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Business gurus will provide mentoring to September 26 finalists over the following three weeks to develop their proposals in preparation for part two of the Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge on October 17, 2015.

Aman Adatia, Eat Naaco

Ours is an unexpected kitchen. Our mission is to provide an uncompromised street cuisine experience by combining Indian & Mexican flavours; but our philosophy is simpler: to always make a positive impact.

Eat Naaco, founded by Aman Adatia & Stephanie Shields, started as a pioneer in the food truck industry, with The Naaco Truck. From the beginning they laid the groundwork to ensure the company was a leader in social stewardship. Be it through planting fruit bearing trees & shrubs in neighbourhoods with food insecurity, initiating a Community Meal program for Calgary’s Working Homeless, or striving towards zero-carbon & zero-waste strategies, making an impact was a want not a need. Making food from scratch, supporting local farmers, ranchers and purveyors and using certified compostable service ware is how things should be done. Sometimes making a positive impact is taking a step back and doing things the right way – with real ingredients – no bullshit. We don’t ever compromise on our philosophy and we’re damn proud of it!

James Boettcher, Fiasco Gelato

James is the Chief Idea Officer and founder of Fiasco Gelato where they are constantly ‘enriching people’s lives, one scoop at a time’. He has been running this business since 2008 and has been recognized as the top 40 under 40, was the 2014 Small Business Week Breakout Business of the Year, and received the ATB We Grow Alberta Award. With this amazing track record in starting up a social enterprise, he is a great mentor to have onboard!

Jeremy Bryant, Mealshare

Currently working as Co-Founder and Partner of a small non-profit social enterprise called Mealshare. Mealshare creates partnerships with restaurants as well as charities in order to provide meals to people in need in a sustainable fashion. To participate, find a Mealshare partner restaurant and select a Mealshare item. With no extra cost or action from you, you’ll be providing one meal to someone in need.

Leighton Healey, College Pro Painters

Spend five minutes with Leighton Healey and you will understand why he is regarded as one of today’s top entrepreneurs and developers of entrepreneurs. Leighton’s passion and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship & his focused and creative approach to building organizations are contagious.

By age 19 while a full time university student, Leighton began achieving significant success as an entrepreneur through several business ventures. By age 27 Leighton had graduated from 4 Canadian institutions, had started seven successful businesses, and had played a central coaching & mentoring role in over 250 Canadian Start-Up businesses. Leighton continues to coach and impact leaders, entrepreneurs & their organizations through his executive coaching & consulting firm as well as through keynote speaking.

Leighton is an expert in the field of entrepreneurship, leadership training, and executive coaching and is an authority on the topic of experiential learning. In addition to other formal leadership and advisory roles in business, political and non-profit arenas, Leighton serves as the Vice President of College Pro, the nation’s leading entrepreneurship accelerator where he leads a multi-million dollar segment of the Company’s operations.

Jesus loves entrepreneurs, leaders and the marketplace, and this is a message that Leighton strives to advance in each arena he serves within.

Danielle James, Hillhurst United Church

Professional Coach with Danielle Ayana James Coaching and Ordained Minister with the United Church of Canada at Hillhurst United Church.

Kristen Lawson

Lloyd McDonald, Pinnacle Wealth Brokers

Lloyd McDonald is currently the Vice President of Business Development with Pinnacle Wealth Brokers. He is responsible for recruiting and training new agents who become affiliated with the Pinnacle brand and is part of the team that performs due diligence on new investment opportunities. Lloyd has a broad background in many aspects of business development and business analysis. He was employed for 10 years at Ceridian Canada Ltd., one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. In addition, Mr. McDonald was a key member of a team that managed relationships with established new business development initiatives with clients such as: HSBC, CIBC, TD Canada Trust and ATB Financial.

Usman Tahir Jutt, Chirp Foods Inc

In 2013, Usman became McDonalds Canada’s youngest operator. As a business owner, he has a very progressive approach to running his operation, often finding creative ways to solve difficult challenges. He is actively involved in various social projects and is passionate about finding links between entrepreneurship and social causes.

Lina Tijunelis

Lina has over 16 years of successful international project management, commercial & business strategy development, procurement, contracts, supply chain, strategic sourcing, and category management leadership experience with Logistics, Retail, Manufacturing and major EPC and Oil & Gas Firms. Her background is varied in procurement, contracts, supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing plant team leadership experience. In addition she has a proven ability to deliver innovation and manage stakeholder relationships to get projects off the ground.

David Wu, Brion Energy

David graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelors of Science in Oil & Gas Engineering from. During his time at the U of Calgary he was a part of Engineers Without Borders, and gained great appreciation for the organization’s “grass roots” thinking in regards to social challenges faced by developing nations. Since graduating, he has joined Brion Energy as a Petroleum Engineer and is now heading into his 4th year (Brion Energy is a Canadian subsidiary of PetroChina focused on the development of oil sand assets in Northern Alberta). Outside of work, David is currently preparing for the GMAT, which will be the first step in either getting his MBA or transitioning into fields of work more aligned with his passions. He is tremendously excited for this experience, an opportunity to connect and build something special with individuals who are passionate about contributing to society.

Manos Xenos 

Manos Xenos’ Business Advisory activities are focused on assisting entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business lifecycle and volunteering for Futurpreneur Canada and Momentum Calgary.  As an Entrepreneur, he is continuously filtering new ideas and scoping new opportunities. Currently, Xenos is building ‘The Shopal Network’ – a promising venture that strives to ‘enable truly personal shopping’.  Past work includes work with a connectivity retailer, a manufacturing public company located in 6 European countries,  and the commercial development of a new pan-European Motorsport offering.