Who Are We?

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Our Team

John Koch, P. Eng (Co-Founder; Chief Executive Officer): John graduated from the University of Alberta Engineering in 1983. He has held the position of Chief Operating Officer in public and private companies for over twenty years, and was responsible for all operations of 5 oil and gas start-ups. He founded Enerdrill Inc. in 1995, an Engineering and Operational Management Consultancy Firm. His clients include operating companies and private equity funds, and he holds extensive financing experience. John has a track record of successful innovation, holding 6 patents, and experience in a variety of environmental projects. He is a hands on operational manager with outstanding track record of building and monetizing successful companies. 

Dr. Claudia Koch (Co-Founder; Chief Science Officer): Claudia is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She studied Animal Agriculture at the University of Alberta prior to attending the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. She has a range of clinical veterinary experience, working with companion and production animals. She has been accredited to perform regulatory functions with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture. She participated in a dairy cow health project with Veterinarians Without Borders in Mukurweini, Kenya. Her professional interest include alternative agriculture, food security, and ecosystem health. 

Blythe Butler (Chief Impact Officer): Blythe has over 15 years experience creating and delivering social impact, corporate responsibility, and sustainability strategies in private, public and non-profit sectors. She is a principled leader of organizational learning, strategic planning, culture transformation and change management initiatives to strengthen business impact. She is an accomplished facilitator, trainer and stakeholder engagement practitioner. Blythe is passionate about elevating organizational environmental, social & governance (ESG) standards and performance to drive increased business value. Blythe has a track record of achieving outstanding results in multi-disciplinary, complex and emergent environments that demand innovative and collaborative approaches.

Darren Walkey (Senior Research and Development Specialist): Darren is an R&D and Innovation professional with over 10 years experience developing R&D operations and programs involving crop processing (pulses, cereals and oilseeds), value added ingredient development, product development, and by-product/waste stream utilization. He has worked for and with food processors, academics, provincial governments, and funding agencies. He has built a $20 million R&D portfolio, assisted companies with transitioning into value added processing, and worked on development of new plant-based ingredients. Darren's diverse educational background includes two BA’s from the University of Calgary, and MSc in research valuation and project decision making from the University of Alberta.

Tahmid Kazi (Engineer In Training): Tahmid graduated from Queens University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a focus in biochemistry. Tahmid also has experience as a Lab Analyst, and Materials Testing Technician. He held the positions of Executive Marketing Director for the Queens Biomedical Innovation Team in 2018 and 2019. Tahmid holds a volunteer position as Executive VP of Business Development for LoopEducation, a non-profit organization which supports first generation Canadians transition to post-secondary education.

Our Advisors

Bob Burden, CVA, P.Ag. (Agri-Business): Bob is a senior partner with Serecon, with over 30 years experience as a professional evaluator and analyst. He is an expert in using quantitative and qualitative information to assess the impact of critical factors on the value of business operations. Bob has owned and managed agri-food business enterprises, including a dairy farm and poultry processing operation. He is a Certified Valuations Analyst (CVA), Professional Agrologist (P.Ag), and has Masters degrees in Business and Agriculture. 

Dominic Silk, M.Sc, MMA (Analytics and Data Science): Dominic is a data science professional with a global outlook and strong analytical background in Engineering. He is a Management Analytics (MMA) 2020 graduate at the Rotman School of Management, concentrating on; Machine Learning, Data Structures & Algorithms, Deep Learning, etc. through applications of Python, SQL, and R.

Women at the Cap Table (Culture and Growth): WATCT is a Calgary-based investment club and cultural advisory organization. WATCT strives to increase the voice of women in the start up community, guiding purpose-driven organizations to success through sustainable growth. WATCT consists of a strong inter-disciplinary and collaborative advisory team.

Our Supporters