At their first company, co-founders Somen and Shaun struggled to make data-backed hiring decisions. Frustrated with the gut-feel approach, they knew there had to be a better way. At an exciting time for artificial intelligence exploration and development, Ideal was born.
From day one, Ideal has focused on building an AI-obsessed team.
With backgrounds ranging from Industrial Organizational Psychology to Computer Science, the Ideal team has attracted top AI and ML talent from around the world! Tinkerers, problem solvers and AI enthusiasts thrive at Ideal. Ideal uses AI to optimize your talent intelligence and improve quality of hire.
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Somen is a Canadian entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Ideal. With an early fascination of the future of AI, Somen pursued a B.A.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto and a M.B.A from Queen's University. Somen served as Co-Founder and CEO of Field ID until it was acquired by Master Lock LLC in December 2012. Somen’s trophy case includes spots on the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch lists as well as the 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Outside the office, Somen is passionate about the AI tech community and has a knack for discovering great restaurants around the world.
Shaun is the Co-Founder of Ideal, which is his second business after a successful acquisition of the previous start up, Field ID. After winning Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 and recently marking 15 years since starting his first side project, he is finally comfortable answering, "I'm an entrepreneur," to the dreaded, "So what do you do?" at cocktail parties. He is passionate about artificial intelligence and the potential it holds for building products that bring real productivity gains to his customers. When he is not working, he is convincing himself that the XBox One he recently bought was not for him, but for his two children (who, oddly enough, are not old enough to play video games yet).
Matt previously headed up the Anti-Spam team at MessageLabs, where he created the world's first publicly available Bayesian Spam filter, the real-time signature system and overall infrastructure for global spam detection for millions of users worldwide. Since then Matt created the Haraka SMTP server, used by Craigslist and others to provide scalable email services to their users. In his spare time Matt is an avid climber, photographer, cyclist and snowboarder.
Nem is an Ivy League educated startup enthusiast, engineer and innovator. He holds a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto and dual MBAs from Cornell and Queen's University. He has a very wide range of experience including being a CTO, Professor and Nuclear Engineer. Nem is an expert in designing and building intelligent control systems. When he is not collecting university degrees, you can find him at primary school birthday parties and playgrounds with his twins.
Before joining Ideal, Paul attended Carleton University to earn a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. When he wasn't skating to school on the Rideau Canal, he was busy studying image processing and machine learning applications in medicine. His AI development experience has spanned ad tech for user acquisition and growth hacking, video analysis in camera security systems and wound care for healthcare cost reduction. After work, Paul loves exploring new restaurants and neighborhoods with his family, and spending time with his daughter Rowan.
John Dawson leads the sales team at Ideal. Prior to joining Ideal, John successfully launched and ran the North American office of a global HR tech company. He brings extensive experience from his time spent as both an external consultant and internal Talent Acquisition Lead. John is passionate about instilling a work smarter, not harder mentality across the Talent world. John understands the core metrics that a company should be aware of to run a successful talent acquisition practice. John likes helping organizations leverage AI so their recruiters can focus on their most crucial role: building incredible teams.
Lena Umansky holds a MASc in Computer Science from Hebrew University with a focus on Natural Language Processing. She is particularly interested in the insights NLP can provide for traditional linguistics. Her extensive experience in the professional world spans over 20 years. Lena even remembers the day when IE was the world’s most popular browser. Lena’s hobbies include reading, knitting, scuba diving and aikido.
Melissa leads Customer Success at Ideal. She brings with her years of experience in the Toronto tech community, working directly with customers and the teams that support them. She is committed to and passionate about inspiring customers to achieve more through the adoption of innovative technologies. Melissa joins Ideal excited about the impact AI is having on the talent acquisition industry. When she's not at her desk, she's often filming/photographing events, exploring new restaurants, planning her next trip, or playing endless games of catch with her cavapoo, Bacon.
Toyin joins Ideal with a Software Engineering degree from Carleton University. After graduating, he worked at a consulting firm and was able to contribute to numerous front and back-end projects. Toyin is interested in AI, problem solving in various languages, as well as the business world. When he is not working you can find him working out, at church or studying the bible, eating sushi, or hanging out with friends and family.
Diego brings with him years of experience in enterprise software, serving large corporations and setting up sales organizations for success. He joins Ideal with a passion and interest in the fast-evolving environment of startups and the application of emerging technologies to solve enterprise business problems. He is passionate about art and music, spending his free time playing the violin, and exploring Toronto's exhibitions and festivals.
