My (quick) entrepreneurial story
I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life – having started at 18 – failing twice (Maritime Vacation, NBHost) – before finally figuring it out. When I was 24 I bootstrapped Spheric Technologies, a social enterprise consulting and applications company. The company grew by 150%+ each year, raked in many business awards, employing 30+ before I sold it in May of 2008.
After that, I took some time off, but eventually decided to move to San Francisco. After a few months, I co-founded Flowtown, a social marketing application, which raised venture funding and eventually got acquired by Demandforce.com (NASDAQ: INTU) in 2011.
In January of 2012 I started Clarity, a platform that helps entrepreneurs find, schedule and pay for great advice over the phone to grow their business. We’ve raised $1.6M in funding from some amazing investors and are currently growing 30% each month. It’s a problem I’m passionate about solving and believe it has the potential to positively effect a billion people over the next 10 years.
I started angel investing when I was 26 due to my ADHD and passion for entrepreneurship. I’ve since made 23 investments in companies located both in Canada and the US. Companies like GetAround, Udemy, Intercom, Unbounce, Manpacks, Foursum + many others. My investing style is very personal, and it’s all about the people. I never invest for pure financial reasons – it always has to do with a great team + product I see myself using and shared values & work ethics.
In a previous life
As a teenager I grew up in a challenging environment. By the time I turned 17 I had been to jail twice for drug related charges. At 18 I went to rehab and discovered computers. It saved my life. The reason Portage (rehab) worked for me, was because all the staff were ex-drug addicts. They helped me climb out of a hole, that they once found themselves in. That philosophy, that I learnt at an early age, is the reason why I spend so much time giving back. Getting support from those who’ve been through it before is why I’ve had success, in both business, and in life.