Canadian Airlines and Telus that he became proficient in the area of consumer branding—a skill he now utilizes at MGM.
Shenuka is an alum of the Edwards School of Business. She is a business development enthusiast and enjoys having creative conversations about unique ideas, product development, marketing and social issues. She is able to speak about the opportunities and challenges for many industries and particularly enjoys discussing innovative consumer-based ideas for retail, food service and the digital world. Her understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset and process is deepened by her own business endeavors and aspirations.
Kristie is the Business Advisory Team Lead at Affinity Credit Union. She has been with Affinity since 2008 in a variety of roles and enjoys working with small businesses and startups. She grew up in a small town south of Regina and moved to Saskatoon after graduating to attend the University of Saskatchewan back in 2000. She is married and has two young daughters.
Jeff is a business lawyer who operates a boutique legal practice that focuses on small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. Jeff offers legal, strategic, and business advice to his clients and is often called upon to act as an external general counsel to businesses. His practice focuses on corporate and commercial work and has acted for clients at all stages of the business cycle, from starting and launching a new business, reorganizing business structures, preparing to purchase an existing business, through the business growth cycle (assisting clients in financing their growth and in dealing with employment, contracts, leasing, and intellectual property matters), as well as through succession planning and eventually selling or transitioning out of the business. Jeff was called to the bar in 2008 after studying law at the College of Law of England and Wales and the University of Ottawa.
Lift Accounting is locally owned and operated by Jordan N. Brown, CPA, CA. Jordan has over seven years of experience providing professional services to private businesses in the Calgary and Saskatoon markets. Jordan holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in accounting from the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. The passion Jordan has for helping entrepreneurs start and grow their small businesses has increased through extensive volunteer experience with non-profit organizations such as Enactus Canada, Junior Achievement Saskatoon, and Futurpreneur Canada. As a firm believer in the concept of life-long learning, Jordan is continually upgrading his professional skills through education programs offered by the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Saskatchewan (CPA Saskatchewan) and other training organizations.
Ricky Forbes has made his career using social media. As a professional storm chaser, he stars in the TV show Tornado Hunters, and with over 500,000 followers on social media, Ricky is Saskatchewan’s largest social media influencer. As co-owner of Blue Moose Media, Ricky spends his days living and breathing digital marketing, running social media workshops and consulting with businesses on how to market themselves online.
After graduating from business school at the University of Saskatchewan, Travis began to make time for his other passion, exploring the world. From his three-month tour of South East Asia to his year-long tour of Europe and South America, Travis’s travels have taken him hiking through the Alps, biking across Iceland, and surfing in Ecuador. For the past 10 years, Travis has advocated for people living with Parkinson’s in Saskatchewan and across Canada. As the Founder and Chair of the Lows In Motion Parkinson’s “Shaker”, he and his committee have raised over $650,000 for Parkinson’s in Saskatchewan, using social media to build awareness and drive thousands to the event. In addition to his volunteer work, Travis spent four years as the Executive Director of Parkinson Society Saskatchewan where he learned what it takes to grow an organization, lead a team and build a community of like-minded people.
Lyn McGaughey is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist and the Owner of Eureka Consulting and Administrative Services. A diversified professional with over 20 years of experience in the financial services and group benefits industries, Lyn is passionate about community involvement and helping businesses succeed. Lyn is a member of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Saskatchewan, Advocis, and the NSBA.
As a content designer and the owner of Paper Plane, a Saskatoon-based communications consultancy, Jess helps businesses cut the fluff. Her approach joins behavioural psychology and design thinking to produce purpose-driven, customer-first content. Jess has coached companies around the world through the process of finding their voice, understanding their audience, and communicating in a way that actually says something. She holds a B.A. Hons. in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan, a post-graduate certificate in Professional Writing (Marketing and Public Relations) from the University of Calgary, and is a certified user experience (UX) design practitioner.
Keith Moen has led the NSBA, Saskatoon’s Business Association, as its Executive Director for the past 10 years. During this time, Keith has significantly raised the bar for the reputable business advocacy and lobbying organization. Prior to the NSBA, Keith was an entrepreneur; a self-employed journalist and communications professional for 17 years. Among the more notable of his contracts during this time was as editor of Saskatchewan Business Magazine. He began his journalism career as a sports reporter after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. English) in 1991. Keith obtained his degree as an adult student while raising a family and working multiple jobs simultaneously to help support his young family and academic pursuits.