Lara Zink

Lara Zink
Co-Founder, Women Funding Women

It was serendipity that brought Lara Zink from Vancouver to the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) and the keen interest she developed in politics in grades 11 and 12 led her to study political science. “I visited a great aunt in London while in high school and thought the Western campus was amazing,” says Lara. 

Lara’s journey, from graduating with an Honours BA degree in political science to working as part of the federal government team that negotiated the NAFTA agreement to a long and successful career in finance, was a non-traditional one. Her experience makes her a role model dedicated to helping women overcome barriers to entry and to ensure that leadership, representation, and gender equity exist within the finance industry.  

Lara’s degree in political science and experience working with the Young Conservatives as a teenager led to a role as political assistant to federal Member of Parliament Michael Wilson, then Minister of International Trade and Industry Canada. “I loved my two years working in Ottawa,” says Lara. “I was able to speak with members of Parliament and their staff about the benefits of NAFTA to Canada and traveled to Washington for the final stages of negotiation of the agreement.”

After two years on Parliament Hill, Lara wrote the GMAT exam and applied to business schools, including the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto where she ultimately earned her MBA. Although she had hoped to return to Vancouver after graduation, job opportunities were more plentiful in Toronto. After considering options in marketing and private wealth, Lara chose to enter a corporate lending training program with RBC in Toronto. She started in business banking and moved to another lending group in RBC’s financial institutions group before embarking on a 20-year career in global equity sales and trading on the trading floor at RBC Capital Markets.

When she left RBC in 2019, Lara paused and considered her next career move. “While exploring job opportunities during the pandemic lockdown, I threw my name in the hat for the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Women in Capital Markets,” says Lara. She joined WCM, the largest network of women in finance whose mission is to accelerate equity, diversity and inclusion in finance, in 2021. Lara led WCM in developing programs to unite the finance industry in supporting EDI in capital markets and delivering research, programming and strategic value to the organization’s sponsors, members and stakeholders. 

Lara left WCM in September of 2023 to join a woman-led asset management company, Delaney Capital Management, where she currently serves as Vice President of Client Service and Development.

Lara’s commitment to embracing equity and helping women succeed, both in the finance sector and as company founders, is reflected in her role as a member of the board of Canadian Women’s Network, where she will work to help Canadian female founders grow and secure funding. She recently joined Sherry Shannon-Vanstone and Deborah Rosati to create Women Funding Women (WFW), a collective aimed at addressing the persistent funding gap faced by women founders in North America. 

WFW, which will launch on February 7 in Toronto, brings together organizations and resources committed to empowering women, offering gender equality, and catalyzing economic growth by increasing access to seed funding for women-led ventures. Lara’s vast experience in capital markets and her passion for driving change and ensuring women’s success is key to the work that WFW will do to increase access to funding for women founders. 

Lara’s professional success in the finance sector, her belief that strategy and culture differentiate organizations, and her work as a leader and mentor for women – as entrepreneurs, funders and investors – have made her an influential champion for equity, diversity and inclusion, and a powerful initiator of change for women’s access to venture funding.

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Profound Impact Exceeds First Tranche of Financing Round Led by Female Investors



The company on target to close the second tranche of the $3 million round in August 

WATERLOO, ON | June 15, 2023 A group of female investors, including many who are first-time investors, is leading the way for Profound Impact™ Corporation’s latest funding round. 

The first round of financing closed on May 5, 2023 and included more than $2.2 million in seed funding for the company. The participation of first-time female investors sends a clear message of confidence in Profound Impact’s vision and the team’s leadership. The company will be closing the remainder of the $3 million when the second tranche closes on Aug. 4, 2023. 

“As the leader of a female-founded company, I am thrilled and grateful to welcome these investors into our network,” says Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact. “Women need opportunities to invest and grow their portfolios, and I’m proud that so many made the decision to make their first-time investment in Profound Impact.”

Profound Impact is poised to continue its growth in the Canadian market, and this latest funding will allow the company to expand into the United States and internationally.  

“Congratulations to Sherry and Profound Impact on this closing. As an angel investor in women-led ventures, I’m excited to see more women invest at the seed level. Women founders in North America face many systemic barriers in pre-seed, seed and venture finance. I firmly believe that raising awareness of the opportunities for women to invest in women-led ventures is key to helping us remove those barriers,” says Lara Zink, President & CEO, Women in Capital Markets.

“We are excited to see female investors committed to growing their portfolios and unlocking financial opportunities in the innovation sector,” says Ken Grewal, Founder and CEO, Forthlane Partners. “It is vitally important that financial education and opportunities are available to women and all investors interested in growing their portfolios.”    

“It is gratifying to finally see so many women stepping up to steer their financial futures. Investments by women for women in Canada’s female-founded companies not only bridges identified funding gaps, but also builds a future for female entrepreneurs,” says Anne-Marie Canning, cultural entrepreneur and investor in Profound Impact. 

“Many women want to invest in the tech sector, but face difficulties in taking the first steps into the investment space. Connecting female investors to female entrepreneurs helps empower women across the tech industry to find success,” says Claudette McGowan, Co-founder of The Firehood. “I was pleased to support Profound Impact in this funding round and will follow along closely as their company continues to grow.” 

Profound Impact, which operates out of the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, offers Research Impact, an AI-powered tool that helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely grant matching.

This phase of investment represents an important step along Profound Impact’s growth trajectory. The company has made significant strides over the past few months, including hiring Kasia Malz as Chief Financial Officer and forming an Inaugural Board of Directors

“As a serial entrepreneur, I admire Sherry’s strong vision of ‘connecting great people to great things,’” says Deborah Rosati, Chair of Profound Impact’s Board of Directors. “I invested in the company and believe that my experience in technology start-ups/scale-ups, commitment to good governance, financial expertise, and venture capital experience will bring value to the company as it scales.”

This female-led investment sends a strong message to the investment community that women will step up to support and invest in women-founded and led companies.



Based in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, Profound Impact’s AI-powered tool – Research Impact – helps academic and industry researchers find the perfect funding match. With over $300 Billion in research funding opportunities, 100,000s industry partners and 8.8 Million researchers globally, finding the optimal grant for academic and industry innovators is often overwhelming and unnecessarily time-consuming.  More than just a search engine, Research Impact offers automatic, targeted and timely matching.  Profound Impact’s customers include top North American research institutions, universities and industry partners.  CEO and Founder Sherry Shannon-Vanstone is a serial technology entrepreneur with an unparalleled track record.  She has had five successful start-ups and exits in Silicon Valley and Canada, including two IPOs and acquisitions.  


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LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation

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