We're a team. We’ll support you every step of the way.

We've started companies—we get it. Three years ago, we created Aragon Academy to help amplify startups of all kinds, inspired by our own journeys as founders.

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About Us

What we value.

Discipline

Our unique approach goes beyond stereotypes. We vet ideas, test and refine business models, and celebrate successes.

Partnership

We partner with like-minded entrepreneurs and leverage each other’s experience and networks with one purpose: to help founders to achieve their goals.

Resilience

It can be a long road to an exit. From pre-seed to seed rounds, we help get startups off the ground, into revenue, and ready to scale.

Impact

Our diverse team funds diverse founders. We believe in serving diverse communities, including women-led businesses and international startups.

Founders

Julie Bevacqua

With over 25 years of experience in pay tech, insurtech, technology platform businesses, and digital transformation, Julie is an expert at generating value and driving hyper-growth through customer acquisition and expansion. She has personally led the charge in scaling a business from startup to success, overcoming every challenge that came her way. Julie is committed to improving access to resources that companies need to flourish and is a passionate advocate for gender equality and promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects. Her pioneering and leadership background in tech for over 20 years has made her a force to be reckoned with.

Dela Salem

Dela is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 12 years of extensive experience in accounting and finance. With her exceptional expertise in financial reporting, regulatory compliance, internal controls, and corporate finance, Dela has delivered remarkable results for publicly traded companies in Canada and the US. Her outstanding track record speaks for itself, making her a go-to expert for companies seeking top-notch financial services.

Harv Phandal Dhanda

With over 20 years of experience spanning multiple industries, including software, retail, finance, non-profit, and real estate development, Harv brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. As a board member of the Arbutus Club and with long-standing involvement with organizations such as Canuck Place, Surrey Memorial Foundation, York House School, YWCA, and the Scleroderma Association of BC, Harv is deeply committed to making a positive impact in the world. Harv’s passion for giving back and making a difference drives her work and reflects everything she does.

Dela Salem

Dela is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 12 years of extensive experience in accounting and finance. With her exceptional expertise in financial reporting, regulatory compliance, internal controls, and corporate finance, Dela has delivered remarkable results for publicly traded companies inCanada and the US. Her outstanding track record speaks for itself, making her ago-to expert for companies seeking top-notch financial services.

Harv Phandal Dhanda

With over 20 years of experience spanning multiple industries, including software, retail, finance, non-profit, and real estate development, Harv brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. As a board member of the Arbutus Club and with long-standing involvement with organizations such as Canuck Place, Surrey MemorialFoundation, York House School, YWCA, and the Scleroderma Association of BC,Harv is deeply committed to making a positive impact in the world. Harv’s passion for giving back and making a difference drives her work and reflects everything she does.

Julie Bevacqua

With over 25 years of experience in pay tech, insurtech, technology platform businesses, and digital transformation, Julie is an expert at generating value and driving hyper-growth through customer acquisition and expansion. She has personally led the charge in scaling a business from startup to success, overcoming every challenge that came her way. Julie is committed to improving access to resources that companies need to flourish and is a passionate advocate for gender equality and promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects. Her pioneering and leadership background in tech for over 20 years has made her a force to be reckoned with.

Team

headshot of Mozhgan Taheri, Director of Partnerships and Client Relations for Aragon Launchpad, Vancouver Canada
Mozhgan Taheri

Director - Partnerships and Client Relations
Mozhgan, Aragon's onboarding manager, has ten years of experience in project management and coordination. She excels in guiding and supporting entrepreneurs to achieve their objectives. Mozhgan's exceptional leadership and attention to detail enable her to communicate and coordinate effectively with all stakeholders. She believes in the power of alignment and collaboration, recognizing that when everyone works towards a common goal, remarkable achievements can be accomplished.

Mina Haghighi

Director - Programs and Client Success
Mina, a dedicated business professional, focuses on economic development, community building, and equal access to resources. She assists businesses in securing funding and resources to launch and thrive. With an entrepreneurial mindset, Mina actively plans events, presentations, and workshops to support small businesses and foster connections among like-minded individuals. As an immigrant herself, she enjoys working with newcomers and is fluent in Farsi, enabling her to connect with professionals in both Farsi and English.

headshot of Sue Shu Talent Acquisition - Startup Division for Aragon Launchpad, Vancouver Canada
Sue Shu

Talent Acquisition - Startup Division
Sue has been an immigration professional for over 8 years, previously having worked at China's largest immigration fund institution. She has assisted over 1000 high-net-worth individuals from China i successfully obtaining their desired immigration status. Sue excels in integrating immigration projects with finance and possesses practical experience in the Canadian SUV program. Currently, she and her team are responsible for formulating talent acquisition strategic goals across the entire Greater China region. They also assist in promoting entrepreneurial platforms and resource connections for our initiatives in China.

