The Core Team

Scott Wurtele Scott Wurtele, CEO

In 1997 Scott Wurtele founded, an international trade website that has handled a million trade leads, and in 2000,, a company that helps hundreds of thousands of people to connect with the legal resources they need.

Scott, along with a knowledgeable team of experts, has now developed, whose core service is its ThinkSpace® where corporations and companies can have problems solved by collaborative teams of experts and innovators that are chosen from its database of the world's best minds.

IdeaConnection's vast collection of experts can work for you in a variety of ways: from R&D Problem Solving, to Technology Scouting, to Prior Art Citation Search, Idea Rallies and Ideation Contests. also offers posting of Technologies for sale or wanted, Inventions for sale, Solutions for the Common Good, and weekly updates to its New Inventions, Conventions and Contests pages, as well as a weekly Innovation Newsletter.

Scott's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL SCOTT]

Paul Wagorn Paul Wagorn, President, Senior Rep

Paul Wagorn has more than 18 years of experience in the information technology industry, including more than 11 years of Internet and e-commerce experience. Previously, Paul served as the chief operating officer of Worldbid Corporation, where he was instrumental in developing the patent-applied-for technology. He is also the founder of MerchantSense Consulting, where he created a software solution to the massive issue of online credit card fraud. In addition, Paul worked as a marketing and search engine consultant at Online Legal Marketing.

Paul was previously employed as a corporate sales manager at JD Micro Devices, Inc., where he co-developed the point-of-sale software and experienced a 300% sales increase under his leadership. He gained additional experience working for Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada, where he led a team that updated the data retrieval system for Canadian patents and developed a quality assurance system for patent examiners.

Paul received a scholarship to attend the University of Waterloo, and completed courses toward his Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering. He has also completed business administration courses.

Paul's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL PAUL]
1-877-525-6671 Ext 105 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Vern Burkhardt Vern Burkhardt, ICL Agents Manager

Vern Burkhardt has extensive leadership experience, as well as executive-level experience. His previous positions include serving as chief executive officer in a number of major organizations, as well as commodore at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Vern received the Gold Award for Leadership in 2001, recognizing his efforts in establishing one of the best-performing organizations. He also received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his contributions to his community and to Canada.

Vern earned his Bachelor of Education degree, as well as his Master of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Alberta.

Vern's LinkedIn profile [READ VERN'S ARTICLES]
1-877-525-6671 Ext 150 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Jurgen Quandt Dr. Jürgen Quandt, Technology Transfer Officer

Jürgen has 20 years of scientific and business expertise related to the Ag-Biotech and Bio-Products industry. Working for some major players like the Plant Biotechnology Institute of the National Research Council Canada and Aventis CropScience, he was involved with developing some of the first "Plants with Novel Traits" specifically herbicide tolerant Canola and Wheat. At the Alberta Research Council he and his group contracted with clients to develop novel crops and Bio-Products for the bio-based economy.

Jürgen’s experience spans the entire chain of technology development and commercialization from applied research and IP development, assessment of patentability and market potential, identification and engagement of customers, to technology transfer and negotiation of agreements with a variety of institutions and industry partners.

Jürgen received his PhD. in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. He is excited to combine his scientific and business experience in his role with IdeaConnection.

Jurgen's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL JURGEN QUANDT]
1-877-525-6671 Ext 125 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Jessica Letour Jessica Letour, Technology Transfer Officer

A graduate from the University of Victoria, Jessica studied both science and psychology completing her BSc in 2009. She comes to us with a broad educational background. Her coursework ranges from biochemistry to neuropsychology. She spent the last two years as an information analyst and front line representative in public health and her background also includes management and education. Jessica is dedicated to finding solutions and she is excited to bring her enthusiasm to IdeaConnection.

Jessica's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL JESSICA]
1-877-525-6671 Ext 123 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Nicole Van Herwaarden Nicole Van Herwaarden, Senior Open Innovation Project Manager

Nicole graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc. in biology in 2006 where she realized her passion for discovering new ideas by studying the imaginative and innovative thinkers of our past. She then went on to spend three years learning about the inner workings of small to medium sized businesses as a trusted advertising representative. Nicole is excited to combine her scientific interests and business knowledge to her role with IdeaConnection. Nicole loves to problem solve and commits herself thoroughly to all challenges.

Nicole's LinkedIn profile [INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE]
1-877-525-6671 Ext 120 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Malyna Senger Malyna Senger, Interface Designer and Content Manager

Malyna is a tech-savvy web strategist and user experience (UX) designer with over 8 years of experience creating and marketing websites. She has worked with companies from a broad variety of industries, ranging from mobile applications to luxury resorts. Having worked in both agency and client side environments, Malyna has gained an in-depth understanding of project stakeholders needs.

