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Float or Founder Podcast
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Float or Founder Podcast

Author: Float or Founder Recording, Inc.

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A podcast to inspire the next generation of founders, entrepreneurs, and business owners from the experiences of founders in Toronto, Canada.
20 Episodes
“There is so much doubt to overcome that can only be overcome by continuing to prove yourself.” How do you retain good employees, prevent burnout, take unused vacation days off the balance sheet? Adopt a wellness program that gets over 80% opt in that provides employer-matched vacation savings.Erica Pearson is the founder and CEO of Vacation Fund. She shares how she started off with a scrappy and manual MVP to prove the concept, strategies for how a new founder can take time off (as best as possible!), and pitching as a first-time founder. She shares about the importance of living as many experiences as possible for a fulfilling life and how that mission fuels her team and her company.Support the show
Justin Thouin is the co-founder and CEO of, a platform that allows you to compare insurance, mortgage, and other rates in Canada. Justin started off as the "Chief Everything Officer" and shares the process of letting go of tasks as the company grew. He knows how difficult entrepreneurship is and the time you need to dedicate to build a successful company. Justin talks about his unique perspective in funding the company slowly rather than through large raises. He also takes us inside how banks and insurance companies work and how his company is attempting to improve financial literacy, access, and convenience for all Canadians.In this podcast episode, we made an error in recording, which meant we lost the last little bit of ur rapid fire round. We wanted to record Justin's answers again, and he kindly obliged, offering great advice for any founder who makes a mistake.Support the show
Our first LIVE episode happened at Dovetail Basecamp on September 21st! For this special episode, we had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing Kelsey Ramsden. Kelsey has founded and led many eight-figure businesses and has over fifteen years of experience as an entrepreneur. Kelsey has Tallus Ridge Development, Belvedere Place Development, and SparkPlay under her belt. This multi-faceted founder shares her story and how and why she started these companies.Kelsey discusses running online versus offline companies, how to win business awards and get on the covers of magazines, and how important mentorship and community is to your success. Support the show
Please note that this episode pertains to the cannabis industry. It is intended to be educational."New industries rarely happen in our lifetime. There is a small window of opportunity to create and be part of creating an industry." Trang Trinh, the Founding Director and CEO of TREC Brands, talks about being part of the recently-legalized cannabis industry in Canada. If you've ever wondered what it takes to shape an industry, Trang has great advice for this exciting journey.Trang talks to us about her extensive corporate background shaping her as a CEO, balancing 90 investors, and shaping culture in a fast-growing company that has seen a lot in less than a year. She shares the differences between corporate and startup world and what it takes to be part of or run a startup.Support the show
Chanele McFarlane is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Do Well Dress Well, a content platform that helps people create remarkable careers and personal brands. She shares with us the challenges and benefits of running a content platform. Chanele has advice for any young entrepreneur looking to launch their next big personal branding item. Chanele has explored monetization, different digital marketing tactics to gain traction, and talks about how she grew her audience in the early days. As a millennial who is all too familiar with how we are balancing a million and one things, Chanele shares how she's grown great initiatives in her spare time and surrounded herself with supportive people.Chanele also shares with us how she's impacting diversity in networking events through her other venture, Confidence Through Conferences. She wants to encourage diversity at conferences by making those (often pricy!) networking events accessible to all.Support the show
Gary Saarenvirta is the founder and CEO of Daisy Intelligence. Gary is a technical CEO who built the original software behind Daisy. His math and science background allowed him to launch an AI-based company, way back before it was a well known part of the technology industry. Rather than chasing the revered exit, he discusses growing a big brand - a company that sits up top with the Googles of the world. In this episode, Gary discusses what AI actually is to him and to Daisy - he believes defining AI is important so that customers know exactly what to expect. Gary has funded Daisy with revenues until 2015, when he set out to raise capital from angel and investor networks. He shares the Canadian government programs available to founders, as well. Daisy creates raw, artificial intelligence software and he shares all this company has built over the past 15+ years in business.Support the show
Bobby Umar is the founder and CEO of DYPB, or Discover Your Personal Brand. Bobby is a 5x TEDx, Inc Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speaker, and a personal branding, networking, digital & leadership expert, and speaking coach. His goal is to help you succeed and discover what really drives you. But to do this, he says, "you need to invest in yourself."Bobby talks to us about his best tips for getting on the speaker circuit, breaks down what a personal brand is and how to create a thought leadership brand around yourself, and how to network whether or not you're an extroverted person. If you're looking for tips on creating a standout brand as an entrepreneur, this is the podcast episode for you!Get in touch with Bobby:LinkedInTwitterAuthor of How to Network Anytime, Anywhere, with AnyoneSupport the show
How do two former marketers go about leading an app-based company? They take their marketing skills, bring in advisors, attend (and win!) pitch competitions, and test, test, test. Their idea for Wavy started from their personal experience navigating a city while traveling. They wondered if this could apply not only to travel, but to finding hidden gems in their own cities.Shawn and Peter started with a simple survey to prove their theory, a scrappy MVP, and great low-budget acquisition strategies to lead their first year into a success. They are currently in Beta.In this episode, Shawn and Peter share the exact tools they use to manage Wavy's product development cycles, a few ideas for how they plan to monetize their app, and the anti-advertising values of their company.Support the show
Special treat for Float or Founder listeners! Save on your ticket to Dovetail Basecamp with promo code FLOAT. Join other female identified entrepreneurs for a weekend in the wilderness packed with workshops, great conversation, and so much more. Register today - we can't wait to see you there!If you've ever experienced imposter syndrome, loneliness, or packed schedules as an entrepreneur, Alexis Dean understands completely. She believes in building a community and surrounding yourself with people who can help lift you up, while you can do the same for them. Alexis started Dovetail Basecamp to bring together her Dovetail Community - a group of women running everything from growth stage startups to seven-figure revenue companies. If you've ever wanted to start an event, check out how Alexis got her start and grew Dovetail Basecamp to what it is today.Support the show
Erik Lloyd is busy graduating from his Masters at University of Waterloo, but that didn't stop him and his co-founders from launching Brink Bionics. Within the past year, Brink Bionics has moved from a medical prosthesis technology company to a consumer-facing gaming hardware company - using the same machine learning backing to support it. Brink Bionics has big goals surrounding human and robotics/AI interfacing.Erik and his two co-founders are all technical researchers and he spoke to how they built out a business background and how learning that allowed them to pivot to create a better company. Erik discusses re-learning how to pitch a company that has faced a pivot, how to balance education and work, and why you take time for you and step away from work. Learn the intricacies of launching a hardware company (and how you can be an early adopter of the product)!Support the show
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