August 21, 2020
15 minute read

How we co-build tech companies with world-class founders

Inside Harvest

As a founder, you do all the heavy lifting. You’re faced with critical decisions early on in the life of your company. But with the right set of skills, bright ideas and unshakeable dedication, you can establish an enterprise that becomes your legacy.

The humble Canadian Prairies are primed for founders to create the next big unicorn in the technology industry. And at Harvest, we know just what it takes to launch and scale new ventures.

We’re thoughtfully building portfolio companies in FinTech, InsurTech and PropTech to elevate innovation in our region and churn out globally competitive companies that mean more than just a billion-dollar valuation.

Part of this undertaking is to leverage world-class founders with the ambition to take us there. We’re in search of entrepreneurial-minded founders with a rich history in senior leadership to co-build Canada’s next generation of globally competitive tech companies.

Build something meaningful

Starting your own company can be personally rewarding, but there’s a lot of complex moving parts. At Harvest, we take founders’ grand ideas and put them to play on an equally grand scale in financial services, real-estate and other industries ripe for some much needed innovation.

The Canadian Prairies have a unique advantage of making our region more tech-diverse with our potential to build and attract talent where competition is far less concentrated than our Canadian neighbours in the East.

The low cost of living and top-shelf entrepreneurs here make us the prime spot to launch Canada’s next great tech hub. So we’re co-building companies that influence the way Canadians live, work and manoeuvre their lives–and we do it aggressively.

You have the chance to transform innovation across the Canadian Prairies and work alongside some of the most talented industry leaders to further advance our ecosystem.

We connect founders with tech talent from all across the country and spare no time in de-risking companies at every stage–especially early on, using our co-building approach. Pinpointing market size and opportunities, putting products to the test with market validation, and supporting early-stage companies during their first rounds of funding are all part of the bigger picture that we capture.

If you’re curious about the types of companies we’re helping build at Harvest, check out our ‘Venture Highlight’ on Neo Financial, and how we’re reimagining banking for millions of Canadians.

Founder roles within Harvest

When you start a company from scratch, it’s not the lifestyle that draws you in or the freedom to control your destiny that seals the deal. It’s the visionaries–the people who sell you on the ideas of what could be. They’re the ones who get your buy-in and it’s one of the defining forces we’re attracted to in a CEO/COO.

A visionary leader who can tell a compelling story is someone who can set a strategy in motion. And the greater momentum, the greater the impact. A CEO/COO with Harvest will build and lead a high-performance founding team, drive company culture and values, take their product to market, and pitch their brilliant ideas to investors with us by their side to help.

A technical founder, or CTO, on the other hand is equal parts tech visionary and highly seasoned developer. They’re the kind of person who can turn technology strategy into reality by developing an MVP, and there’s no questioning their coding abilities. They solidify the product roadmap, grow a high-performing team, pitch to investors, and set the culture as Harvest’s first technology lead and software engineer.

What it takes to be a Founder with Harvest

Neither of these founder roles is for the faint of heart. The right people for us are excited to make a difference in tech, no matter how demanding the journey can be. The chance to transform ideas into innovative solutions and create global companies will reward you many times over and make your commitment well worth it. And it’s even better when you have domain expertise within our portfolio focus, including FinTech, PropTech and/or InsurTech.

1. Embrace the rocky road

Sheer passion isn’t enough to push you past the finish line. You have to be relentless in the pursuit of building something meaningful, which ultimately means sacrificing comfort, familiarity and uprooting the traditional 9 to 5 life.

You understand just as well as we do that there’s no guarantee of success right off the bat and it’s a waiting game, even if your ideas are solid. It can be months down the line and oftentimes, much longer before the road evens out.

If you haven’t already parted ways with the comfort of a well-paying, stable job, then odds are you’ll have to make more sacrifices along the way if you want to be a founder. Unpredictable shifts are part of the package, but with the right type of work ethic and vision, you’ll make a remarkable impact in the Prairies and across the globe.

2. Be risk-forward (but backed by expert builders)

Like with any new venture, risks are involved, but at Harvest, you’re more uniquely positioned to succeed with access to our world-class builder services. This includes support throughout your startup’s lifecycle, from ideation to development, and market validation to growth.

To be a successful founder, you’re open to the give-and-take process. You embrace the make-it-or-break-it risks and read all the market signals when it’s time to pivot, test and iterate quickly.

Agile thinking is what sets you apart from failure because as stubborn as you may be to execute an idea, you also know when it’s time to let go. Be prepared to untie your safety nets and go all-in. If you really believe in your vision, you should back it up at all costs.

3. Infectious work ethic

Founders identify the gaps in our market and are obsessed with finding the right solutions. You work harder than anyone else, often being the first one in the office to the last person to lock up at night. Your “off-time” on the weekends is just another opportunity to lightly carry forward your company.

Sitting idly doesn’t exist and neither does waiting for things to fall into your lap. You’re pounding away at your keyboard, on constant calls, and your work ethic is second-to-none–and everyone sees it. In fact, we’re inspired by it and it’s the kind of thing that pushes your team to perform even better than they thought possible.

4. Call the shots

Every day, you’re putting on a new hat. You’ll be pushed, pulled, and spun in multiple different directions and it’s your job to keep a pulse on it all.

Founders make tough decisions–ones that you may not ever have made before, which impact our roadmaps. It’s a must to be strategic and forward-thinking at all times.

The most successful entrepreneurs know how to overcome uncomfortable situations with humility and excitement because they know what’s at stake.

5. Exceptional EQ

It’s not enough to carry confidence on your shoulders alone. Founders at Harvest need to have the empathy and charisma to influence advocates who can accelerate your company.

Being open to new ideas, pursuing goals despite setbacks, and discerning the feelings and needs of others are the makings of a high EQ and coincidentally, the types of founders we’re after.

It doesn’t hurt either when you have a proven pedigree of companies behind you to show how you’ve garnered the support of investors and teams.

Shape the future of technology

Startups don’t appear overnight. It takes entrepreneurs willing to go the gruelling distance to build a high-calibre team. The CEO/COO and CTO Founders we’re looking for will think of every trade-off in their company as investments.

The work you put in and what you give up will all be worth the legacy you build when you stay committed to the path. Co-build a company with us, and harness the competitive edge that only Harvest can provide.

Learn more about Harvest’s CEO/COO and CTO Founder positions, and how we can help co-build Canada’s next great tech company together.

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