our team


Joanna is a former managing director of the capital markets division of one of the Canadian banks.  She remains involved in the financial industry and started a few other interesting projects. www.linkedin.com/in/joannazapior/


​Konrad is a young adult with interest in making finance accessible to his peers.

Samantha has extensive capital markets experience in investment banking, derivatives, debt origination, insurance and investor relations. www.linkedin.com/in/samantha-cheung-03/


Cecil's experience is in quantitative trading, data-science, and e-commerce - in Canada, the US and Asia. Cecil thinks some ideas are worth pursuing, like social enterprise and innovation in education.  

www.linkedin.com/in/chengcecil/

Get in Touch

Finstart is a community


Our growing roster of advisors and supporters includes individuals with backgrounds in teaching, pension investment management, private equity, risk management, and banking.  As we go along, we collect feedback from students and young adults to keep enhancing  our platform.


​Some of our supporters choose to remain anonymous.  Others are happy to be named.  We thank them all.


  • Jill is an experienced investment manager.  She now works in investor relations and is keen to tackle challenges related to communication of difficult financial concepts.  Jill contributed content to FinStart, specifically in the Loans section.
  • Darek brings insights from public pension plan investing, bank risk management, and software development.  He's been reading our material and asking difficult questions.
  • Leanne now teaches history, math, and social sciences. Before teaching, she worked on the trading floor of one of Canadian banks. Along with Magdy, Kelly, and John, she's encouraged and supported the development of FinStart's resources for teachers.​​
  • ​Tina brings insights from banking, investment banking, and pension plan management in the areas of IT, risk, and compliance. She is our regular 'second pair of eyes' and is engaged in our Teacher Portal activity. 
  • We held focus groups in Toronto-area high schools. A number of students let us observe them as they clicked through earlier versions of our website - and gave us valuable feedback. 

Feel free to email us any questions, concerns, or suggestions.  We'll get back to you if you enter your email address below.

​"Like the financial parent I never had."

​"I wish something like this was avaialble

when I was growing up."

"My mom set up my chequing account when I was 15 and did everything for me. FinStart helped me build the confidence to own my finances."

​​​about finstart


FinStart was created by a small group of financial professionals with years of experience working in the sector. We have children, family, and friends, many of whom at one time or another asked us for advice.  They made us realize there's a need for basic personal finance information, presented simply.

FinStart contributes to financial literacy among youth and young adults. It aims to ‘teach by doing’. While there are many resources out there, FinStart simplifies and presents an unbiased view so that users can make their own informed decisions.


FinStart helps you develop skills you can apply to build and maintain your own personal finance set-up.  It guides you as you:

  • Figure out where you want to bank and what accounts / credit cards you'll need to be able to pay bills and receive money. 
  • Determine how you'll manage your savings / investments and student / other debt (if you have any).
  • Learn to file income tax, make informed decisions about purchasing insurance, and how to budget / plan your finances.


Once you decide what products you need, "take" FinStart with you to the bank to help you set-up your personal finance network.

  • FinStart has “Step-by-step” checklists that walk you through the details of opening, closing, converting, and upkeep of accounts, cards, policies, filings, loans, and buying / selling of investment securities.
  • It will help you anticipate what lies ahead, what questions you should ask the banker, and what they may ask you / what you need to bring.