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

A Cornwall, Ont. entrepreneur who offered his on-line enterprise for hundreds of thousands is ready to talk at a youth occasion in March with the goal 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 most likely one or two courses away from failing out of highschool,” Lafleur advised CTV Information. “The issues that I used to be required to study at school I simply did not actually get enthusiastic about so I wasn’t actually making an attempt.”

However when he joined the college soccer crew, 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 all the things round actually in highschool,” he mentioned.

“When I discovered soccer it was the primary time I truly discovered one thing that I deeply cared about, and sarcastically in Canada, if you happen to do not play soccer in college, you are actually type of screwed. There’s not that many different leagues to play in at a extremely aggressive degree,” Lafleur mentioned.

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, a web based meat subscription service referred to as truLocal, which was offered in 2020.

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

Now Lafleur is making an attempt 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 converse for themselves! Six-hundred youth!” mentioned CBEC Supervisor, Enterprise Marketing consultant 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 thought with the occasion is to plant a seed with individuals between 15 and 29 who’re fascinated with turning into their very own boss, and in the future personal a enterprise proper of their neighborhood.

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

“Marc could be very inspiring and he is very motivating however he’s additionally actually practical,” she mentioned. “You do not have to be a pupil, though the occasion is geared in the 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, you recognize, seen somebody like I establish with, be like wow, this particular person can do it. Effectively, then that may have impressed me even earlier to get after it,” added Lafleur.

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

Marc Lafleur’s guide, 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 12 months of highschool I used to be the one Black child within the faculty, after which by the point I graduated, I feel 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 delicate,” he mentioned. “Should you’re a minority you are most likely being advised no extra usually then you definately’re being advised sure and with regards to enterprise, having that mentality of assuming you are going to get a no is basically worthwhile as a result of then you definately type of simply hold coming again and hold coming again and hold coming again.”

“It is nearly like a few of 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 feel it is a disgrace there aren’t extra in enterprise, particularly contemplating, I feel, that it isn’t only a place that we belong, it is a spot that is made for us,” Lafleur mentioned.

When requested for what recommendation he would hand over and coming entrepreneurs now, he says hold tinkering away.

“2023 is the best time on the planet to make cash,” he mentioned. “You can begin up a enterprise, you may spin up an internet site over a weekend and now in fact everyone seems to be getting enthusiastic about these AI instruments.”

“Should you’re at school and also you’re looking for a strategy to get into entrepreneurship, simply begin tinkering with issues, use these instruments, construct one thing,” he mentioned. “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 making an attempt 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 accessible.

Registration may be carried out on the CBEC web site.

“For me, I did not even notice that entrepreneurship was an possibility till I obtained 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 surprise what I might have carried out if I even knew that entrepreneurship was an possibility in highschool.”