Technology Development Advisors

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Supporting Alberta’s Entrepreneurs with Coaching, Community, Capital

Our Technology Development Advisors (TDAs) provide Coaching, Community, and Capital to high potential, high growth, Technology or Knowledge-based Alberta small & medium size enterprises (SMEs) who are at the committing, validating or scaling stage of their client journey.

TDAs are senior business advisors who provide one-on-one guidance, community connections, and assist with identifying non-dilutive capital to support entrepreneurs and SMEs in technology or knowledge-based industries developing innovative technology.

The programs and services we offer provide end-to-end coverage
through the client journey.
Let us help you through your journey.

Connect with a TDA now.

Our Technology Development Advisors

Lori Adams, Calgary

Lori AdamsLori has considerable experience with technology start ups, including launching her own company. She brings a strong background in oil and gas and software including software and data as a service. Lori has worked for service, Exploration & Production and financial companies in oil and gas. For the past 15 years she has held various leadership positions in technology focused companies where she has been instrumental in helping create and grow various product lines.

While working in the technology industry, Lori learned the value of customer service and its foundational importance in growing a company’s brand. She invested her time developing strong partner relationships. These partnerships were key to accelerated business growth.

Lori brings her years of experience and boundless enthusiasm to help SME’s with strategic planning, product management, sales and leadership development. She is happy to support Alberta’s SME’s as they grow their companies and help make connections in the ecosystem and to potential partners.

Lori is currently enrolled in the MBA program at Athabasca University with a focus on international business.

Michael Kerr, Calgary

Michael KerrMichael’s career started in BC in a small company focused on forestry innovation before moving to northern BC to become a plant chemist and process optimizer for a Fortune 500 company. He worked with the National Research Council for 13 years helping advance innovative companies and engaging post-secondary links to industry, working to establish three regional science councils.

He was active in Prince George and BC Chambers of Commerce, receiving several awards for mentorship and community involvement. Michael was Director of Quality and Innovation for Northern Health before starting his own company. He moved to Red Deer in 2012 to take a TDA position with Alberta Innovates. He currently works as TDA/manager in Calgary.

Many of Michael’s clients have realized significant success in several sectors. Michael leads the Clean Technology Networks and the Municipal Energy Challenge as part of his duties. Michael has taught post-secondary Business part-time for several schools, primarily focused on Operations Management and Entrepreneurship. He holds a degree in Chemistry, an MBA and a CMC designation.

Stephan Zuberec, Calgary

Stephan ZuberecStephan has an accomplished background in business development, marketing and sales primarily to upstream and downstream oil and gas, engineering companies and services companies. For nearly 10 years he was General Manager of the Canadian operations of an international professional technical services (technical inspection, process safety and HSE) company.

Prior to joining Alberta Innovates as a TDA he led business development efforts at ACAMP, working with start-up and small company electronic hardware innovators by providing engineering technical development support, and guiding them in their product development journey from proof-of-concept to a commercial product.

Matt Cornall, Central Alberta

Matt CornallMatt has a strong background in business, economic and community development, as well as in project management and program implementation. Originally from the UK, Matt worked in the banking sector and public sector in the UK and with the European Union (EU) before emigrating to Alberta in 2008.

In his time in Alberta, Matt has worked in both the public and private sectors, working with engineering companies in Central Alberta to build their respective Economic Development divisions as well as being a lead on their business development efforts. Matt has also worked as the Economic Development Officer for a community of 14,000 people and most recently as the Investment Attraction and Business Retention officer for the Central Alberta region.

In addition Matt is a long running board member and 2015 President of the Economic Developers of Alberta (EDA) association, and the Alberta representative on the national Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) board. Matt is also a past community representative and chair of Red Deer’s Community Housing Advisory Board (2009-2014). He is located at the Red Deer College Centre of Innovation in Manufacturing.

Rick Davidson, Edmonton

Rick DavidsonRick is a seasoned sales and business development professional with over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. Rick offers SMEs the benefit of his years of experience in developing and implementing successful marketing, sales and business development strategies.

Rick believes that Alberta’s future lies in innovation and in sustainability of SMEs in the province. Rick is excited to work with SMEs to help identify strategic partners, access funding programs and help them develop strategic business opportunities.

Mike Riou, Edmonton

Mike RiouMike has technology development and commercialization experience in several industries in Canada and the U.S, and has worked in start-up companies as well Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, Mike has worked with entrepreneurs and small entities to create technology development, marketing, and business plans and strategies. Through this work, he understands the challenges these organizations face developing products from inception to market entry.

