Our Team

Our team includes our staff, in-house mentors and advisory groups. Everyone at the AC is dedicated to helping you grow and scale your business.


Accelerator Centre CEO, Jay Krishnan

Jay Krishnan

Jay Krishnan is a globally successful entrepreneur, investor, an innovation ecosystem builder, and Chief Executive Officer of the Accelerator Centre.  

An executive leader with over 20 years of experience, Jay boasts an impressive resume of international success. With experience spanning the venture capital space, entrepreneurship and product development and management, Jay knows firsthand what it takes to turn a good idea into a great one and to grow a company from a startup to a globally competitive business.

Having been involved in the founding stages of 3 startups himself, he has experienced the full startup lifecycle - from failure to success- spanning seeding, raising capital, scaling and exit; with one company ultimately acquired by a multi-national conglomerate. Prior to his entrepreneurial journey, Jay donned product management and product engineering hats at global multinationals including Cisco, Juniper and Cantata- Dialogic/ Intel in the US and India.

Learn more about Jay or contact us to inquire about having Jay speak at your event.

Our Staff Team

John Stevens

VP, Strategy and External Relations

Tabatha Laverty

Director, Marketing and Communications

Ted Soepboer

Director, Finance

Leanne Armstrong

Manager, Programs and Client Experience

Brandy Duffield

Specialist, Partnerships and Alumni

Chantal Klasen

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

Chris Leclerc

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

Mora Olubobokun


Ben Richmond

Coordinator, Guest and Facilities

Olivia Rogalla

Manager, Operations and Administration

Mimi Shumbusho

Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience

Our Mentors

Our in-house mentors are central to our program and are a critical part of our clients’ success.
With specializations in finance, design strategy, sales and marketing, human resources and employee culture, public relations and communications, and technology, our mentors act as an experienced and dedicated management team – walking you through every challenge and guiding you to success.

Kevin Elop


Rob Farnham

Lead Generation and Growth

Steve Fyke

Design Strategy

Kevin Hood

B2B Sales

Jackie Lauer

Leadership, HR & Culture

Bob Mathers

Customer Experience

Don Thompson

Product Management

Ellyn Winters-Robinson

Marketing and Communications

Specialists Mentors

Our specialist mentors are all industry experts and provide intensive, tactical support in their respective areas of expertise.

Alexis Black

IP Strategy

Tony Brijpaul

Entrepreneur and Product Strategy

Melissa Durrell

Pitch Coaching

Dave Ellis

Pilot Project and Wastewater Expert

Rick Findlay

Entrepreneur and Environment Consultant

Mary Granskou

Partnerships and Government Relations Consultant

Brandon Moffatt

Cleantech Specialist Mentor

David Perston

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Specialist

Kevin Thomason

Entrepreneur and Sustainability Advocate

Our Board of Directors

Our staff are lead by a multidisciplinary Board of Directors, comprised of business and academic leaders from across the Waterloo startup ecosystem.

Kevin Elop

Finance Mentor

Julie Barker-Merz

Senior Vice President, BMO Financial Group

Bruce Brown

B Squared Consulting

Malcolm Campbell

Vice President Research, University of Guelph

Lisa Cashmore

Vice President, Start and Scale, Communitech

Ruth Casselman

Co-Founder and CMO, Alert Labs

Charmaine Dean

Vice President, Research & International, University of Waterloo

Viona Duncan

Lawyer, Gowling WLG

Gary Hallam

Executive Dean, School of Business and the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, Conestoga College

Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur

President, University of Waterloo

Claudia Krywiak

President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence

Maija Michell

Vice President Human Resources, Descartes Systems

Jonathan Newman

Vice President Research, Wilfrid Laurier University

Rod Regier

Commissioner of Planning, Development and Legislative Services, Region of Waterloo

Paul Thompson

Business Development, Sonova

Ready to join the team?

The AC is a vibrant and exciting place to work. Our staff team is comprised of the region's best and brightest. Our world-class mentors and specialists are carefully screened and hired based on their professional expertise and their ability to mentor and coach others.  If you're passionate about technology and the startup community we would love to hear from you!