The Entrepreneurship Hatchery  ☰ 

Jonah Midanik

An engineer by trade, Jonah has spent the last twenty years at the intersection of marketing and technology as a serial entrepreneur. Jonah has been lucky enough to have several different lenses on the founder journey from bootstrapping, launching new corporate divisions, and raising 8 figures in venture capital funding.
He currently splits his time as the Founder and Chairperson of Limelight Platform and as the Managing Director of Acceleprise.

Chris Grouchy

Chris is a co-founder of Convictional. Convictional is a B2B trade network that enables businesses to buy and sell physical products through modern technology. Convictional raised $3M in venture capital from leading investors including including Y Combinator, Jerry Yang (Alibaba Board Member, Yahoo Founder), and executives from Shopify and Stripe. Chris previously worked in sales at Shopify Plus.

Anand Dhilon

Anand Dhillon (CTO & Co-Founder) is responsible for technical development and strategy at Cover. Prior to Cover, he was the CTO of the fashion app, Stylekick. Anand is a full-stack developer and software engineer proficient in Ruby, Java, Python, C++, all front-end languages and Ruby on Rails. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Toronto where he graduated with high distinction. He is also a Y Combinator Fellow and Alumnus.

Shums Kassam

Shums started his first company, Blynk, out of the Next 36 program in his 3rd year of Engineering Science. Two years later, he sold Blynk to Kik and went on to lead Kik’s bots platform. In 2018, he left Kik to found his next startup, Hatchways. Hatchways recently went through the Y-Combinator program (S19) and it focuses on helping new grads, self-taught programmers, and career shifters get their first job as a software engineer.

Jimoh Ovbiagele

Jimoh Ovbiagele is the Co-founder/CTO of ROSS Intelligence. Ovbiagele is one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, the American Bar Association’s Legal Rebels, and is an alumnus of Y-Combinator. Ovbiagele has featured in the New York Times, Wired and the Economist. In 2014, Ovbiagele co-founded ROSS Intelligence while studying computer science at the University of Toronto. Ovbiagele aspired to make the law more accessible using technology. Hence, Ovbiagele and his team developed a software service, called ROSS, to make lawyers more efficient legal researchers using artificial intelligence. Today, ROSS is used by lawyers across the United States, from solo practitioners to the world’s largest law firms.

Sahar Saidi

Sahar Saidi is the founder and CEO of LUS Brands, a Toronto-based beauty brand backed by Y Combinator, Sound Ventures (Ashton Kutcher), Comcast, and others. The company’s first product line, Love Ur Curls, launched as a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand in January 2017. Since then, the company has shipped over 1 million bottles of product to customers all over the world, and is running profitably. Sahar graduated from Rotman’s Omnium Global Executive MBA program in 2015.

Diran Otegbade

Diran Otegbade is the Founder & Managing Director of, a real estate technology company committed to leveraging the use of technology in the real estate industry in Nigeria.

A graduate of Applied Science from the University of Toronto, he is passionate about the social and economic well–being of individuals and posterity.

At the start of his career, he worked at IBM for close to 4 years as a software developer and advisory project manager for multi-million dollar contracts across multiple business units and clients in the finance, insurance, retail & tourism sectors.

At the age of 25, he established a scholarship endowment at the University of Toronto which awards at least $1,000 per annum to African students pursuing an undergraduate degree in STEM.

Tyler Han

Coming from Vancouver, Tyler has always been an avid programmer and entrepreneur. He’s worked on various startups as well as bootstrapped dozens of projects spanning back to high school that still generate significant passive income to this day.
Tyler now serves as CTO and Cofounder of Voiceflow, a promising seed-stage SaaS company backed by prominent Bay Area investors. Tyler went to the University of Toronto, specializing in Computer Science.

Michel Vulpe

Mr. Michel Vulpe founded i4i, Inc. in 1993 and serves as its Chief Technology Officer. Prior to i4i, Mr. Vulpe worked in the research and development group of Geac Computer Corporation. Mr. Vulpe serves as a Member of Founders Board at Round 13 Capital. Mr. Vulpe attended the University of Victoria and the graduate school at the University of Toronto where he studied Political Economics.


Axel Villamil

A young creative with big ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit. A recent Computer Science and New Media Studies graduate from the University of Toronto, he continues to marry his two lifelong passions: technology and the arts. His love for art and performance stems from his time in the Stratford Festival, appearing in a production of The King and I. In high school, he began to shoot and edit dance videos with friends. This accumulated into a performance at the Hip-Hop World Championships where Axel placed 17th. Leaving his mark on the global dance community, Axel became a close collaborator to visiting stars from the Philippines. Loving the creative process, he formed Red Label Studios; his very own production company. Wearing multiple hats on set, Axel has been trusted to work with companies like Nike, Family Channel, and ET Canada.

His most recent venture, StageKeep, solves a problem he found in his early days of dance and still encounters today: why do we still use a pencil and paper to demonstrate choreography? As Axel moves forward, his goal is to solve problems his fellow creators run into.

Timothy O’Leary

Captain (Navy) Tim O’Leary is a native of Toronto and a graduate of U of T, St. Michael’s College, for his undergraduate, and RMC for his Master’s.  With twenty-eight years in The Service he is a Naval Warfare Officer who has sailed in a number of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships with both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, as well as with Strike Force NATO. The highlight of his seagoing service was the three years Capt(N) O’Leary spent in the North Atlantic in command of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship MONCTON , a ship he had previously served in as Navigating Officer. He also enjoyed three years in command of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship YORK, the Naval Reserve Division that is the heart of Toronto’s naval community. He has deployed to 23 countries, including tours in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Afghanistan. Presently Capt(N) O’Leary serves as the Central Region Captain, responsible for the seven naval reserve units and roughly one thousand five hundred naval reservists serving throughout Ontario.

Steve Pereira


Steve is obsessed with making tech human, using simple tools and techniques to make big changes.

He’s a 20 year tech veteran and runs Visible ( helping teams with digital+DevOps transformation. He also organizes Toronto’s largest DevOps community ( with a monthly meetup and annual conference, and advises several underrepresented startup teams. He’s a big fan of movies, video games, escaping winter and frisbees 🙂

Alana Frome

Alana is the Co-founder and CTO at HiMama. HiMama is a leading technology platform for preschools and early learning programs. With HiMama, child care centers can build stronger relationships with their families, streamline business operations, and document classroom learning & development. Alana’s passion is to support improvements in early childhood education because of its vital role in shaping our world and is a currently undervalued part of the education system. Before HiMama, Alana has spent the last decade building products, has worked as an English teacher in rural France, a danger zone manager in East Africa, a keyboardist in myriad garage bands, and is an advocate for young women who have interests in STEM.