Entrepreneur's grad school experience enhanced by tech management opportunities and connections
After earning an undergraduate degree in computer engineering, Ifeanyi Eze-Onuorah was motivated to merge his interests in technology and business in order to break into the technology management sector.
Inspired by the legacy of entrepreneurship in his family, he set his sights on the University of Toronto Mississauga master of management of innovation (MMI) program.
“I always had an interest in entrepreneurship while growing up in Nigeria because I saw my parents build businesses, and that became something I aspired to do,” says Eze-Onuorah.
“The difference here is that I wanted my career to be technology-based.”
Eze-Onuorah says that several aspects of the MMI program contributed to his career growth, such as the mandatory MMI summer internship, which helped him ease into the job market and really focus on the appropriate role to suit his particular skills, interests and expertise.
Through the MMI internship program, Eze-Onuorah landed an internship at CIBC, which later became a full-time position and propelled him to higher positions in companies such as Goldman Sachs.
“I wasn’t just looking for any role,” says Eze-Onuorah.
“I was strategic about my search by looking for roles in the industry of my choice and [roles] with a high tendency of landing a full-time offer after the internship.”
He was given a spot on the University of Toronto’s Black Founders Network Accelerate, an accelerator for startups led by Black founders.
In 2021, he co-founded TitanXchange, a remittance company that enables people to send funds abroad.
“The inspiration behind this product is from a personal challenge that I experienced early on after moving to Canada in 2018,” says Eze-Onuorah.
“I experienced difficulty with moving funds from Nigeria to Canada, and my co-founder was able to help me solve it. We decided to create a platform to help others experiencing similar challenges.”
The Black Founders Network has been a critical source of support.
“Through BFN, we got access to valuable resources, including tickets to tech conferences such as Collision, Elevate and Startup Fest, introduction to investors and venture capitalists, opportunities to pitch, grants for product development, and several perks that help lessen the financial and operational pressures of founders,” says Eze-Onuorah.
Eze-Onuorah values being an entrepreneur and the incredible experience that has come along as a result.
“The most rewarding part is seeing the product ideas come to life and being able to use features to solve everyday challenges,” he says.
Eze-Onuorah, who plans to continue down this career path in the financial and technology industries, emphasizes that networking and relationship-building is crucial in this field. He encourages current students to take full advantage of the resources at UTM.
“With your colleagues, professors, UTM administrative staff and business professionals — I would make it a goal to connect with someone new every week,” says Eze-Onuorah.
He further recommends getting involved in volunteer activities in ways that relate to their interests that will “build experience and make an impact.”
This interview was first published as part of Black at UTM, an initiative that emerged from U of T’s Anti-Black Racism Task Force with a goal of showcasing Black excellence at UTM and making campus a welcoming environment where Black students, staff, faculty and librarians feel included, inspired, safe and celebrated.