On April 26, 2012, the team from Report on Small Business invited dozens of promising young business owners to attend a networking event. We took photos and videos as a way to introduce our audience to these enterprising entrepreneurs.
- Pieter Boekhoff @pieterboekhoff
- Alkarim Devani @beyondhomesca
- Joshua Pinter @CommunityPoint
- Kristi Woo @riyokourbanbike
- Lloyed Lobo @boastcapital
- Carsen Kendel @NightEnvy
- Mitchell Callahan @Saucal
- Annie Cole
- Kari Woo @kariwoojewelry
- Trevor Gair @The_SoJo
- Brendan Macfarlane @RevivePipes
- Dafne Canales Lees
- Des Nwaerondu @AdvisorDes
- Adrian Audet
- Kevin Davies @TheGreenStart
- Ziko Rajabali @QQInc
- Chelsea Klukas @chelscore
- Hisham Al-Shurafa @hisham
- Matthew Orr
- Natalie Gerber @Natalie_Gerber
Pieter Boekhoff @pieterboekhoff
Company: Fenture Solutions - Custom web application and mobile development company, also co-founder of AcceleratorYYC, Calgary's Day 1 startup launch pad.
Title: Owner and co-founder Year founded: 2010 / 2011
Why I became an entrepreneur: To create the type of work environment and culture for others that I dreamed of working in. Success is a by-product of that dream combined with hard work, integrity, and community.
Goal: Top 40 under 40 and 10 hugely successful Calgary startups out of the AcceleratorYYC space (hopefully mine as one of them)
Words to live by: Improve everyday
Alkarim Devani @beyondhomesca
Company: Beyond Homes is a sustainable inner-city development focused on a design-orientated approach
Title: Founder and CEO
Year founded: 2006
Why I became an entrepreneur: Endless possibilities
Goal: To continue growing and building long-lasting sustainable homes and finding ways to give back and get involved within our community
Joshua Pinter @CommunityPoint
Company: Community Point - adding unity to your community by creating a network for you and your neighbours to get to know each other and the community you live in. Find out about garage sales, missing pets, farmers' markets, and local vendors in your neighbourhood.
Title: Co-founder and point man
Year founded: 2011
Why I became an entrepreneur: Masochism. I had a great job working with fantastic people and I still couldn't stand it. If everybody did what they were passionate about, this world would be a better place.
Goal: To be the "Kleenex" of community networks and to help put Calgary on the map for huge tech startup exits.
Words to live by: "Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever." - Po Bronson
Kristi Woo @riyokourbanbike
Age: 36 Company: riyoko urban bikewear - we make conscious, comfortable, modern, functional urban bike and travel attire for women. Travel plus style equals riyoko.
Title: Founder and maker
Year founded: 2008
Why I became an entrepreneur: I wanted to use my skill set to contribute to positive change and the only way I knew how to do that was by doing what I do. I also come from a family of entrepreneurs, so without realizing it, I am doing what I was taught to do.
Goal(s): 1. To provide modern, comfortable, functional and conscious clothing solutions for women and their travelling environment whether by bike, by foot, by plane, to work or to coffee. 2. To affect positive change and support self sustainability through our practice and relationships with people and things.
Words to live by: You can't do everything, but you can do something(s). Saying is different than doing
Lloyed Lobo @boastcapital
Age: 32 Company: Boast Capital helps early and growth stage tech companies secure government grants, venture capital, and angel investments to advance innovation and technology. Title: Partner Year founded: 2011 Employees: Four Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: Entrepreneurship is fun and sexy ... being able to work on projects that could change peoples' lives is the best feeling in the world Goal: To turn Calgary into the Silicon Valley of Canada Words to live by: If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.
Carsen Kendel @NightEnvy
Age: 27 Company: Night Envy - high-quality illuminated clothing and accessories to party people across the country. In light we live and love! Title: Founder and president Year founded: 2010 Employees: Three, and many glowing volunteers Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: I have always had that entrepreneurial fire burning deep within. At Shambhala in 2010, I recognized an opportunity and need for high-end illuminated clothing, and so, Night Envy was born. Goal: To become the premier supplier and brand of choice for electronic music enthusiasts globally. We will change the face of fashion as we know it. Words to live by: Failure is only true to its name if you do not learn from it. Learn from your mistakes, iterate quickly, and always shoot for the stars.
Mitchell Callahan @Saucal
Age: 27 Company: Saucal Studios - website design, online marketing via search engine optimization and social media, brand development, mobile applications, print and promotional. I also launched brrApps in 2012 (mobile game development and apps for simplifying life. It has three employees). Title: CEO Year founded: 2011 Employees: Two, plus five contractors. Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: Financial freedom Goal: To develop a website the entire world uses Words to live by: Don't talk about it, be about it
Age: 36 Company: Muttley Crue Organics - Calgary's first eco-friendly, sustainable retail, daycare and grooming spa for dogs. Title: Owner Year founded: 2009 Employees: Five Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: To fulfill a dream to do things differently and to make a positive impact on our environment and for our community. Goal: To be able to provide a superior service that is eco-friendly, sustainable and most importantly, affordable. Words to live by: “Be the change you wish to see for the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Kari Woo @kariwoojewelry
Age: 40 Company: Kari Woo Contemporary Art Jewellery - Independent design and production of innovative jewellery that makes a statement yet is functional and timeless. My design aesthetic is grounded in my love for the modern era of sculpture and design. Title: Sole proprietor and creative director Year founded: 2003 Employees: Me, myself plus one. Location: Calgary and Canmore Why I became an entrepreneur: I never liked the restraints of working for someone else plus I am not very good at taking directions from other people. Goal: To become an internationally recognized brand in my niche market - namely by distributing to targeted audiences through such venues as major museum gallery shops such as the AGO (Toronto) and MoMA to start. Words to live by: 'The highest reward for a person's toil is perhaps not what they get for it, but who they become by it.' - John Ruskin
Trevor Gair @The_SoJo
Age: 22 Company: SoJo - theSoJo.net is an innovative early-stage startup that works at the intersection of technology, social change and online education. Through web-based applications, SoJo is developing online learning tools that guide social innovators through the process of taking their ideas for social change into action. Title: Community Builder Year founded: 2011 Employees: 12 Location: Virtual operations across Canada. Headquartered in Toronto. Goal: To push boundaries; to start, adapt and build something that there is a validated need for; and to meet fascinating people along the journey. To make SoJo the essential learning tool that supports and empowers aspiring social innovators in turning their ideas into action. Words to live by: It always works out.
Brendan Macfarlane @RevivePipes
Age: 31 Company: Revive Pipe Restoration Inc. - drain repair company specializing in the rehabilitation of pipes that are within the walls of buildings or buried underground. Title: CEO, BSc. Mechanical Engineering Year founded: 2011 Employees: 4 Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: I love to get involved in all aspects of my job from getting my hands dirty doing physical work to sales, marketing and strategy implementation. Goal: To provide Alberta's businesses and residents with a permanent, minimally disruptive and cost effective solution to their aging and failing piping systems. Words to live by: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.
Dafne Canales Lees
Age: 34 Company: Spartan 6 - Partnering with small and medium-sized enterprises to provide scalable web-based technology and personalized support, allowing them to systemize, work less and earn more. Title: Director of customer relations Year founded: 2001 Location: Calgary Employees: Six Why I became an entrepreneur: To make a difference in the world Goal: To found a society that supports and mentors under-privileged women and youth start their own successful businesses Words to live by: How you do everything is how you do anything
Des Nwaerondu @AdvisorDes
Age: 26 Company: Sun Life Financial - insurance, investing and financial planning for individuals and small businesses Title: Wealth adviser Year founded: 2010 Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: I realized the potential to work for myself and serve clients in a more comprehensive financial planning approach above and beyond what I could do in an employee role within a bank or other financial institution. Goal: To become one of the youngest and most successful wealth advisers in the finance industry Words to live by: If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again.
Age: 28 Company: SFN Biosystems Inc. - a private company engaged in a clean-tech project: using rejected heat and exhaust from natural gas compressors to produce a multi-use biomass in patented aquatic farming cells Title: Senior Engineer Year founded: 2008 Employees: 11 Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: I enjoy working on new technologies and I like the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with startups. Goal: To always look forward to work each morning. Words to live by: Fail often in order to succeed sooner.
Kevin Davies @TheGreenStart
Age: 20 Company: Green Start - simple, smart, and sustainable recycling programs to residential and commercial developments in Calgary. Title: Founder and CEO Year founded: 2010 Employees: One Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: Being an entrepreneur enables me to create. A great Wallace Stevens quote reads: “Reality is the product of imagination.” This very much rings true with me, and I think it would be a sentiment shared with most entrepreneurs. My business is a vehicle for me to bring my ideas and passions into fruition, allowing me to develop positive change for the community and society. Goal: To create colourful progress, and to prove that the environment is not at odds with lifestyle or business. Words to live by: Do more.
Ziko Rajabali @QQInc
Age: 31 Company name: QuickQueue - reducing frustration in fast-food queues by making it easy to prepare and submit your large/office/team orders online. Title: Founder Year founded: 2011 Employees: 1.5 Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: Because I am adventure-hungry and knowledge-thirsty. Goal: Life would be so much better if we could do a coffee and breakfast run for the entire team in the same amount of time as getting a single coffee... Words to live by: Stay the course, and when on the precipice, walk sideways
Chelsea Klukas @chelscore
Age: 25 Company: Chelsea Klukas Creative - web and mobile design, online marketing, branding Title: Creative director Year founded: 2007 Employees: One Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: To enjoy the freedom of choosing my own projects and to be involved in the entire creative process from start to finish Goal: To continue to create great online and mobile experiences and to build the digital and creative community in Calgary. Words to live by: “Success is going from failure to failure with no lack of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill
Hisham Al-Shurafa @hisham
Age: 28 Company: Pixineers Inc. - virtual plastic-surgery software for the web, desktop, iOS and Android. We're the No. 1 mobile app maker for plastic and bariatric surgeons and develop advanced custom apps for medical companies. Title: Co-founder and CEO Year founded: 2010 Employees: Two Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: It's fun. Exercises more of your brain. Goal: Become a machine that can turn any idea into reality. Words to live by: Rely on yourself to get what you want.
Age: 25 Company: Canadian Sustainability and Water Solutions - renewable energy and efficiency design products for home and office Title: Owner and operator Year founded: 2011 Employees: Four contractors Location: Vulcan, Alta Why I became an entrepreneur: To feel like you have made an impact to communities. Not just a day job Goal: Lobby government to apply tougher efficiency building codes for residential and commercial infrastructure Words to live by: Live long and prosper
Natalie Gerber @Natalie_Gerber
Age: 35 Company: Natalie Gerber - functional designs and accessories created to accent the body, wardrobe and home. A collection that compliments each individual's style while incorporating today's trends and embracing an ethic of social and environmental responsibility. Title: Textiles | Accessory Design Year founded: 2008 Employees: One Location: Calgary Why I became an entrepreneur: To follow my passion for design Goal: To expand on visual art and design collaborations that create opportunities for fair trade and sustainability. Words to live by: “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” - Nelson Mandela