Float or Founder: Toronto Startup Entrepreneur Stories

Float or Founder: Toronto Startup Entrepreneur Stories

Float or Founder is the Toronto startup podcast. Learn from the career and management experiences of local startup and business entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and venture capitalists in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by Samantha Lloyd and Lisen Kaci of Metaranx.

Episodes

November 30, 2020 16 min

Ryan Shupak is the co-founder of Jiffy, a service that allows you to get on-demand contractors to your home. Building a marketplace always comes with its own set of challenges. The supply side, the contractors, are already doing the work so building up this marketplace was a bit easier and more unique than others.

The early day grind of getting sign ups took this former investment banker and his co-founders door-to-door. Scaling and...

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Shawna Stewart is the VP of People and Operations at PostBeyond, a tech startup in Toronto. Being in charge of the operations and people part of any company is a tall order. Shawna's favourite task is to create inclusive and positive policies. In light of Black Lives Matter especially, she believes it is important to take another look at policies and revamp those that have biases. 

Shawna discusses the misconceptions around what...

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David Lloyd recorded this episode with Neil Wainright in mid-2019 but never had the opportunity to publish it... until now! David Lloyd takes over the Float or Founder podcast to discuss "the grind" it takes to run a tech startup and turn it into a solid company. David comes from an extensive background in the tech industry in Toronto and is currently the CEO of PostBeyond.

Neil Wainright is the founder and CEO of UpHabit. U...

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What does it take to launch a business in Canada? Kayla Isabelle has had the pleasure of seeing companies from launch through success many times as Executive Director of Startup Canada. She takes us through the joy of coaching and mentoring startups and the similarities she sees between leaders. What does every entrepreneur need? Passion and grit.

Kayla takes us through how COVID-19 has reshaped companies or inspired new companies t...

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Diana Goodwin launched Aquamobile eight years ago - a business enabling swim instructors to do at-home lessons on-the-go. Their internal management tool of these instructors and customers/lessons led her to launching Marketbox to other companies facing labour deployment and management challenges. In essense, Aquamobile became a customer of Marketbox!

The journey of balancing two companies isn't simple but Diana knew she wanted t...

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Many people think marketing is fluffy but (especially in the tech industry) it's anything but. Marketing is creative, experimental, and data-driven. How do you write copy that connects? How do you create ads that converts? You need to test a hypothesis and see the data to build the most successful marketing strategies.

Sarah Stockdale takes us on her decade-long career in the startup industry and why she started Growclass so tha...

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David Lloyd recorded this episode with James Novak in mid-2019 but never had the opportunity to publish it... until now! David Lloyd takes over the Float or Founder podcast to discuss "the grind" it takes to run a tech startup and turn it into a solid company. David comes from an extensive background in the tech industry in Toronto and is currently the CEO of PostBeyond.

James Novak is the CEO of Fiix. Fiix is in the asset m...

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Running a textile factory is challenging but Kathy Cheng of WS & Co. and Redwood Classics Apparel takes us into the world of vertical integration. She shares how her family moved to Canada and started this company to promote made-in-Canada goods. She discusses how they're making fashion accessible through their Redwood Classics Apparel brand and the importance of sustainability and supporting makers in the fashion industry....

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Derek Manuge is the co-founder, Director, and CEO of Corl.io - a revenue sharing and investment company. He shows us the different types of funding opportunities for businesses and how he came up with the idea of using data to make equitable and fair investment decisions. There is a lot of math that goes into the underlying software! Derek shares the importance of choosing the right team and advisory board for your company to help ...

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Faye Almeshaan is the Program Manager and Venture Associate of Acceleprise. Acceleprise is a B2B software accelerator program and investment firm based in San Francisco and Toronto. She talks about how companies pivoted and grew out of COVID and what the investment scene is like. If you're a B2B startup looking to join an accelerator, you can follow along with the current cohort's journey and apply for their upcoming cohort...

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Social media marketing is a necessary component of every company. Zoe saw this a few years back when she started her agency Schmooz at a time when many didn't see social media as a serious pursuit. Zoe offers her insights on how important social media is to provide value and connect with the human side of brands, especially during COVID and Black Lives Matter. She also discusses the recent charitable children's book she has...

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Charles Bennett has been running his full-service technology management company, Triella, for 17 years as founder and CEO! Running a company for that long has given Charles insight into the industry. He shares his top security tips for any company during COVID and with remote work becoming the norm. He openly shares the challenges of hiring and mentoring new team members when switching to full remote. Charles also talks about the o...

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Paula Teixeira Leite is the founder of Caju Winds, a cashew spread that is a delicious, vegan alternative to cream cheese and other dairy spreads. She started the business when her daughter started experiencing allergies and reactions to food. Paula shares insights into starting a food business - everything from the regulations, to working closely with (and relying on!) the food inspector, to choosing local versus big box stores, a...

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Back to school looks a little different in 2020 for most people. Jason Field is the Founder and CEO of Brainstation, an education centre for digital skills. He discusses how they switched to online education during COVID-19 and how they could reach additional markets due to the online switch. They offer 400 instructors - not a small team by any means. Jason explains how they handle company culture, hiring, and management with such ...

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Trigger Warning: Discussions of racism, George Floyd, police brutality, racism in the workplace.

Dr. Leeno Karumanchery is the co-founder and Head of Behavioural Sciences at MESH Diversity. MESH fully integrated anti-racism tool. He is a doctor of sociology and discusses the first class and professor that inspired him to pursue anti-racist work as his profession. He goes into how him and his friend built MESH using science and data ...

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When you face a personal pain point, what's the first thing you think to do? Alyssa Atkins of Lilia decided to turn her personal pain point into a business. Lilia is a personal online concierge that gives you clarity and confidence in options about egg security and storage - and celebration! She talks about her time in Y Combinator as it switched to virtual amidst COVID and what Y Com helped her achieve. She also shares Lilia&#...

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Jay Rosenzweig of Rosenzweig & Company talks to us about recruiting - in a pandemic and out. He also provides insights on how you can offer your skills to achieve what you want in your career and try new paths. Fun fact: he does songwriting on the side!

Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)

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David Lloyd recorded this episode with Joel Lessem in mid-2019 but never had the opportunity to publish it... until now! David Lloyd takes over the Float or Founder podcast to discuss the "grind" it takes to run a tech startup and turn it into a solid company. David comes from an extensive background in the tech industry in Toronto and is currently the CEO of PostBeyond.

Joel Lessem is the co-founder and CEO of Firmex. Firme...

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August 9, 2020 20 min

Timing is everything - or so we're told. Neel Lukka delves into why timing is so important for the success of a company. He talks about the different businesses he's built, his experience in Y Com, and what he's up to now!

Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)

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Martha Switzer is the co-founder and CEO of Sprout. Sprout enables businesses to reward their employees for healthy behaviour. She talks about wellness, how COVID-19 impacted wellness initiatives, and why she built a company around wellness and health in the workplace.

Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)

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