Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP)

Olivia Steedman

  • Senior Managing Director, Teachers' Innovation Platform

Olivia Steedman leads Teachers' Innovation Platform (TIP), which has a global mandate to invest in late-stage venture and growth equity in companies that use technology to disrupt incumbents and create new sectors.

Olivia joined Ontario Teachers' in 2002 and was a founding member and senior leader of the Infrastructure and Natural Resources group, most recently as head of both the Greenfield & Renewables and the Value Creation & Analytics teams. She was involved in a number of acquisitions and served on a number of portfolio company boards across the portfolio.

Before joining Ontario Teachers’, Olivia was an Assistant Vice-President in the project finance and privatization group at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also practiced civil engineering at Marshall Macklin Monaghan.

A Professional Engineer and Chartered Professional Accountant, Olivia earned a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Queen's University and has ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2018 she was recognized by Women's Executive Network as one of Canada's 100 Most Powerful Women.

Avid Larizadeh Duggan

  • Managing Director

Avid has been involved in the startup ecosystem as a developer, product manager, founder, and investor for over 20 years. She started her investing career at Accel Partners in 2006 and was a General Partner at GV (Google Ventures) from 2014 to 2018. With a portfolio of over 25 companies, Avid is also an active angel investor in high growth technology companies globally.

Avid has held product management roles at Tellme Networks (acquired by MSFT), Skype (acquired by MSFT) and eBay where she was granted a patent for her work. She was the co-founder and COO of Boticca, a global marketplace for independent brands of fashion accessories (acquired by Wolf & Badger). Most recently she was the COO at Kobalt Music Group, the leading music and technology company built for artists, songwriters publishers and labels as an alternative to the traditional music business model.

Avid is a non-executive director on the board of Barclays Bank UK and serves on the Harvard Business School European Advisory Board. She also led Code.org and the Hour of Code in the UK from 2013-2015 getting over 22 million people to try an hour of code. She has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was appointed Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for services to the economy, business and education. Avid earned her B.S. and M.S. in engineering at Stanford University, where she was a Mayfield Fellow. She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a Kauffman Fellow.

Rick Prostko

  • Managing Director, Teachers' Innovation Platform (North America)

Rick Prostko leads direct investment strategy and execution for Teachers' Innovation Platform (TIP) in North America. Additionally, Rick is responsible for supporting TIP’s global investment strategy and collaboration efforts between TIP’s portfolio and the broader set of asset classes at OTPP.

Rick joined TIP in 2021, bringing nearly two decades of direct venture capital and growth equity investment experience. Most recently, Rick was a Managing Director at Comcast Ventures where he spent 8 years investing in venture-growth opportunities across a variety of consumer internet sectors. Prior to Comcast, Rick held investment roles at VantagePoint Capital Partners and Summit Partners. 

Rick is based in the U.S., establishing a key point of presence for Ontario Teachers’ in the San Francisco Bay Area and enhancing TIP’s investment execution capabilities across the entire U.S. market.

Rick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University.

Richard Lam

  • Director, Teachers’ Innovation Platform

Richard Lam is based in Toronto and leads global fund relationships for the Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Since 2012, Richard has been involved in the origination, evaluation, execution and post-investment monitoring of venture capital and growth equity fund investments.

Richard started his career at Merrill Lynch & Co. in investment banking. He subsequently joined TorQuest Partners as an investment professional, and also worked at the Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant.

Richard holds an HBA and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.

Brad Leufkens

  • Director, Teachers’ Innovation Platform

Brad Leufkens has significant experience structuring and executing investments globally. In his current role, he leads a variety of strategy, relationship building, investment and leadership activities to support the build of Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Brad was involved in the energy and infrastructure sectors for over 10 years and played a leading role in the investments of several companies including Cubico Sustainable Investments, First Infrastructure Capital, Stem, Inc. and Trillium Storage. Brad currently serves on the boards of BluEarth Renewables, Anbaric Development Partners, and Trillium Storage.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', Brad worked in investment banking with the Royal Bank of Canada structuring infrastructure investments in Canada and originating sub investment grade credit in the U.S. Capital Markets.

