Lekan Olawoye

Toronto, Ontario

Lekan Olawoye is an entrepreneur and tech company executive based in Toronto, Ontario. He is primarily known as the founder and CEO of the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), the largest community for Black tech industry businesspeople in North America. Olawoye has also created and launched other ventures, including Talent X, a staffing solutions company, and OBSIDI by BPTN, an all-in-one digital networking platform designed to build on the progress already achieved by BPTN and connect Black tech professionals with new opportunities. Widely viewed as a top thought leader in his field, Lekan Olawoye can claim extensive experience in growth strategy, talent development, and policy and government relations.

Early life

As a young man, Lekan Olawoye attended Ryerson University between 2003 and 2007, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work. He immediately put his degree to use by going to work for Toronto Community Housing as a Youth Economic Opportunities Consultant in 2007. That same year, he would take on the role of Youth Engagement Coordinator with Tropicana Community Services. 

Between 2008 and 2015, he served as the Executive Director of Toronto’s For Youth Initiative, wherein he led the development and oversaw the implementation of that organization’s three-year strategic plan. The nature of this role allowed him to actively pursue other opportunities at the same time. Taking advantage of this freedom, in 2011, Olawoye decided to augment his education. He enrolled in the University of Toronto, earning a master’s degree in social work with a specialization in nonprofit management in 2012.


After concluding his post-secondary studies, Lekan Olawoye accepted the position of Chair of the Ontario government’s newly created Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities in 2013. Here, his role entailed engaging with youth, young professionals, and community leaders, ensuring that young people of all backgrounds throughout Ontario had access to the tools and resources they needed for success.

Beginning in 2015, he went to work for MaRS Discovery District, an IT services and consulting firm specializing in urban innovation, where he held multiple positions, including Program Director and Lead Executive for Talent Development.

In 2018, Lekan Olawoye founded the Black Professionals in Tech Network, which would quickly grow to become the largest support community of its kind in North America. The organization provides its members access to mentorship, skill-building opportunities, and a strong peer network to encourage professional advancement. BPTN currently counts more than 70,000 members among its ranks, and it has recently partnered with TD Bank to create a training program specifically designed to help young Black professionals break into Canada’s tech industry.

Barely a year after launching BPTN, Lekan Olawoye also created Talent X, a staffing solutions company spun off from MaRS Discovery District and then rebranded. He served as CEO of that firm from its relaunch in 2019 until 2020.

Olawoye’s most recent success has been his supervision of the development and debut of OBSIDI by BPTN, a digital platform inspired by the Black Professionals in Tech Network’s central mission of connecting Black tech industry professionals with new and better opportunities for career growth. During a 2023 interview with BuzzFeed, Lekan Olawoye took the opportunity to explain what motivated the creation of OBSIDI in the first place:

“There’s no skill gap limiting Black professionals but rather a networking gap. A victory for us would be increasing the amount of Black talent getting hired, which means the representation numbers within their talent base get driven up. Those metrics enable businesses to perform better. The ultimate goal is to create a diverse workforce for companies to thrive and do very well.”

Lekan Olawoye’s work has been profiled in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, as well as the startup and tech news periodical TechCrunch

Over the course of his career, he has won several awards, including the ‘Innovation and Creativity Award’ presented by United Way Toronto in 2011, the ‘Vital People Award’ presented by the Toronto Community Foundation in 2012, and the ‘Alumni Achievement Award’ presented by Ryerson University (now called Toronto Metropolitan University) in 2014. Lekan Olawoye was also honoured as one of Canada’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ presented by the Top 40 Advisory Board in 2021.

Since 2021, Olawoye has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the civil rights and social action group Black Opportunity Fund. He has been a member of Humber College’s Board of Directors since 2022.

Net Worth



Winning United Way Toronto’s ‘Innovation and Creativity Award’ in 2011.
Winning the Toronto Community Foundation’s ‘Vital People Award’ in 2012.
Receiving the ‘Alumni Achievement Award’ as presented by Ryerson University in 2014.
Founding the Black Professionals in Tech Network in 2018.
Founding Talent X in 2019.
Being named one of Canada’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ by the Top 40 advisory Board in 2021.
Creating and launching OBSIDI by BPTN in 2022.