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Five tech-entrepreneur couples brought together by their mutual fondness for engineering, elevator pitches and all-night brainstorming sessions

(Brooks Reynolds)

Shawn Konopinsky
Co-founder, Nascent (2010, Toronto)
Computer scientist

The digital product design consultancy has worked for Tumblr (it designed the microblogging platform’s Windows Phone app) and Xbox.

Heather Payne
Founder, Ladies Learning Code (2011, Toronto)
Business admin grad

This Canada-wide non-profit is dedicated to teaching women digital literacy skills. Payne launched HackerYou, a programming boot camp, in 2012.

Theoretical start-up love child: A boot camp to help women in tech design a better future where they are paid the same as their male counterparts

Stephen Lake
CEO, Thalmic Labs (2012, Kitchener, Ont.)
Mechatronic engineer

Thalmic created the Myo gesture control armband.

Lauren Lake
Co-founder, Bridgit (2012, Kitchener, Ont.)
Civil engineer

Bridgit’s Closeout app helps commercial and residential builders keep projects on track.

Theoretical start-up love child: A Myo armband that allows you to finish your own home reno when your contractor inevitably asks for a six-month extension


Eva Lau
Managing partner, Two Small Fish Ventures (2013, Toronto)
Industrial engineer/MBA

The angel investor focuses on early-stage Internet companies in Waterloo and Toronto.

Allen Lau
Co-founder and CEO, Wattpad (2006, Toronto)
Electrical engineer

Wattpad lets writers share self-published stories with readers, and now has 45 million users.

Theoretical start-up love child: A Wattpad-like site for heartbreaking stories of funding rejection, written by early-stage Internet companies

Hamid Arabzadeh
CEO, Ranovus (2012, Ottawa)
Electrical and computer engineer/MBA

Ranovus, a Spoke portfolio company, developed new ways to integrate quantum dot multi-wavelength lasers into high-speed fibre-optic networks.

Lynne McEachern
Co-founder and chief marketing officer, Spoke Technologies (2010, Toronto)

She and Hamid Arabzadeh launched the incubator together, investing in mobile, cloud and security start-ups. McEachern launched Impressed Interactive in 2013. The app prints users’ photos in books, or as prints, decals or on canvas.

Theoretical start-up love child: A service powered by quantum technology that lets you print photos of yourself in several places at once

(via Facebook)

Andrew D’Souza
CEO, Clearbanc (2015, Toronto)
Systems design engineer

A micro cash-advance app that’s banking on the growth of the gig economy (they’ve partnered with Uber).

Michele Romanow
Serial entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star
Civil engineer

Two of her most prominent companies are Buytopia, a deals site, and SnapSaves, a mobile couponing app bought by Groupon in 2014.

Theoretical start-up love child: Mobile coupons for underpaid workers in the gig economy.