There’s a new generation of entrepreneurs on the scene, a group of young self-starters who are re-writing the playbook for how to launch and run a company.
The new kids on the block are just as fierce as generations past, except that these kids grew up in a digital playground.
Canadian business is in the midst of a tectonic shift and Millennials are leading the charge. They’ve boldly said no to the corporate ladder, replacing it with new business models and a less encumbered lifestyle. They’re the next generation of achievers, not only embracing technology but also developing it.
Their physical workspaces inspire innovation. Nine-to-five has been replaced with 24-7; effort, not time, is rewarded. They are trendsetters, impatient in their pursuits, building businesses faster than any demographic before them.
We spoke with five young entrepreneurs about their workspaces, work habits and why they think they’re shaking up the business landscape.
Arjun Kumar, CEO
Kela Medical Inc.
Arjun Kumar says there’s one major difference in business today, and that's speed.
“Comparing to past generations, where businesses had to grow organically, the concept venture capital was rare. Now, you hear of a start-up coming out of nowhere. With the Internet age, you can go from zero dollars in revenue to $100 million in a short time.”
Evan Lewis, Founder
Evan Lewis surrounds himself with like-minded entrepreneurs. He’s set up shop at MaRS COMMONS in Toronto, a groundbreaking space that breeds innovation.
“Legacy businesses are seniority based. The top wouldn’t have as much interaction with junior people. In our company, I’m the founder, but I’m also the youngest person on the team. I’m 23 and the oldest member is 43 but we’re on a completely leveled playing field. We have the ability to create our own culture.”
Tegan Mierle, Co-Founder
There’s a good chance Tegan Mierle’s workspace isn’t like yours. Yes, you can sit at a desk, but you can also work standing up, in the Zen room or lying back in a bag chair.
“We didn’t come from corporate-world jobs, so we didn’t have any sort of preconceived notion of how we should run a business. Environment is really important to us and one we’ve been able to dictate ourselves. We do everything we can to keep people here and to make sure they’re happy, because at the end of the day we want to produce really great work.”
Beacon Bike Lights
Steve Tam says his garage-style passion projects led him to become a multi-company entrepreneur. He credits immediate communication as the key to his success.
“We are in contact with people all over the world, all the time. We’ve been able to grow much faster as a result. I’m always moving around. One week I could be at the office at home, the next in New York. It really doesn’t matter where I work.”
For Joel Gregorio, there is no line between business and pleasure. Instead, authenticity and full integration are vital.
“I think traditionally people were always trying to make them play nice together. But people love what they do. Work is purely integrated into our personal or social lives. And that’s beautiful.”
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