With almost three decades of experience as a founder, software architect, and team lead, Marc is excited to be part of the Ideal team. Marc is versatile and well-rounded: from an early career start developing sales and CRM systems, Marc has enjoyed working across a broad range of environments, from startup to enterprise, from gaming to pharma, and has experience in a variety of roles. Most recently, Marc has specialized in platform architecture, leading API and database engineering projects, and is enthusiastically building his knowledge of machine learning and A.I. When offline, Marc can be found hiking, cycling, and building Lego projects with his twins.
Richard brings his diverse and deep experience to Ideal’s Customer Success team. Prior to joining Ideal, Richard was in a CSM role working closely with HR Leaders on their most pressing priorities. He was also an executive recruiter for a boutique search firm. Richard understands that there is a fine balance between the art and science of recruiting, and knows that Ideal helps to strike that balance. He believes in helping organizations build awesome teams and cultures, and is excited about how Ideal helps contribute to this outcome. When Richard isn’t working, he loves trying new restaurants and cooking with new recipes.
David brings years of experience building products, leading teams, and working with customers at early-stage startups. He enjoys working with various stakeholders to deliver great products that solve real problems and wants to play a part in improving HR using AI. David enjoys developing people and teams as much as developing products and has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 2017, where he also practices Judo. He has probably been thrown thousands of times before getting his black belt.
Mark joins Ideal after graduating from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce. Prior to Ideal, Mark held internships in the finance industry, but has since transitioned to explore a new opportunity in the HR tech space. Outside of the office, he is an avid sports fan and can be seen cheering on the Leafs at home games or routinely wasting his entire Sunday watching football. Overall, Mark can’t wait to see how AI will alter the talent acquisition landscape.
Erica joins Ideal after working at Scotiabank for 3 years and Klick Health for 5 years. She was the first person with autism to graduate from Fleming College with a Computer Programmer degree. Erica has volunteered her time to many initiatives, and was able to design and implement a volunteer registration and tracking system for Free Geek Toronto. In her spare time, she enjoys games like Dungeons and Dragons, and volunteering at various events.
Monika is an experienced Client Success Manager, with over 7 years working in the Toronto technology community. With a passion for client success, Monika has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 Enterprise clients and is committed to ensuring her customers are driving the most amount of success and value within any partnership she manages. Monika graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies. When she’s not in the office, Monika enjoys travelling and exploring new countries/cities, fitness and searching for new restaurants in the city.
Riccardo has a PhD is experimental high-energy physics from University of Bologna, Italy. Before joining Ideal, he had been smashing protons for more than 10 years for the ATLAS experiment at the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN), where in 2012 he participated in the historic discovery of a fundamental particle called the Higgs boson. He has been developing applications to solve problems in science using cutting-edge methods such as machine learning and Bayesian statistics. At Ideal, he has found a place where to bring together his interests in artificial intelligence and human language. When not working, Riccardo enjoys writing articles about science and technology on his blog, hiking and traveling with his family, cooking (not just pasta) and playing guitar.
Irla fell in love with technology at the age of 13 when her father brought home a 486 laptop - that’s when she realized she wanted to work with tech as a grownup. Today, she has accumulated over 8 years of experience building sophisticated applications in the financial technology sector. Irla is a lifelong learner who loves to stay updated on the latest trends. Most recently, she developed a react app for a tarot website, did a Mobile Web Specialist Certification, and also welcomed a second daughter to her family. In her spare time, she loves to go to parks with her husband and two daughters.
Aleks is a graduate of the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo, and brings half a decade of experience driving customer success. From researching nanoparticles in Boston to working on mobile chips in Silicon Valley, he's always been keen on shaping the newest developments in tech. Aleks is excited to help grow the voice of Ideal's customers while at the same time enabling his team to tackle their most challenging problems and discover new opportunities. When he's out and about, Aleks likes to go on big hikes, long runs, and continue his search for the world's best pizza.
Dave is currently the acting leader of the Customer Success function at Ideal. He has a proven track record of developing structure and processes that deliver an exceptional customer experience. He leads teams with integrity, empathy, and transparency. Dave joins Ideal excited to help job seekers experience their career-defining moment by enabling companies to find and retain the best talent for their business needs. When not at the office, Dave is exploring Toronto by bike, discovering new wine regions and DJ’ing at events around the city.
Harleen is currently the Product Delivery Specialist at Ideal. She graduated with a Masters in Computer Engineering degree from Queen’s University. She has experience working as a software consultant for SaaS companies in the casino industry. In her spare time, Harleen likes to volunteer for charity organizations. Dancing is her stress-buster, be it hip-hop or Indian classical dance. One of the things she loves about Toronto is food, so exploring restaurants and cuisines is her favourite activity.
