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  • Kelise Williams

memoirs of Kelise Williams



I'm Kelise Williams, founder of UpRow, and I firmly believe that 'the journey is the prize.' My transition from a daunting start in Canada, to creating an innovative platform epitomizes this belief. When my family moved from Trinidad and Tobago to Alberta in 2019, we spent our first night in a hotel lobby. This challenging start, particularly as a mother of two, propelled me to devise a solution to help newcomers settle faster and safer.


I created UpRow, a community-powered platform, to streamline the transition for immigrants into Canadian society. More than an app, UpRow is a vital support system, offering tailored assistance in areas like housing, immigration law, career coaching, and language tutoring. Our unique approach includes a network of identity-verified service providers providing reliable and trustworthy support for our users.


UpRow's journey in the Immigration Tech Industry has been marked by significant milestones. We emerged as the winner of the BIPOC Women in Tech Pitch Competition at the University of Calgary, emphasizing our focus on diversity and inclusion. We then claimed the first prize at the her story Pitch Competition by The 51, championing underrepresented communities. Our accolades also include winning the BCW Pitch Perfect for tech innovation, ranking in the top five at Startup TNT in Edmonton, and earning third place at both the C-Tribe Pitch Competition and the Newcomers in Tech Pitch Competition, where we also received the people's choice award. Representing UpRow at the international Collision Tech Conference, completing the Velocity program by Alberta Catalyzer, and being accepted into the Global 500 Accelerator further highlight our journey's success.


These achievements are more than just awards; they reflect our commitment to continuous innovation and expansion at UpRow. We ensure every newcomer’s transition into Canada is safer, faster, and also a rewarding experience. The UpRow network of service providers and stakeholders are invested in maintaining this momentum - we truly embody the philosophy that 'the journey is the prize.'

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