Your Startup Success Story Begins Here!

Launch Academy is an early-stage tech incubator that provides entrepreneurs with the mentorship, resources. network and environment they need to launch, fund and grow their startups.

Since 2012, Launch Academy has incubated over 500 companies that have collectively raised over $100 million and created more than 1000 jobs. As a nonprofit leader that’s focused on community impact, Launch Academy aims to train and support more than 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2025.


Our Mission

We are committed to helping early-stage tech startups in Vancouver become the next big thing through world-class education and mentorship. We connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch their startup into hyperdrive.


Founding Story

Launch Academy was founded April 1st, 2012, by Ray Walia, Roger Patterson, and Jesse Heaslip, three entrepreneurs who wanted to work with like-minded entrepreneurs and leverage each other’s experience and networks.

Mike Edwards joined the group and offered the available space at GrowLab, a Vancouver based tech startup accelerator. 

Within two weeks, 12 entrepreneurs jumped in on the opportunity, and by the end of April, over 30 entrepreneurs were working out of the space.

Using the revenue from selling desk space, Ray bought more desks, but as demand for shared resources and learning grew, Launch Academy and its business model had to evolve. 

In September of 2012, Alex Chuang joined the group and helped Launch Academy transform from a collaborative workspace into a tech hub offering a variety of essential startup programs and resources. 

12 months later in April 2013, Launch Academy established its new 12,000 sq.ft. home at the heart of Gastown in Vancouver.


Meet the Team

 Ray Walia  Co-founder & CEO   Ray is an entrepreneur and investor with experience in multiple businesses in a variety of industries with multiple successful exits. Ray's entrepreneurship background evolved through extensive involvement in his business as producer of global concerts & events for the Bollywood movie industry.   In 2012 Ray co-founded LX Ventures & Launch Academy and took over as Executive Director of Metabridge. In 2014 Ray was named Entrepreneur Mentor of the Year for British Columbia and the Forty Under 40 list by Business In Vancouver. 

Ray Walia

Co-founder & CEO

Ray is an entrepreneur and investor with experience in multiple businesses in a variety of industries with multiple successful exits. Ray's entrepreneurship background evolved through extensive involvement in his business as producer of global concerts & events for the Bollywood movie industry. In 2012 Ray co-founded LX Ventures & Launch Academy and took over as Executive Director of Metabridge. In 2014 Ray was named Entrepreneur Mentor of the Year for British Columbia and the Forty Under 40 list by Business In Vancouver. 

 Alex Chuang  Co-founder & CSO   Alex is a budding entrepreneur, designer and growth hacker with a track record of launching products in crowdfunding, e-commerce, SaaS, virtual currency and marketplace platforms. Having sold his first startup  in 2013, Alex has committed himself to build a strong tech ecosystem in Vancouver; mentoring over one thousand entrepreneurs and connecting them to the right resources. In 2014,   Alex was recognized as Best in Social Entrepreneurship by Notable Awards and in 2015 as BC's Top 30 under 30. Alex now serves as a startup advisor on several emerging tech companies.

Alex Chuang

Co-founder & CSO

Alex is a budding entrepreneur, designer and growth hacker with a track record of launching products in crowdfunding, e-commerce, SaaS, virtual currency and marketplace platforms. Having sold his first startup  in 2013, Alex has committed himself to build a strong tech ecosystem in Vancouver; mentoring over one thousand entrepreneurs and connecting them to the right resources. In 2014, Alex was recognized as Best in Social Entrepreneurship by Notable Awards and in 2015 as BC's Top 30 under 30. Alex now serves as a startup advisor on several emerging tech companies.

 Hussein Hallak  General Manager & Head Mentor   Hussein is a serial entrepreneur who has built 10 startups. He is a marketer, writer and public speaker at heart. Outside of Launch Academy, he serves as the   Executive Director at TiE Vancouver, Instructor at Capilano University, Tech Panelist on Roundhouse Radio. He has been featured   Featured in Forbes, BBC, Entrepreneur, DailyHive (VancityBuzz), Roundhouse Radio, Vancouver Courier and Notable.   Hussein is also a startup advisor for several emerging tech startups.

Hussein Hallak

General Manager & Head Mentor

Hussein is a serial entrepreneur who has built 10 startups. He is a marketer, writer and public speaker at heart. Outside of Launch Academy, he serves as the Executive Director at TiE Vancouver, Instructor at Capilano University, Tech Panelist on Roundhouse Radio. He has been featured Featured in Forbes, BBC, Entrepreneur, DailyHive (VancityBuzz), Roundhouse Radio, Vancouver Courier and Notable. Hussein is also a startup advisor for several emerging tech startups.

 Sam Chan  Head of Programs  Sam is the Head of Programs at Launch Academy,  where he oversees the development of the incubator’s various programs. Over the years, he has advised hundreds of startups on their go-to-market strategies.  Formerly, he consulted for Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and NBC on their developer relations strategies, and ran some of the largest hackathons in the world.  Sam holds a BA in Communication from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia

Sam Chan

Head of Programs

Sam is the Head of Programs at Launch Academy,  where he oversees the development of the incubator’s various programs. Over the years, he has advised hundreds of startups on their go-to-market strategies.  Formerly, he consulted for Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and NBC on their developer relations strategies, and ran some of the largest hackathons in the world.

