Episode 24 - Marty Kratky-Katz Co-founder and CEO of Blockthrough

Episode 24 - Nine years of entrepreneurship and three companies with Blockthrough's Marty Kratky-Katz

Join in for a conversation with Marty Kratky-Katz, the co-founder and CEO of Blockthrough. Blockthrough is a Toronto based startup that helps web publishers recoup some of the advertising dollars they lose out to adblockers whilst creating an ad-friendly experience for the site's customers. Marty has been an entrepreneur for close to 9 years and Blockthrough is his 3rd company. In our conversation we go through each of Marty's startups, the learnings associated with each, the bumps and bruises and the reality of what it's like to be a founder and how it's definitely not for the faint of heart. We cover everything from finding investors, surviving as a company, parting ways with your cofounder, withstanding parental pressures to be a doctor and more!  

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 23 - Chief Career Catalyst of Focus.Inspired with Luki Danukarjanto

Episode 23 - Veteran Technology Consultant turned author and Chief Career Catalyst of Focus.Inspired with Luki Danukarjanto

Join in for a conversation with Luki Danukarjanto, the Chief Career Catalyst at Focus.Inspired and the author of a career book titled: Stuff I Wish I Knew Earlier. Luki is on a mission to help millennials redefine their career journey as a coach but with aspirations to create a new form of education in the future. Luki's story is one filled with cultivating humility through disappointment and making decisions following his curiosity. We journey his personal development and rebranding through an almost 13 year career in consulting to taking the leap of entrepreneurship whilst having a wife and 2 kids. We talk about his early years starting Focus.Inspired and what it's like now 3 years later with the various learnings he experienced as an operator.  

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 22 - Daniel Lee, Your Host's Personal Story (Holiday Special)

Episode 22 - My Journey Through the Accounting, Consulting, Finance Trifecta (Holiday Special Solo-cast)

Join in for a conversation with myself! This is a solo-cast episode where I go through my own career journey. If you want to hear me ramble about the trials and tribulations I experienced in my own unorthodox journey through accounting, consulting and finance then please tune in! It may look obvious to some but I can tell you for a fact that it was nothing of the sort when I was going through it. 

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 21 - Matt O'Leary, Chief Partnership Officer at Carrot Rewards

Episode 21 - Lobbyist to Products to Startup BusDev, 3 Continents and partnering with an Asian billionaire with Matt O'Leary

Join in for a conversation with Matt O'Leary. Matt is the Chief Partnership Officer at Carrott Rewards. Carrott Rewards is an app that helps people meet their personal health and fitness goals using a habit based system. Matt has had an international journey starting in PR and Lobbying in London, UK then moving over to Singapore then creating a venture lab for the billionaire Air Asia founder and ex-virgin executive Tony Fernandes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He then returned to Canada to continue his journey in the startup ecosystem by focusing on business development roles and we actually go through what business development is and just how his lobbying for international government organizations and product management led to how he leads partnerships at Carrot.  

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 20 - Jason Li, Co-founder of TomYum Designs

Episode 20 - Accountant to UX Design and starting his own agency, TomYum Designs, with Jason Li

Join in for a conversation with Jason Li, one of the Co-Founders of TomYum Design. As Jason puts it Tom Yum is a design partnership that is working its way to become a product design agency. Jason is a fellow accounting alum from the University of Waterloo but unlike many in our program, like myself, he did not pursue the accountant's path. He had initially intended to but he started listening to his heart and pursued product design after graduating. Many of my fellow business friends think a transition to a designer without an artistic or technical background is not possible but Jason has done it. We talk about how he built up a portfolio, what he had in the portfolio, his experience working at Thanx, a Sequoia backed startup, and his experience coming back to Toronto and building a design agency. If you're an aspiring designer this is definitely the chat for you but even if you are not (like me) this will continue to be a fun and eye-opening conversation to breaking into the field of product design so I hope you enjoy my chat with Jason Li.

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 19 - Justin Raymond, CEO of Flexday

Episode 19 - Founder of 4 companies and looking to disrupt the modern work environment via Flexday with Justin Raymond

Join in for a conversation with Justin Raymond, the Founder and CEO of Flexday. Flexday is a Toronto-based startup that is looking to create a community of office-free workers where nomads alike can work from environments that energize them. I'm a happy consumer of Flexday and have been nomading through their 20 different locations as my office throughout the week. Justin has had a fascinating career journey where he has gone about creating 3 successful companies that are still in operation today. He was also the North American president of Hailo, the UK-based taxi app company that competed in the rideshare market with Uber and Lyft in the early days. Justin's story was just a fascinating one of constantly listening to your gut and sticking to the mental model of always building a company with a mission of social responsibility at its core.

