Alanna Souza

Alanna Souza

As a first-generation Canadian, I was driven to push a little harder. I grew up in a small city, the kind where everyone knows each other. My parents left their life behind to build a better one for our family. I’ve always been determined to make it worth their while.

The pressure I placed on myself to achieve led me to pursue a degree in business. I didn’t know what investment banking was, but for me, it symbolized the progress I chased. I learned a lot working in banking, but I was in search of something else.

During university I studied fashion and retail in Italy. That experience stuck with me, and I remained interested in the world of tech and e-commerce. I packed up my belongings from my desk at Scotiabank, and headed for a new adventure in New York City.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after grad school, but when I was offered a position in consulting that would allow me to work for various e-commerce companies across North America, I jumped at the opportunity. I love problem-solving, but I also enjoy getting my hands dirty. Fortunately, this path led me to a new role working with my first founder at a hyper-growth luxury fashion e-commerce company in Montreal. I loved every minute of it. Being involved in strategy and operations as the company grew to over 1,000 employees was an incredible experience. I learned firsthand from an entrepreneur who built something from nothing. And I was absolutely getting my hands dirty. I did everything from designing our company KPIs to producing a fashion show.

My entrepreneurial journey continued when I moved to London to work for a series B startup. Again, I found myself wearing multiple hats. I built our client onboarding journey and led a 20+ person sales and account management team. It was a blast.

Founders are so inspirational to me. I find their energy and determination contagious.

My future will always have uncertainties, but one thing I know for sure is that I always want to be involved in the startup ecosystem. When the opportunity came up to support entrepreneurs back in Toronto and work with Drive Capital, I knew I had to take it.