Often, startup stories focus more on the product and company than they do the people that made them possible. We at The Startup Collaborative have found that our mission statement to allow everyone an unbiased investment thesis to building their own tech-centric company allows us to step aside and let the entrepreneurs be center stage. The Behind the Founder campaign is meant to do just that — let the stories of those who call themselves TSC Fellows be told from their own perspective.
What’s your name?
Where are you from?
Originally, Victoria, British Columbia
How did your upbringing influence you today?
My parents always encouraged me to explore, ask questions and never be satisfied with the status quo. This also meant that I needed to get off my butt and spend time outside and my room was never clean enough for their liking but it certainly laid the foundation for who I am today.
Whether you’ve met them or not, who is one REAL person that has influenced you?
Elon Musk – he’s a visionary and is always finding ways to challenge the way things are done.
Who is one FICTIONAL character that has inspired your life/career and why?
Tony Stark comes to mind – clearly, the fictional version of Elon also finds creative and innovative solutions to the world’s most complex problems.
From a sketch on a napkin to officially starting up, what triggered the inception of your company?
There was a clear problem that needed to be solved. With all the technology we have at our fingertips it is shocking that there are still people meeting strangers in parking lots with cash to buy/sell their phones.
How did the founding team meet?
We were trying to find ways that our respective businesses could do work together unrelated to Certified Cell.
Within The Startup Collaborative, what level was the most challenging for you, your company and why?
The first few were the most difficult for us because we wanted to run before we would walk and the difficulty was overcoming my initial frustration and realizing the process was what we truly needed. I am definitely thankful we slowed down and did our due diligence in the beginning – it was game-changing for us.
Within The Startup Collaborative, what level has been the most rewarding for you, your company and why?
It’s certainly always nice to get to a point where you trigger funding because money is a tough nut to crack at times. To know there is a group of intelligent people who have validated your business to the point where they’re making the decision to invest in your future is a very liberating feeling.
Presently, what does a typical day look like for you and your company?
Can I insert a picture of someone with their hair on fire here? The word “hustle” comes to mind and there is no other way to describe it. Is starting up easy? No, it’s not but the time, energy, passion, and love you put into the business doesn’t feel like work. Instead, you’re growing something for you and your family and even though some days feel like you’re trying to run in quicksand there are others that feel like you’re flying. Comparing the days of working for someone else and the days working for yourself – there are infinitely more days where you feel like you’re flying.
What’s next for you and your company?
We are going to keep up the hustle. We have aggressive goals for the company and we know it’s going to take everything we have to achieve those goals.