Eduardo is a programmer committed to managing complexity in software development. He has experience with a few programming languages, paradigms, architectures, frameworks, web servers, databases, build tools, configuration management tools, continuous integration servers, operating systems, browsers, and more. Some of Ed's spare time activities include fishing, reading, watching TV, and playing board or card games.
Although new to AI, Clarke is very familiar with innovative technologies. After half a decade working in Ridesharing & Transit Optimization, Clarke was ready to fill in the next square of his Breakthrough Tech Job bingo card, joining Ideal as the Quality Assurance Lead. He has a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, once came third place at Simpsons Trivia, and is secretly a pile of board games in a trenchcoat pretending to be a person.
Karina holds a Master's degree in Information Systems & Design from the University of Toronto. She is passionate about using technology to build better tools that delight users and help them work smarter. Prior to joining Ideal, Karina worked in technology implementation, project management, and consulting roles within the human capital management and non-profit industries. Karina’s hobbies including hiking, traveling, dancing, and oil painting.
Prior to joining ideal, Sara worked as a data science consultant. She has great interests and experiences in using artificial intelligence for a variety of applications in different industries. She is very keen to develop strategic plans and to see the future of the talent acquisition process using AI. Sara got her Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and using the neural network and fuzzy logic to control the speed of electrical machines was an amazing start in her AI journey. When she is not coding, she enjoys reading psychology books, exploring restaurants, and walking in the woods.
Carley is a certified sales professional, with over a decade of customer-facing experience in both HR Tech and Financial Services. Throughout her unique journey, Carley has been an advocate for women in STEM and sales. Prior to joining Ideal, Carley worked for a global leader in background screening and identity, and supported Fortune 500 Talent Acquisition teams. She has extensive experience working with People & Culture leaders across various sectors and is passionate about helping organizations win the war for talent! Carley has a B.A. Honors degree in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and continues with self-study courses from HR to Cyber Security. When Carley isn’t in the office, you can find her adventuring outdoors with her spouse and dog, or indulging in a good docuseries.
Katrina joins Ideal with past experience creating content for SaaS companies in the travel space and with the enthusiasm to write every day for the rest of her life. With experience in SEO, web design, and digital marketing, she is always looking for new ways to share content online. Katrina has a B.A. Honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Western University. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading novels, testing her baking skills, and watching the latest show on HBO.
Matt holds a Master’s degree in Quantitative Modelling and Machine Learning from Trent University where he focused on computer vision and deep learning algorithms. Prior to joining Ideal, he worked at a data platform startup building NLP models and services to annotate meta-metadata. In his spare time, Matt likes to cycle, rock climb, and practice yoga.
Sam holds an iBBA degree with a specialization in finance from the Schulich School of Business. Sam is a self-proclaimed introvert, however, she loves working with people and bringing about meaningful change that makes people's lives better. This is what drew Sam to the world of product management. Sam has worked in the start-up space for the entirety of her career in various roles, and she has loved every minute of it! Prior to joining Ideal, Sam worked as a product manager in the retail analytics space. Outside of work, Sam enjoys playing the guitar, writing songs, listening to podcasts, and the outdoors.
Finnegan is always the fastest dog at the park, despite the fact that he is fairly small. At the office he likes to monitor his direct reports (specifically Bacon) from on top of his desk. This becomes so exhausting he often has to take long naps and breaks from his work. Outside of work, he likes to wrestle with his cat brother Sandy, and play with his human sister Rowan, both of whom love to chase him around.
Bacon brings a strong background in agility training, ball-fetching and cuddling. He enjoys lunch-time walks, afternoon naps, and participating in company stand-ups. His responsibilities include greeting guests, making people smile, and keeping the office environment calm and fun. In his spare time, he enjoys sleeping, visiting the dog park, and testing out all of Toronto's most luxurious sausages.
Michael Hyatt is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of BlueCat Networks and a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40™ Award. BlueCat is a four-time winner of “Deloitte’s Fast 50” and has received Gartner’s highest “Strong Positive” rating. Michael also co-founded Dyadem, a highly successful software company that was acquired by IHS (NYSE: IHS). Michael is a weekly business commentator on CBC Newsworld and has been featured on the cover of Canadian Business Magazine. He is also a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and an active participant and lender for a number of special charities.
Become a part of the AI for Recruiting Revolution. We’re a mixed bag of academics, developers and problem solvers. If you’ve got a strong work ethic and a head full of ideas, we’d like to hear from you!