Meet the Founding Team

Our Founding Team are all Entrepreneurs with decades of experience in their respective fields. 

Connie Ekelund – CEO & Cofounder

With over 25 years of expertise in Leadership Development as a Management Consultant, Connie’s expertise is in sustainability, innovation, and cultural transformation. An entrepreneurial spirit and continuous learning, propells her unwavering drive to innovate for a sustainable future. As a certified Sustainability Professional, Connie has pioneered programs centered around the ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’, ‘Environment, Social & Governance’, and ‘Diversity, Equity & Inclusion’. Her experience spans various sectors, from CleanTech and Industrial Construction to Fashion and Publishing. Connie’s extensive knowledge of various organizational frameworks, along with her skill in building companies from the ground up, exemplifies her comprehensive business acumen and visionary leadership.

Scott FarnhamCTO & Cofounder

Scott is the technical driver of the company and develops the new ideas, putting the deals together and building teams to bring the projects from concept stage into real, tangible assets. He has a passion for innovation and works tirelessly on continuous improvement and simplification of products and processes.

Scott has a wide and varied background of industrial design, construction and processing experience. He is an innovator and industrial process expert with 25+ yrs of wide ranging experience. He has designed and led 11 brownfield or greenfield industrial plant builds from concept to full operation, either as an ‘Owner’, or as a ‘Technical Consultant & Project Manager. ’​Having global experience has allowed Scott to develop a well-rounded skill set in multicultural settings. His keen interest in cleantech, renewable fuels and energy is driven by the need to develop and implement technologies that contribute to the betterment of environmental conditions. Scott received his first IRAP grant in 1995 developing pyrolysis technology and equipment. He has successfully started and exited a manufacturing business @ 17X ROI

James Chepyha – Chief Financial Officer

James Chepyha brings over 20 years of expertise in business development and corporate finance to his role as Chief Financial Officer. He has worked with numerous companies to navigate financial and operational challenges, including roles as a principal investor at Goldman Sachs and Vice President at Chrysalix Venture Capital, where he invested in early-stage energy technology firms. With a background in both equity and debt capital, James also established and managed the Canadian operations of Union Bank of California, overseeing portfolio development among other responsibilities. He holds a B.Comm. with Honours from the University of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, along with an ICD.D designation. His extensive experience spans domestic and foreign financial institutions in Canada, focusing on corporate, debt, equity, and structured finance.

Philippe Favreau – Chief Operations Officer

With 30 years of leadership experience in technology, engineering consulting, and manufacturing, Philippe is a seasoned executive with a knack for scaling organizations and enhancing profitability. Philippe has managed mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring while demonstrating a proven track record in improving EBITDA and cash flow. His leadership spans across various domains, including product development, supply chain management, IT, and finance, with teams spread over four continents. A recipient of the Kodak President Leadership Award in 2007, Philippe holds a Master’s degree in Commerce and Administration from the University of Paris, a Master’s in Nuclear Science from École Polytechnique Montreal, and a degree in Engineering Physics from École Polytechnique Grenoble.

Kevin McCarty – Chief Sustainability Officer

Kevin McCarty is a civil and environmental engineer with over 21 years of professional experience in environmental sustainability. His expertise includes circular economy, ecological risk assessment, sustainability standards and certifications, climate action, and sustainability supply chain management. Kevin has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including international projects in North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. He enjoys collaborating with diverse teams to develop solutions to complex challenges.

Rick Findlay – Scale Up Advisor  

With over 35 years of experience in management consulting and environmental sectors, Rick Findlay specializes in advising early-stage and scaling companies. A seasoned entrepreneur himself, he offers a comprehensive range of services from cleantech and sustainability initiatives to performance management. His expertise extends to diverse industries, government bodies, and not-for-profits, both in Canada and internationally. Known for his informal and client-centric approach, Rick excels in strategy, facilitation, and change management. He has a strong track record of identifying improvement opportunities and implementing creative solutions. Currently, he coaches cleantech entrepreneurs and serves on various boards, leveraging his vast experience to drive impact and sustainability.