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 18 - Jordan Hill, VP of Finance at #paid

Episode 18 - Accountant turned career coach, B2B entrepreneur and now VP at #paid with Jordan Hill

Join in for a conversation with Jordan Hill, the VP of Finance & Operations at #paid. #paid is a company that helps social media influencers get paid by matching them up with companies who want to advertise via influencers. With the continued polarization in the marketing world where we are seeing more leaders that dominate small niches this is a really interesting space to play in. Before #paid Jordan was a fellow Big 4 auditor but like many he knew this wasn't for him, in fact his partner told him this wasn't for him. After which, he went to be a career development coach. He was first solo then he teamed up with a partner to develop a product to essentially make a licensing product for organizations. We go through all the trial and tribulations of entrepreneurship ins these varying stages and also dig into what he actually does and why he actually wouldn't be doing what he is doing now if he tried to jump straight from accounting.

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 17 - Ricky Zhang, Founder of Prince of Travel

Episode 17 - Finance to luxury travel blogging for Canadians with Ricky Zhang

Join in for a conversation with Ricky Zhang, the founder of Prince of Travel. Prince of travel is a travel company that started off as a blog where Ricky writes posts on ways Canadians can hack and earn ways to travel in luxury for low costs whether it's getting business class flights and/or staying in luxurious hotels on trips throughout the world. We discuss Ricky's journey of turning a passion project into a full-time business and how he transitioned from building the company over a year until he was ready to quit his accounting/finance job at a bank to taking on the path as a full-time entrepreneur. This was a super fun conversation where Ricky shared some basic tactics where a travel credit card noob like me got some actionable steps to start my journey of accumulating huge points to schedule my first luxury travel trip.  

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 16 - Natalie Festa, Co-Founder of Boro

Episode 16 - Entrepreneur in sustainable fashion after Africa and the Big4 with Natalie Festa

Join in for a conversation with Natalie Festa, Co-founder of Boro - a peer-to-peer clothing rental marketplace. Natalie is a fellow KPMG audit alum. From there she got a sabbatical to work as a managing director of a local fashion company in Tanzania where she was also the roommate of Lucas Perlman, who came on as a guest on episode 11 of the podcast! We go through Natalie's journey of listening to your gut and getting off that hedonistic career treadmill, seeing the fashion supply chain in the developing world, quitting with nothing but an idea and the entrepreneurial journey she has embarked on. We go discuss ways of starting a company without VC funding but bootstrapping, the day to day realities and more! Stay on and listen to my interview with Natalie. 

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 15 - Upkar Arora

Episode 15 - Accounting to buying out companies, impact investing and serial C-suites with Upkar Arora

Today's podcast is with Upkar Arora, the CEO of Purpose Capital. Man, where to begin. Upkar's had a fascinating career journey. He is both a University of Waterloo Accounting graduate and KPMG alum like myself but his journey takes him to the Canadian Google of the 2000s, Nortel, then to various executive roles, even in a company that files with bankruptcy. We dive into his transition to a private equity investor, creating his own consulting company that essentially starts buying businesses and then to his current passion of impact investing with purpose capital. He is also super passionate about career development and overall life design so we go deeper into his perspective, his learnings, the popular career class he teaches at Waterloo and much more. This is a talk where we don't go into the nitty gritty of a specific role but actually go through how Upkar found his north star, his "why", his purpose and how that helps guide his decision making process. I really do hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Here is Upkar Arora. 

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 14 - Greg Duggan (Part 2 of 2)

Episode 14 - Investment banking, Onex private equity, Harvard MBA and the non-linear reality with Greg Duggan (Part 2 of 2)

Listen in on the second part of the two part series of my interview with Greg Duggan. If you missed the first part then I advise you start from there and then come back to this episode. But just as a refresher, Greg's the VP at Alignvest management corporation where he is in the private equity investing arm. He was previously at Onex and graduated from harvard business school with an MBA. In the second part of the interview we dive deeper into the private equity process, what greg actually does everyday, mistakes he made in university, values of a MBA and more. Hope you enjoy my conversation with Greg Duggan. 

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 13 - Greg Duggan (Part 1)

Investment banking, Onex private equity, Harvard MBA and the non-linear reality with Greg Duggan (Part 1 of 2)

Today's interview is with a good friend of mine, Greg Duggan. Greg is currently the Vice President at Alignvest Management Corporation, and Investment management firm and he is in the private capital, aka private equity team there. Greg has what I consider to be the "poster-child" resume for someone in private equity where he started his journey in investment banking in Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, then went to do private equity at the Canadian giant Onex Corporation and then went onto get his MBA from Harvard Business School before joining Alignvest. I've known Greg throughout his journey and as we get deeper into his story we showcase how it was anything but linear. This is part 1 of a 2 part series where we were having so much fun we decided to chat for a full 3 hours. In part 1 we dig into his earlier career journey and the various decisions and obstacles he faced in each transition that creates the current illusion of the linear career path in private equity. Here is my conversation with Greg Duggan. 

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 12 - Sam Restagno

Episode 12 - Banking to starting, investing and operating small businesses with Sam Restagno

Join in for a conversation with Sam Restagno, Managing Director at Golden Spruce Capital, a private investment company that focuses on buying small businesses with an ebitda of 1-5MM. In our chat Sam takes me through how he persevered through to get into investment banking, and the process of making the decision to leave the plush expense account and comfy banking world to ultimately start a 2 person fund with his business partner. We go through the world of small company investing, the importance of relationship building, the opportunity size, the various funding options and the frugality and hustle you need as founders. I personally got a lot of value out of this chat and even if you aren't someone who isn't hell bent on running your own investment company in the future I think you'll be able to extract lot's of value out of my chat with Sam. Hope you enjoy. 

 

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 11 - Lucas Perlman

Episode 11 - Audit to Africa and startup partnerships at MaRS Discovery District with Lucas Perlman

Join in for a conversation with Lucas Perlman, International Partnership Manager at MaRS Discovery District. I've had a lot of friends in the professional services field like accounting, consulting and finance tell me about how they want to do work that is more impactful and meaningful to them. Some have even told me about wanting to take some time off to go on a trip to a developing country to help out the local businesses there. Well, today's guest did just that. Lucas left audit to go help out local businesses in Tanzania through a corporation called Anza, which is practically the Mars discovery district of Tanzania. We go through the decision making process he had in taking the leap, the value of taking career risks earlier on and what he does in his new business development role at MaRS. For those who want to try something similar to what Lucas did he discusses a partnership program you can take part in over a 3 month period and he has also given me links to other programs he wanted to share with you. I've included these links in the shownotes so check them out after listening to the interview. So without further adieu here is my conversation with Lucas. 

Volunteer Opportunities:

Anza’s International Professional Program - http://anza.co.com/international-professionals/

  • ~3 month in-country assignments working with Anza supported entrepreneurs

CUSO -  https://cusointernational.org/

  • 6+ month engagements across the world

Escape the City - https://www.escapethecity.org/

  • Job board used by a lot of startups/NGOs in emerging markets

Subscribe to the podcast by:

iTunes

Google Play

Stitcher Radio

Did you enjoy this post?

JOIN THE COMMUNITY BY SUBSCRIBING TO THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

INCLUDED IN THE NEWSLETTER ARE:

I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU AND IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS, FEEDBACK OR JUST WANT TO CONNECT REACH OUT!

Episode 10 - Conrad McGee-Stocks

Episode 10 - Dropping out of business school, going into design, and the world of growth marketing for mobile games with Conrad McGee-Stocks

Join in for a conversation with Conrad McGee-Stocks, Growth Lead at Uken Games in Toronto. Conrad started his foray into the world of design thinking and growth marketing with the decision to drop out of business school and it has been a fun journey to hear about. We delve into the world of growth marketing to understand what Conrad does, how his role evolved and how the role tailors specifically for a mobile gaming company. Additionally, we explore habit-forming design principles Uken considers for games, in their marketing and how Conrad uses them in his own life. 

Episode 9 - Lessons from a 20 year journey in Asset Management with Anish Chopra

Join in for a conversation with Anish Chopra, a managing director at Portfolio Management Corporation (PMC). I met Anish at University of Waterloo's stock pitching competition where we sat on the judges panel together and hearing about his journey from audit to banking to investing I knew I had to have him on the podcast. In our chat Anish unveils the evolution the asset management industry has gone through over his multi-decade period at Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank. We go through the difference of managing money for a multi-billion dollar bank vs. a small hedge fund that serves high net worth individuals as well as the most common "regret" Anish's peer group has when they look back on their career. 

Episode 8 - Audit to owning and growing the Mos Mos coffee franchise with Armin Yassaie

Join in for a conversation with Armin Yassaie, co-owner of Mos Mos Coffee. Armin takes us into the competitive world of "third wave" coffee shops and we dive into the depths of what it takes to operate and grow a coffee franchise. We also explore the mental model for starting your own coffee shop and explore how Armin's experience from a family construction business played a factor to his jump to the world of coffee.

Episode 7 - Audit to Fintech and Kindness to Venture Capital with Ricky Lai

Episode 7 - Audit to Fintech and Kindness to Venture Capital with Ricky Lai

Join in for a conversation with Ricky Lai, Senior Associate at Portage Ventures. Follow Ricky's journey from an accountant's path to making incremental changes to transition to roles in Peter Thiel's Mithril Fund, a fintech company and finally to his current position at Portage. Ricky's journey to Portage is an example of how a habit of giving can create great opportunities. 

Episode 6 - Law to Kenya to Tech. Defining Chief of Staff and Growth Executive with David Axler

Episode 6 - Law to Kenya to Tech. Defining Chief of Staff and Growth Executive with David Axler

Join in for a conversation with David Axler, Head of Growth and Business Development at Wave Financial. Follow along as David describes how experiencing a rigged election and national uprising in Kenya influenced his decision to pursue a career in technology. Listen in on the path of one of Influitive's Chief of Staffs and how he designed his mental model for his career starting from working with Facebook ads in 2008 to eventually become the growth lead at an accounting software company.   

Episode 5 - Consultant, Y-combinator alum, to investor and executive with Vikram Somasundaran

Join in for a conversation with Vikram Somasundaran, Y-combinator alum and VP of CPA Ontario. Vikram began his professional career in audit and traversed into consulting where he met his co-founder for their company: Edusight. We go through the journey of Edusight from inception whilst moonlighting, to transitioning full time, winning a pitch contest with no product, joining Y-combinator, the process of selling your company and how the journey continues afterwards.