Brad holds an Honours B.Sc. degree in Physics from the University of Guelph and is currently completing his MBA at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

Kelvin Yu

  • Director, Teacher’s Innovation Platform

Kelvin Yu is based in Hong Kong and is part of the senior team leading the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) in the Asia-Pacific region. Kelvin has more than 20 years of extensive experience in venture capital, private equity and investment banking.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers’, Kelvin was an Executive President with Fosun Group, leading the setup of the “New Retail” strategic investment team within the organization, and has held senior positions at private equity, venture and growth capital funds including Partners Group (where he was a Managing Director and Head of China), Sequoia Capital, Capital Today, and Barings Private Equity. He has led both venture and growth stage investments in various sectors including New Retail, Consumer, Logistics, Financial Services, Automotive and the TMT/Internet space.

Kelvin holds a BBA (Honors) from the National University of Singapore as well as the CFA and CPA (Aus) designations.

John-Christian (J.C.) Bourque

  • Senior Principal

John-Christian (J.C.) Bourque is responsible for a variety of strategy, relationship-building, investment, and leadership activities for Ontario Teachers’ globally and across asset classes. He has been a member of Global Strategic Relationships since 2017. He works closely with the Teacher’ s Innovation Platform focusing on late stage venture and growth equity opportunities.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', J.C. worked at KPMG in the management consulting and deal advisory groups across multiple industries and engagements. He has a strong background in strategy development, international relations, and foreign markets, as well as having extensive experience in politics and public affairs advisory.

J.C. teaches at the University of Toronto (Rotman Commerce) and holds degrees from Western University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

Ara Yeromian

  • Senior Principal

Ara Yeromian is based in London and is part of the European team leading TIP’s EMEA strategy. Prior to joining Ontario Teachers’, Ara worked as a Senior Associate Director in Temasek’s European direct equity investment team. Prior to that he held investment and advisory roles at Ares Management and Credit Suisse in London.

Ara holds a BSc from HEC Lausanne in Switzerland and a MSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics

Emmanuelle Norchet

  • Principal

Emmanuelle Norchet joined Ontario Teachers’ in 2020 and is a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). Based in Toronto, she plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy in North America for direct venture capital and growth equity investments. She is currently involved on the direct coverage side for TIP’s investment into Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP).

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', Emmanuelle worked as associate director at a venture capital firm in Singapore, where she helped structure and execute on direct venture investment opportunities, with a primary focus on the consumer internet sector. She was directly involved with portfolio companies and worked closely with their management teams on their growth plans. She covered transactions across a wide range of verticals, including Digital health, Social entertainment, E-commerce, FoodTech, Fintech and Enterprise.

Emmanuelle holds a Bachelor of Law degree from University of Montreal, was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2010, and holds a MSc Finance from City University of Hong Kong.

Luke Porter

  • Principal (London)

Luke Porter joined Ontario Teachers' in 2018. As a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform, he plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy with a focus on direct venture capital and growth equity investments in EMEA. To date, he has been actively involved in a number of key transactions including TIP’s investments in KRY, ComplyAdvantage, SpaceX and Epic Games.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', Luke was an associate in the investment banking division of J.P. Morgan in London, where he was involved in a variety of capital markets and corporate advisory transactions across the consumer, retail and healthcare sectors.

Luke holds a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in economics and finance, with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney.

Catherine Qian

  • Principal

Catherine Qian joined Ontario Teachers’ in 2017 and is a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). Currently based in Hong Kong, she plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy across Asia with a focus on direct venture capital and growth equity investments. Previously located in Toronto, she has been actively involved in a number of key transactions including TIP’s investments into Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), Kry and Stem.

Catherine was previously a Principal in the Infrastructure and Natural Resources group in Toronto where she helped structure and execute direct private investments in the energy and infrastructure space globally. She was also actively involved in asset management of portfolio companies and worked closely with management teams across the energy, utilities and timber sectors.

