Tosin Ajibola, whose Fredericton startup Welkom-U is an online platform that aims to help foreign students acclimatize to their new surroundings, has been declared by Western Union’s Canadian Immigrant periodical to be one of Canada’s top 25 new immigrants for 2022.

Ajibola arrived in Canada three years ago and now also serves on the board of New Brunswick startup hub Venn Innovation. The Canadian Immigrant Awards, meanwhile, are in their 14th year.

Ajibola and his co-founders, who also include COO Michael Olamide Ojolo, CTO Babajide Sosan and product development head Ifeoluwa Williams, founded Welkom-U while they were students in UNB’s Master of Technology Management and Entrepreneurship program. They started work on the company in November 2019 and incorporated it in May 2020. Now, their team numbers in the low double digits.

“The UNB’s J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship embraced me immediately,” wrote Ajibola on LinkedIn. 

“Moving to Canada has been nothing but a success story for me. An international student with big dreams but no clue where to start. So many people questioned my choice to study at (UNB) but I was convinced this was the foundation I needed.”

He and his co-founders offer a suite of services to help newcomers to Canada get settled and learn the nuances of local culture — including help finding rental accommodations without an extensive Canadian credit history — with a longer time horizon than the sometimes cursory orientation programs offered by universities.

They tested the platform in a closed beta last summer and made it available to the public earlier this year.

In announcing the Immigrant Award on social media,  Ajibola also thanked other groups within the East Coast ecosystem, such as the Atlantic Growth Strategy and Planet Hatch.