The University of Calgary is investing in “the antidote to old school, ineffective training.”
UCalgary’s early-stage investments arm, UCeed, recently announced a strategic partnership with Monark, a digital-based learning platform whose “modern approach combines evidence-based content, an on-demand platform, and engaging activities and reminders to drive real, lasting behaviour change.”
Monark, founded by Kelsey Hahn and Dr. Amanda Julian, has developed a self-led, personalized online leadership development system.
“Real growth is about consistent and regular work—just like going to the gym,” the company says. By blending “live cohort-based learning and a robust digital platform with personalized micro-learning, nudges and automated feedback, we deliver development that not only informs, but transforms.”
Funding from UCeed will help scale Monark’s solution. The University organization funds, trains, mentors, and supports startup companies during the critical transition stage between innovation demonstration and commercialization.
The founders feels ready to make a different in the world.
“There’s companies that assess leadership, there’s one’s that deliver content, and there’s even ones that nudge—But very few put it all together, which flies in face of how leadership science actually works,” the Calgary-based Monark says. Their all-in-one platform “focuses on the hard work of development, designed to get leaders practicing as much as the best athletes in the world.”
The AI-powered platform is designed to “get leaders practicing in the flow of work and adjusts throughout a leader’s journey based on real data, experiences, and feedback.”
With Monark, “Training isn’t limited; leaders take growth into their own hands, with choice over what, when, and how they learn,” the startup says. “With learning deployed at scale, impact is amplified and HR wins.”
The startup says its proprietary platform and “micro-content is accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device, so you can build leadership skills while you’re on the job, rather than taking you away from it.”
Through 360 assessment, peer feedback, and observable behaviours, Monark claims to be the “first platform to develop leaders using real insights.”
“We aim to get leaders the best data about themselves as possible,” the Alberta firm states. “Smart integrations, behavioural nudges, personalization, and cohort-based learning all help along the way to ensure the learning sticks.”
UCeed’s investment in Monark makes sense, given the startup’s notable ties to the University. Among the dozen-strong team, a total of seven are either alumni or students of UCalgary.
The startup plans to continue tapping into Calgary’s talent pipeline, including the university.
UCalgary is of course renowned in Canada for its entrepreneurial spirit, boasting a rich legacy of churning out startups.
This reflects the broader region of Calgary as a startup hub, which ranks among Canada’s top five.