League of Innovators appoints Melissa Allen as its new executive director
Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber, who led the organization for six years, is moving on, but will sit on the board of directors.
After navigating a year unlike any other, Canada’s most active youth entrepreneurship accelerator is getting a new leader.
League of Innovators executive director Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber is stepping down from her role, and the organization has tapped Melissa Allen to take over. Buczkowska-McCumber, who was with the organization for six years, will move on to tackle new ventures and transition to a board member role.
“LOI wouldn’t be where it is today without Joanna’s incredible contributions,” commented Ryan Holmes, who founded the organization in 2014. “In that same breath, we’re excited to share that as she embarks on her new journey, she’ll remain connected with LOI as a board member.”
Meet Melissa Allen
Allen’s experience spans from Foreign Affairs Canada in Paris, France, Torstar Digital and Google, before pivoting to a career in wealth management at Desjardins. She’s also spent time as an angel investor and held roles at Alo Solutions and most recently at Bay Mills Investment Group, before deciding to join LOI.
“Melissa brings a perfect mix of education, experience and prior founder know-how that I know will go very far with our founders,” explained Hootsuite’s Holmes. “As a former angel investor and operator, she knows exactly what the market is looking for to take a startup from concept to execution.”
Toronto-based Allen will be making trips to Vancouver regularly, according to an LOI spokesperson. “Her [Toronto] background gives her a great grasp on the Canadian startup landscape coast to coast,” they added.
Not your average accelerator
League of Innovators (LOI) is a national Canadian charity with the goal of building entrepreneurial acumen for youth, at scale. LOI is a suite of programs and tools to provide youth educational experiences that shorten their path to success, empower their ability to be their own boss and amplify their impact as future innovators and entrepreneurs.
LOI has helped nearly 12,000 entrepreneurs since 2014, and graduates have built more than $870 million enterprise value since then.
“The future for League of Innovators and our expanding community of youth is so bright,” said outgoing ED Buczkowska-McCumber. “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.”