Why we started MobSquad
The US work visa crisis continues to worsen, with increasing denial rates for H-1B visa renewals and initial approvals. As frustration and uncertainty rises for companies losing talent and professionals facing US work visa issues, we have a compelling solution.
At MobSquad, we make starting a virtual subsidiary in Canada easy for US companies – enabling companies to keep their technology talent facing US work visa issues or build a team of highly-skilled technology professionals, nearshore in Canada.
We hire a US company’s highly skilled foreign technology workers with unsuccessful US work visa applications and move them to Canada. We then contract them back to the US company on an exclusive, long term basis. MobSquad manages the ongoing administrative processes of having talent in Canada, including immigration support, resettlement services, payroll, legal, tax, human resources, real estate, benefits administration, and accounting.
As the gap between talent supply and demand grows larger, MobSquad can also help companies grow their technology talent teams. MobSquad has identified over 30,000 highly-skilled technology professionals from around the world. We can pair individuals from our global talent roster with American and Canadian companies looking to gain a technology talent advantage.
“MobSquad has provided an incredibly seamless experience and we couldn’t have more confidence in their professional and experienced team.”
Irina Shlyapnikova, Global Head of HR and Operations, Cinarra
We are committed to winning fairly as it is the only way to win.
We know people want to do the right thing and are capable of more than they can imagine. We create the environment to enable both.
We know conscious and subconscious discrimination exists. We work hard to uncover and remove biases and barriers so everyone realizes their actual – not perceived – potential.
We actively invest our resources to make a meaningful and lasting impact in the communities in which we work and live.
Our awards and certifications
Our leadership team and board
Founder & Executive Chair
Irfhan has over 20 years of experience as a strategic consultant and public company senior executive. He’s also a partner at Relay Ventures.
In addition to leading MobSquad, Irfhan is also a Principal with Totem Capital Corporation, a private capital firm focused on investing in Canadian small businesses, and is a Venture Partner with Relay Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on mobile computing with offices in Toronto and Menlo Park. Irfhan is also an Adjunct Professor at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, where he teaches in the areas of finance, public policy, strategy and leadership.
Irfhan is presently Board Chair of The Organic Box, Alberta’s largest organic food hub, offering home delivery as well as click-and-collect grocery services. Additionally, Irfhan is Board Chair of Activate, a partnership between the Government of Canada, private investors and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada aimed at reducing the incidence of stroke. Irfhan is a Director of Sage Properties, a Calgary-based real estate investment corporation; a Director of Chatter Research, a text-driven customer insight chatbot; and a Director of The Logic, a digital media publication focused on the innovation economy.
Irfhan is actively involved in civic affairs as Board Chair of Glenbow Museum and Board Member of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. He serves as Chair of the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Impact Fund Advisory Committee, as an advisor to the Canadian government’s Impact and Innovation Unit within the Privy Council Office, and as a member of the New Economy Advisory Committee to the Alberta Securities Commission.
Irfhan holds an MBA with High Honors from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar, and also holds a BCom with Honours from the University of British Columbia where he was a Wesbrook scholar.
President & COO
Arif brings over 12 years of financial experience to the MobSquad team, including senior roles at both Amazon and Procter & Gamble.
Previous to joining MobSquad, Arif led Operations Finance for Amazon in Western Canada, where he oversaw annual revenue growth of over 70% for Amazon Canada. Prior to working at Amazon, Arif was a Senior Financial Analyst at Procter & Gamble supporting both brand management and sales teams. He led finance on the Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws team, where he was a key member of the P&G negotiation group after Loblaws acquired Shoppers Drug Mart. While at Procter & Gamble, Arif also served as the P&G Charitable Campaign CFO, which delivered over C$4.5 million to partner charitable organizations over three years.
Arif is currently involved as an Alumni Facilitator at the University of British Columbia, where he co-facilitates weekend sessions for undergraduate commerce students as part of a Strategy & Integrated Decision Making course. The weekend sessions are led by University of British Columbia alumni and are designed to help fourth-year students better prepare for beginning their career after university. Arif is also currently an Advisor to The Logic, a digital media publication focused on the innovation economy.
Arif holds a BCom with Honours from the University of British Columbia, where he received the Odlum Brown Leadership Award and the Commerce Undergraduate Society Honourable Service Award.
Head of Partnerships
Nicole has over 12 years of management and business development experience, including roles at Lululemon Athletica and Kit and Ace.
