Arlene is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs. After eight seasons on the hit CBC show Dragons’ Den, and three best-selling books, Arlene has now set her focus on growing entrepreneurism in Canada. She lives and breathes entrepreneurism and is the visionary behind District Ventures.
As District Ventures’ first hire, Mike helped establish the accelerator program before joining one of the accelerator companies, Purple Frog. Before returning to DV, Mike was the Executive Director of the Alberta Small Brewers Association and served on the board of the Canadian Craft Brewers Association. Mike has strong experience in connecting private and public partners to support Canadian entrepreneurs. Prior to joining DV in 2015, Mike was an advisor to Canada’s Minister of Finance.
Andrea is an experienced Controller who has worked both internationally and in Canada. Andrea received her Chartered Accountant designation while working for KPMG in 2013. She has held senior finance positions for companies backed by private equity. She understands the financial challenges and opportunities experienced by small businesses and entrepreneurs. Andrea strives to add value by actively partnering with businesses to provide financial information for strategic decision making.
Marlis has 20 years of food industry experience leading product development programs at the retailer and manufacturing levels. She has expertise in innovation strategy, product formulation, regulatory compliance, quality assurance and brand development. Marlis has worked with a diverse range of food categories and manufacturing environments and brings this insight to District Ventures Kitchen. Marlis also holds an MBA in Innovation Leadership and enjoys supporting food business entrepreneurs as they work toward their product development, manufacturing and business growth goals.
Janice brings a wealth of experience into the food incubator space as a former Operations Officer with Food Starter. Her entrepreneurial experience plays a vital role in understanding the needs of food entrepreneurs. She has mentored food entrepreneurs providing on-going support throughout the process and is committed to the success of DVK clients.