After earning a BBA in marketing management, Malyna has trained in rapid prototyping, user-centered design, usability-testing, social media marketing, search marketing, and analytics, to round out her web skills in HTML and CSS. She has deployed sites from start to finish and led tutorials on major content management systems such as Drupal, Joomla, and Word Press.

In addition, Malyna has authored online articles on the latest web technologies and trends. She is excited to continue to grow and be challenged through her work with IdeaConnection.


Wendy Wurtele Wendy Wurtele, Content Management, Newsletter Editor

Wendy comes from a background of graphic design. She studied typesetting at George Brown College and developed her design skills under the tutelage of Robert Eby & Associates. Wendy also studied programming at Niagara Collage. After moving to Whistler, BC, in 1988 she opened her own design company and embraced the new technology of personal computers and “desk top publishing”. Wendy successfully ran her company, On Line Design Ltd., designing brochures and rack cards, supervising photo shoots, creating corporate identities, and producing a quarterly Newspaper, until she sold the company to concentrate on co-developing internet businesses with her husband, Scott. She incorporated website design into her skill set and has subsequently been involved in developing four successful internet startups.

1-877-525-6671 Ext 152 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Jonathan Knopp Jonathan Knopp, Systems Engineer

Jonathan Knopp completed his BASc in Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia in 1999. He has spent most of his time since then designing and implementing website backends on the LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), focusing on ground up custom coding to maximize efficiency, speed, and security. Frontends of the standard HTML/CSS/JavaScript variety occupy nearly as much of his time, with a similar focus on performance in the form of cross-browser compatibility, loading speed, and rendering speed.

1-877-525-6671 Ext 122 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Ann Eastman Ann Eastman, Research & Development of Open Innovation Challenge Writing

Ann has over 20 years of plant science and biotechnology experience in the private sector, government and academia. She has worked in pure and applied research, commercialization, and science communication in agriculture, food and bioproducts, exploring a breadth of opportunities in the bioeconomy. Her multidisciplinary education and experience in plant physiology, biochemistry, and biotechnology, and participation in the evolving world of innovation provide her with a solid foundation for the analysis and communication of complex challenges.

Ann earned an MSc in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Guelph in Ontario and a PhD in Plant Physiology and Biotechnology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is delighted to use her technical communication expertise to foster open innovation through IdeaConnection.

Ann's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL ANN]
1-877-525-6671 Ext 124 (In North America)
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Laurin Kelsey Laurin Kelsey, Technology Transfer Officer

Laurin Kelsey comes to IdeaConnection from the University of Victoria, where she graduated with a BFA in 2007. After her degree, Laurin has gained experience in a wide range of Project-Management and Research positions throughout Canada and Europe. Recently based in Berlin, Germany, Laurin has worked for several large German companies doing in-depth research and analysis in the Financial Sector and in Agriculture, which has given her a varied and solid background for her work at IdeaConnection. Laurin is excited to put her love of research and problem-solving to work finding new and innovative solutions.

Laurin's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL LAURIN]
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Michael Brown Michael Brown, Internet Marketing Analyst

Michael is a Google Adwords Certified Professional with over 15 years experience in on-line marketing, pay per click (PPC) management and search engine optimization (SEO) experience. He has worked as a consultant helping many companies increase their on-line sales from a small to large percentage of their annual income as well as marketing a number of products of his own. He also specializes in user-interface design and has led a design team for products ranging from children’s safe browsing software, popup blockers to specialized business applications.

Michael brings his internet marketing experience as well as years of experience in R&D to the team. He uses these skills to develop and manage targeted marketing campaigns, researching current trends and specific product or project requirements to provide quality leads and a high return on investment.

Michael's LinkedIn profile [EMAIL MICHAEL]
1-250-483-6328 (International)

Paul Arnold Paul Arnold, Writer

During his time at the BBC, Paul produced hundreds of programs in science, news, light entertainment and magazine features. He travelled the world and interviewed celebrated people in many fields – Nobel Prize winners, politicians, film stars and musicians. Paul now makes his home in Spain from where he writes science, lifestyle, political and business articles for magazines and websites.


Dustin Meredith Dustin Meredith, Programmer

Dustin graduated from the University of Victoria with a BSc. in Computer Science in 2008. He specializes in web application development on the LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), focusing on data management and applications that automate processes for clients. He also spends time designing the front-end experience for these applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. He has worked in higher education, where his responsibilities include website development and assessment coordination.

Dustin enjoys working in technology based environments that provide opportunities to find and implement creative solutions while also learning new skills and abilities.


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