Emilie Cushman – A Charismatic Woman Entrepreneur to Follow

Emilie Cushman - A Charismatic Woman Entrepreneur to Follow

Emilie Cushman, CEO and the co-founder of Kira Talent based in Toronto, Ontario. Her startup company, Kira Talent is one of Canada’s fastest-growing higher education technology companies, using machine learning to help admissions boards efficiently, effectively and fairly identify candidates who will succeed in their programs. Since launching in 2012, Kira Talent has raised $8 million through the Next 36 program, from Relay Ventures, Toronto’s BDC IT Ventures, and many high-profile angel investors such as Roger Martin and Gary Slate.

A Few Lines about the CEO of Kira Talent

Prior to founding Kira Talent, Cushman received her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Windsor in 2012, and also completed the Next 36 Entrepreneurial Institute that same year. She was named HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow in 2012, and also profiled in the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada in the year 2012.

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Emilie Cushman loves to stay motivated and innovative. In spite of the various business challenges that came in her way and whenever situations forced her to give up, she never gave up, and always returned to the people – the students to be more specific.

Emilie Cushman is a bright woman full of energy, and most importantly, demonstrates a keen understanding of how to effectively solve real-world business challenges. She is a top-notch example of Canadian talent and her success in her field should be celebrated with pomp and splendour. 

What Led Emilie Cushman Launch Kira Talent? What Is It All About?

It’s shocking how wealthy parents, celebrities and business leaders have been blatantly paying their children to attend the best school money, but for Toronto-based Kira Talent, the news comes as no surprise. A cloud-based recruitment solutions startup that has been paying attention to recruitment scams for years. Kira Talent was founded in 2012 by Emily Cushman and Konrad Listwan-Ciesielski. The two recent college graduates quickly realized that their solution could help solve the larger problem of one-dimensional college admissions processes.

Emilie Cushman founded Kira Talent to fight inequality and bias in college admissions and to bolster more holistic admission standards. The idea was born from Cushman’s realization that most college and university admissions processes are one-dimensional and non-personal, and that videos and interactive assessments can be helpful. In addition, many highly qualified students miss higher education opportunities because of transcripts or test scores.

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Her startup company, Kira Talent, achieves this by orchestrating these processes through time-limited video assessments, competency-based assessments that measure items such as leadership potential and critical thinking, and time-limited writing tasks that check for plagiarism essential in the Internet age. 

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Kira uncovered the billion-dollar global industry behind job search scams, from individual consultants to consulting firms that promise to help students get on to school. Based on these early discoveries from her, the startup decided to conduct extensive research. Kira has conducted surveys at major higher education institutions, and in 2015 she even hired a company Cushman calls a “back market admissions company” to create an app that tests the quality of the Canadian admissions system and “black market” apps.

Today, Kira Talent works with over 300 programs worldwide to help admissions committees conduct a holistic assessment of applicants beyond grades and test scores. Kira measures non-cognitive abilities such as leadership, perseverance, and motivation. Over five years, she has received $8.8 million in funding, has 1,000 college programs as clients, including programs at Harvard, Yale, INSEAD, and Stanford, and nearly one million students have completed Kira’s applications.


Our content acknowledges the strength of the ardent entrepreneurs and their lifelong experiences of the marketplace that help them build successful business empires. Our belief in productive learning and providing inclusive content is why we have plans for a wide spectrum of activities that incorporate everything from reading to prolific networking. 


Emilie’s Pieces of Advice to the Entrepreneurs

  • Emilie Advices Entrepreneurs to Be Goal-Oriented

She believes that when entrepreneurs are faced with hardships, they should always stick to their goals no matter what. One should always think about what they are working towards. If the end goal is fulfilling and motivating, then it is correct to state that entrepreneurs are heading in the right direction.

  • Emilie Advices Entrepreneurs to Be Patient

Since it’s rare for a company to succeed immediately after starting a business or within a few years of starting a business, one should not give up too quickly as growth and success take time, believes Emilie Cushman.

  • Emilie Advices Entrepreneurs to Surround Themselves with the Right People

Emilie believes only the right people will help you go during times of hardships, the ones who’ll always keep people motivated and help them sail through the storm.

For more information regarding Emilie Cushman and her startup company, Kira Talent, you can scroll through their official website and explore more.

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