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Lauren DeSouza

Ace is a communication skills training platform for tech professionals. Our core mission is to ensure job seekers walk into their interviews equipped with a strong blend of technical expertise and soft skills, ready to secure their dream jobs.

Our unique platform features pre-interview exercises and mock interview sessions designed to simulate real-world scenarios. These exercises are based on meticulous research involving recruiters, hiring managers, and job seekers to effectively address the real-world challenges they face during the job search process.

At Ace, we’ve made the preparation journey as intuitive as possible. Users pick their desired role and navigate through a set of random questions, recording their responses on video. Here’s where our tech magic comes into play: we provide a feedback report that evaluates not just the content of their answers but also their communication style and confidence levels. We even offer actionable tips for improvement, giving users a clear roadmap to boost their skills.

And here’s the best part – practice with Ace isn’t bound by time or place. Our platform is always available for users to run through mock interviews as often as they wish, ensuring they can confidently tackle real-world interviews. It’s this supportive, always-on learning environment that sets us apart and keeps us true to our mission: building confidence in communication. We’re here to empower tech job seekers one interview at a time.

Tell us about yourself?

As the co-founder and CEO of Ace, my journey has been guided by a passion for creating products and services that have a profound, positive impact on people’s lives. My previous experiences have mainly been in sales and partnerships, roles that allowed me to deliver meaningful value to clients and foster long-lasting relationships.

In the course of my career, I have been part of the prestigious NEXT Canada cohort, ran a successful sales consulting business, worked with international software companies, and led an entrepreneurial organization that raised over $50,000 in sponsorships. My various roles at global B2B software companies saw me secure over $100,000 in sales deals, further honing my business acumen.

But why this specific line of work, you might ask? The answer is twofold: First, it came from a personal encounter with the challenge of effective communication and realizing the transformative power it holds in every aspect of life. Second, my unwavering passion for creating products and services that transform lives and fuel growth.

Every time a user tells me they landed their dream job or gained newfound confidence from our platform, it reaffirms my conviction in what we’re building at Ace. These stories are the very essence of our mission, and they drive us to continue working together to empower individuals, helping them unlock their full potential. To me, there’s nothing more rewarding than being a part of this journey of growth and transformation with the outcomes it can create.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Looking back, the advice I’d offer to myself would be to hold fast to my passion and mission, especially during the most challenging times. Every business journey is filled with peaks and valleys. It’s the strength of my commitment and the clarity of my mission that have kept me grounded during the highs and undeterred during the lows.

Believing in what we’re building and why we’re building it fuels the drive to keep pushing forward. I’ve learned that our shared passion for the problem we’re solving paves the way for ultimate success. However, maintaining that unwavering conviction isn’t always easy, especially during trying times. Therefore, I would remind my past self to consistently anchor myself in our mission and the reasons behind our work and to remember that our unwavering commitment to our cause will navigate us through any storm.

What problem does your business solve?

Ace Interview

Interviewing can be a daunting process. The overwhelming anxiety, nervousness, and lack of accessible resources can hinder many job seekers from feeling fully prepared and confident. Harvard Business Review conducted a study revealing that 72 per cent of unsuccessful job candidates were let down by their interviewing and communication skills. This tells us that many talented individuals are missing out on the opportunities they deserve due to communication barriers.

This is where Ace steps in. We’re an AI-powered interview preparation platform designed to cultivate effective communication skills. Our mission is simple yet powerful: to instill confidence in communication, empowering one job seeker at a time.

In the global personal development market, valued at USD 41.1 billion and projected to rise to USD 67.02 billion by 2030, there’s a significant opportunity for us. The skillset enhancement segment alone accounts for 32 per cent of this market share. There exists a palpable gap in communication skills that we’re eager to bridge.

We’ve set our sights initially on coding bootcamps in emerging markets as our target audience. These establishments strive to upskill tech talent, making them job-ready in a significantly shorter time than traditional academic institutions and at a more affordable price. The primary objective for these bootcamps is to provide their students with lucrative job opportunities and to extend these opportunities to those who might not have had access before.

