The Entrepreneurship Hatchery  ☰ 

Dalton Caldwell

About Dalton Caldwell: Dalton Caldwell was the co-founder and CEO of imeem (acquired by MySpace in 2009), and the co-founder and CEO of He has a BS in Symbolic Systems and a BA in Psychology from Stanford University.

About YC: Y Combinator is a startup fund based in Mountain View. Twice a year YC invests a small amount of money in a large number of startups. The YC partners work closely with each company to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each batch culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected audience of investors. Y Combinator has invested in over 2,500 companies including Stripe, Airbnb, Instacart, Dropbox, Reddit, Coinbase. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $150B.

Ryan Gilliam

Dr. Ryan Gilliam is a Venture Partner at 1955 Capital where he is focused on energy, sustainability, waste upcycling, materials innovations, and emerging technologies.
As a serial entrepreneur in the sustainability field, Ryan has developed electrochemical, catalysis, and chemical technologies for the beneficial reuse of carbon emissions, industrial waste reutilization, and production of building materials and chemicals.
In addition to serving as a Venture Partner at 1955 Capital, Ryan is the CEO and founder of two venture-funded start-up companies. The first, Fortera Corporation, is focused on the beneficial reuse of CO2 to produce a range of building material products that both directly capture and offset CO2 emissions. The second, Chemetry Corporation, is an industrial chemicals platform company redefining how commodity chemicals are made. Within these two companies and industrial areas, Ryan has successfully driven industrial scale-up of multiple technologies, a business development program resulting in strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 chemicals and engineering companies, commercialization efforts which led to an active presence in global markets, the development of a smart parts platform and set of enabling strategic supply agreements, and the building of teams consisting of world-class technical and business talent.
Ryan obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Materials Science and Engineering. On his work in catalysis and electrochemistry, Ryan has 10+ peer-reviewed publications and has been an invited speaker at multiple international conferences. He is an inventor on 90+ patents in the energy, sustainability, products and materials spaces.

Derrick Fung

Derrick Fung is CEO and Co-founder of Drop – an intelligent mobile rewards app where consumers can earn points for every day spending on top of their existing debit and credit cards. Drop has ranked in the top 3 in the app store in both Canada and the US and currently boasts 3 million members. Drop has raised over $25m from VCs including NEA, Sierra Ventures, White Star Capital, CapitalOne Growth Ventures and angel investors such as Tina Sharkey (CEO of Brandless) and Dan Macklin (Co-founder of SoFi). Derrick began his career in Finance in Sales & Trading in Toronto and New York at various investment banks including Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and CIBC Capital Markets. Derrick was named in 2014 to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Music alongside Avici, Lady Gaga and Drake.

Tom Ritchie

Tom Ritchie is the President of Ample Organics and Akerna Canada, a leading provider of cannabis business solutions including Canada’s premier seed-to-sale software platform. With nearly a decade of cannabis cultivation experience and regulatory knowledge, Tom leads the organization and teams that work closely with the industry’s leading licensed producers of cannabis. In addition to his work supporting Ample Organics, Tom developed AmpleLearn and Teal Certifications, the cannabis industry’s first certification program designed to educate and empower industry participants using a seed-to-sale software platform.

Tom’s advocacy for a regulated cannabis industry, combined with his passion for education has made him a go-to source for post-secondary institutions looking to develop cannabis education curriculums. With a background in Asset Management, working for the world’s largest steel company, Tom continues to look for opportunities to increase efficiencies in cannabis cultivation to align more with lean manufacturing.

Naresh Bangia

First Speaker Series for fall of 2020, joined by Naresh Bangia who is an entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as Joseph who is the executive director of the Hatchery.
Naresh is the CEO & founder of AJB Software Design Inc., and prior to that he co-founded Connecting Solutions, a software solutions company specializing in the retail market.
Naresh has been a lifelong entrepreneur and is currently active in providing value adding capital to early stage companies and their entrepreneurs.
An industry leader and visionary over the past fifteen years, Naresh has architected a number of the innovative solutions used by North America’s most influential retailers and continues to work alongside his development team to provide guidance in the evolution of integrated retail payment tools and solutions in the global retail marketplace.
Naresh has been a recipient of numerous industry accolades and awards and is an Engineering Science graduate from the University of Toronto.

Arash Zohoor

Arash Zohoor, a physician and entrepreneur, is a cofounder of Inkbot. He is motivated by his patients to create healthcare delivery solutions that leverage technology and data in innovative ways. Speaker Series on January 28th, 2020.

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.