Leah Carr is a Toronto-based connector that unites angel investors with startups. She dishes with us on effective networking, her style inspiration and the Canadian tech scene. With the help of Joe Fresh, it’s easy for her to achieve the chic, laid-back style she rocks in these shots.
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters.
I’m the VP of Wealth Creation at Crowdmatrix. I connect angel investors with Canadian startups looking to raise money, mostly in the technology space.
What was the inspiration for your career?
I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by entrepreneurs and enjoyed helping them grow their businesses. This role allows me to work with so many interesting teams that are building companies to improve the way we do things; it’s a very exciting place to be and I feel lucky to be a part of it. In addition, Canada has a chance to be one of the best countries in the world at producing great technology and I really want to play my part in making that happen.
Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
I like where my career is right now, so it’s hard to answer that question. Growth is important to me, so I never want to stop doing that. I would like to keep doing what I am doing, maybe just in bigger ways as I build my capabilities. I’m not really sure where my career will take me, and I have never really been one to plan out a path. I think it’s more about working hard and keeping your eye out for opportunities…And I work for a tech company, so of course I hope we have an exit!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
There is a lot of emphases these days on networking. Everyone wants to have these big networks, but I think that most people build them the wrong way. Networking isn’t collecting as many business cards and LinkedIn contacts as you can. Having a strong network can only be built if you are providing value to those you know. My advice would be to be a connector; do what you can for those you know and expect nothing in return. If you do that, good things will come your way.
What does the word notable mean to you?
To me, being notable means that something you are doing is having an impact. Whether it’s your job, your volunteer work –or maybe even both – I think that you have to be making the world a little better in whichever way you can. Play
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
Truthfully, I typically let my friends pick the restaurant, especially because I have a few that are really good at it. Toronto has so much great food to offer, and I enjoy trying out new places but in terms of enjoying my night, I just think it’s more about who you are with. My go-to place for daytime coffee meetings or lunch is XO Bisous, a cute café on Adelaide. I love going there because the owner puts so much thought into what she serves and it’s not in the PATH where people are used to going, and where I always get lost.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is an extension of who I am, which is very independent. I like to work for small companies, I like to go to Ferris360 (a boutique gym) and I also like to shop at independently owned stores where the owners get to know my style and can help me shop. I like to focus on outside of the ordinary and so I’ve curated my closet to be an eclectic mix of great pieces from interesting brands. I don’t really shop sales, I more shop for quality pieces that I can have for a long time and mix in some trendier pieces on a seasonal basis.
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
I think any of my friends would tell you I love to wear pieces with open backs. I find the style so fun and playful, plus it shows off one of my tattoos I’m also into wearable tech. I just got a new fitbit and the stats I get from that have really helped me stay healthy and on track with my fitness.
Where does your fashion inspiration come from?
I get a lot of my inspiration from looking at my social feeds. I’ve curated my feed so I am always inspired when I get dressed in the morning. Check out my handle @leahjilliancarr!
When you can’t think of anything to wear, what’s your go-to outfit?
My go-to outfit is a flowy dress. I think I have a million of them for any season and any occasion. They are just so comfy easy to wear. You can even put on any type of shoe to match and they transition well from day to night. An exception though would be on a cold day in the winter where my go to is my sweatshirt hoodie dress. I think it may be the best item of clothing I’ve ever purchased. It’s such a simple and easy to wear piece but it somehow seems to also be controversial. People either love it or hate it! I get at least half a dozen comments every time I wear it.
What does success look like to you?
Work, play, or otherwise…To put it simply, success for me would be killing it at work, spending lots of time with my family and friends, improving my strength and cardio with my fitness training and making an impact with the volunteer work I do. Over the course of a lifetime though I think success comes down to two things: Am I happy and have I made a difference? I try to live each day to accomplish those things.
Finally, you work with a lot of new Canadian Technology companies. Can you tell us about a few you think Young Professionals should be using?
There are so many amazing Canadian technology companies out there. I could go on forever about this. Below are a few that can help young professionals with their busy lives:
Zoom.ai: Zoom is an automated assistant that can help book meetings (or dates!), schedule travel and even give you a background on people before you meet them.
Homigo: Homigo is a home concierge perfect for the older YPs who own homes and maybe even have kids. Homigo will take care of their homes so they don’t have to.
My Green Space: My Green Space is perfect for all YPs who want to grow their own food at home. They make the process quick, painless and, most importantly, easy.