The ATLAS Team

Mae Woods - Co-Founder & CEO

(she/her)

Mae Woods (CEO/Co-Founder): Following college graduation, Mae’s lack of appropriate immigration status blocked her from her dream job. Originally from Vancouver, Mae was a basketball player for the University of Houston from 2010-2014. Post-graduation, Mae realized her status as an international student posed a significant barrier in finding employment. Her frustration was amplified when she interviewed for her dream job—with the NBA. Mae was told that due to the complicated nature of the foreign hiring process, they could not offer her the job. For Mae, the experience was heart-wrenching.

"You spend your whole life working towards that dream job only to find out there's an intangible that you can't change yourself."

As a result of the failed job hunt in the U.S. , she moved back to Canada and started over. Frustrated with her experience, Mae dove into the foreign hiring process, and quickly realized her experience was not unique. In fact, it was part of a larger economic problem faced by Canada and other other immigrant receiving countries. So she decided to found ATLAS, an innovative tech startup that simplifies the foreign hiring process with automated immigration. With ATLAS, Mae hopes to change the way economic immigration is perceived so others don’t have to go through the same experience.

Pan Khantidara - Co-Founder & CTO

(they/them)

Pan Khantidhara (CTO, Co-founder): Pan also knows the immigrant struggle first-hand. Originally from Thailand, they moved to Canada in 2004 to attend high school as an international student. When Pan chose to immigrate in 2006, they and their family went through an immigration process that was strenuous, unclear, and expensive. In their case, shelling out $38, 000 in consultancy fees for a professional to essentially fill out the paperwork. Having achieved previous success with Co-Founder Mae with Howbsy.com—a crowd sourced site displaying COVID-19 store wait times—Pan was brought on to ATLAS as Chief Technology Officer.

"Immigration is personal to me. I know what it’s like being in their shoes. The process is outdated and can be confusing and expensive. But, with ATLAS, the platform can guide you through the process making it clearer, less costly, and more user-friendly."

Passionate about technology’s impact, Pan believes streamlining the process will make immigrating easier. At ATLAS, they hope to empower the immigrant, and by linking the immigrant and the employer, they hope that immigrants will succeed in getting jobs that match their qualifications before they arrive in Canada.

Emily Lukaweski - Director of Legal & Immigration

(she/her)

Emily Lukaweski (Director of Legal and Immigration): Immigration landed on Emily’s desk almost by accident. Specializing in business law, Emily had little experience with immigration when she first took on an immigration case in 2013. But, she was touched by the personal stories of immigrants and fascinated by the ethical and economic dilemmas inherent in immigration, especially immigration law’s ties to Canada’s broader questions about Canadian identity and values. To date, she has amassed considerable experience providing legal advice to businesses and immigrants through her practice, Novate Legal. After working all over the world, Emily credits growing up in multicultural Toronto, with showing her the value of immigration and the positive impacts of diversity.

"Immigrating to another country is a life-changing decision. I believe in my clients. My goal is to empower them with the information and tools they need to make the best decisions about that journey for themselves. ATLAS will be a solid step towards that goal, making both the immigration and integration process smoother, benefiting the immigrant, their employer, and ultimately Canada."

With expertise in both immigration and business law, Emily knows the Canadian immigration system—and its administrative and economic challenges. Bringing that expertise to ATLAS, Emily hopes to be part of the solution and solve the economic disconnect that businesses and immigrants face.