Nothing is harder than being an entrepreneur: self-sacrifice, countless hours, true diligence and undying commitment. I interviewed the following accomplished entrepreneurs, who excel at what they do and have been handpicked by the media as ones to watch. Here, they reflect on their past mistakes and share some of their insights with their B2B counterparts when it comes to e-commerce, IT, funding, delegation, sales and scaling too fast.
Ask an American to name an entrepreneur and odds are names like Mark Zuckerberg, Mike Dell and Larry Page will roll off their tongue. When asked to name up to five high-profile entrepreneurs, a third of Canadians could not name a single one. Why is that?
Vancouver is quickly becoming one of the top tech hubs in North America. And while the City of Glass still plays second fiddle in terms of the size of its tech scene (we're looking at you, Ontario and Quebec), Vancouver boasts many unique advantages.
Toronto is showing signs of the city coming into its own as a global technology hub. More firms are making the move to Hogtown, and the city is also turning out its fair share of hometown heroes when it comes to successful tech companies. So, what is making Toronto such a coveted destination for tech companies and eager employees alike?
Many people in corporate roles fantasize about breaking free and launching an entrepreneurial venture. Three years ago I took the plunge and did just that, leaving behind a senior role in management consulting to start a talent marketplace for freelance consultants. Unfortunately, my business model didn't gain traction, but the experience was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally speaking.
Log management systems are largely based on one concern; finding the root cause of a problem, like security breaching, diagnosing issues, chasing down server errors and looking up customer activity. There is now a market for the logging management industry, whereas there's nothing new about all softwares and systems producing log files.
Clearly, a STEM education is not the only way to work in or lead a technology company. So while we work to get more women enrolled in STEM programs, we can also work to increasing gender diversity in the tech sector by attracting women with a variety of backgrounds at all levels. It all comes down to a change in culture.
Starting a company is not an easy task to tackle. There is a lot to think about, and it is extremely hard to do alone. Fortunately, if you are in Montreal or thinking of relocating to the fabulous city, Montreal can make that start-up move a little easier with quite a few incubator and start-up hubs to get your business moving.
Pre-seed, a relatively new stage in the funding process, is becoming more recognized in the Canadian startup ecosystem and in other startup hubs around the world. The trend is growing for a number of reasons, and Canada would benefit from more capital dedicated to pre-seed from truly value-added investors.
The statistics are alarming. Nine out of 10 start-ups die at five years. I know the challenges personally because I'm on my eighth start-up now. From selling one of my successful ventures to Arlene Dickinson of the Dragon's Den, to some not so fruitful ventures, I have had my share of wins and losses.