Three women with a range of international startup experience have recently joined support organizations in New Brunswick, greatly enhancing the expertise in the ecosystem.

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation announced this week that Laura Richard, who received her PhD in chemistry from Oxford University, has joined the organization as its new Director of Research. And Venn Innovation has revealed two recent hires: Mexican startup specialist Alicia Grayeb as its new Manager of Startup Services; and Israeli serial fintech entrepreneur Alicia Roisman Ismach as Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

NBIF, a non-profit that engages in venture capital and funds commercialization research, said in a statement that Richard is a chemist and data scientist who earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of New Brunswick. She most recently worked with Procter & Gamble in Belgium and France, conducting research and development for products like Tide Pods and Downy fabric softener.

Before that, she was Senior Chemist at Velocys, a renewable fuels company spun out of Oxford University that produces low-carbon fuels from waste materials.

“Laura is a strategic addition to the NBIF team and New Brunswick’s research community,” said Jeff White, who was recently appointed CEO of the organization. “Her R&D expertise with a global powerhouse like Proctor & Gamble and her understanding of how to turn that research into strong consumer products will be a tremendous asset for our organization and the people we work with.”

Venn, a Moncton-based organization that offers programing to New Brunswick startups, said Grayeb will grow its early-stage incubation program, known as the Venn Garage, and develop networks and relationships.

Grayeb previously worked with entrepreneurs in Mexico, where she helped develop the Young Leaders for the Americas Initiative and provided sustainability training for founders.  As a project manager, she helped to attract multinationals as strategic partners in clean energy and technology accelerators. 

“My mission is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible achieve success and have a positive impact in their communities,” said Grayeb. “The Venn Garage is the ideal hub to amalgamate my international background with the projects of our entrepreneurs who want to make the Province of New Brunswick an even more diverse and innovative place.”

Ismach has been developing solutions for financial institutions and the payments industry for more than 15 years.  She was a Co-Director of the Founder Institute in Tel Aviv, and established Founders Café, an international organization of entrepreneurs. She is a member of the Technology Committee of the Electronic Transactions Association.

“Having been involved in startups and entrepreneurship for the last 20 years, I knew that as soon as I moved to New Brunswick I needed to look for the local innovation ecosystem,” she said. “I am thrilled to have found Venn Innovation and to have met so many talented entrepreneurs and exciting startups in such a short period of time.”