Previously, Nicole successfully completed the HSBC Bank Leadership Development Program and worked as a Premier Account Manager for high-net-worth clients. In her role, Nicole managed and developed a portfolio of assets valued at over C$200 million. Following her experience at HSBC, Nicole worked at Lululemon Athletica for four years in Product Management, contributing to the company’s recognition as the third most productive retailer in the US. More recently, Nicole was recruited to build the Allocations team at Kit and Ace.
Nicole holds a BCom from the University of British Columbia. She also completed the Fashion Merchandising Program from Blanche MacDonald, an educational institution recognized worldwide as a leader in applied and creative arts. Additionally, Nicole attended the Paris Fashion Institute, where she was recognized as an outstanding student.
Head of Talent
Jessa brings over 16 years of experience in senior-level recruitment across a broad range of sectors to the MobSquad team.
Prior to joining MobSquad, she was a partner in an international executive search firm that was ranked in the top ten in Forbes for executive search. She has previously served in leadership roles in government and universities, leading large recruitment teams. In her career, Jessa has successfully led over 450 searches, including many searches for senior level software engineers. Her focus has always been on recruiting equity-deserving candidates and building accessible processes for all candidates and clients.
Jessa focuses on empowering team members and clients to make evidence-informed decisions and on supporting highly creative ideas for recruitment. She is known for her coaching abilities as well as her practical and innovative approaches to complex recruitment issues.
Jessa holds an Honours BA in Indigenous Studies from the world-renowned Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies from Trent University. Jessa’s PhD training was at McMaster University in Disability and Medical History. She is currently pursuing further training in executive coaching.
Head of Marketing
Jaime has over nine years of marketing and business development experience. She leads MobSquad’s marketing and demand generation efforts.
She joined MobSquad from EY, where she spent over eight years as a marketing and business development manager. In her most recent role as an Assistant Director, she led the national go-to-market strategy and execution for EY’s rapidly growing ESG and Sustainability practice. Previous to that, she led all re-branding, communication and sales enablement activities for the firm’s private company practice.
Jaime holds a BCom from McGill University with a dual specialization in Marketing and Finance.
Head of Growth
Graeme brings over seven years of global strategic consulting experience as a former leader with McKinsey & Company.
As an Engagement Manager at McKinsey, Graeme worked with top leadership teams of Fortune 500 companies to deliver substantial financial and operational results, underwritten by the Firm, while also addressing holistic impact levers in capability building, ESG and health and culture improvements. He also invented and deployed new technology-enabled service offerings during a temporary role as a Product Manager.
He was widely recognized for his unique leadership in company building through recruitment, apprenticeship and client development, which led to an opportunity to apply those learnings to help grow MobSquad.
Graeme holds a BCom from the University of British Columbia with a dual specialization in Finance and Business Technology Management, where he chaired multiple student boards.
Kevin has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, operator, and investor.
Kevin is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at Relay Ventures. Kevin has been an entrepreneur, operator and investor in both Canada and the US for over 20 years. Prior to co-founding Relay Ventures, Kevin was with the venture capital arm of Royal Bank of Canada where he was Vice President of Venture Capital and Managing Director of RBC Venture Partners.
Kevin is the author of ‘Strictly Mobile – How The Largest Man-Made Platform in History is Changing Our World’ and the curator of the Strictly Mobile and Flying Upside Down conferences. He is a frequent public speaker and delivered the TEDx talk Hope is Not a Strategy in Brussels in 2014.
Kevin holds an MBA with distinction from York University, Schulich School of Business, a BA degree in Strategic Studies from York University, and the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Corporate Governance College at the Rotman School of Management.
Dr. William Kerr is a tenured professor at Harvard Business School, the author of The Gift of Global Talent, and the Co-director of Harvard’s ‘Managing the Future of Work’ initiative.
Dr. William Kerr is a Harvard Business School professor, board director of MobSquad, and leading expert on migration. Dr. Kerr is the co-director of Harvard’s Managing the Future of Work initiative, which considers the unprecedented set of challenges and opportunities driven by rapid technological revolutions, shifting global product and labor markets, aging workforces, and growing skills gaps. Dr. Kerr is also the author of The Gift of Global Talent: How Migration Shapes Business, Economy & Society, which explores the global race for talent and how countries and businesses compete for highly skilled migrants.
Dr. Kerr holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Engineering from the University of Virginia. Dr. Kerr is a recipient of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship and Harvard’s Distinction in Teaching award.