Our Team - Validere
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Our Team


Dr. Ian Burgess


Ian is an interdisciplinary scientist whose inventions have been recognized with an R&D 100 Award and featured in Scientific American, Chemical & Engineering News, Nature Photonics, and Materials Today. He has a PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard and a Bachelor’s in Math and Physics from the University of Waterloo. Outside the lab, he enjoys spending time with his daughter and playing golf.


Nouman Ahmad


Nouman is an entrepreneur with a passion for solving complex industry problems. Previously, he led operations of a successful Toronto-based fintech startup which achieved market dominance in less than 2 years. He also advised technology companies with TD investment banking for over 7 years. Nouman has also built a leading Canadian political training incubator.


Ofer Vitner

Product Development

Ofer holds both engineering as well as MBA degrees, with more than 15 years experience in multi-disciplinary R&D hi-tech companies, both startups and global leaders. Ofer has held development positions like validation, project manager, R&D team leader, new technology researcher, as well as founded an Agtech startup. Ofer is dedicated to solve industry challenges through the use of disruptive technology and out-of-the-box approaches.


James Anderson

Software Development

James completed a bachelor of computer science at Dalhousie University.  He spent 13 years in the video game industry, including numerous senior developer roles at AAA titles, including Speilo/IGT, EA Canada and Timeplay, before moving into the AdTech domain at Juice Mobile and HealthTech industries at Newtopia.


Theresa Kay

Product Development

Theresa joined Validere from the Aizenberg Lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. She has worked alongside the team for three years to develop this technology. She received her B.Sc in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo and has previous research experience from Xerox, University of Alberta and Environment Canada.


Zvonimir Fras

Software Development

Zvonimir is a computer scientist with a passion for solving difficult problems in a non-traditional way. He has a vast experience from a variety of different projects and holds a Master’s degree in computer science. He joined Validere to jump start the company’s cloud based software and work on other machine learning and computer vision related products. Also, he won’t mind if you join him on the dance floor.


Pedro Casas

Software Development

Pedro joined Validere in May 2016, working on the computer vision and machine learning software of the Validere Identifier. He is pursuing a BA in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, specializing in intelligent systems.

Advisory Board


Dr. Joanna Aizenberg

Co-Founder and Chair of Advisory Board

Joanna is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She pursues a broad range of research interests that include biomimetics, self-assembly, smart materials, bio-nano interfaces, crystal engineering, surface chemistry, nanofabrication, biomineralization, biomechanics and biooptics. She is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology at Harvard University and has served at the Board of Directors of numerous institutions. Joanna is also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science; and is a Fellow of American Physical Society and Materials Research Society. She has also received numerous awards  including Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience, Ronald Breslow Award for the Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, Arthur K. Doolittle Award in Polymeric Materials, ACS Industrial Innovation Award, and was recognized with two R&D 100 Awards for best innovations in 2012 and 2013.


Pierre Magnan


Pierre is a strategic risk manager, seasoned negotiator and an accomplished legal counselor with over 17 years of experience. Pierre holds his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ottawa and his Masters of Law from the University of Cambridge.


Neil Camarta


Mr. Neil Camarta is currently President & CEO of Field Upgrading Ltd. Prior to that, Mr. Camarta held the position of Executive Vice-President, Natural Gas for Suncor Energy Inc. Mr. Camarta sits on the boards of ENMAX, MindFuel (formerly the Science Alberta Foundation) and the FSHD Canada Foundation, as well as having previously served on the board of the Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS).

Mr. Camarta joined Shell Canada Limited in 1975 and held senior positions in Canada and abroad. Most notably, he led the successful development, construction, and start-up of Shell’s $6 billion Athabasca Oil Sands Project. Mr. Camarta retired from Shell in 2005 and worked as Senior Vice President of Petro-Canada’s Oil Sands business.

He was born in Edmonton, Alberta and holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta.


George Whitesides


George is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (with J.D. Roberts) in 1964. He was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 to 1982. He joined the Department of Chemistry of Harvard University in 1982, and was Department Chairman from 1986-89, and Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry from 1982-2004. George is a prolific author and patent holder who has received many awards. He has co-founded numerous companies including Genzyme, GelTex, and Theravance. In 2011, he received the highest Hirsch index rating of all living chemists.


Omar Dhalla


Omar was Real Ventures’ first full-time person on the ground in Toronto/Waterloo after starting his career with Accenture and McKinsey and then moving on to co-found entrepreneurial ventures in the packaged goods and media industries. The combination of his experiences allows him to help entrepreneurs at all stages, and he is a big believer in the power of community. Omar holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western Ontario and teaches in University of British Columbia’s EMBA program.