Mike’s experience in areas such as start-up, financing, business strategy, intellectual property, business development and team development enables him to assist Alberta companies during their journey. He believes SMEs are key for Alberta’s continued growth and diversification, and he enjoys the opportunity to work with these organizations to assist in their success.

Robert W. Landers, Fort McMurray

Robert W. LandersAs a former business owner manager of small service companies, Robert understands the risks and struggles business people face in their start-up and stabilization process. He has a strong background in conventional sweet/sour oil and gas processing, open pit mining oil sands, SAGD, heavy oil polymer flood and heavy oil upgrading operations.

Robert believes that innovation spawns from everyday challenges Alberta SME’s face. Seeking solutions to those challenges by collaborating with others creates outcomes that are positive and financially rewarding to all Albertans. It is Robert’s hope to help SME’s reach their full potential and innovation goals to ensure a robust, resilient and diverse Albertan economy while maintaining our clean water and air initiatives.

Bob Hall, Grande Prairie

Bob HallBob has been a champion for innovation as a key driver of economic development in Northwestern Alberta.  As early as 1999, Bob led a regional team that designed, built and managed an innovation network for Alberta’s Peace Country, which later evolved into Grande Prairie Regional College’s Centre for Research & Innovation (CRI) and now into the Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network (GPRIN).

As AI’s Technology Development Advisor in Alberta’s northwest, Bob’s assists, coaches and mentors small-to-medium sized companies and entrepreneurs on advancing their innovative ideas and technologies through the commercialization process. Bob works with the GPRIN to further champion the culture of innovation in the region through building relationships and networks with federal business development agencies, economic development offices, educational institutions, chambers of commerce and industry groups. Bob’s interests in special projects include: youth entrepreneurship; company productivity and competitiveness; sensors & unmanned vehicle systems; rail service infrastructure; ‘pollutants-to-products’ opportunities; foresight scenario planning; investment attraction and more. Bob’s business experience includes urban design and project management in land development.

Lindsay Spadavecchia, Lethbridge

Lindsay SpadavecchiaLindsay came to the TDA role following 13 years in the EdTech software industry. Very familiar with the challenges businesses face in product development, from the discovery and design stages, through to market launch and beyond, Lindsay’s senior leadership oversight included product management and software engineering, sales and marketing, implementation services, and customer support.

Lindsay has set up and worked with several non-traditional business environments including telecommuting and fully remote workforces. She has consulted on company acquisitions and mentored companies in strategic planning and growth strategies for their operations and market. Lindsay has been an active participant in company and youth business mentoring programs, including leadership workshops and new manager mentoring.

Lindsay believes that change comes rapidly and continually challenges the traditional constructs of business, technology, and communication. She looks forward to being of assistance to SMEs wherever possible and is proud to represent Alberta Innovates as part of a longstanding, collaborative relationship with the Southern Alberta RIN (RINSA).

Kara Johnston, Lloydminster

Kara JohnstonKara is a high-energy individual who excels in relationship building. She has vast entrepreneurial experience and expertise in the agriculture, retail, construction and oil and gas sectors.

A former Dean at Lakeland College, Kara built a strong foundation of varied industry relationships and gained valuable insight into the greater Alberta innovation network.

Kara is excited to use her network contacts in conjunction with her coaching and mentoring skills to support businesses and foster the entrepreneurial spirit that is so vibrant in our community and province. She believes that innovation through the collaboration of education, industry and government is the foundation for the future of the Alberta. As such, she looks forward to assisting entrepreneurs make advantageous connections that will sustain them on the path to success.

Kara is a strong advocate of life-long learning and is always seeking opportunities to increase her own skill set to benefit her clients and regional stakeholders. She has a Masters of Business Administration with a focus on Leadership and is working towards becoming an Executive Coach as well as a Certified Management Consultant. Kara’s office is located in Lloydminster with Startup Lloydminster, a key partner to the Regional Innovation Network in East Central Alberta.

John Stroh, Medicine Hat

John StrohWhen John arrived at Alberta Innovates in 2011, he came with 27 years of manufacturing experience working primarily in roles of plant and operations management.

John had the privilege to work for companies in three different countries, ranging from start-up to being publicly traded. It was during this time that John was exposed to many manufacturing and quality methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma.

Now that John is with Alberta Innovates, he continues to share that knowledge with business and industry as well as assisting them with their technology development needs, focusing largely on IP and prototype development work.

John is located in Medicine Hat but serves the southeast part of the province in his role as a TDA. Working closely with his Regional Innovation Network partners, John continues to support entrepreneurs and small business while working with the many programs and offerings of Alberta Innovates and those within the Alberta Regional Innovation Network.