Joel Hansen, 26
Head of marketing, LOI Venture
Life Story: Joel Hansen believes in the power of stories to drive ideas.
After completing his BBA at Trinity Western University, he started working at a private equity firm. To flex his storytelling skills, he did marketing consulting on the side. “I fell in love with social media, events and storytelling as a way to empower young people,” says Hansen.
He built up some clientele and eventually got connected with the co-founders of LOI Venture: Ryan Holmes, the founder of Hootsuite; and Manny Padda, founder and managing director of New Avenue Capital. Launched in 2017, LOI (which stands for League of Innovators) is an early-stage venture fund that backs the brightest tech founders under 30. It helps young entrepreneurs through exposure, mentorship pairing and access to funding—much-needed support that Hansen thinks is lacking in our society. “Regardless of age, the entrepreneurial journey is a lonely path, and I think it almost doubles in loneliness when you’re young,” he says.
Hansen is inspired by LOI’s ethos of changing the way venture capital works; in a world where capital is traditionally given to older, experienced folks, LOI is on a mission to give people better access, mentorship and capital so they can scale their idea earlier in life—eliminating barriers for young entrepreneurs to have an impact in the world. Hansen has played a key role in supporting the company’s portfolio founders, fundraising investor dollars, building rapport with the community and streamlining processes for events and demo days.
Bottom Line: Since joining LOI Venture, Hansen executed an 800-person online demo day that brought in $5 million of investor interest in 24 hours; he helped fundraise $2 million in investor dollars for the company’s $20-million venture fund, and he continues to develop and manage the company’s social media campaigns, which reach over 2 million followers across multiple platforms. In three years, Hansen wants to scale LOI to 10,000 founders, and to 100,000 in five years.