Dr. Brent Mainprize
I-ACE Program Co-Founder and Director
Gustavson School of Business
Dr. Brent Mainprize, Indigenous Advancement of Cultural Entrepreneurs
program director and co-designer believes that entrepreneurship drives economic
prosperity and is committed to forging a path to accessible education for
Indigenous communities. Brent’s work with the I-ACE program began when he was
invited to co-design the I-ACE program by TRICORP’s CEO Frank Parnell. The
program has received regional, national and international level awards because
of the impact the graduates are having as indigenous entrepreneurs.
For over two decades, Brent has been immersed in Indigenous Community development in British Columbia and has focused on entrepreneurial development and training, contributing to an increase in opportunities for sustainable self-employment and employment. In 2016 Leslie Varley invited Brent to co-design and co-lead the 3C challenge (2018) with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC). The purpose of the 3C challenge is to provide Indigenous youth with the opportunity to tap into their entrepreneurial potential by incorporating traditional culture and community values with commerce education. For over 20 years, Brent has been honoured to assist in facilitating Indigenous economic development and entrepreneurship sessions in over 45 unique Indigenous communities in BC.
In addition to his role as director of the I-ACE program, Brent is also an award-winning professor at the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of business, where he teaches entrepreneurship, strategy, and Indigenous entrepreneurship classes with value-based leadership, ethics, and a natural-born passion. Brent has received many awards for his excellence in teaching and innovation, including a national award in 2014 as the Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year. He has been recognized as a “top 40 under 40” visionary for his work in education in 2007. Most recently, in 2020, he was honoured to receive the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellows. The 3M award reflects his commitment to the highest ideals of educational leadership, teaching excellence and educational innovation.
In addition to his extensive experience with teaching entrepreneurship and advocating for and co-designing Indigenous economic development initiatives, Brent also worked as a management consultant and developed financial models to assist high growth companies in securing private equity placements and preparing for acquisition. He has held various entrepreneurial management positions in the technology and communication sectors, and he has even been selected as a screening judge for entrepreneurs for CBC’s Dragon Den.
Brent holds an MBA from the University of Victoria with a focus on Entrepreneurship and new venture start up. He has a PhD in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, where he received the Outstanding Dissertation Award for his focus on Entrepreneurial Business Planning and Private Equity Investment Evaluation.
To learn more about Dr. Brent Mainprize, please visit