December 9, 2022: Meet the Founders who have had massive exits
How culture is king, what generative ai means for humanity, understanding fundraising and more!
Quick Takes: Advice and tips from Founders who have had massive exits
At our recent TechTO: Together Event on December 5, we had the privilege of chatting with two Founders who had massive exits with their business. Here are some of the takeaways we want to share:
Stuart Lombard of ecobee took the TechTO stage to chat about their exit, and the lessons learned while growing ecobee into what it is today. Some main takeaways from Stuart:
- "Find what you're passionate about, and stick with it"
- "Competition is good, because you win by not giving up"
- "The last person standing is just the last person to not have given up"
- "You're on your own and that's the way it should be, no one is going to help you but that's good for you"
- "Acquisition is not the finish line for Founders" - This was related to the thought around being passionate about what you do at the end of the day, and having a vision for your business no matter what.
Stay tuned for more on Stuart's chat to come next week!
Allen Lau, Founder at Wattpad and current Venture Partner at Two Small Fish Ventures chatted about his massive exit and shared more of the advice that Founders in Canada could benefit from. Here are the best takeaways:
- "If you are on the rocket ship, don't ask for a seat number, just go, because you can learn so much"
- "Always aim for the impossible"
- "Learning how to manage growth and scaling helped me more than anything"
Watch Allen's full conversation on our YouTube channel, and don't forget to like and subscribe so you never miss out on new content as it drops!
Inessa Karlinsky of Aviron also joined us this week to chat about the success of Growth Marketing, the secrets to building culture, and the impact it can have on your business. Here were some of her top takeaways:
- "You have to test everything, and not just test but test it fast and methodically"
- "There are no growth hacks, but community is super key. Spend a lot of your time building community"
- "Culture is king"
- "A good culture vs bad can make a really big difference to your company"
Don't miss out on our next TechTO: Together #IRL Event of the new year! Join us on January 16, 2023, for the next installment of the series! - REGISTER HERE
What does Wattpad do?
Wattpad is an online literature platform intended for users to read and write original stories. The founders Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen say that the platform aims to create social communities around stories and remove the barriers between readers and writers.
Wattpad has raised a total of $117.8 M in funding over 8 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Mar 13, 2019 from a Venture - Series Unknown round. Wattpad is funded by 20 investors, with Times Bridge and Peterson Group being the most recent.
They were acquired in January 2021 by Naver.
The exit was one of the largest seen in Canada, and although acquired by a foreign company, Wattpad still remains headquartered in Canada. At our recent TechTO event, Allen touched on why it was so important for Wattpad to remain in Canada.
To read more about the full deal and how it came together, check out these reads.
Allen Lau (Founder and former CEO) led the company's efforts to transform the way people around the world discover and share stories. Prior to Wattpad, Allen started his career at Delrins, another Toronto success story. In 2001, he co-founded Tira Wireless where he helped leading brands optimize content for mobile delivery. Allen received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Toronto’s Electrical Engineering program. Allen is now focusing on the VC route as the Venture Partner Lead for Two Small Fish Ventures. *courtesy of Crunchbase
As Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Wattpad, Ivan Yuen ensures the company’s product strategy aligns with business objectives. Prior to Wattpad, Ivan co-founded FeedM8 and served as the company’s CTO. Before that, he was one of the first employees of Tira Wireless, where he helped grow the technical team and developed new and emerging wireless technologies. Ivan graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Computer Engineering and also earned an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. *courtesy of Crunchbase
Top Headlines and Content
- Why SAAS companies should add a paywall - READ HERE
- EV + Logistics = $$$ - GoBolt raises another round of $75m from Yaletown Venture Partners, EDC, BDC, and Ikea (*note article is paywalled) - You can see more on the Founders Journey from a past TechTO presentation here
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- Be less scared of overconfidence Here's why.
- What Generative AI means for humanity - READ HERE
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Associate Director of Programming, Elevate (Toronto, Remote)
Why is this cool? Elevate unites the world’s innovators to solve society’s biggest challenges. Best known for Canada’s leading tech and innovation festival, their annual gathering attracts the brightest people shaping the world. Hosted in the heart of Toronto from September 17-23, 2020, the festival features world-class speakers, interactive experiences, and highly-anticipated socials. APPLY HERE
Startup Founder (Marketing, Sales, Growth hacking), Antler (Toronto, ON)
Why is this cool? If you're an experienced marketing and sales growth-hacker looking to build your own tech venture, this is for you! It's a chance to build your next venture from scratch with the guidance of a global VC. APPLY HERE
Events and Links
Check out the interesting content, events, and happenings for the community here:
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