Furthering the success of the accelerator program League of Innovators (LOI), Melissa Allen will ring in the new year as the Executive Director. Melissa Allen will replace Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber who served for six years with the company. 

“Joanna’s leadership has paved a perfect path for whoever came next. And today we’re thrilled to share who will be taking up the baton,” Board Member Manny Padda said in a press release provided to AfroTech. “Melissa is above and beyond what we asked for and we can’t wait to see her join us in full capacity in the New Year. For the new Executive Director, our board wanted to find someone that’s restless about innovation and diligent about execution. Melissa’s background and references largely spoke to that.”

Allen's Impressive Work History

Allen’s previous experience includes Foreign Affairs Canada in Paris, France, Torstar Digital, and Google. She’s also had an award-winning career in wealth management at Desjardins.

As her career progressed, Allen became interested in the intersection between technology and finance. She then became an angel investor and Limited Partner in 2019 and began providing knowledge in advisory and leadership roles at startups such as Alo Solutions and Bay Mills Investment Group. Now she is entering a new trajectory in her career to champion the future leaders of young innovators.

“My entrepreneurial background in finance, combined with my marketing and business development experience in tech, create a unique skill set that I cannot wait to leverage to support the LOI team’s vision, mission, and young entrepreneurs,” Melissa Allen said in a press release.

“With a proven track record built on a solid foundation, LOI is poised to become the preeminent destination for young Canadian entrepreneurs—from all walks of life—who will make a positive impact in their communities, country, and the world.”

Allen's Future With League Of Innovators

Founded by Ryan Holmes in 2014, LOI provides accessible programs and tools to uplift youth and youth-led businesses of all backgrounds to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills and encourage them to take control of their future.

According to a press release, graduates from the program have created enterprises valued at $870 million. Equally as impressive, the accelerator has empowered nearly 12,000 entrepreneurs in Canada. As the company looks ahead to leverage its momentum, Allen will play a pivotal role.

“We have made major strides in creating accessible programs that deliver real and long term results for founders and their startups, and most importantly amplify the vast potential of the next generations to create innovation, economic resilience, and impact in our world. The future for League of Innovators and our expanding community of youth is so bright. I couldn’t think of a better leader than Melissa Allen to join this team, and to lead the organization into its next stage of growth and impact,” McCumber said in a press release.