headshot of Aydin Asli, VP of Strategic Partnerships for Aragon Launchpad, Vancouver Canada
Aydin Asli

VP - Strategic Partnerships
With over two decades of experience, Aydin is a strategic leader known for building high-performing teams and devising impactful initiatives. He has partnered with 2 of the world’s largest private equity firms – Bain Capital and Vista Equity Partners – on M&A and exit strategies. His expertise spans operational effectiveness, business efficiency, and productivity enhancements, influencing decision-makers globally. He approaches work with optimism and adaptability, believing in the importance of both fun and challenge in achieving results across diverse business environments.

Behzad Zakeri

CFO
Behzad joined Aragon during the first year of operations. He oversees the company's financial activities and business strategy.  Behzad’s extensive financial and accounting experience has set up Aragon for extensive growth and success. He is entrepreneurial and growth minded. In collaboration with the management team, he ensures that Aragon is on the right track to achieve company mission and financial goals.  

Dela Salem

Dela is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 12 years of extensive experience in accounting and finance. With her exceptional expertise in financial reporting, regulatory compliance, internal controls, and corporate finance, Dela has delivered remarkable results for publicly traded companies inCanada and the US. Her outstanding track record speaks for itself, making her ago-to expert for companies seeking top-notch financial services.

Harv Phandal Dhanda

With over 20 years of experience spanning multiple industries, including software, retail, finance, non-profit, and real estate development, Harv brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. As a board member of the Arbutus Club and with long-standing involvement with organizations such as Canuck Place, Surrey MemorialFoundation, York House School, YWCA, and the Scleroderma Association of BC,Harv is deeply committed to making a positive impact in the world. Harv’s passion for giving back and making a difference drives her work and reflects everything she does.

Julie Bevacqua

With over 25 years of experience in pay tech, insurtech, technology platform businesses, and digital transformation, Julie is an expert at generating value and driving hyper-growth through customer acquisition and expansion. She has personally led the charge in scaling a business from startup to success, overcoming every challenge that came her way. Julie is committed to improving access to resources that companies need to flourish and is a passionate advocate for gender equality and promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects. Her pioneering and leadership background in tech for over 20 years has made her a force to be reckoned with.

Mentors

Keith Cerny

Keith Cerny is a highly impressive and accomplished individual with a vast experience in the tech industry. His success at Galvanize is particularly noteworthy as he helped grow the business to a valuation of US $1B and had a successful exit in 2021. It's interesting to note that Keith has been published in Fast Company and has a passion for building high-performing teams and winning cultures. His admirable focus on investing in and coaching technology startups stems from his prior experience leading R&D at Vancouver-based technology firms like Sage, Pivotal, and Chancery. Overall, Keith's dedication and expertise in the tech industry make him an invaluable asset to the startup community.

Lee Lam

Lee is a highly accomplished individual with an impressive 20-year track record in financial services technology as a COO/Chief of Staff. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, Lee has successfully operated a consulting practice for 16 years. She is a risk-taker and a problem-solving expert with a creative edge, complemented by the security and logic of an experienced COO. Lee's coaching approach involves identifying blind spots that may impede individual or team performance and helping clients integrate strategies into their operations and thought processes. With her extensive experience in leading senior leadership teams, Lee has the ability to create motivated and engaged teams that work together effectively to achieve exceptional outcomes.

Mo Mostafaei

Mo is the Senior Manager of EY Vancouver's R&D Tax Credit team. He is a specialist in advising tech companies of all sizes on how to benefit from tax incentives like SR&ED and the Digital Media Tax Credit. Mo oversees EY IT/Technology SR&ED in Western Canada and co-leads the BC Technology Market team. With his immense experience, he can help your company maximize the tax incentives available.

Cameron Brine

Cameron is an accomplished healthcare expert with over a decade of experience. His unwavering commitment to enhancing patient outcomes and advancing healthcare has garnered immense respect from his colleagues. Cameron embodies strong leadership qualities, a razor-sharp intellect, and a consistently optimistic outlook.

Aiman El-Ramly

Aiman joined ZE PowerGroup in 1995, contributing significantly to the brand and marketing direction from the beginning. He drives growth and expands the global reach of the ZE family of companies, serving as a key interface with worldwide partners. Aiman's dedicated commitment to market education and representation has established ZEMA as the leader in enterprise data management. He plays a vital role in expanding ZE's business footprint, establishing global contacts, and building physical operations. Aiman's expertise in energy and commodities market dynamics makes him a highly sought-after expert. His strategic contributions navigate the intricate interplay within these industries.

