Our Team

LiftOff has a team of exceptional and results-driven leaders who love to work with our growing clientele. Our team is eager to learn, open to new ideas and have a passion to connect Black individuals within our community. Read below to learn more about our exceptional team.

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Graham Edwards

Community and Partner Engagement Associate

Graham is a University of Waterloo alumni where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Sports Business with a minor in Event Management. He has practical experience in marketing, business development, and managing stakeholder relationships, and in his role, he intends to use these skills to ensure LiftOff works along with the community to empower its Black entrepreneurs, its ecosystem, and residents.

Coaches

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Uche Onuora

Venture Coach

Uche is a husband, father, and irrepressible optimist, who lives at the intersection of arts and technology as a serial entrepreneur and aspiring poet. He is committed to interdisciplinary efforts that synthesize education and technology for maximum societal benefit. As a Special Needs dad, Uche's experiences supporting his young son who is on the Autism Spectrum led him to co-found HITCH – a Waterloo-based startup that is building an Educational platform linking applied learning to real opportunity for African K-12 students and teachers.

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Lenore Johnson

Venture Coach

Lenore Johnson is the founder and owner of LenJo Bakes, a bakery and bespoke cake shop in Midtown Kitchener. After completing an economics degree from the University of Waterloo and a baking and pastry arts management diploma from George Brown College, Lenore travelled and worked from France to England to New Zealand. Opening in February 2020, LenJo Bakes has won The Waterloo Region Record’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Cakes/Cupcakes in 2020 (gold) and 2021 (platinum).

Folake Owodunni

Folake Owodunni

Venture Coach

Folake Owodunni is a Venture Coach with LiftOff and the Co-Founder and CEO of Emergency Response Africa, a health tech company delivering 911-style emergency medical services in Nigeria, West Africa. Folake enjoys working with founders who are solving meaningful and often difficult problems across different industries and gladly draws on her experiences as a leader and founder to support them.

Mentors

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Jeff Hylton

Mentor

A seasoned Supply Chain professional with over 15 years of experience specializing in demand, supply, production, logistics and distribution. Kyle's experience spans across several different industries in many varying capacities.

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Jimmy Petrie

Mentor

Jimmy is a Talent Acquisition and Human Resources professional, with over 10 years of experience helping to build businesses and teams; that deliver effective results, growth, and navigate the ever-changing markets throughout Canada. Jimmy has worked within the Engineering, IT, Technical, Health Care, Marketing, Retail and Manufacturing sectors.