Sam holds a BA in Communication from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia

 Kelsey Quinn  Business Development Manager  Kelsey is a dynamic team player. Masterfully, she balances a we’re-here-to-have-fun attitude with a no-nonsense, get s**t done work ethic that diffuses the often stressful nature of the startup scene. She has a proven record of developing strong relationships and driving business growth while helping customers achieve their desired business objectives. Before joining Launch Academy’s team in 2017, she was exploring Europe while calling London her home. Now, this Vancouver native is bringing years of customer care and data driven experience to the Launch team. 

Kelsey Quinn

Business Development Manager

Kelsey is a dynamic team player. Masterfully, she balances a we’re-here-to-have-fun attitude with a no-nonsense, get s**t done work ethic that diffuses the often stressful nature of the startup scene. She has a proven record of developing strong relationships and driving business growth while helping customers achieve their desired business objectives. Before joining Launch Academy’s team in 2017, she was exploring Europe while calling London her home. Now, this Vancouver native is bringing years of customer care and data driven experience to the Launch team. 

 Alana Paton  Marketing & Events Manager  Alana came to Launch Academy with a background in communications and marketing, along with years of experience producing global events. She was lucky enough to work from the quiet slopes of Banff to the sweltering beaches of Rio de Janeiro, all the while being glued to her laptop and subsequent spreadsheets. She decided to switch gears in 2016 and make the leap over to the exciting world of startups, and hasn’t looked back since.

Alana Paton

Marketing & Events Manager

Alana came to Launch Academy with a background in communications and marketing, along with years of experience producing global events. She was lucky enough to work from the quiet slopes of Banff to the sweltering beaches of Rio de Janeiro, all the while being glued to her laptop and subsequent spreadsheets. She decided to switch gears in 2016 and make the leap over to the exciting world of startups, and hasn’t looked back since.

 Shade Souc  Operations & Community Manager  Shade is a McGill graduate who escaped the Montreal winters to continue her career in rainy Vancouver. She is digital marketer, operations guru, and a true team mom. With previous experience in government funding consultancy, she has been active in the Vancouver Tech community for the past two years. Shade is currently in charge of managing the Launch Academy operations and empowering the alumni & member community.

Shade Souc

Operations & Community Manager

Shade is a McGill graduate who escaped the Montreal winters to continue her career in rainy Vancouver. She is digital marketer, operations guru, and a true team mom. With previous experience in government funding consultancy, she has been active in the Vancouver Tech community for the past two years. Shade is currently in charge of managing the Launch Academy operations and empowering the alumni & member community.

 CLAIRE ROBINSON  Executive Assistant to CEO  Claire is recent UBC graduate who was born in Vancouver, raised in Toronto, but always knew she belonged on the West Coast. She is a competitive long course triathlete, former event coordinator and multitasker extraordinaire. Claire is looking forward to starting her career in the Vancouver tech scene and will be supporting our CEO in doing everything from coordinating travel to researching business opportunities.

CLAIRE ROBINSON

Executive Assistant to CEO

Claire is recent UBC graduate who was born in Vancouver, raised in Toronto, but always knew she belonged on the West Coast. She is a competitive long course triathlete, former event coordinator and multitasker extraordinaire. Claire is looking forward to starting her career in the Vancouver tech scene and will be supporting our CEO in doing everything from coordinating travel to researching business opportunities.

 CAROLINE IU  Marketing Coordinator Intern  Caroline is a business student at SFU, concentrating in Marketing and Human Resources, with a Minor in Communications. She is currently responsible for managing all Marketing operations in the Business Administration Student Society as VP Marketing. When she isn't glued to the screen, you can find her hiking around the West Coast or practicing her watercolour skills at home.

CAROLINE IU

Marketing Coordinator Intern

Caroline is a business student at SFU, concentrating in Marketing and Human Resources, with a Minor in Communications. She is currently responsible for managing all Marketing operations in the Business Administration Student Society as VP Marketing. When she isn't glued to the screen, you can find her hiking around the West Coast or practicing her watercolour skills at home.

 Roger Patterson  Co-founder   Roger Patterson is a serial high-tech entrepreneur with a passion for spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and helping others succeed as entrepreneurs. He has over 17 years experience in the software and telecom industries, 12 years of which have been spent founding and running 3 successful high-tech companies after originally working for some of Canada’s largest high-tech companies (Nortel and Newbridge Networks).

Roger Patterson

Co-founder

Roger Patterson is a serial high-tech entrepreneur with a passion for spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and helping others succeed as entrepreneurs. He has over 17 years experience in the software and telecom industries, 12 years of which have been spent founding and running 3 successful high-tech companies after originally working for some of Canada’s largest high-tech companies (Nortel and Newbridge Networks).

 Mike Edwards  Co-founder   A lifelong entrepreneur who is drawn to adventure and innovation, Mike has been starting and investing in tech companies for over 20 years.   His investments include over 40 startups, including Punch’d (acquired by Google), Summify (acquired by Twitter), Wander (acquired by Yahoo), AreaConnect (acquired by Marchex), PassWordBox (acquired by Intel), as well as Battlefy, Wantering, Foodee, CineCoup, and BlueBat Games. 

Mike Edwards

Co-founder

A lifelong entrepreneur who is drawn to adventure and innovation, Mike has been starting and investing in tech companies for over 20 years. His investments include over 40 startups, including Punch’d (acquired by Google), Summify (acquired by Twitter), Wander (acquired by Yahoo), AreaConnect (acquired by Marchex), PassWordBox (acquired by Intel), as well as Battlefy, Wantering, Foodee, CineCoup, and BlueBat Games.