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.
Sean joined Ideal after graduating from both Guelph University and George Brown College. Prior to Ideal, Sean had the pleasure of being immersed in the HR technology space as he managed an international media company, specializing in HR tech. He is excited to be part of the industry disruption that is artificial intelligence. He enjoys travelling to new cities, playing sports and plans on retiring to the Cayman Islands in a couple years.
Chris joins the Ideal team with over three years of experience in the recruitment industry, working directly with Toronto's top agencies. A student-athlete, Chris graduated from Queen's University with a degree in Economics while being the starting goalie for the Varsity Lacrosse team. Chris has a passion for helping employers become more efficient and productive. Chris is excited to see how AI will disrupt and advance the HR tech industry.
Claude brings years of experience as a consultant working on and working with large global enterprises, helping them develop stronger IT processes, answer complex external security assessments and managing large Saas offerings. He brings a vast amount of experience in many different IT business operations including leading engineering, architecture, technical sales and process teams. He attained a Computer Engineering degree many many years ago. In his spare time he enjoy's spending time with his family, coaching minor sports, relaxing at the lake and volunteering in many local community groups.
Justin graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, with a minor in Statistics. Prior to joining Ideal, Justin was Data Scientist at a digital media company, focusing on the research and development of intelligent video recommendations. During his time at school, he was a machine learning research assistant at various labs working on projects in computational linguistics, text mining, and natural language processing. Justin is passionate about applied research in machine learning and statistics, and is focused on bridging the gap between academia and industry. In his free time, Justin enjoys reading, watching TV, and cooking.
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.
Kanchan completed her education at George Brown College in Information Systems Business Analysis, and holds a Bachelor's in Information Technology. She has worked on several diversified profiles, but enjoys working on Linux environments the most. Kanchan is interested in AI and Machine Learning, and she cannot wait to see how they evolve in the future as well as what will be the next technology to pick-up globally. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and go on small trips with friends.
Diego's background includes a Bachelors Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, alongside a Master's in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology from the University of Waterloo. He has navigated the waves of enterprise software for the past eight years, serving in business development and sales roles at McAfee and Oracle. He joins Ideal with a passion and interest for the fast evolving environment of startups and the application of emerging technologies to solve enterprise 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.
Jason is a strategic and creative thinker who has accumulated 10 years experience in the human capital field; starting as top recruiter in his class, progressing into recruiter management, then sales and most recently as the Director of Partnerships & Strategic Alliances for one of the fastest growing global companies in the HR Tech Space. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge across talent acquisition, retention, employee engagement, performance and workplace culture. The greatest moments of Jason’s life have been the birth of his two daughters. He considers himself a “Rad Dad” and extracts incredible joy from every challenge and moment of laughter parenthood throws his way. If you would like to have a stimulating conversation about raising children, behavioral science or building championship teams, give Jason a call.
Jade completed his education at Conestoga College with an advanced diploma in Financial Planning. Prior to joining Ideal, Jade enjoyed success at a global security software company, as the field rep for the west coast of the US. Within a year and a half of working at the global security software company, Jade won the rep of the year award and was promoted twice from a junior to an enterprise sales rep. Jade brings extensive experience working in a dynamic partner ecosystem as well as engaging with Fortune 500 companies. Jade likes to think of himself as a business consultant, helping businesses solve their challenges through unique services and his knowledge of technology.
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.
Mary graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering. For her thesis project, she used machine learning and natural language processing to develop a context aware virtual speller that can be controlled via the brain to help individuals with communication difficulties. She was also a TA for machine learning courses and natural language computing multiple semesters and for various departments. Mary is passionate about applying machine learning to real-world problems and contributing to making a difference. In her free time, Mary enjoys reading, cooking, trying out Toronto’s various cuisines and taking Salsa lessons.
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.
Kranthi graduated from Centennial College in the Software Engineering program, and also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Osmania University. As a Technical Analyst, she has over 7 years of experience in supporting a varied range of applications. Her expertise is in providing maintenance and support, resolving and providing solutions effectively to users, and escalating unplanned outages through incident reports and documenting the final resolution. She is excellent at analytical thinking, focus-driven and adaptable. Listening to music, traveling to new places and spending time with family are her favorite past times.
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.
Nancy's 30+ year career responsibilities have ranged from enterprise software sales leadership, global marketing and communication, training and development, alliances and management of large transformation projects. Nancy has been an entrepreneur and worked for large organizations such as SAP and IBM throughout her career. She credits her roots to a fine balancing act between technology and human resources. She focused on that foundation as she handled numerous roles from Vice President of Sales, Alliances to Global Sales Operations. She is an AI pioneer, life-long learner, and a strong believer in people coaching and mentorship. Her passions draw her to mentoring young female leaders and entrepreneurs, and supporting community based charities. When she is not working, you might find her with a martini in hand, spending time with friends over a wonderful meal.
Silvia is a marketing leader with several years of experience at fast-growing SaaS companies. She is passionate about technology, anything statistics related, and finding creative ways to scale marketing channels. Silvia joins Ideal eager to grow the marketing function and lead the team to new heights. Outside of work, she loves to find new ways to stay active, whether it be a HIIT or boxing class, training for a race, or hiking a mountain.
Andy graduated from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University with a bachelor of commerce. Before joining Ideal he honed his sales skills at Infonex and Foodora. Andy always wanted to be in the SaaS space, today he enjoys helping businesses solve their problems with a consultative approach. Outside of work Andy is an avid soccer fan and loves to spend his weekends watching or playing the beautiful game.
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.
Maria's background is in the performing arts - she started dancing professionally at the age of 6. After ending her dancing career she moved to Paris and worked in the fashion industry. In due time she returned to Canada, where she challenged herself to a new career in the world of recruitment and sales. Maria is a driven, energetic, and passionate sales professional who really enjoys interacting with people. When she's not busy selling, she loves spending time with her son, taking ballet classes, working out, going to live sports, and enjoying the Toronto beaches in the summertime.
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!