• IIE Team

    Our Team

Our Team

The Director, Ray DePaul

Ray DePaul was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in February 2012. Before joining, Ray was the President and CEO of RapidMind Inc., a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo. Ray steered RapidMind through $11M of venture funding, significant market growth, and turned the company into an industry leader, resulting in the acquisition by Intel Corp. Prior to Rapidmind, Ray spent five years with Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) and was responsible for product management of the iconic BlackBerry. Today, Ray DePaul is a valued member of the Mount Royal and Calgary community as a mentor and advisor to students, founders, startups and businesses.

Ray holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was awarded the alumni award for Innovation in 2011. In 2016, Ray was named as one of three finalists for the national BDC Mentorship Award and was the recipient of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award in 2017.



The Institute's Team


Dr. Simon Raby

Associate Director

Dr. Simon Raby is a “pracademic” working as an Assistant Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University Bissett School of Business and co-founder of Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) Associates Ltd. BIG identifies the drivers of growth, challenges convention and offers practical ways for ambitious business owners and their organizations to achieve sustained growth and performance.

Simon’s research program is focused on uncovering the strategies, practices and methods of support that enable business growth, leadership transitions and people’s performance. Most recently, Simon delivered a program of research on the growth of Alberta’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand the drivers of growth, innovation and diversification for these firms. This research has since led to the creation of The Leader’s Growth Mindset.


Simon is a trustee and board member for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a large, well-established network that enables excellence in small business and entrepreneurship, and builds bridges between research, policy and practice. Simon serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.



Emily Knight

Entrepreneur Development Officer

Emily is a Mount Royal University Alumni who joined the Institute’s team in 2017 during her final year of study. As a student at MRU, she focused her studies and extra-curricular involvement on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Today, she plays an integral role in fostering community and opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and changemakers from across campus. Emily believes that entrepreneurship is a unique opportunity to explore curiosity and play, unlocking the bold child within each of us and ultimately leading to the words most impactful innovations. She is energized by the opportunity to help students develop their entrepreneurial mindset, leading them to exciting careers, new venture ideas and roles as changemakers in their communities.


Emily holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with minors in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Mount Royal. 



Sam Begelfor

Entrepreneur Development Officer

Sam comes to the Institute with a wealth of experience in helping Alberta’s early-stage tech startups grow. She ran the operations of The Accelerator as the Director of New Ventures, recruited significantly more female founders, and coached founders from a variety of industries. Having worked at some of Calgary’s top startups, she’s excited to bring that experience to help Mount Royal students reach their full potential.


Sam holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Co-op from Dalhousie University



Tracy Pfeifer 

Administrative Assistant

Tracy has dedicated over 17 years to Mount Royal University. She provides administrative support to both the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Community Prosperity. Tracy plays a critical role of being the interface between the Institute’s team of impatient entrepreneurs and the university’s many policies and procedures.



Khalid Abdul Razak 


Khal is a recognized creative, strategist, and ‘intra’preneur. Khal brings to the team globally proven methodologies and a deep experience in scaling organizations, having worked with 50+ customer facing companies, from startups to Fortune Global 500 companies. Also a former startup founder, Khal has been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug and is always on the lookout to try something new, connect with like-minded individuals, and explore the application of emerging technologies to solve some of today's pressing challenges. Khal has co-authored nationally published points of view on Digital Transformation, Integrated Planning, Operating Models, and Expansion Strategies.

In his role as EIR, Khal has co-created the BounceBackYYC hackathon and is currently the Managing Director of the Growth Catalyst program. Through these initiatives, we're bringing together academia, industry, and the public sector to create transformative experiences, generate exponential value as an ecosystem, and establish Alberta as a beacon for innovation & entrepreneurship.

Khal has a BA in Economics from the University of Calgary and is IDEO certified in design-thinking and innovation at scale.



Tram Nguyen

Program Coordinator

Tram found her voice within the Entrepreneurship Community at Mount Royal University when she was recognized for her pitching skills in Art of Pitch and founded her first startup, Vegan Cookie Lady. Tram strives to cultivate an approachable environment for students to ask tough questions, make mistakes, and stay optimistic in their own business venture. She is inspired by her passion for people, fellow peers and the faculty of Innovation & Entrepreneurship.


Tram is completing a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and General Management with a double minor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Mount Royal.



Taran Singh Kainth

Student Entrepreneur-In-Residence

Taran is an experienced serial entrepreneur in his final year of a BBA in Entrepreneurship & Finance. Having spent time running multiple startups and exploring many startup ecosystems across North America like San Francisco, Taran is currently the Co-Founder & CEO of Flahmingo. Having gone through practically every available program, the Institute offers, and he now loves spending his time advising and mentoring up and coming student entrepreneurs. With expertise in storytelling and pitching, Taran's brings a breadth of energy to the Institute as a Student EIR hoping to inspire the next generation of Student Entrepreneurs at Mount Royal.


Taran is completing a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Mount Royal





Wendelin Fraser 


Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation | Bissett School of Business 


Simon Raby  


Associate Professor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship | Bissett School of Business


Douglas MacDonald 


Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Social Innovation |  Bissett School of Business