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Float or Founder: Toronto Startup Entrepreneur Stories

Business & Economics Podcasts

Float or Founder is the Toronto startup podcast. Learn from the career and management experiences of local startup and business entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and venture capitalists in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by Samantha Lloyd and Lisen Kaci of Metaranx.

Float or Founder is the Toronto startup podcast. Learn from the career and management experiences of local startup and business entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and venture capitalists in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by Samantha Lloyd and Lisen Kaci of Metaranx.




Float or Founder is the Toronto startup podcast. Learn from the career and management experiences of local startup and business entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and venture capitalists in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by Samantha Lloyd and Lisen Kaci of Metaranx.




S2E20: Derek Manuge of Corl on picking investments and advisors

Derek Manuge is the co-founder, Director, and CEO of Corl.io - a revenue sharing and investment company. He shows us the different types of funding opportunities for businesses and how he came up with the idea of using data to make equitable and fair investment decisions. There is a lot of math that goes into the underlying software! Derek shares the importance of choosing the right team and advisory board for your company to help you move forward and scale. Support the show...


S2E19: Faye Almeshaan of Acceleprise on accelerators

Faye Almeshaan is the Program Manager and Venture Associate of Acceleprise. Acceleprise is a B2B software accelerator program and investment firm based in San Francisco and Toronto. She talks about how companies pivoted and grew out of COVID and what the investment scene is like. If you're a B2B startup looking to join an accelerator, you can follow along with the current cohort's journey and apply for their upcoming cohort in January 2021! Support the show...


S2E18: Zoe Share of Schmooz Media on not being self-serving on social

Social media marketing is a necessary component of every company. Zoe saw this a few years back when she started her agency Schmooz at a time when many didn't see social media as a serious pursuit. Zoe offers her insights on how important social media is to provide value and connect with the human side of brands, especially during COVID and Black Lives Matter. She also discusses the recent charitable children's book she has released alongside Gabriella Rackoff: ABC Stay Home With Me. As per...


S2E17: Charles Bennett of Triella on digital security

Charles Bennett has been running his full-service technology management company, Triella, for 17 years as founder and CEO! Running a company for that long has given Charles insight into the industry. He shares his top security tips for any company during COVID and with remote work becoming the norm. He openly shares the challenges of hiring and mentoring new team members when switching to full remote. Charles also talks about the other business he almost chose to run at a fork in the road 17...


S2E16: Paula Teixeira Leite of Caju Winds on the packaged food business

Paula Teixeira Leite is the founder of Caju Winds, a cashew spread that is a delicious, vegan alternative to cream cheese and other dairy spreads. She started the business when her daughter started experiencing allergies and reactions to food. Paula shares insights into starting a food business - everything from the regulations, to working closely with (and relying on!) the food inspector, to choosing local versus big box stores, and so much more. She openly discusses the challenges of...


S2E15: Jason Field of Brainstation on lifelong learning

Back to school looks a little different in 2020 for most people. Jason Field is the Founder and CEO of Brainstation, an education centre for digital skills. He discusses how they switched to online education during COVID-19 and how they could reach additional markets due to the online switch. They offer 400 instructors - not a small team by any means. Jason explains how they handle company culture, hiring, and management with such a huge team. Support the show...


S2E14: Dr. Leeno Karumanchery of MESH Diversity on the science of diversity

Trigger Warning: Discussions of racism, George Floyd, police brutality, racism in the workplace. Dr. Leeno Karumanchery is the co-founder and Head of Behavioural Sciences at MESH Diversity. MESH fully integrated anti-racism tool. He is a doctor of sociology and discusses the first class and professor that inspired him to pursue anti-racist work as his profession. He goes into how him and his friend built MESH using science and data as the basis for what they drive forward (and how they hire...


S2E13: Alyssa Atkins of Lilia on personal pain point

When you face a personal pain point, what's the first thing you think to do? Alyssa Atkins of Lilia decided to turn her personal pain point into a business. Lilia is a personal online concierge that gives you clarity and confidence in options about egg security and storage - and celebration! She talks about her time in Y Combinator as it switched to virtual amidst COVID and what Y Com helped her achieve. She also shares Lilia's typical persona and how she talks to each one of her users,...


