CANADIAN ENTREPRENEUR OF 2012
WINNER: Ryan Holmes (HootSuite)
Runners up: Jevon MacDonald (GoInstant), Tobias Lutke (Shopify)
Great profile on Vernon-born entrepreneur, Ryan Holmes, on Canadian Business:
But for Canadians, what’s perhaps most interesting is Holmes’s unique pledge for a startup entrepreneur: he’s gone on the record vowing to build a billion-dollar company north of the 49th parallel. Canada’s tech industry is plagued with problems, not the least of which is a tendency for our startups to sell early.
Further down, the article talks about Holmes’ Vernon roots, and his early entrepreneurial ambition:
For Holmes, entrepreneurship has always been a way of life. He started his first business, a paintball company, in high school, and his second, a Vernon, B.C.–based pizza-by-the-slice joint called Growlies, in lieu of finishing his last year of business school at the University of Victoria. Eventually, he sold the restaurant and moved to Vancouver, where he spent a winter learning how to code. He put together a portfolio and got a job at a dot-com, which in 2000 “dot-bombed,” he says. That’s when he started his own digital services agency, Invoke Media, out of which HootSuite was born in 2008. HootSuite spun off as an independent company in December 2009, raised $1.9 million and continued its exponential growth, eclipsing Invoke.