Meet The Team
Dr. Jason Cleaversmith
Executive Director, Incubation and Infrastructure
As Executive Director, Incubation and Infrastructure, Dr. Jason Cleaversmith is responsible for Emergence, as well as holds strategic responsibility for the various BioAlliance facilities and equipment initiatives currently underway and planned. He is no stranger to the PEI Bioscience Cluster community and has an extensive network both nationally and internationally. Most recently he was VP Health and Nutrition for the Center for Aquaculture Technologies and General Manager of Canadian Operations. He has also served as Managing Director of AKVA Group Scotland, Director of Operations and Business Development at the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Center, and Head of Novartis Aqua Health in PEI overseeing manufacturing and R&D. He was also an industry expert with HATCH Blue, an innovative aquaculture accelerator supporting a cohort of 13 technology companies on three different continents.
Dr. Don Ridley
Mentorship Program Lead and Mentor in Residence
Dr. Don Ridley received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Guelph. After completing a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Industrial Fellowship with CIBA-GEIGY, he joined this Swiss multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company as a research scientist. Dr. Ridley held executive positions in research and development, marketing, sales and general management during his twenty-three-year career with CIBA. In 1995 he left his position as Senior Vice-President in Canada to become the Managing Director of CIBA Southeast Asia based in Singapore. He held this position until the merger of CIBA and Sandoz to form Novartis. Dr. Ridley returned to North America and joined CanTox US in New Jersey as Managing Director and Senior Scientific Consultant. In 2008, he went on to join Nautilus Biosciences Canada as part-time VP Business Development. Dr. Ridley has served on the Boards of CIBA Corning, CIBA Dyes, Mettler-Toledo, BIOVECTRA, PEI Institute of Human Health Research, and Genome Atlantic.
Lead Mentor, Market Access and Exporting
Bernadette is a seasoned professional with extensive international experience in marketing, sales, business development, operations, human resources, risk management, and corporate leadership. As Lead Mentor, Market Access and Exporting, Bernadette is responsible for mentoring Emergence bioscience business incubator clients in going to market and developing their export readiness strategies.
As the CEO and founder of The Varanda Network, a ten-year-old economic development organization, Bernadette provides business services globally for start-ups, immigrant entrepreneurs, SMEs and multi-nationals across various sectors. A dynamic, energetic and passionate leader, Bernadette has worked in the area of international market access since 2006, with a specific focus on exporting since 2013. Having worked closely alongside BioNB, government, industry partners, and most recently academia, Bernadette is familiar with the nuances of the innovation ecosystem that allows bioscience companies to grow and thrive.
Business Development Officer
Eddie has been a member of the PEI BioAlliance team since 2015. As Business Development Officer, he manages relationships with existing and prospective clients and assists with the pre-incubation process, admission process and establishing service contracts. Eddie also provides support to the Team Mentorship Program and actively participates in the recruitment of companies to the Emergence Incubator. Eddie has a BSc and a MSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology from UPEI where his research focused on inhibiting early-stage cancer progression pathways. Eddie has spent the last 15 years in the private sector in early-stage companies as an owner, operator, and project manager.
Manager, Corporate Services
Jennifer Lenentine has been a valued member of the BioAlliance team since 2005. For Emergence, Jennifer leads the preparation and management of core and project funding agreements including those with Innovation PEI, National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the International Business Development Agreement, and Skills PEI (Labour Market Development Agreement).
Scott Travers is a Mechanical Engineer and experienced business person with 30 years of experience in developing, managing and implementing technologies and business development related to the pulp and paper, renewable energy, and bioscience sectors with a focus on sustainable practices. He is presently the the CEO of Halibut PEI, North America’s only land-based Halibut operation, located in Victoria by the Sea, PEI. He is the Past President and COO of Minas Basin Pulp and Power Co. Ltd. in Hantsport, NS as well as the President and Vice Chairman of Newton Falls Fine Paper in Newton Falls, NY. Since 1984, Scott has held various positions from Assistant Plant Engineer, Process Engineer, Production Manager, General Manager, VP of Operations and subsequently became President and COO. He graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Diploma of Engineering and then graduated from the Technical University of Nova Scotia with Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering. He also has an Executive MBA from Western University.
Matt Roberts is the founder of Spear Capital Strategy which provides strategic and financial advice for start-ups and early-stage healthcare companies. Based in St. John’s, NL, Spear Capital provides a cost-effective way for Atlantic Canadian companies to access highly specialized services including raising capital, valuation guidance, investor management and communication, M&A, and workflow and process design. Prior to Spear Capital, Matt spent 15 years in Investment Banking in Toronto, most recently as Vice President, Mid-Market M&A with RBC. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University of Newfoundland, an MBA from Dalhousie University, and is a CFA Charterholder.
Chris is a serial entrepreneur and health scientist with a passion for building great businesses that can improve patient outcomes. In 2012, Chris founded Spring Loaded Technology, a medical device company best known for developing and manufacturing the first knee brace capable of unloading weight from all three compartments of the knee. As CEO of Spring Loaded until 2021, Chris took the company from idea to commercial success. Along the way, Chris oversaw corporate strategy while establishing key supply, manufacturing, and distribution capabilities. He also led corporate financing and the company’s clinical and regulatory affairs programs.
Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chris holds a PhD in Neuroscience, has published peer-reviewed studies across disciplines ranging from biomechanics to audiology to attention and motor control. He has provided strategic advisory and coaching services to dozens of small and medium-sized health and technology companies. He currently serves as the Executive Chair of Mable Health, incoming Chair of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Emera IdeaHub.