Kasia Malz – Financial Advisor  

Kasia Malz is a financial executive with extensive experience in the cleantech sector, focusing on energy and circular economies. Her career spans over a decade as a CFO in high-growth companies, where she has played a pivotal role in taking three companies public and is recognized for her expertise in establishing financial functions from the ground up. Kasia holds prestigious accounting designations, including CPA, CA, and CPA (IL), alongside a Master of Accounting (MAcc) from the University of Waterloo, demonstrating her deep financial acumen and commitment to driving success in the cleantech industry.

Cameron McBeth – Indigenous Advisor 

Cameron’s area of expertise is in Indigenous Relations. He is a consultant and advisor to community-based organizations and works collaboratively with Indigenous communities and organizations to achieve their goals by providing support and guidance that aligns with their values. He also ensures a deep knowledge of the issues for all stakeholders within the Indigenous socio-economic ecosystem implementing sustainable change.

Claire Dixon – Business Advisor 

Claire’s superpower is navigating technical and commercial complexity – defining strategy from disparate and incomplete information and translating strategy into coherent and actionable plans. Prior to becoming a deep-tech founder, Claire held a number of senior operational roles at the University of Calgary and had a strategic consulting career spanning more than a decade. She brings a strong investor lens having worked with Private Equity clients, within a VC firm in her early career and with angel investors through CDL. Claire holds a Masters of Engineering (and MA) from Cambridge University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jelaiza Amador – Administrative Assistant 

Jelai’s area of expertise is as an administrative assistant, the backbone of office operations, managing daily tasks with precision and confidentiality. Her role includes scheduling meetings, handling correspondence, maintaining records and assist in preparing reports and presentations. Their proficiency in office software and technology ensures seamless communication and workflow, while their strong interpersonal skills enhance the company’s professional image and operational efficiency.

Plug and Play Tech Centre

Plug and Play, is connecting the largest corporations to the world’s best startups through industry-focused accelerator programs in Silicon Valley and beyond. We catalyze technological advancement by connecting blue chip corporations with the brightest startups across the globe.

Foresight Canada

Foresight, Canada’s cleantech accelerator, supports cleantech opportunity validation and solution commercialization. It unites innovators, industry, investors, government, and academia to tackle urgent climate issues and advance a green economy. 

University of British Columbia

UBCO has been our Academic Research Partner since 2019, and we have been invited to co-locate at the Cleantech Hub.  

Dr. Lukas Bichler – Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Supervising Professor: NanoTerraTech

Dr. Bichler received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering (specializing in Manufacturing, Materials and Solid Mechanics) from Ryerson University, Toronto. Upon graduation, he received NSERC-Postdoctoral fellowship, tenured at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto

Mitchell Barrett – Graduate Research Assistant (2021 – Current)

Mitchell Barrett is a graduate research assistant currently pursuing his Master’s of Applied Science in mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan. His interests are in material sciences, manufacturing processes, as well as CAD/CAM design.  Mitchell has spent work terms with graduate students analyzing and characterizing high chromium steel alloys, as well as casting, analyzing, and characterizing graphene reinforced aluminum alloys. During his undergraduate degree, Mitchell worked with NanoTerraTech on developing sustainable carbon nanostructures for his capstone project. Through his experience of working with carbon, Mitchell has realized the almost limitless amount of applications for carbon nanostructures and recognizes the significance of being able to create/extract carbon sustainably. He is looking forward to continuing his work with NanoTerraTech in developing sustainable materials to reduce fossil fuel usage.

Daryus Ahmed – Research Assistant (2021 – Current)

Daryus Ahmed is a fourth-year mechanical engineering / mechatronics student currently attending UBCO. His interests lie in the fields of material science, manufacturing, and sustainability . So far in his studies, he has worked as a supply chain engineer at PepsiCo, an undergraduate research awardee for Autonomous Vehicles and as a Teaching Assistant for Sustainability. Daryus chose engineering as it allows him to push the boundaries of research and technology further. He is super excited to work closely with NanoTerraTech as the prospects of Carbon Black and Carbon Nanotubes pave the way for an exciting future for everyone. He hopes to leverage his past experiences in order to produce some great results.

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