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Meet our 2021 Venture Development Specialists

entrepreneurship@UBC's Venture Development Specialist summer internship is for UBC Sauder students ready to make an impact supporting the venture portfolio and moving the needle for UBC entrepreneurs.

Praduman Aggarwal

Over the past 10 years’ I have led cross-functional teams and expanded business in new markets to generate value for all stakeholders through a user centric approach, data driven insights, B2B partnerships and technology. This allowed me to grow and work across all areas of business, given its entrepreneurial nature. In the past I have developed learning management system (LMS) that currently contributes approx. $2M in revenue. I also started a chocolatier business, Chocolate Babus, as a side hustle. Personally I like to learn new things and am passionate about football. 

What Praduman is bringing to the venture community:

Market research, go-to-market strategy and business expansion. I am good with numbers and analysis. Complete P&L management.

Paul Birkelo

I spent the six years before joining UBC building an incubator and makerspace for social entrepreneurs in Nairobi, Kenya, and founded a US-based nonprofit to fund hardware entrepreneurship ecosystems in developing countries. I have a Masters in International Development from the University of Edinburgh and bachelors from CU Boulder in Colorado. I’ve worked as a carpenter, whitewater rafting guide, and stage manager (alongside a career in project management and consulting), and I’m eager to add farmer, aquaculture, and roboticist to the list. I care deeply about social and environmental impact, building non-extractive businesses, and just about everything outdoors, from climbing mountains to surfing and sailing.

What Paul is bringing to the venture community:

I bring a creative, “out of the box” mindset to solving problems and an eagerness to get my hands dirty doing whatever needs to be done. I’m at my best telling impactful stories, whether that’s through financial and operating models, pitch decks, customer-facing copy, or grant proposals.

Denise Chin

Although I was educated as an industrial engineer, I’m better defined as an intrapreneur. My greatest achievement was launching and coordinating my previous company’s first in-house startup in Latin America. In that role, I supported founders in strengthening their business plan to get funding from the internal innovation committee by helping them complete market research, building a prototype according to user experience, and pitching their ventures in a compelling way. I enjoy contributing to projects that have a social impact.

What Denise is bringing to the venture community:

I have a lot of experience in business plan development, market research, customer centric techniques, and training founders to pitch their compelling stories.

Mike Januszkiewicz

I come from the healthcare sector where I worked as a critical care nurse in the adult intensive care unit. I earned a bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University and a graduate certificate from Durham College. I am currently pursuing an MBA from UBC Sauder focused on strategy, technology and analytics. I consider myself to be a "hobbies guy" as I am always trying or learning something new to satisfy my curiosity. I enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, cycling and golfing or reading the latest non-fiction with a coffee in hand.

What Mike is bringing to the venture community:

Throughout my career in healthcare, I have gained invaluable experience in managing multidisciplinary teams and working in ambiguous situations. I believe my client-centered and data driven approach to decision making will serve me well in the start-up environment.

Taylor Todd

I'm a lifelong learner with a passion for emerging technologies and unique inventions. Currently, I'm enrolled in Sauder's MBA program with a focus on Technology Analytics. I have a Bachelors degree in Entrepreneurship and a Diploma in Business Management. Prior to starting the MBA program, I was a Healthcare Project Manager. In my spare time, I volunteer at ICORD (a spinal cord research facility) and coach university students for case competitions. I enjoy traveling, playing board games, and outdoor activities.

What Taylor is bringing to the venture community:

Skills I am bringing to the venture community include financial literacy, project management, communication, adaptability, empathy, critical thinking, and leadership.

entrepreneurship@UBC's Venture Development Specialist summer internship is in partnership with the UBC Sauder School of Business.

Learn more about the Venture Development Specialist Summer Internship 

Come visit! 

We are located in the Graham Lee Innovation Centre in the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.

6163 University Blvd

Vancouver, BC

V6T 1Z3

 entrepreneurship@UBC is a part of Innovation UBC under the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) portfolio