The coding bootcamp sector is set to hit a value of $1.2 billion by 2026, with an impressive growth rate of 19.24 per cent, particularly in emerging markets like the Middle East, Africa, and APAC. This underserved market, with a clear need for our technology, presents a compelling opportunity for Ace. By serving these users, we can take significant strides toward our mission of creating confidence in communication.

What is the inspiration behind your business?


The spark that ignited our business was born out of personal experience. My co-founder and I grappled with the realization that communication skills often form a formidable barrier to a host of opportunities, and sadly, there wasn’t an easy or effective way to train this crucial skill. We believed there had to be a better way to equip talented individuals with the communication prowess they needed to seize the opportunities they truly deserved.

In the early stages, we had to decide on a specific audience to serve first. Through our research, it became clear that tech job seekers were the group most eagerly seeking our help. So we rolled up our sleeves, eager to make a difference for these enthusiastic individuals!

What is your magic sauce?

At the heart of our business lies our proprietary technology, designed meticulously to refine communication skills using AI. This complex endeavour demands a profound understanding of the subtle nuances that constitute effective communication. Our technology’s distinct infrastructure and precise feedback system are what set us apart from the competition.

Our AI-powered platform hinges on three key components, each contributing to a comprehensive and insightful feedback report for every user. This enables us to deliver valuable feedback in a scalable and easily accessible manner, unlike competitors who might provide expensive in-person feedback, a process that does not encourage continuous practice or feedback that doesn’t effectively improve communication skills.

Our first distinctive feature is a Visual AI for body language analysis. This deterministic AI identifies cues such as rapid movements indicative of nervousness, postural habits, and facial expressions. These insights allow us to provide practical advice on improving non-verbal communication, thereby helping users stand out in interviews.

Our second differentiator is our in-house Musical Analysis AI, which examines vocal tones and expressions. This AI takes into account different accents and cultural expressions, helping users enhance their vocal delivery based on what’s most pleasing and persuasive to the listener.

The third element in our AI arsenal is a Deterministic NLP tool developed for content and basic logical analysis. We extract valuable insights from the spoken words of our users.

The flexibility of our technology allows us to adapt to various markets in line with our rapid scaling goals for the first five years of operation. With our robust and defensible technology, we’re confident that we can deliver immense value to every user, empowering them to become formidable communicators.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

At Ace, we have an audacious goal: to become the leading tool for professional communication development within the next five years. We’re starting with coding bootcamps on a global scale, but our ambition doesn’t end there.

Thanks to our scalable AI technology, we’re equipped to broaden our scope and delve into diverse domains. Beyond interviews, our platform has the potential to train communication skills for a wide array of applications, including sales training, leadership skills development, speech therapy, media training, public speaking, and even day-to-day communication. We envision Ace as the ultimate destination for anyone looking to enhance their communication skills, irrespective of the context.

This mission holds deep personal significance for both myself and my co-founder. We’ve personally faced the barriers poor communication can erect, limiting opportunities and impeding progress in careers and relationships. Having experienced these frustrations firsthand, we’re dedicated to providing a solution that truly aids others, helping to dismantle these barriers in much the same way we’ve striven to do for ourselves.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of our most significant challenges in the early stages was establishing the optimal delivery model for our platform. As newcomers to the space, finding the most effective route to market was a puzzle that we had to find the best way to arrange the pieces. Our first attempt at service distribution missed the mark, but it was a valuable learning experience that paved the way for our current successful model.

Through rigorous validation and testing in different markets, we amassed a wealth of knowledge. However, the most insightful revelations came from engaging with our users to comprehend where our solution was needed the most. This challenge was indeed a learning curve that imparted crucial lessons on validating ideas and distribution models. It served as a reminder that the path to success often involves iterations and learning from setbacks.

How can people get involved?

To experience our innovative platform first-hand, simply visit Here, you can learn more about what we do and put our system to the test. If you’re involved in talent placement or run a coding bootcamp, I would be delighted to connect and hear about the wonderful work you’re doing to upskill tech talent. You can reach out to me via LinkedIn or drop an email at [email protected]. I’m looking forward to our conversation!