In the past year, our team has received tremendous support from individuals, organizations, governments and companies around the world. We are fortunate to have built such an incredible network that has empowered us to move fast and build something special with CoLab. Given we started building Gradient one year ago, what better time to recognize some of these incredible individuals and organizations?
Roy has been programming since he was 10 years old and graduated atop the 2017 MUN Computer Engineering class. After convocating, Adam and Jeremy reached out to Roy to join the founding team and were fortunate to work with him from June 2017 - February 2018. In this time, Roy was an essential asset in architecting and building the first version of Gradient which was released in March 2018.
One of Roy’s biggest assets is the ability to solve seemingly impossible challenges on a very short timeline. On a number of occasions Roy developed solutions to complex problems that helped the team reach milestones much faster than we thought possible.
Roy is also very passionate about advanced medical technologies. During his time with CoLab, he was awarded the opportunity to work on one of the only passive brain controlled interface (BCI) projects in North America. In February 2018, Roy decided to give his full attention to this innovative medical project, and the company was proud to support him in his decision. Roy's contributions to CoLab put the company in a great place to succeed with Gradient, and we are confident he will continue to do great things.
Thank you for all of your hard work, Roy!
Daan is currently the Head of Growth at MYSA - North American leader in smart thermostats for high voltage baseboard heating. When we first met Daan he was helping start the Memorial Center for Entrepreneurship, and teaching a fifth year engineering entrepreneurship course.
Daan has a wide range of knowledge around starting and growing companies, and a unique ability to ask the right questions at the right time. Even before CoLab became an operating company, Daan was constantly probing us with ideas and questions that enabled us to learn 10X faster than we would have otherwise. More importantly, he gave us the confidence we needed to take the risk to start CoLab.
A year and half later, Daan is still mentoring us from a marketing and strategy perspective and we appreciate every minute of it. Thank you, Daan!
Catherine Courage, Greg Smyth & Jim Fish (Advisory Board)
Given our team was very young when we began, we immediately began to search for experienced industry advisors to help us learn fast and avoid large mistakes.
In March of 2017, Jeremy pitched at the first ever Mel Woodward Cup hosted by MCE and Jim Fish happened to be one of the judges. Having felt the pain we were trying to solve he was excited to help us on our journey.
Around that time, Greg Smyth reached out to Jeremy regarding full-time positions at Tesla - but when he heard about CoLab he was immediately interested in helping. After telling Catherine Courage about CoLab, she too wanted to support the team.
In the past year and a half Jim, Greg and Catherine have been mentoring us, helping us navigate the early challenges of a startup and connecting us to customers, VC’s and other mentors around North America.
With this support and knowledge, we were able to gain access to major technology centers outside of Newfoundland. This helped us think big, and gain a much better perspective of the problem we were trying to solve.
We are looking forward to continuing to work with you - thanks Jim, Greg and Catherine!
Sarah Murphy & Peter Gifford (Propel ICT)
Propel ICT is an Atlantic Canadian Technology Accelerator. Each program hub has an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). Fortunate for us, we had two - Peter Gifford and Sarah Murphy.
This program lasted 12 weeks in the Fall of 2017 and helped us build the foundation of how we carry out sales and marketing today. Peter and Sarah thought about our business as critically as we did and were essential forcing functions that ensured we learned quickly, experimented regularly and moved fast.
Although the program ended in December 2017, both Peter and Sarah continue to go above and beyond for CoLab. Whether it was a connection to a potential hire, or staying up until midnight to review a pitch deck, they are always there to help.
Thank you Peter and Sarah for everything you do, and shout out to Propel for having awesome EIRs and a strong program!
Memorial Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE)
Today MCE is a very well known part of the Newfoundland Entrepreneurship community - but when CoLab began it was just getting started. We took part in the first ever pitch competition, were there when FounderSpace opened up, and have been lucky enough to have MCE’s support from the beginning.
MCE is an invaluable hub for very early stage entrepreneurs who need guidance to get started. We received key mentorship, initial funding and much more from MCE which allowed us to start CoLab with very little previous experience.
The people running MCE are incredibly talented and dedicated, and are constantly thinking about ways to improve the program. In the past year, they have drastically increased their following and impact on the entrepreneurial community, and we would like to congratulate them for it!
Thank you for housing us last year, helping us get started, and for your continued support!
Verafin, another St. John’s based company, is the North American leader in fraud and anti-money laundering software. Verafin took us in during the early days and provided us free (and beautiful) office space while also ensuring we were adequately mentored (and fed). The team at Verafin has continued to support and motivate us ever since.
Thank you Verafin for treating us like we were a part of the team, and helping us get started! We couldn’t have done it without you.
Families and Friends
One of the most important support systems that we often take for granted is our families and friends. They have always put up with the long hours, unpredictable schedules and seemingly left-field requests. Despite all of this, our family and friends have supported us every step of the way; whether it was making sure we were fed, helping us build our office space, or creating buzz in the community.
Without you and your understanding, this journey would have been far more challenging and in the end far less rewarding. We appreciate the sacrifices you have made, and one day hope to repay each and every one of you!
To all the people who have helped make the first full year of CoLab a success, we sincerely appreciate it and we are excited to take on the next year of challenges and hit the next big milestones!
Thursday, November 1, 2018