Accelerating Economic Recovery and Growth

Explore how we can help bridge the gap from the lab to the market and transform research and scientific discovery into new business ventures that stimulate economic activity. 

Idea Exchange

Canada’s most entrepreneurial university is transforming research and scientific discovery into new business ventures that stimulate economic activity. UCalgary is bridging the gap from the lab to the market with UCeed, a new seed-stage investment fund to convert research and ideas into thriving companies, while also connecting students with real-life business opportunities. 

Join us at our virtual Idea Exchange to explore how initiatives like UCeed are accelerating innovation in Alberta by attracting, developing and retaining talent and connecting game-changing ideas with the funding and expertise to bring them to life. 

Following a panel discussion with business experts, we’ll hear directly from company founders, whose research and innovation took flight with support from UCalgary. 

Webinar | Oct. 29, 4-5:30 p.m. MDT

Learn more about UCeed and how to get involved.

Watch the recording

This video is set to begin at the nine-minute mark, when the program begins. 

Meet the Moderator


Alice Reimer, BSc’99, MBA’03, Site Lead, Creative Destruction Lab-Rockies, UCalgary

Alice Reimer is a successful technology entrepreneur and dedicated community leader and mentor.

Currently as Site Lead of Creative Destruction Lab Rockies, Alice works with Canadian academic, government and investment organizations to help accelerate technology companies with the potential to transform the world’s social, industrial, and economic landscape. 

As a technology entrepreneur, Alice led ground-breaking SaaS companies for global retail giants such as Walmart, Home Depot and LEGO earning her national recognition with PROFIT W100’s designation as one of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, and Alberta Venture as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People.

Alice is a co-founder and director of The51, a financial platform for democratized access to female capital for female led businesses, serves on the board of Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, Syantra Diagnostics Inc. and is the former Board Chair of Startup Calgary and The A100.

Meet the Panelists


John Wilson, CEO, Innovate Calgary

As President and CEO of Innovate Calgary, John Wilson leads a team of professionals, contributing to the design and delivery of the University of Calgary’s innovation agenda.

John has an extensive background in knowledge transfer with over twenty years of experience. He has held positions as the Innovation Director at Brock University and the University of Oxford, where he served as the liaison with the TTO at Yale University. John is a strong advocate for developing critical talent that drives economic growth.

He also managed a research and development team at Unilever in the United Kingdom and Holland. He was also the CEO of a Unilever-based spin-out, where he developed software and hardware for the computer games industry.

John’s credentials include a PhD in Chemistry from Bristol University (UK) and post-doctoral research experience at Bristol University (UK) and Virginia Tech (USA).


Vincent Chahley, Chairman, Venturion Oil, UCeed Haskayne Student Fund Investment Advisory Group

Vincent Chahley brings 30 years of experience in the investment banking and oil and gas industries. Vincent is currently Chairman of Venturion Oil and is a corporate director of Velvet Energy, OSUM Oilsands, and the Aequitas NEO Stock Exchange. Vincent was a career investment banker - Burns Fry (Toronto/Calgary), RBC Capital Markets (Co-Head of Investment Banking), Tristone Capital (Head of Investment Banking), FirstEnergy and KERN Partners (Co-Founder).    Vincent is an Associate in the Creative Destruction Lab Rockies and is a graduate of the University of Alberta.


Derrick Hunter, MBA’90, President, Bluesky Equities, UCeed Health Funds Investment Advisory Group

Derrick is the CEO of Bluesky Equities  - an investment management company with interests in real estate, energy, distilling, technology and alternative strategies. Bluesky was recognized as a top 10 Canadian angel investor by the Canadian Venture Capital Association in 2018 and 2019.  Derrick was also named Canadian Angel Investor of the Year for 2019 by the National Angel Capital Organization as well as Technology Investor of the year by Start Alberta.

Derrick chairs the External Advisory Committee of the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary and sits on the board of the Hunter Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business.  He is also a Fellow of Creative Destruction Lab (Rockies), an advisor to UCEED and a member of the Innovation Capital Working Group which has been advising the Government of Alberta during 2020.

In the not-for-profit sector, he is a member of the Management Advisory Council at the Haskayne School of Business and serves on the boards of Futurepreneur Canada and the Beakerhead Creative Society.

Derrick is a graduate of Queen’s University and the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). He was the 2018 recipient of the Management Alumni Excellence (MAX) award from the Haskayne School of Business.