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About Esch

The Norman Esch Awards has continuously promoted a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within Toronto Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS). Through these awards, FEAS students continue to be enabled to explore their potential - whether that be by pursuing their own startup idea, or making an impact in their communities. Since its launch in 2013, Norman Esch winners have raised $15.6 million, reported more than $2.14 million in revenue, and employed 67 paid individuals in 2019. 

To further support the Norman Esch community, the Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CEIE) has developed an ecosystem that helps to nurture innovation and creativity in students by breaking the barriers into entrepreneurship, and supporting every step of the student startup journey. Through this collaborative ecosystem between the Norman Esch Foundation and CEIE, students are able to explore their potential beyond academia and gain an entrepreneurial perspective during their academic endeavours.

The Norman Esch Awards is made possible with the generous donation made by the Norman Esch Foundation and the 37 members of our Esch committee who volunteered to review each and every application. 

For more information about the Esch Awards – please see our Esch Governance document (external link) .


Our Esch Committee

Each Norman Esch Award application is carefully considered and reviewed by three independent reviewers in our committee. We take pride in our diverse committee that is composed of professionals representing various specializations within the startup ecosystem. Our members range from serial entrepreneurs, first-time founders, investors, all the way to Toronto Metropolitan University’s professors that are experts in both the technical and entrepreneurial realm.

Committee Chair

John MacRitchie Assistant Vice-President Zone Learning and Strategic Initiatives

External Esch Committee Members

Hadeer Hassaan Vice President, Field Shared Services - Bell
Suresh Madan President & CEO MyHealth
Mark Farrow CIO, Hamilton Health Science
Tony Redpath PhD (Physical Chemistry) - Trained Scientist, Entrepreneur
Valerie Fox Director Pivotal Innovation
Dominic Talalla Managing Partner, Trellis Capital Firm
Usha Srinivasan Chief of Staff - Elevate / Co-founder Hauschef
Nicholas Burgwin Co-Founder - Fibos Inc.
Charles Boulakia Patent Lawyer, Rideout & Maybe
Brian MacDonald Senior Business Advisor, Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Government of Ontario
Pushkar Kumer Founder, CSO & Board Director, GreenMantra Technologies
Ayesha Sabouba Director, Telecom Engineering, Hyrdo-One Telecom Inc.
Manfred Koo Life Sciences & Health sector consultant.
Karen L. Killeen Senior Business Advisor, Business Advisory Services
Samin Eftekhari Founder and President of Artin Biomed & Biomaterial Engineer at United Therapeutics Corporation, Greater Boston Area, Massachusetts, USA.
Joel Liederman President, ELARAD Venture Management
Holly Gardner Director, Strategic Initiatives - NXM Labs
Irene Yang Head of Business Development, Canada BASF Canadian Leadership Team
Alex Kjorven VP Corporate Development at Neighbourhood Capital | UofT Lecturer | SheEO Activator
Constance OBrien Senior Innovation Advisor - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Carol Armstrong Venture Business Coach
Stephen Pumple Consultant
Zohair Khan Co-Founder and COO at Orchid and Temple
Alex Angevaare Head of Finance - Portfolio Companies at Siemens Canada Limited
Mo Shahin Founder / Chief Technology officer -Trade Capital Partners (TCP)
Sarah Hashem Vice President, Strategic Initiatives - Music Canada
Pushkar Kumar Co-Founder & COO - NanoRial Technologies
Derek Jouppi Special Projects - Entrepreneur First
Saif Husain Sr. Manager, IT Planning and Governance
Hilary Watson Co-Founder & Director, SCREENFLUENCE
Zohair Khan COO - Outside Looking In
Michelle Sinclair Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada | Government of Canada

Internal Esch Committee Members

Ebrahim Bagheri Professor, Big Data & Cloud Computing
Vincent Hui Associate Professor, Architectural Science, FEAS, Toronto Metropolitan University
John Enright Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, FEAS, Toronto Metropolitan University
Martin Croteau Professor, TRSM (President and CEO at Aventis Consulting Group Inc.)
Joao De Silva Consultant, Toronto Metropolitan University
Vigen Nazarian Senior Director, Business Development and Commercialization, Toronto Metropolitan University
Johannes Dyring Assistant Vice President Business Development and Strategic Initiatives - Toronto Metropolitan University