Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

QICGN: San Francisco Branch

Officially launched in May 2017, the San Francisco node is DDQIC Global Network's third innovation hub and is growing an an exponential pace! This branch will be able to support DDQIC ventures that intend to expand into major hubs of the United States and across North America. 

Meet the Alumni

Alison Colwell

Alison is the Director of Sustainability at Sephora and a human rights and social impact specialist. After graduating from Queen's University (Bachelor of Commerce in 2004, Bachelor of Arts Global Development Studies in 2005), she completed her Masters of Arts in Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University and worked with the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3Ci) and for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). She then worked in DC for the Organization of American States, the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation. Since 2008, she has lived and worked in the Bay Area; seven years as human rights and social impact consultant for a non-profit, BSR, working with large companies, and since 2016, with Stanford University as a Director of Stakeholder Relations and a Human Rights Research Fellow.

Jennifer Buechel

Jenn Buechel is a senior healthcare executive, with over 20 years of broad experience in product strategy, development, and operations in regulated environments. Currently, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Delfi Diagnostics, a cancer detection company committed to delivering high performing, accessible cancer screening and diagnostic products.

Heather Evans

Heather Evans is the Director of a new Technology Diplomacy program for the Asia Society based in SF. She has worked as an entrepreneur and civil servant, and recently graduated from Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. Heather was the first Artificial Intelligence Senior Advisor to Ontario Government, helping to establish the Vector Institute. She graduated from Queen's in 2016.

Anne Gregor

Anne Gregor has juggled non-profit management in the clean tech and arts sectors with several decades of experience as a website executive with expertise in content creation and user interfaces. Most recently Anne shepherded the management and board of the Silicon Valley-based accelerator/competition, the Cleantech Open, through meeting legal requirements and implementing best practices while growing from a regional into a national competition. Anne built its alumni database, organized discussion panels and keynote speakers for national conferences, and provided VIP support. Anne’s content expertise led her to Stanford, AOL and CareerPath.com in the early days of the Web. Prior to the rise of the Web Anne enjoyed an international career in print, television and radio in Canada, England and the United States.

Robert Hoy

Rob has a passion for building new businesses and helping existing ones scale. He currently works in business operations and strategy at Airbnb, where he is focused on the supply-side of the marketplace and works on topics such as how to acquire more homes at scale, how to improve quality, and how to ensure a healthy balance between demand and supply. Prior to Airbnb, he worked in Google's Retail Hardware group and was part of the team that launched Chromecast globally. Rob started his career at The Boston Consulting Group in Toronto after graduating from Queen's Commerce in 2012.

Phillip Hutton

Phil is a Queen's Bachelor of Commerce 2011 alumni and was an active member of both Walkhome and the Queen's Tea Room. He is currently employed as a Senior Account Manager at Cisco Systems in the SF Bay area, having joined the company's Toronto office right out of university.

Phil is part of a dedicated team that supports the networking infrastructure requirements of a global web service provider headquartered in the Bay Area. His skill set is focused primarily around managing large and complex technology sales engagements. In addition, Phil possesses strong working familiarity with the business of connectivity as well as the broader IT infrastructure vendor ecosystem.

Lauren Long

Lauren is a Lead Software Engineer on the Firebase Team at Google San Francisco. Prior to joining Google, Lauren co-founded the storage-on-demand startup Boxit, and was the first Product Manager at wearable tech company Nymi. Lauren has spoken internationally about entrepreneurship and technology. In her spare time, she enjoys swing dancing, rock climbing, and writing.

Lauren Struthers

Lauren's passion for technology and disruptive industries led her to San Francisco, where she currently works as a Customer Success Manager at Box. Working with customers from Fortune 500 companies, Lauren drives digital transformation from legacy IT systems to cloud content management. Prior to Box, Lauren worked at Influitive, a leading Toronto startup responsible for creating the category of advocate marketing. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.

Andrew Titus

Andrew graduated from Queen's in December of '04 with a BSc in mechanical engineering. He went on to do his masters in engineering design at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Andrew's first job was as a mechanical engineer with a startup in Vancouver called Advanced Lithium Power. Andrew then moved to Plug Power working on fuel cell packs that were drop-in replacements for lead-acid battery packs, where the bulk of his role was being the interface between design and manufacturing - creating assembly drawings, ensuring that design requirements were implemented, etc. After they closed their offices in Vancouver in 2010, Andrew moved on to Corvus Energy, leading the mechanical design of modular battery packs for energy storage and marine applications. In late 2010 Andrew got a call from a recruiter at Tesla which was too exciting an opportunity not to pursue, so in January 2011 him and his wife moved down to San Francisco where he designed components and assemblies for the battery packs that went into Model S, Model X, and Model 3. In August 2019, Andrew moved to Uber to work on a newly formed battery team. 

James Verner

James has worked in Silicon Valley since 1999 in a broad array of Supply-Chain Management functions. James is currently a Director of Materials at Apple Inc where he manages Procurement and Planning for AppleCare. Prior to Apple, Mr Verner has held management positions in Tyco, Proxim and Webvan. James graduated in Engineering Physics from Queen's, and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dimitris Zachariades​

Dimitris is a Queen’s Bachelor of Science alumni (Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Sci ’07) and native of San Francisco. Following his studies at Queen’s, he joined Polteco Inc., a research and development company in the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in process customization and product development for biomedical and industrial applications. Currently, he is the Technical Director of Polteco’s research and development activities. Dimitris’ activities span from the development of projects from concept to pilot line production, process design and automation, and the development of a diverse range of polymer and composite products. Prior to his current position, he was on assignment to Polteco’s facilities in Montreal, Quebec working on the production of polymer fibers and tapes. Dimitris is co-founder of two start-up companies in the field of technical fabrics for wearable technology and products for the marine industry and also an industrial advisor for Polteco’s sponsored student projects at Cal Poly University.