About Us

The Ideal Story

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.
Sound interesting? Request a custom demo.

Our Team

Somen Mondal, MBA

CEO & Co-founder

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 Ricci

COO & Co-founder

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 Sergeant


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 Stefanovic, MBA, PhD

VP of Product

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.

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing

Kayla joined the Ideal team with an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a compelling interest in artificial intelligence and the future of work. Today she covers the startup world including the latest in AI for recruiting, growth marketing, predictive analytics and intelligent hiring. Her work has been featured on HubSpot, TechVibes, HR.com, Verge Magazine and more. Outside of Ideal’s doors she is a big fan of dinner parties and spontaneous road trips. She has also been known to moonlight as an aspiring stand-up comic.

John Dawson

Director of Sales

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.

Melissa Machnik

Director of Customer Success

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.

Dwayne Lutchman

Enterprise Account Executive

Dwayne is the first Account Executive to join Ideal. Bringing over 4 years of previous sales experience to the table, along with a degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, he is a solution seller, relationship builder and problem solver. He is a constant learner and developed a real passion for AI and ML over the last few years. He is always looking to learn more about the industry, attending conferences, meetups and other networking events with local experts. Outside of work, Dwayne is interested in traveling, trying new Caribbean restaurants and staying on top of fashion trends.

Lena Umansky, MASc

Software Engineer

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.

Avi Pekker

Software Engineer

Avi joins the team with a BSc in Statistics, Mathematics and Cognitive Science from the University of Toronto. He’s a big fan of robotics, the maker scene, and cool AI acronyms like NLP and ML. When he’s not coding, you’ll probably find him boxing, a hobby he’s been at for over 10 years. Avi brings a robust software engineering skill set to the Ideal team as well as in-depth Star Trek knowledge.

Paul Inder, MASc

Software Engineer

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 likes to play Dungeons & Dragons with his friends and take care of his needy papillon named Finnegan.

Misha Milic

Software Engineer

Misha joined Ideal after graduating from Ryerson University where he studied Computer Science and was a varsity athlete on the Men’s Soccer team. While still in school, Misha worked with a team of researchers looking at big data, cloud security, machine learning and AI—building a few robots and working on personal projects along the way. He is interested in how AI will shape the future of work and helping ensure that the advancement of the field is done in a safe and ethical manner. Misha loves the outdoors, travelling and still kicks the soccer ball around from time to time.

Elijah Joseph-Young

Software Engineer

Eli graduated from Western University with a Bachelors of Engineering Science in Software Engineering and a specialization in Health Informatics. He is excited about AI and the enormous potential it has to increase human efficiency, enabling people to focus on adding new value where it matters most. Having worked for one of Canada's largest banks before Ideal, Eli brings a wealth of industry expertise. When he isn't working he enjoys powerlifting and football.

Zac Schwartz

Enterprise Account Executive

After 6 years of working in the recruitment and IT staffing space, Zac joins Ideal with a passion for making hiring easier for recruiters and job seekers alike. With experience ranging from the private sector to the federal government, Zac’s expertise and interest in AI make him a natural fit at Ideal. Zac works with customers to arm them with the tools they need to improve quality of hire at their company. Zac loves sushi and is (currently) the only person in the office to ever run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Sean Paulseth

Business Development Representative

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 Porter

Business Development Representative

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.

Olivia Folick

Digital Marketing Manager

Olivia is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University with a deep passion for marketing, fashion, sports, and analytics. Recently moving from Vancouver to Toronto, Olivia has left the tree-hugging west-coast culture to explore new career opportunities within AI and technology. Outside of work, Olivia enjoys travelling, Saturday morning SoulCycle, and searching for Toronto’s best tacos.

Landy Simpson

Software Engineer

Landy joined Ideal after graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in Computer Science. She is excited to learn more about machine learning, image processing, and artificial intelligence. During her time at U of T, she contributed to the TA Assignment and Matching Application for the Department of Computer Science. When Landy is not working, she enjoys reading manga, watching anime, exploring Toronto's best food spots, and cooking.


Michael Hyatt

Executive Chairman, Co-Founder, BlueCat Networks

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.

Deborah Landers

Consultant and Advisor in Emerging Technologies

Deborah Landers is an independent consultant and advisor in emerging technologies, digital transformation, M&A, technology ecosystem development and scaling companies for global success. Prior to this work, Ms. Landers was a senior executive in the IBM Corporation achieving Vice President and General Manager positions, as well as being on the CEO’s Growth and Transformation Team (top ~300 executives). Deborah has run large global P&Ls and teams and was the Integration Executive for two of IBM’s largest acquisitions (Netezza $1.7B in 2010 and Kenexa $1.3B in 2012). A believer in developing the next generation, Deborah has extensive mentoring experience and has participated in a number of Women in Technology and STEM education related initiatives (including being an early executive sponsor for the Six Nations STEAM Academy).

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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!