Cornwall, Ont. entrepreneur who offered enterprise for M set to encourage subsequent technology

Cornwall, Ont. entrepreneur who offered enterprise for $16M set to encourage subsequent technology

A Cornwall, Ont. entrepreneur who offered his on-line enterprise for tens of millions is ready to talk at a youth occasion in March with the intention to encourage a youthful technology to observe in his footsteps.

When Marc Lafleur attended Holy Trinity Catholic Excessive Faculty, he wasn’t the best pupil.

“I used to be in all probability one or two lessons away from failing out of highschool,” Lafleur advised CTV Information. “The issues that I used to be required to be taught in class I simply did not actually get enthusiastic about so I wasn’t actually attempting.”

However when he joined the varsity soccer workforce, it helped to floor him, setting off a brand new path for his life.

“That was the motivation and the aim I wanted to truly apply myself and switch the whole lot round actually in highschool,” he stated.

“When I discovered soccer it was the primary time I really discovered one thing that I deeply cared about, and mockingly in Canada, when you do not play soccer in college, you are actually sort of screwed. There’s not that many different leagues to play in at a very aggressive degree,” Lafleur stated.

Motivated to proceed taking part in, Lafleur was accepted into the Universtiy of Waterloo, the place he co-founded two startups.

Whereas they each failed, his third strive paid off, an internet meat subscription service referred to as truLocal, which was offered in 2020.

“Constructed the corporate to about 60 staff throughout the county after which we had been acquired for $16.7 million {dollars},” he stated.

Now Lafleur is attempting to inform a youthful technology that something is feasible, talking at a youth occasion in March placed on by the Cornwall Enterprise Enterprise Centre (CBEC).

Cornwall, Ont. entrepreneur who offered enterprise for M set to encourage subsequent technologyA poster for the youth occasion in Cornwall, Ont. on March 8, that includes Marc Lafleur. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV Information Ottawa)

“The numbers communicate for themselves! Six-hundred youth!” stated CBEC Supervisor, Enterprise Guide Shauna Baggs. “It is the most important occasion that we have ever had right here on the centre so we’re very enthusiastic about that.”

Baggs says the concept with the occasion is to plant a seed with individuals between 15 and 29 who’re desirous about turning into their very own boss, and in the future personal a enterprise proper of their group.

“It is all these small enterprise house owners that actually create a vibe locally and actually have that tradition and that have that draws different individuals to the realm,” she stated.

“Marc may be very inspiring and he is very motivating however he’s additionally actually real looking,” she stated. “You do not have to be a pupil, though the occasion is geared in direction of 15-29, as a result of it’s our formal launch of our Summer time Firm program which we provide right here in the summertime months for the CBEC.”

“Talking at an occasion like that’s the most fun factor for me as a result of if I might have simply been in that seat, , seen somebody like I determine with, be like wow, this individual can do it. Effectively, then that might have impressed me even earlier to get after it,” added Lafleur.

He just lately launched a e book for aspiring entrepreneurs referred to as True Founder and enjoys talking publicly to the following technology, excited to see what concepts they could provide you with.

Marc Lafleur’s e book, True Founder. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV Information Ottawa)

Lafleur additionally touched on his success as a Black entrepreneur, coming from a rural space like jap Ontario.

“For the primary yr of highschool I used to be the one Black child within the faculty, after which by the point I graduated, I believe there have been 4 or 5 of us,” he recalled.

“We’re used to being advised no, whether or not it is blatantly apparent or its refined,” he stated. “In the event you’re a minority you are in all probability being advised no extra usually you then’re being advised sure and in the case of enterprise, having that mentality of assuming you are going to get a no is admittedly priceless as a result of you then sort of simply maintain coming again and maintain coming again and maintain coming again.”

“It is virtually like among the challenges that minorities are going through are setting them up for achievement in enterprise and entrepreneurship, so I like to speak about that,” he added.

“Once you have a look at any minorities, I believe it is a disgrace there aren’t extra in enterprise, particularly contemplating, I believe, that it isn’t only a place that we belong, it is a spot that is made for us,” Lafleur stated.

When requested for what recommendation he would quit and coming entrepreneurs now, he says maintain tinkering away.

“2023 is the simplest time on the planet to generate profits,” he stated. “You can begin up a enterprise, you may spin up an internet site over a weekend and now after all everyone seems to be getting enthusiastic about these AI instruments.”

“In the event you’re in class and also you’re looking for a approach to get into entrepreneurship, simply begin tinkering with issues, use these instruments, construct one thing,” he stated. “Whether or not it makes some huge cash or not, simply get used to utilizing these instruments and understanding what it is like. Des this product work for no matter downside I am attempting to resolve? You do not have to have watch for permission.”

The CBEC is internet hosting the occasion on the Aultsville Theatre at St. Lawrence Faculty, with restricted seats nonetheless out there.

Registration will be performed on the CBEC web site.

“For me, I did not even understand that entrepreneurship was an possibility till I received into college, and I used to be in a position to accomplish quite a bit by the age of 30,” Lafleur added.

“I at all times marvel what I might have performed if I even knew that entrepreneurship was an possibility in highschool.”