The Women Entrepreneurship Series was founded in 2011 by the late Justin Policarpio. Justin was a proud feminist and worked tirelessly to foster equal representation in the entrepreneurship community. Justin graduated with a Masters in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation from McMaster University, and subsequently co-founded a robotics based company, Roboteurs.
At the age of 30, after a 5-year long journey with cancer, Justin passed away on September 20th, 2017; It was Justin’s wish that the Women Entrepreneurship Series continue beyond his years. He was a true Canadian entrepreneur; a proud Hamiltonian who worked tirelessly to make his home city a hub for innovation. Justin’s girlfriend, Navita Dyal, and dear friend, Shelley McQuade, have joined forces to continue the very meaningful work that Justin started. We are also grateful to Salma Burney who has very generously volunteered her time to assist with our administrative, and social media related needs.
1986 - 2017
Shelley McQuade is a Peak Prosperity Coach. She works with business leaders and teams to identify and remove roadblocks. Shelley believes through collaboration; every organization has the ability to be a place where people can be their personal best and aligned to a shared purpose to find solutions where none previously existed. As the founder of Cypress Strategies, Shelley helps companies, cities and associations get clear, confident and ready to prosper.
Navita Dyal holds a Masters in Engineering & Design and thrives at the intersection of Engineering & Medicine. She founded GLITR (Giving Life In The Rural) at the age of 17; a non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to health care to vulnerable populations. Navita also founded, and leads, two start-up ventures; Era Diabetes and WADE, which were borne out of her research at McMaster University. In her spare time, she loves to travel and experience new cultures!
Salma Burney is a Virtual Assistant, Computer Instructor & Social Media Coach for Virtual Girl Friday, a company she created in 2004. She assists a wide range of professionals including an, Editor in Chief for Digital Magazine and Nutraceutical Executive, just to name a few! Salma actively volunteers for Hamilton’s Out of the Cold and recently founded the “Birthday Fund” at the Good Shepherd Centre. The Birthday Fund's mission is to help celebrate a child’s special day while away from home.
for the 2020
Women Entrepreneurship Series
In honour of Justin's dedication to entrepreneurship, we have established the Justin Policarpio Fund.
We will be raising money throughout 2019 and 2020, to present an annual entrepreneurship award in Justin's name.
We appreciate your support.