Catherine started her career in the Financial Institutions Group at Citi in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with High Distinction from the University of Toronto and is a CFA charterholder.

Peng Chen

  • Investment Associate

Peng Chen joined Ontario Teachers’ Hong Kong office in 2021 and is focused on direct late venture capital and growth equity investments as a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Prior to joining OTPP, Peng was Private Equity Associate at Asia Investment Capital, a Hong Kong headquartered private equity backed by Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, where he was responsible for screening, evaluating and executing private equity investment opportunities in China and Southeast Asia. Peng started his career at Deutsche Bank Hong Kong office, where he engaged in equity offerings for both state-owned enterprises and private companies in Asia.

Peng received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with Distinction from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Andrew Jang

  • Investment Associate

Andrew joined Teachers’ Innovation Platform in 2020 as an Investment Associate. His role involves enabling the execution of TIP’s global strategy in North America for both direct and fund investments with a focus on late-stage venture and growth equity.

Prior to Ontario Teachers’, Andrew was a manager of corporate strategy at an early-stage fintech startup in Toronto, where he played a key role in developing and executing strategic go-to-market initiatives. He was also associate in investment banking at National Bank Financial where he worked on various M&A and corporate advisory transactions across a diverse suite of sectors. Andrew started his career in the audit group at KPMG.

Andrew holds an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and is a CPA charterholder. 

Vijay Jeevathilagan

  • Investment Associate

Vijay joined Teachers’ Innovation Platform in 2021 as an Investment Associate. His role involves enabling the execution of TIP’s global strategy for venture capital and growth equity fund investments.

Prior to joining TIP, Vijay was part of the Private Asset Advisory team within the Risk department where he was responsible for supporting risk analysis and reporting for private assets. He also worked in the Financial Operations department where he was responsible for the trade execution, reporting, and valuation of OTPP’s fund investments.

Vijay holds a BBA from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Akunne Robyn Daniels

  • Investment Associate

Akunne Robyn Daniels joined Teachers' Innovation Platform in 2021 as an Investment Associate. She plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy with a focus on direct venture capital and growth equity investments in EMEA.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers',  Akunne was an associate in the investment banking division Goldman Sachs in London and Sydney, where she was involved in a variety of transactions in the infrastructure sector.

Akunne holds a BA (cum laude) in Economics from Columbia University.

Jing Lin

  • Investment Associate

Jing Lin is a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) based in Hong Kong. Jing is focused on direct growth equity and venture capital investments in key growth sectors, including healthcare, consumer, and technology.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers’, Jing was a Vice President with Sailing Capital, where she led the execution of several growth and buyout investment transactions in China and globally. Jing started her career in investment banking with J.P. Morgan, where she worked on a variety of M&A and capital market transactions.

Jing holds Master of Business Administration ("MBA") and Bachelor of Science in Economics (summa cum laude) degrees from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sean Zheng

  • Investment Associate

Sean Zheng joined Ontario Teachers’ in 2021 and is a member of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). Based in Toronto, he plays a key role in implementing TIP’s global strategy in North America for direct venture capital and growth equity investments.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers', Sean was a Private Equity Associate at KKR in the Menlo Park office, where he focused on growth and buyout transactions in healthcare. He also previously worked in investment banking, focused on industrials at Evercore and as a generalist at CIBC.

Sean holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.</

Jonathan Watkin

  • Investment Analyst

Jonathan joined Teachers’ Innovation Platform in 2020 as an Investment Analyst. He plays a key role in executing TIP’s global strategy with a focus on direct late-stage venture capital and growth equity investments.

Prior to joining Ontario Teachers’, Jonathan worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Financial Technology Partners in New York, where he worked on a myriad of corporate and capital market advisory transactions including M&A, IPOs, and equity financings for the global FinTech sector.

Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, and has received his FINRA Series 63 and 79 licenses.

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