Michael Volker, BASc(‘72), MASc(‘73) University of Waterloo, P.Eng., is a high-technology entrepreneur and investor involved in the development of technology-based businesses. He is Director of Simon Fraser University’s Innovation Office (since Dec’96) and President and Founder of WUTIF Capital (VCC) Inc – the Western Universities Technology Innovation Fund and Greenangel Energy Corp. In 1966, as a student entrepreneur, he was awarded the National Junior Achievement President-of-the-Year award. He received the University of Waterloo Alumni Achievement Medal in September, 1995. He served two terms as a Governor of the University of Waterloo from 1987-1993. After graduation, he co-founded CKWR-FM, a community radio station in Kitchener-Waterloo.His business career started in 1973 when he founded Volker-Craig Ltd., a computer terminals company that was acquired in 1981. Since then he has been active in various early stage businesses as a founder, investor, director, and officer. Mike was the first Chairman of Shad Valley in 1980. He frequently writes and speaks on management and technology issues and is active as a member of various charitable and educational boards. In 1988, he moved to British Columbia to serve as the first full-time Executive Director (1988-1991), and later as Chairman (2001-2003), of the BC Advanced Systems Institute, an organization dedicated to technology development and technology transfer. From 1991-1996 he was Chairman & CEO of RDM Corporation (TSX:RC), formerly Mindflight Corporation), a publicly-listed company he founded in 1987. From 1996 to 2001, he was Chairman of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum and continues to manage the Vancouver Technology Angel Network (VANTEC). Mike is very active on the B.C. high tech scene, serving on the non-profit boards of New Ventures BC, Canadian Listed Companies Association and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council as well as various private company boards.
Just for fun, Mike was a “performer” in the 2010 Olympics closing ceremony. He was a “moose wrangler”.
- To create innovative mechanisms for funding and establishing new technology ventures, especially early-stage university spin-offs and start-ups.
- To help entrepreneurs create and build successful technology companies through mentorship, directorship and by advancing good corporate governance practices.
- To promote and further the development of the technology industry in Canada and in British Columbia.
BASc (Elect Eng-1972), MASc (Systems Design-1973), University of Waterloo.
Studied (enrolled as PhD student) in the Faculty of Business, Kansas University (1974). (Left Kansas to be CEO of Volker-Craig Ltd in Ontario.)
Business: Over 30 years experience with technology ventures, starting with Volker-Craig Ltd which was founded in 1973 and merged with a public entity in 1981. Since then involved with many technology enterprises as an investor, mentor or director. Expertise in financing, marketing, technology licensing and intellectual property matters. Frequent writer and contributor to business journals and publications.
Education: Taught courses in entrepreneurship, engineering economics, design, and management at the University of Waterloo, Kansas University, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi. Presently teaching Business to Engineering Students and Intellectual Property Management to MBA students at Simon Fraser University and HCT in Abu Dhabi where he holds the position of Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Centre for Research and Technology (CERT). Also presents courses on corporate governance and capital formation on a regular basis to high technology managers. Prepared “free” website on Business Basics for Engineers.
(Past and Present)
Angelwest Capital Corp (TSXV:AWC.P), Vancouver, BC. (2008 – present). Co-founder of company.
Plutonic Power Corporation (TSXV:PCC), Vancouver, BC. (1999 to 2009). Co-founder of company. Director & Audit Committee.
Visiphor Corporation (TSXV:VIS), Burnaby, BC. (2003 to 2009). Director, Audit & Compensation Committees.
GraphOn Corporation (OTC:GOJO), Santa Cruz, CA, (2001 to 2009). Director & Audit Committee, First Chairman and angel investor in 1982.
Silicon Slopes Capital Corp (unlisted), Vancouver, (1999-2009). Director.
RDM Corporation (TSX:RC) formerly Mindflight Corporation. Director (1987-1996).
Uniwat Capital Corp (acquired by Waterfront Capital), Director (1987-1994).