S2E12: Jay Rosenzweig of Rosenzweig & Company on recruiting

Jay Rosenzweig of Rosenzweig & Company talks to us about recruiting - in a pandemic and out. He also provides insights on how you can offer your skills to achieve what you want in your career and try new paths. Fun fact: he does songwriting on the side! Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2 Special! David Lloyd Hosts Joel Lessem of Firmex

David Lloyd recorded this episode with Joel Lessem in mid-2019 but never had the opportunity to publish it... until now! David Lloyd takes over the Float or Founder podcast to discuss the "grind" it takes to run a tech startup and turn it into a solid company. David comes from an extensive background in the tech industry in Toronto and is currently the CEO of PostBeyond. Joel Lessem is the co-founder and CEO of Firmex. Firmex is rapidly becoming a standard for sharing large volumes of...


S2E11: Neel Lukka on timing

Timing is everything - or so we're told. Neel Lukka delves into why timing is so important for the success of a company. He talks about the different businesses he's built, his experience in Y Com, and what he's up to now! Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2E10: Martha Switzer of Sprout at Work on wellness

Martha Switzer is the co-founder and CEO of Sprout. Sprout enables businesses to reward their employees for healthy behaviour. She talks about wellness, how COVID-19 impacted wellness initiatives, and why she built a company around wellness and health in the workplace. Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2E9: Mark Ang of Second Closet on grinding

Mark Ang, co-founder and CEO, of Second Closet joins us this week. He discusses the unscalable early days of creating their storage company and how they grinded through those challenges. If you're curious on what goes on behind-the-scenes of early day startups, Mark has incredible insights into what him and his co-founders faced! Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2E8: Nunzio Presta of BizOn on selling and buying businesses

Nunzio Presta runs a business of helping you sell your business with the company he is the CEO of, BizOn. He takes us through the selling process, the best way to approach selling your business, how to buy a business, why people sell, and so much more. He provides really interesting insights into operating this type of marketplace and how it began. Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2E7: Marsha Druker of F*ckupNights on community

Marsha Druker of F*ckupNights talks to us about building a community and what it takes to really form a meaningful one. In light of COVID, she talks about taking a community that typically met in-person to a virtual one. Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2E6: Dr. Bryan Gelman of St. Clair Vet on location, location, location

Starting a new business anywhere is a challenge - but especially if you need a physical space to operate in. Dr. Bryan Gelman runs Yonge & St. Clair Veterinary Hospital. He delved into the tricky world of Toronto commercial real estate, navigating a property sale, and turning the place into his ideal veterinary practice. Dr. Gelman truly values his clients and their furry family members. He shared best practices for maintaining social distancing when you have pets to keep everyone safe as...


S2 Special! Techstars Global Startup Weekend COVID-19 Online Canada

Back in April 2020, Techstars Global Startup Weekend COVID-19 Online CANADA took place. People from across the country joined this hackathon-style weekend virtually to help accomplish goals surrounding COVID-19. Float or Founder offered a podcast episode as a prize and from there, this special edition episode was created! In this episode, you'll meet Danielle Torrie, an organizer for the event, plus Bruno Morency who was a judge. Members and leaders from the three winning teams also...


S2E5: Eric Vardon of Morphio on marketing and pivoting

Eric Vardon now operates Morphio.ai, an artificial intelligence company for digital marketers. This all grew from his many years operating a digital agency. Eric discusses marketing during COVID and beyond. Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)


S2E4: Shrad Rao of Wagepoint on building culture remote

Shrad Rao built Wagepoint from a unique perspective: seeing a strategic alignment between a product all businesses need and a desire to modernize an older industry. He took on payroll, alongside his co-founders, and they have helped small businesses handle their payroll needs in a modern way. Shrad's company has always been remote-first and he shares exactly what they do to build and maintain a positive and social remote work culture. Support the show...


S2E3: Kate Dickson & Sarah Hartkorn of Primped on marketplace creation

Launching a marketplace can be difficult in the best times. How are Kate Dickson and Sarah Hartkorn, co-founders of Primped handling their bring-beauty-to-you app during COVID? If you need advice on managing a marketplace during challenging times, tune in! 🎙️ These former finance professionals discuss how they started the company together and how their corporate background supports the work they do. Support the show (https://www.floatorfounder.com/partners)