“It’s Not a Pipeline Issue”: An Honest Look at Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Startup World

Ling Ly Tan and Aaron Walker

A 2019 report from the Brookfield Institute found that women and people who identify as visible minorities were more likely to be underpaid and underrepresented in the Canadian tech industry. It’s no wonder women and startup founders of colour report lower funding and support when it comes to getting their companies off the ground.

In this episode of CABHI’s Community of Innovation podcast, Drs. Allison Sekuler and Rosanne Aleong lead a candid discussion about the barriers facing women and people of colour when launching, funding, and building a successful startup. Joining them for this discussion is Linggo CEO and CABHI-supported entrepreneur, Ling Ly Tan, and Aaron Walker, Founder & CEO, Camelback Ventures.

As the founder of an organization on a mission to support entrepreneurs from marginalized communities, Aaron Walker kicks things off by speaking to his company’s motto: Genius is equally distributed, opportunity is not.  Together, our guests explain how systems of inequality and unconscious bias create barriers for women and people of colour – debunking the myth that there’s a lack of promising, diverse entrepreneurs in the funding pipeline.

Building on her personal experiences, Ling Ly Tan shares her journey from clinician to CEO of Linggo (a language and learning tool that supports daily communication for people with limited to no speech) and the gendered racism she’s encountered as someone from the Asian community.

While expressing the need for better equity and diversity practices in the startup world, our guests share their optimism for the future of entrepreneurship and the ways we can forge a new and inclusive path forward.

Listen to the episode:


Learn more about our guests:

Ling Ly Tan

Ling Ly Tan is the CEO & Founder of Linggo, a language and learning tool that supports daily communication for people with limited to no speech. Ling is also a Board-certified Behaviour Analyst and an Ontario Autism Program Clinical Supervisor with 17 years of direct clinical experience implementing language and behavioural interventions. She has served as Co-Chair of Seneca College’s Program Advisory Committee for Behavioural Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, a subject matter expert on program and curriculum development, alongside teaching courses in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) for 5 years. Learn more about Linggo.

Aaron Walker

Aaron Walker is the Founder & CEO of Camelback Ventures, where he works to identify, develop, and promote early-stage, untapped entrepreneurs with an aim to improve education and eventually close the generational wealth gap. Aaron is on a journey to live in the spirit of his baseball hero, Jackie Robinson, who said “a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” With this ethos, Aaron taught ninth grade English in West Philadelphia, put together deals for companies large and small as a lawyer, and supported new ideas to improve education as a portfolio director for the NYC Fund for Public Schools. Aaron is humbled to say that he graduated from the University of Virginia and Penn Law School. He also knows that this doesn’t entitle him to anything and is ready to earn his keep. Learn more about Camelback Ventures.





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