Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Creative Solutions for Today’s Educational Needs

Monday, June 15th, 2020 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm PDT

Canadian business leader and newest “dragon” from CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, Lane Merrifield, is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs rethinking how technology can better serve Canadian students and how innovation and entrepreneurship can drive much needed change in our education system.

Join Lane Merrifield and Santa J. Ono, UBC’s President and Vice-Chancellor, in a conversation moderated by Camille Saltman, Managing Director of Entrepreneurship at UBC Okanagan, as they discuss how innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to address the massive adoption of technology in the next normal of online teaching and learning.

In what ways has the COVID-19 pandemic radically changed how K-12 and higher education have adopted online teaching and learning? In what ways can UBC ensure technological support for our future educational leaders and learners?

Join us for a lively conversation followed by a Q&A period.

Presented by the Faculty of Education on the UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

Watch Recording

Moderated By:

Camille Saltman
Managing Director, Entrepreneurship, UBC Okanagan (e@UBCO)

Camille Saltman is Managing Director of Entrepreneurship for The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus.  She leads the e@UBCO Mentor 2 Market entrepreneurship education program out of The Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna. Camille recently returned from California to Canada after two decades leading, educating and mentoring hundreds of start-ups and building innovation ecosystems.

Prior to building two successful tech companies, she was President of CONNECT – widely regarded as one of the world’s first and most successful organizations to link inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources needed for commercialization. It has been modelled in 50+ regions, is credited with San Diego’s success as a tech leader and has helped launch over 300 companies that raised more than $600M in early-stage funding and achieved over $12B in market capitalization.

Under Camille’s leadership CONNECT landed the US Commerce Dept Innovation in Economic Development award and the national Science & Technology Institute Excellence in Tech-Based Economic Development Award For Building Entrepreneurial Capacity – and recognition from TIME, US News and World Report, INC., and Entrepreneur magazines.

After CONNECT, Camille was President of MD Revolution – a research-based technology start-up that aggregated genomics, labs, V02, metabolism and nutrition to help patients reduce chronic disease indicators and improve longevity. Following that she was President of Malama Composites which developed the first full line of sustainable, cost competitive solutions to replace toxic, petroleum-based insulation foams.

She was also co-founder and President of the Wireless Life Science Alliance; a board member of BIOCOM, California’s life sciences trade organization, Vice Chair of the Board of San Diego Telecom Council, now EvoNexus – California’s most successful non-profit start-up tech incubator; co-founder and Board Member of Cleantech San Diego and co-founder and Board Member of San Diego Sport Innovators.


Lane Merrifield
Tech Entrepreneur, Founder of FreshGrade, and Dragon’s Den “Dragon” on CBC

The newest “dragon” to join CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, Lane Merrifield is one of Canada’s leading tech entrepreneurs. He is the founder of Club Penguin, the largest children’s online social network. At age 28, he sold it to Disney for $350 million, and, as their youngest executive vice president, turned it into a billion-dollar brand.

In 2012, Lane returned to his entrepreneurial roots and launched FreshGrade, a learning assessment tool that connects teachers, parents, and students to help personalize and improve learning. It’s now used in 80% of districts across Canada. Lane is also the founder of Wheelhouse, an organization that invests in and supports early-stage tech companies and entrepreneurs through mentorship, access to capital, and connections to global business networks.

Under his leadership, Lane’s teams have won dozens of awards including a Webby and the prestigious BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) award for Club Penguin. Lane is also the recipient of an Honorary Fellows Award, Business Leader of the Year, and was named as one of the “Top 35 Executives Under 35” by The Hollywood Reporter.

Lane currently sits on the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation board and is an advisor for Dreamscape Immersive and several other startups. He served on the UBC Board of Governors in 2016.


Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia

Santa Ono was installed as the 15th president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia on November 22, 2016. His installation was, in many ways, a heartfelt homecoming – he was born in St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in 1962, when his father was a professor at UBC.

Ono earned his PhD in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. As a professor of medicine and biology, Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory universities. He was also inducted by Johns Hopkins into its Society of Scholars, which honours former faculty who have gained distinction in their fields. He has been inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Inventors, USA.

Ono’s research encompasses the immune system, eye inflammation and age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness.

As a university administrator, Ono is also known for his vision beyond the laboratory. He was the first Asian-American president of the University of Cincinnati when he was appointed in 2012. Previously, he served as the University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to his recruitment to the University of Cincinnati, Ono was Senior Vice Provost and Deputy to the Provost at Emory University.

Ono is deeply committed to diversity, and his achievements have been recognized by the American Council on Education with an award that honours individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment on a national level to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education. He also received a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago Alumni Association in 2017, an honour he shares with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, Ed Asner and Kurt Vonnegut.

In addition, Inside Higher Education named him America’s most notable university president in 2015. His many followers on Twitter and Instagram know why he deserves that accolade. He’s adept at using social media to respond quickly and directly to people’s concerns and to make personal, authentic connections – in particular, with students. He has used social media to spread awareness about mental illness and to share his own struggles as a high-achieving student who battled and beat depression.

Ono serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Universities Canada (effective October 2018), a member of the Executive Committee of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and Chairman of the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC).