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The Ivey Entrepreneur Podcast
51 minutes | 12 days ago
Innovation is not always sexy with Nicole Verkindt of OMX
Since graduating in 2007, Nicole Verkindt has had quite the ride. From her first job as the ‘hot walker’ at the Woodbine Racetrack, to learning sales on the fly with a Belgium firm, Verkindt founded OMX (Offset Market Exchange), a powerful procurement platform for various complex supply chain industries. Working with major International players like Lockheed Martin and British Aerospace, Verkindt became a prominent fixture in major boards, and government discussions, as a major proponent for innovation across Canadian industries. In this latest episode, Verkindt speaks candidly about her journey out of business school, her view of innovation, and why it is vital to Canada’s place in the global economy.
45 minutes | 2 months ago
Choosing the right people before the right idea with Rachel Zimmer of Entrepreneur First
Rachel Zimmer is the General Manager of Entrepreneur First, a $140M fund that bets on people first, and then coaches them to find their breakthrough ideas. Zimmer understands this process well because it’s exactly how she started her company, 5Crowd (acquired by sgsco). In this episode, Rachel walks us through her own ideation process, the criteria that she used to filter her business ideas, and the uncomfortable process of leaving her job at Johnson & Johnson to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams with business partner Bram Warshafsky. Since the acquisition of 5Crowd in 2016, Zimmer has continued to help professionals discover their entrepreneurial potential with the added safety net through her work at Entrepreneur First. She shares what she’s discovered about the qualities, personalities and combinations that make the best entrepreneurial teams.
49 minutes | 2 months ago
33. The Soul of an Entrepreneur with David Sax
The word ‘entrepreneur’ conjures a very specific image. Picture a white male from Stanford, or Harvard, who is bold, brash, and ready to change the world – and you're halfway there. From the icons of the 1980s like Larry Ellison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, to today’s Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, to name a few, the legend of the entrepreneur has outgrown its former confines. But are they reflective of the true face of entrepreneurship? Do they capture the wide variety of lifestyles and philosophies that lead people to start their own businesses? Canadian journalist David Sax doesn’t think so. In this episode, Sax shares the thesis of his latest book, The Soul of an Entrepreneur, which dissects the myth of the modern entrepreneur, and its impact on the accessibility of entrepreneurship. Sax is the author of the best-seller, The Revenge of Analog, which was on Michiko Kakutani's Best Books of 2016 in the New York Times. His work has also appeared in New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg Business Week, The New York Times, Saveur, NPR, GQ and Toronto Life.
52 minutes | 2 months ago
32. Building a Startup for Startups with Andrew D'Souza of Clearbanc
In our latest series, you’re invited to sit in on Eric Janssen’s Hustle & Grit course, taking place virtually at the Ivey Business School. Each episode explores an entrepreneur’s journey, their key learnings, and questions from our eager, aspiring student entrepreneurs. In this episode, Andrew D’Souza Co-Founder and CEO of Clearbanc shares stories and lessons learned as he transitioned from a career in consulting, to tech sales, then tech executive, and finally to founder of a now iconic Canadian scale-up. D'Souza addresses: why consultants make great entrepreneurs, what sets apart the people who cash paycheques from the people who write them, and how to build a world-class team.
49 minutes | 4 months ago
31. Brewing a business with the Sons of Kent
Chatham local Colin Chrysler, was on his way to the Island of Palau for a few weeks of surfing and brewing beer, when some visa complications left him stranded in British Columbia. With few days to kill at the epicenter of Canada’s growing craft beer industry, Colin decided to make the most of his time and sought out a meeting with fellow Chatham natives, Alf and Doug Hunter, who had created a formula for building breweries across the Province. That conversation culminated with the creation of Chatham’s first craft brewery, Sons of Kent. On this episode, Eric Janssen sits down with half of the co-founders of the Sons of Kent, to discuss beer, business, and the impact a brewery can have on community and culture.
44 minutes | 5 months ago
30. The Art of Sales with Piano Matchmaker Erica Feidner
Inc.com called her one of the “10 Greatest Salespeople of All Time.” For 13 years, Erica Feidner was a sales representative (later elevated to Executive Sales Representative) at the prestigious high-end piano maker, Steinway & Sons., where she sold over $40 million worth of instruments. Feidner’s fascinating journey has been spotlighted across print and visual media, featured in Forbes, Canadian Business, Smart Money, Men’s Health, A&E, The Food Channel, CNN, and The Hallmark Channel. In this special episode, Eric Janssen speaks with Feidner about her long love affair with music and her approach to the art of sales.
46 minutes | 6 months ago
29. Option C
This isn’t anyone’s Plan A. We are living through a live case study of an unprecedented global pandemic, and many of your colleagues who had their dream jobs lined up after graduation have found the rug pulled out from under them. COVID-19 has forced hundreds of thousands of new grads to change their plans entirely — and not to their Plan B ‘fall back option’ but to something entirely different. Something they weren’t considering in the first place. They have been forced to pursue Option C. Graduations have gone virtual, and offers are delayed or rescinded but Option C can be a blessing if you allow it to be. In a special edition of the Ivey Entrepreneur Podcast, Eric Janssen talks to four Ivey students who have pursued non-traditional paths and made boulders their blessings. This episode features Jacqueline Scott, Allora Athletics (www.alloraathletics.com), Natalie Diezyn, Marlow (wearemarlow.com), Chloe Beaudoin, Apricotton, and Jack Jelinek, Crank Lite (www.cranklite.com).
50 minutes | 6 months ago
28. Entrepreneurship, Leading teams, and lessons learned with Ron Close
There is no shortage of descriptors for Ron Close, HBA ’81: a seasoned entrepreneur, leader, educator, coach with a small ‘c’, board member, investor etc. A graduate from one of Ivey's most 'entrepreneurial classes (1981),' Ron was the co-founder and CEO of Netcom Canada, one of Canada's earliest and most successful Internet companies. After selling Netcom, Ron spent a number of years in executive roles across the telecommunications, and technology industries. A deep thinker who is eminently quotable, Ron shares some of his most important learnings, from starting up, leading teams, and coaching some of Canada’s top young entrepreneurs and executives, on the latest episode of the Ivey Entrepreneur Podcast.
50 minutes | 6 months ago
27. Feedback: How to give it, take it, and when to ignore it with David Ciccarelli, Co-Founder of Voices.com
David Ciccarelli started his entrepreneurial journey when he opened his own independent studio. He ended up partnering with his first customer (now his wife), and building the world's largest library of voice talent: Voices.com. Voices.com has grown exponentially since raising $18M USD from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and the organization is continuing on an aggressive growth trajectory with everyone rowing in the same direction. In this episode, David does a deep dive into the importance of setting clear goals, how to write a one-sentence job description, how he sets up employees for success (and keeps them on track), and the specific process that Voices.com uses for performance reviews. This is a playbook for onboarding new employees, and setting them up for success in a high-growth company.
81 minutes | 7 months ago
26. High-growth and its unique challenges
Last fall, Eric Morse sat down with three impressive entrepreneurs to discuss their journey, and lessons learned on resourcing for high growth, shaping culture, and learning from past mistakes. On the latest edition of the Ivey Entrepreneur Podcast, Eric Brass, HBA ’05, Founder of Tequila Tromba, Debbie Fung, Co-Founder of Yoga Tree Studios, and Anton Rabie, HBA ’94, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Spin Master, discuss high-growth and its unique challenges.
58 minutes | 8 months ago
25. Authenticity: How to be unapologetically you and carve your own path with Josh Domingues, Founder & CEO of Flashfood
Flashfood has become well known across North America as a grocery app that helps you save money and reduce food waste. With massive grocery partners like Loblaws, Farm Boy and Meijer, Flashfood is quickly becoming a household name. All too often, entrepreneurial success stories skip the messy middle: the details, mis-steps and failures along the way to their ultimate success - in this episode Josh Domingues, Founder & CEO of Flashfood spares no details. With specific examples from early failures, to conducting interviews with early users, and rolling up his sleeves to generate his first sales, Josh highlights how authenticity is a competitive advantage for entrepreneurs.
43 minutes | 8 months ago
24. Acting As If: How to fake it until you become it with Greig Clark, Founder of College Pro Painters
Clark started College Pro Painters out of desperation in 1971 when he was only 17 years old. He needed to pay for university and realized his summer job wasn’t going to cover his tuition, so he went door-to-door to sell his first painting job…without knowing how to paint! Clark landed his first job, and learned quickly how to deliver on his promise to customers. He went on to expand the business to 500 franchisees, and over 5,000 painters when he ultimately sold the business in 1990. In this episode, Clark uncovers how to overcome fear and doubt as a first-time entrepreneur, how to make the first sale, and how to set up the systems, processes, and cadence to grow your business.
55 minutes | 9 months ago
23. Inclusion: How to go out of your way and move the dial in business and life with Jodi Kovitz, founder of #movethedial
Despite all the buzz about diversity and inclusion, few companies make it a true investment priority. We need to start bringing intention, rather than just good intentions to the process. The fact that critical decisions are being made without the perspective of half of the population is particularly concerning in tech because of the ever-increasing role that machines in general and AI in particular play in our lives. Jodi Kovitz, a lawyer, turned tech executive, founded #movethedial, an organization to advance the participation and leadership of women in tech. In this episode, we talk about her entrepreneurial upbringing, how she navigated her early career, and the nudge she finally received to start her own company, and global movement. In the wake of COVID-19, Jodi made the difficult decision to pause operations at #movethedial. In doing so, the aim is to preserve the company and support the movement in the long term. We are all deeply optimistic that #movethedial 2.0 will emerge as a strong, and resilient organization.
