Skip to main content

Meet Israel

"I found my community in Hamilton's entrepreneurship ecosystem."
Show/Hide Transcript

My name is Israel Gasperin.

I am an entrepreneur,  I started up a business in

neuroscience and research related to cannabis

neuroscience and research related to cannabis

psychoactive effects.

We are helping producers, and retailers, and educators

to document and describe the experience that

cannabis products create in different consumers

in order to promote responsible cannabis use.

Well, you know my business

is centralized, my neurotechnology company

I think I am very excited about the future.

The value that we are adding to Canada and

the new emerging industry.

I am very looking forward for that.

I was working in the financial sector as a software

engineer and technology project manager

and I wanted to start off my business,

I had no idea how to start.

So one of my mentors back in Mexico

told me about these entrepreneurship programs

from different areas of the world and regions.

In United States, in UK, and here in Canada.

and for several factors McMaster University was the best

alternative, or option for me.

And that's why I came to Hamilton to study a masters

in entrepreneurship here.

When you come to a country where the culture, the language

the weather, the communication style,

even the religious / spiritual side is completely different

than your home country, you face a lot of challenges

and obstacles in order to get adapted to a new culture,

but eventually it's kind of part of the process and

it has been a great experience.

One specific area that made me feel very integrated and 

and included in this culture, was through the Forge,

the business accelerator of the City of Hamilton,

that is also linked to McMaster University.

After graduation they gave me the opportunity to become

part of that business accelerator, incubator.

You receive a lot of support from them, the ecosystem,

and the friendship, and the partnerships that you have

in that area, or in that ecosystem is amazing and

you really feel part of a community.

Everytime that I go back to Mexico to visit family

and friends I love it, I enjoy it, but now I feel like I am

taking vacations.

It's really nice cause I enjoy more my family, my friends

food, however at the same time I realize that

home now is Hamilton.

My name is Israel Gasperin

and Hamilton means for me, opportunity.

Growing up in Veracruz, Mexico, Israel was always fascinated by how the brain works, neurotechnology, artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship. These interests led him to pursue a graduate degree at McMaster University. Guided by the advice of a trusted mentor, he chose the Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship & Innovation (MEEI) as the ideal program to transition from being an employee to learning the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

Israel arrived in Canada as an economic class immigrant in 2014 with the intention of starting his own neurotechnology business. After graduation, he joined McMaster’s Forge Business Incubator, a limited-enrollment program for early-stage startups, and founded Zentrela Inc. Today, this Hamilton-based neurotech company is a successful and promising Canadian startup with the potential to disrupt the global cannabis industry and drug testing market.


Migration Context:

Immigration as an Economic Driver

In a context of declining fertility rates and an ageing population, Canada relies on immigration to grow its population and economy. All three immigration streams - economic class, family class, and refugee/protected person - contribute to this growth. 

About half of the immigrants living in Canada at the time of the 2016 Census were economic class immigrants. Skilled workers, international students, tradespeople, entrepreneurs and others immigrate to Canada via more than 80 different provincial and federal economic class immigration streams.  

Economic immigrants are generally younger than the Canadian-born population. A growing proportion originally came to Canada as international students or temporary foreign workers before applying to become permanent residents. 

Immigrants are more likely to own a business than the Canadian-born population. Canada does have some business immigration programs, but these account for a minority of immigrant entrepreneurs in the country. 

In Hamilton today, about one in four residents is an immigrant, and two-thirds of the city’s population growth comes from immigration. 

Let's stay connected!

There are three ways to reach Hamilton Civic Museums

1. Sign up for “The Linc”, the Hamilton Civic Museums newsletter, to learn more about upcoming programs and events.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: City of Hamilton - Hamilton Civic Museums, 28 James Street North, 2nd Floor, Hamilton L8R 2K1, CA, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the Unsubscribe link, found at the bottom of every email.

2. Follow us on Social Media.

3. Share a story of Hamilton’s history.

Contact Us