New Ventures BC Business competition, Director and co-founder (2000 to present).
Canadian Listed Companies Association, Director and co-founder (1997 to present).
Vancouver Enterprise Forum, Chairman & Director (1996-2004).
BC Advanced Systems Institute, Chairman and Trustee (1996-2003).
BC Biotech Alliance, Director (1999-2000).
Shad Valley, Chairman & Director (1980-1990), First Chairman (1980-86). Also launched Shad at the University of B.C. in 1986 and at Acadia University in 1988.
University of Waterloo Governor. Also Chairman of Alumni Fund Campaign (1987-1993), UW’s first Alumni fundraiser.
Canadian Advanced Technology Association, Director and cofounder (1975-1985).
Sir Stanford Fleming Foundation, Director, (1980).
Canadian Industrial Innovation Centre, Director (1984-86).
Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA, Director (1982-86).
CKWR Community FM Radio in Kitchener Waterloo (ca.1970), Director & Co-founder while a student.
B.C. Securities Commission, New Economy & Adoption of Technologies Committee (2002).
TSX Venture Exchange, Corporate Finance & Policy Committees (1992-1999).
BCIT Technology Centre, Chairman, Advisory Board (1990-1996).
1973 – 1981: Volker-Craig Ltd., President.
1981 – 1987: Volker Communications Ltd, President.
1987 – 1996: RDM Corporation (founded as Keener Technologies), President.
1989 – 1991: B.C. Advanced Systems Institute, Executive Director.
1996 – present: Simon Fraser University, Director University-Industry Liaison.
2003 – present: WUTIF Capital (VCC) Corp, President.
2008 – present: GREENANGEL Energy Corp, President.
2006 – 2007: Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, MBA Practicum on Management of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
1989 – 2006: Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Business and Faculty of Applied Sciences: Courses on Intellectual Property Management for MBA program, Business of Engineering for Engineering Science and seminars on Corporate Governance.
1986 – 1989: Shad International, University of British Columbia & Acadia University. Business Instructor (3 summer sessions).
1972 – 1988: University of Waterloo, Faculty of Applied Sciences. Courses taught include Calculus, Engineering Design, Management of Technology & Innovation.
1981 – 1983; University of Toronto, Faculty of Engineering. Engineering Economics. (dates approx)
1974: University of Kansas, Faculty of Business. Organizational Behaviour.
Guest Lectures at McMaster University, University of Victoria, University of Northern British Colombia, Fraser Valley College, Okanagan College, Chinese Academy of Science (Bejing).
Frequent invited speaker on topics relating to entrepreneurship and new venture creation.
OTHER RECENT PROJECTS
1999 – present: Established and manage the Vancouver Angel Network (VANTEC) for technology Entrepreneurs.
2006 – 2007: Abu Dhabi: Appointment as “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” for the Centre of Excellence for applied Research & Training.
September, 2006: Sri Lanka: Special Assignment (for the Asian Development Bank and Simon Fraser University) entailed a study of industry needs in developing the education sector.
1998 – 2007: Columnist for BC Technology’s T-Net.
1998 – 2004: Columnist for Silicon Valley North.
1998 – 2000: Columnist for TIA Monitor magazine.
Frequent Contributor to Business in Vancouver weekly business paper.
Own Website papers and tutorials: “Business Basics for Engineers” (located at www.mikevolker.com)
Canadian Citizen (1952), born November 15, 1948 in Germany. Married to Janis (Nurse & Educator). Four entrepreneurial children (Vanessa, Andrea, Lara, Tyler). Favorite past-times are teaching and recreational activities including tennis, running (with the Rainrunners fundraising team), boating, sailing, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, motorcycling, fishing and camping. Favorite thing about Vancouver: dining out (especially at Whistler’s Mongolie Grill). Favorite places: Howe Sound and the Caribbean.
One’s greatest asset is one’s word.