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.
Community and Partner Engagement Associate
Graham is a University of Waterloo alumni where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies. 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.
Assistant Director Of Funding
Tayo is dedicated to solving problems. In the world of higher education, this means deep diving into the challenges faced by our students and educators, seeking a root cause, establishing road-maps and monitoring and communicating progress. Tayo's experience is in project and account management, operations, implementations and customer service.
Director Of Funding
Cedric's entrepreneurial spirit keeps me active in the real estate market as a landlord, private mortgage lender and investor. I also spend time coaching basketball and speaking to young people who are at the point where they are trying to figure out what’s next and how to navigate the challenges ahead of them.
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.
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 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.
Ajoa Mintah is a professional engineer, turned ice cream entrepreneur and the Founder + CEO of Four All Ice Cream. A University of Waterloo graduate, Ajoa earned her Chemical Engineering degree in 2001 and spent the next 16 years in various roles, ranging from product development in the automotive industry to technical consulting in the finance industry, before pursuing her dream of becoming a “maker”. Four All Ice Cream, which aims “to bring the joy of ice cream to all regardless of dietary choices and restrictions”, is the culmination of Ajoa’s education, experiences and above all else, her desire to create. Her strengths include goal setting & problem solving.
Aileen Agada is the founder of BeBlended–a tech startup focused on the Black hair care industry–where she manages a team of 3 employees. On the side she is also a part-time Venture Capital Analyst at Emerald Technology Ventures and is currently completing a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) as a part-time student at the University of Waterloo.
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.