57 minutes | 9 months ago
22. Mastery: Learning how to learn with Zero-to-Mastery founder Andrei Neagoie
Staying at home has created an opportunity for many to learn new skills; whether it is a new language, how to code, or make bread. Before you start your next learning opportunity, wouldn't it make sense to learn HOW to learn so that the process is more effective, efficient, and fun? On this weeks podcast, Eric Janssen is joined by Andre Neagoie, a software developer, turned entrepreneur, and currently lead instructor at his own company, Zero to Mastery (ZTM): the highest-rated programming course on the web that has graduated over 200,000 students. Andrei shares his wild entrepreneurial journey that has taken him from launching his own adventure races, teaching surfing in Nicaragua, and finally to Silicon Valley and Toronto, where he worked as a Senior Software Developer before founding ZTM. Before you spend the next few months burning countless hours learning a new language, or skill, spend some time learning how to learn the right way.
46 minutes | 10 months ago
21. Improving communication in a WFH World
With millions forced to stay indoors due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the concept of Work from Home (WFH) has gone mainstream. Working from home has its benefits: Reduced commutes, added convenience, increased family time, and has made it far more acceptable to wear sweatpants to "work". At the same time, this new working dynamic has created complexities in how we communicate, especially as we add more people to the virtual space. Conducting meetings, delivering presentations, and teaching classes virtually can be challenging, and often requires new tactics and communication tools to make the best of this new communication dynamic. Eric Janssen welcomes back Eric Silverberg and Eli Gladstone of Speaker Labs to share their wisdom on how to be better communicators in the new WFH world.
16 minutes | 10 months ago
20. The Hundred Year Flood
Each year, a third of all HBA2 students get to hear Dave Simpson’s Top Ten, a collection of personal business stories that speak to how even the best laid plans can come apart through foreseen circumstances. As the coronavirus continues to impact businesses across the globe, many of Dave’s former students have reconnected to share their frustrations of opportunities lost, and how they have been reminded of one of the stories from Dave’s Top Ten, The Hundred Year Flood. In this episode, Ivey alum, lecturer and serial entrepreneur Dave Simpson, MBA ’89 shares the story of The Hundred Year Flood, hoping to remind entrepreneurs the importance of staying calm and carrying on, because entrepreneurs more than anyone understand that existential crises happen all the time.
46 minutes | 10 months ago
19. Prioritization: How to cut through entrepreneurial overwhelm and focus on what actually matters with Janet Bannister, Managing Partner of Real Ventures
Early this year Janet Bannister, HBA ’92, became the first woman to lead one of Canada’s largest early-stage VC firms. Janet has built her career on quickly figuring out what matters, and then becoming the best in the world at those things. She has had a diverse career, with roles at Procter & Gamble (P&G), McKinsey & Co., and eBay, which led to her founding the online marketplace, Kijiji. On this episode, Janet talks about her entrepreneurial beginnings, why a career in management consulting is great training for life as an entrepreneur, and how to cut through the noise to focus on what really matters in your start-up or scale-up.
36 minutes | a year ago
18. Mobilizing networks and community building is key for women’s venture creation
Mona Sabet is a technology sector deal maker, an entrepreneur, a diversity advocate, and a community builder. With over 20 years of experience in driving inorganic growth for technology businesses from startup to public company, Mona has cultivated an expertise in formulating, structuring and negotiating strategic initiatives that power corporate growth. She has negotiated hundreds of technology deals and nearly 50 acquisitions from $10M to $500M in valuation. Mona joins Ivey professor Janice Byrne to talk about challenges women entrepreneurs still face in the world of startups, the importance of community and networks, and what men and women need to do better to bring balance to entrepreneurship.
45 minutes | a year ago
17. How great teams can build great Canadian companies with Michael Katchen of Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple is building the world's most human financial services company. Yes, the company most well known for raising near $300M to disrupt traditional financial services companies by leveraging 'robo-advisors' is on a mission to be more human. The brainchild of Ivey HBA ’09, Michael Katchen, the company today, manages almost $7 bllion in assets, and employs more than 300 people. Katchen sat down with long-time friend, Eric Janssen, to talk about his journey; from leaving management consulting to working in the start-up world and building a disruptive company in an industry he had never worked in. In this episode Katchen uncovers how he thinks about hiring, and getting the most out of his team, as well as his outlook on the future of great Canadian companies.
63 minutes | a year ago
16. How does 150-years in business prepare you for modern day disruption?
Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination, and few have been on that journey as long as the Oland and Stanfield families. In this episode, Eric Morse speaks to QuantumShift alums Andrew Oland, CEO of Moosehead Breweries, and Jon Stanfield, CEO of Stanfield’s Ltd, on how the long history of their business impact how they view, and handle the current disruptive landscape. Listen to the fascinating histories of two pre-Canadian institutions, and how they continue to balance history, innovation, business, and family.
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