Cassie Meyers

Cassie Myers (BA ’18) 
Alumnus, Faculty of Arts 
> Founder and CEO, Lunaria 
> Grebel Peace Incubator at Conrad Grebel University College 

Cassie Myers was an undergraduate Arts student when a professor took her class to visit a startup incubator on campus. That visit was the beginning of a mindset change for Myers. “I knew I had a lot of issues that I cared about but before then I had never considered entrepreneurship as a viable future for myself,” she says.    

Today, Myers is the founder and CEO of Lunaria, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) company with four employees and office space in the Grebel Peace Incubator at the University of Waterloo — the very place she was first exposed to entrepreneurship. 

“Our whole premise is that by measuring your DEI work, you maintain accountability. With data we can clearly see how things are improving or not,” Myers says. “Data really helps break down some of the barriers to growing inclusion and equity, because the numbers are difficult to discredit.” 

The Lunaria team uses its data management and analytics platform to uncover the unique challenges and strengths of each organization. Through diagnostic surveys and progress surveys, Lunaria helps organizations measure critical elements such as expected behaviours, leadership inclusivity, knowledge and skills, belonging and demographics.  

The Lunaria team also offers training to help businesses create environments that attract, retain and enable people from systematically excluded communities to flourish in the workplace.  

Myers says many organizations want to make their workplaces more inclusive, but don’t know what to do beyond the annual DEI training workshop. “Oftentimes, people know there’s a DEI problem but they are unable to pinpoint it,” Myers says. Commonly, they feel like employees from systematically excluded groups are leaving their organization, but they don’t know why. 

Watch how Lunaria uses data to advance DEI

Using data to have difficult conversations 

“Taking part in DEI training can be very rewarding and helpful. Training is not always the best space to reveal what is under the surface — some of the experiences people do not feel safe to share,” Myers says. 

By using the Lunaria platform, businesses are able to stay accountable over the long term with insights that are unique to their organization. The Lunaria team begins with an audit that includes surveys for leaders, board members, employees and volunteers. Then they share actionable insights and recommendations as they continue to track progress. 

Cassie Meyers typing on her laptop

Myers says addressing systematic oppression is complex, and the Lunaria platform is just one tool. Her team has a vision for the future that includes partnering, supporting and shining a light on other organizations working to make change through education, training and facilitation. 

As a Black woman, she knows the power of her visibility in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and acknowledges the privilege of being a student at Waterloo where there were so many entrepreneurship programs and supports.  

“At Waterloo, entrepreneurship was presented to me as a way to act on advocacy work and make things happen — I learned that entrepreneurship is one way to address important issues in society.”

In addition to the Grebel Peace Incubator at Conrad University College at Waterloo, Myers received support through GreenHouse, a social venture incubator based at St. Paul’s University College at Waterloo. Her team also received $30,000 from the AC Jumpstart Program for tech startups funded through FedDev Ontario. 

Myers says being a co-op student at Waterloo gave her opportunities to work at tech companies early in her Arts and Business degree. “That exposure gave me technical knowledge and confidence that wasn’t available through the more traditional learning opportunities at university.” 

The income from Myers’ co-op terms also afforded her some financial freedom to pursue social entrepreneurship.

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