Tell us about your organization
Lumaki Labs is an B2B SaaS EdTech startup on a mission to help organizations unlock early talent. They operate in the Employer-University Collaboration (EUC) space to help employers and schools manage and scale their early talent programs through automation and engagement. As a team of engineering students at the University of Waterloo, the co-founders have a passion for the future of work.
Their core product is an early-talent management platform that helps with student onboarding and management. To date they have launched their MVP and tested it with the University of Waterloo, impacting over 150 users to date.
- Medium-to-large sized companies that are looking to scale their early talent programs
- Post-secondary institutions that offer co-operative education
How did the resources available in Windsor-Essex help you develop your idea into a business?
- Working with WeTechAlliance has helped us tap into helpful resources in Windsor-Essex such as accounting, business development, and building connections in the community (we’re really thankful for all of the support Adam has given us to date!)
- Participating in the EPICentre Venture Women program helped me gain a network of strong female entrepreneurs while further solidifying my knowledge around business fundamentals
What information would be useful to someone who is a student or youth under 30 who is interested in starting their own business?
- Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re too young to start something, as a young entrepreneur you have access to so many resources and programs
- Leverage your student status; people love to learn more about what you’re up to and how they can support you as long as you show you’re authentic and truly passionate about what you’re working on
- A startup isn’t about the idea you start with, it’s the ability to evolve and adapt it (change will happen and failure is likely but it’s all part of the process)
How did you start your entrepreneurship journey?
I accidentally fell into entrepreneurship in my first year of engineering at the University of Waterloo. I faced a handful of challenges transitioning into post-secondary education as a woman in STEM which led me to think bigger about how I could make an impact in this space and support other young women. What started off as an idea to empower young women in STEM, turned into my first venture (a social enterprise called FEM in STEM) which I later understood to be my first taste of social entrepreneurship. Ever since then, I have pushed myself to learn more about entrepreneurship and had the opportunity to work at EdTech startups in New York and San Francisco. These experiences and my desire to impact the world positively through technology led me to start my current venture, Lumaki Labs, a B2B SaaS startup to help companies unlock the potential of early talent. Overall, my journey in entrepreneurship has always been rooted in social impact and solving hard problems to push myself out of my comfort zone.
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?
- Having grit and embracing failures
- Pushing boundaries and reaching outside of my comfort zone
- Leading with social impact to create a world you want to see while solving hard problems
Why is entrepreneurship a beneficial career in W-E?
- Entrepreneurship in my books isn’t limited to one city or province- it allows you to create opportunities and impact beyond one physical space or location (it also allows you to create a global network)
- There are many emerging supports in Windsor-Essex (which are often more hands-on and tailored to you) to help entrepreneurs grow in any stage of their careers
- You get to create a job you love and eventually create jobs for others in your community as well