Meet The Team
Tom Urban mentors early stage ventures as an advisor and investor. He has extensive experience in investment banking, working for Goldman, Sachs & Co. as well as in the agricultural biotechnology industry and forestry genetics.
Tom began his professional career with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in 1988 in the Mergers and Acquisition group in New York and Los Angeles. After spending two years with Goldman, Tom left to join the world leader in agricultural seeds, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, as the Country Manager of Romania based in Bucharest. In 1998, Pioneer was purchased by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and, in 1999, Tom moved to Paris, France to head their worldwide cereals seed business. In 2002, Tom returned to the U.S. as a Director in the DuPont strategic planning group where he focused on DuPont’s agriculture portfolio including seed, crop chemicals and soy protein.
Tom received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and a Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Kalmar has been an avid supporter of entrepreneurship in Canada for the past 25 years. He currently holds positions as an Entrepreneur in Residence for entrepreneurship@UBC and Innovation Boulevard, and is also a Mentor in Residence for Venture Connection at Simon Fraser University. During his 12 years at Genome BC he has taken on roles as the Executive Director of Operations, Vice President of Sector Development, and Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization. He was also the President and CEO of the Pacific Autism Family Network
Alex Chunn is an accomplished design and innovation leader with over 30 years of experience in product and brand design, corporate management and academic program development. Degrees in Industrial Design and Business Administration provide a unique perspective on the role of design in business success.
Alex was based in Hong Kong for the past 18 years and has experience in the areas of consumer research, identifying user insight, defining product opportunities, concept development and design execution. His work in North America and Asia has involved leading cross functional teams based in multiple geographic locations and extensive collaboration with product management and key retail partners in North America, Europe and Australia.
Alex provides mentorship to business startup ventures like BarrrelWise supported by entrepreneurship@UBC.
Kyle brings extensive international experience with global brands and start-ups in the areas of consumer marketing, brand management and business development. He has worked in leadership roles in global corporations including Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, The Walt Disney Company and United Airlines. He has also played key strategic roles in startups such as Rakuten, Arista Networks and Martiniburger.
Kyle currently lives in Vancouver and serves as a mentor and advisor at The University of British Columbia’s entrepreneurship@UBC
program. He was an initial mentor to BarrelWise and is now an advisor to the company.
Nanette holds a BA in Political Science and Communication Studies from Carleton University, a Master’s in Marketing from IESA, as well as an MBA from the University of British Columbia.
Born and raised in Venezuela, Nanette is a skilled marketer with years of experience in consumer research, strategic planning and marketing communications. Nanette began her career in marketing by working in market research and advertising for Ipsos and Publicis. She found her passion for building brands in the wine and spirits industry in her role as Market Research and Brand Strategy Manager for Santa Teresa Rum.