Sia Moussavi

Sia is an exceptional healthcare leader with an astounding 28 years of experience. He has held numerous high-level positions, including being the global leader of Health Technology Management Services at GE Healthcare and serving as President & CEO of GE Healthcare in Korea. Sia possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in driving growth through strategic investments and innovation in the manufacturing and distribution of health and life sciences technology. His expertise includes commercial turnarounds, government relationships, and expanding digital health. He has earned a Bachelor's in Engineering Physics, a Master's in Clinical Engineering, and an Executive MBA. Currently, Sia holds the Vice-Chair position on the Board for the Institute of Personalized Therapeutic Nutrition, where he focuses on diabetes remission, and advises on entrepreneurial value creation and revenue growth with confidence.

Amir Rasuli

Amir is a highly accomplished professional holding a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the prestigious University of British Columbia. With over two decades of business experience, he is widely regarded as an authority in robotics, AI, machine health monitoring, and electrical system design. Moreover, he actively invests in early-stage technology ventures as an angel investor and has been awarded numerous scholarships, such as BC Innovation Council, NSERC IPS, and NSERC IRDF, highlighting his expertise in the field.

Yan Desjardins

Yan has an impressive track record as an immigration consultant, with over 15 years of experience. He has helped numerous individuals achieve their dreams of studying, working, or living in Canada. His extensive background working for the Canadian Government in various areas of immigration programs and legal litigation services, as well as serving as a senior immigration officer in multiple countries, unequivocally attests to his proficiency in this realm. Yan's services are invaluable for those navigating the intricate labyrinth of Canadian immigration and visa processing.

Sepehr Sheikh

Sepehr is a highly accomplished individual with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Applied Science in Mechatronic Engineering. In addition to his academic achievements, he also launched an ecommerce business while completing his master's degree. As the founder of a robotics company focused on developing innovative technology for the warehousing industry, Sepehr is a true leader in the field of robotics. With his impressive background and unwavering dedication, he continues to drive progress and innovation in this exciting industry.

Mehran Headshot
Mehran Motamed

Mehran is an exceptional tech entrepreneur with a strong focus on robotics, automation, and mining. He holds a Master of Applied Science in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and an MBA in Strategic Management, Entrepreneurship, and OBHR. With over 17 years of experience in open-pit mining technology, Mehran has held various leadership positions. In 2012, he founded Rigid Robotics, a Vancouver-based tech company he currently leads with great success. Mehran is resolute in his commitment to revolutionize the resource industry through autonomous technology, establishing safer and more sustainable mining practices.

Nathaniel Hitchcock

Nathaniel boasts an impressive 15-year track record in software, technology, customer service, and finance. His unique skill set allows him to effectively bridge gaps between software and customer needs, challenge existing practices, and provide scenario modeling to understand the impact on top and bottom lines. With Nathaniel's extensive knowledge and expertise, we are confident that he will be an invaluable asset in supporting the growth of our startups.

Chantel de Waal

With her impressive entrepreneurial background and extensive experience in working with start-up companies, Chantel is well-equipped to develop successful strategies and build strong relationships with business partners and stakeholders. She is committed to identifying new avenues for strategic growth and maximizing clients' potential, making her an invaluable asset to our team.

Dela Salem

Dela is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 12 years of extensive experience in accounting and finance. With her exceptional expertise in financial reporting, regulatory compliance, internal controls, and corporate finance, Dela has delivered remarkable results for publicly traded companies inCanada and the US. Her outstanding track record speaks for itself, making her ago-to expert for companies seeking top-notch financial services.

Harv Phandal Dhanda

With over 20 years of experience spanning multiple industries, including software, retail, finance, non-profit, and real estate development, Harv brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. As a board member of the Arbutus Club and with long-standing involvement with organizations such as Canuck Place, Surrey MemorialFoundation, York House School, YWCA, and the Scleroderma Association of BC,Harv is deeply committed to making a positive impact in the world. Harv’s passion for giving back and making a difference drives her work and reflects everything she does.

Julie Bevacqua

With over 25 years of experience in pay tech, insurtech, technology platform businesses, and digital transformation, Julie is an expert at generating value and driving hyper-growth through customer acquisition and expansion. She has personally led the charge in scaling a business from startup to success, overcoming every challenge that came her way. Julie is committed to improving access to resources that companies need to flourish and is a passionate advocate for gender equality and promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects. Her pioneering and leadership background in tech for over 20 years has made her a force to be reckoned with.