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Meet Michele Romanow, Co-Founder & President of Clearco

2021 Innovation Award Winner

Michele Romanow

Michele Romanow is currently the President of lending firm Clearco (formerly Clearbanc), which she co-founded in 2015. In the same year, Michele became the youngest Dragon on Dragons’ Den, a testament to her experience and success as an entrepreneur (she started six companies before her 35th birthday). Clearco has since achieved “unicorn” status — a valuation over $1 Billion US — and has invested more than $2B into 4,500+ companies, making them the biggest ecommerce investor in the world. Michele has been honoured with several awards, sits on many boards, and co-founded the Canadian Entrepreneurship Initiative, a non-profit with international business magnate Sir Richard Branson, to encourage growth of women entrepreneurs.


 My first job ever was… doing admin in my Dad’s office. It’s where I first learnt to become very valuable to people at an early age.

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I thought it was the biggest way to make an impact

My boldest move to date was… spending all the money had left on 1 ad at Buytopia to see if it would work. Being crazy enough to go up again the VC industry and to believe we could build a new asset class.

My biggest setback was… having lost friends along the way

I overcame it by… learning from my mistakes

If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know…  

When starting my business, I wish I knew…  how little I would sleep

My best advice to people looking to disrupt the status quo is… Just start! And don’t listen to the detractors.

I stay inspired by…  the founders we fund through Clearco and hearing all their stories.

The future excites me because… there are so many people becoming first time entrepreneurs. 

Success to me means…  doing what other people thought was impossible.