SFU VentureLabs has a number of mentors (also referred to as EIRs) as part of the team. EIRs are experienced professionals who bring an entrepreneurial perspective and significant depth in establishing growth-oriented businesses. They support clients’ growth by sharing industry or market segment expertise, providing market perspective and helping establish corporate governance, strategy and milestones. Most have strong technology industry backgrounds and specific expertise with the many issues facing startup and high-growth companies.

EIRs ((Entrepreneur, Executive, Expert) in Residence ) support new ventures at VentureLabs in several ways:

Growth EIRs

Growth EIRs spend 8-15 hours per week coaching our CEOs. They follow up regularly, meeting with companies roughly every 2 weeks, and work with clients to set and meet milestones for their next stage of development. 

Growth EIRs share insights and give guidance by:

  • Advising assigned client companies participating in SFU VentureLabs programs and events on building governance, marketing, and process frameworks. They help clients in scaling up their businesses by providing input and advice on product market fit, market validation, product development, manufacturing and distribution, operations, growth access to development resources and government industrial assistance programs, and other matters relevant to the development and growth of their businesses
  • Providing feedback and advice to participating Ventures
  • Meeting with appropriate clients to review status, discuss challenges and opportunities and provide feedback and recommendations as well as establish objectives for client engagements
  • Introducing client Ventures to prospective management team members, board members, advisors, customers and/or investors
  • Participating in quarterly client review meetings and periodically participating in new applicant initial screening and intake review meetings
  • Periodically contributing ideas and articles to SFU VentureLabs, blog and social media feeds on topics related to marketing and startup company development
  • Speaking at events organized by SFU VentureLabs or its partners
  • Attending network and other meetings, workshops and events with SFU VentureLabs partners and affiliates as may be requested from time-to-time
  • Develop and deliver, workshops and/or masterclasses on marketing and sales strategy and methods covering topics relevant to market entry, business growth, scale-up and market expansion including marketing and sales strategy, management, methods, techniques, tools, examples, case studies, etc
  • Work with partners in the community to attract quality clients to join VentureLabs
  • Work with various SFU faculties to help bring intellectual property and promising technologies from the research world to the private sector to build viable commercial entities
  • Carrying out such other duties as may be reasonably requested from time to time by the VentureLab’s Executive Director

Specialty EIRs

Specialty EIRs jump in to help a CEO or company with a specific opportunity or challenge. Whether it’s reviewing a launch plan, providing insights over a product strategy, or providing an independent industry perspective, Speciality EIRs are asked to work with companies for a few hours, a day, or on a short-term project. Specialty EIRs are experts in finance, marketing, sales, development, HR, or other functional areas. Or they may have deep industry knowledge that they can share with the client company. Specialty EIRs may also provide training and workshops to our learning community. 

Review Panel Volunteers

Review Panel Volunteers join our periodic Company Reviews process, bringing market perspective to help our venture clients establish corporate strategy and milestones. Review Panel EIRs volunteers specific industry or market expertise and provide advice and guidance to the VentureLabs client companies.