As fate would have it
My entrepreneurial journey began back in junior high school with a chance meeting. It was the first day of grade eight and Stephen Ufford and I were allocated lockers right beside each other. We quickly became the best of friends.
Over the next five years, we worked on many class projects together which led us to discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Little did we know, we were laying the groundwork and foundation for our future business partnership.
Build. Exit. Repeat.
Not long after graduating high school, Stephen reached out to me with a business idea. This set the wheels in motion for a co-founder partnership that would last two decades.
Between (2001-2011), we founded three tech companies. After following the classic startup story, all ended in acquisition within three years. They were roller-coaster rides, each consisting of the quintessential highs and lows, all with epic stories of lessons learned. When our last company sold, Stephen and I shook hands, determining that was the end of the line for us.
But entrepreneurship is much like the famous quote: "Just when you think you are out, it sucks you back in."
Creating a Unicorn - The Billion Dollar Club
It didn’t take long for a new idea to take shape. We found ourselves again, starting another business together. This would be our most challenging yet. We launched Trulioo (an online identity management company) in 2011. At the time, I had two kids under two. It was challenging but we found ways to make it work. Stephen moved to Silicon Valley to focus on raising money and development while I managed our small team in Vancouver. We eventually raised our seed round and never looked back.
Trulioo was unlike any company we built before. It tested our resolve, tenacity, and perseverance but it was also an incredibly exciting and growing experience. We started with the intention to see it past our three-year average but once we arrived there, I came to the realization that it was time for me to step away and let someone else take over my role. In 2021, Trulioo reached “Unicorn” status, an achievement that is reflective of the incredible team and investors who helped us turn our idea into the powerhouse that it is today.
Entrepreneur. Advisor. Author.
For as long as I can remember, I have been advising and mentoring people on their entrepreneurial journeys. Having built four successful businesses with the same person, I was constantly being asked for advice on how to find the right co-founder, how to keep the co-founder partnership strong, and how to fix problems that may arise. I began to explore this topic more and realized that there were limited tools and resources for helping business partners navigate this unique yet vital relationship through the many stages of a company. I came to the conclusion that someone needed to step up to fill in that gap. That someone was me. That time, is now.