Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is serial business-starter Jeremy Koven, who got his first introduction to the power of the online world when he built a website from his parents’ basement that amassed hundreds of thousands in just a few weeks…
Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I build companies that help small businesses grow. At needls it’s my job to ensure that we build a product our clients love, and never stop innovating.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
I’ve always had a passion for both business and technology. I enjoy identifying inefficiencies and then building technologies to solve these challenges.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Building a website in my parents’ basement in a matter of days that went from no visitors to hundreds of thousands in just a few weeks. I immediately realized the power of the internet and started working full-time on it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In five years I see myself helping lead needls to the promised land.
In 10 years I see myself continuing to be active in start-ups through both operations and angel investing.
In 20 years I want to be a prominent philanthropist impacting the lives of those in need. I think it’s important that we all do our part to give back, and I intend to do that through both my time and resources.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Resiliency is key. Whether you are trying to find your first customer or your first investor, stay focused and keep grinding. It’s important to have a short memory when it comes to rejection; as the saying goes, “When one door closes, another one opens.”
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I am a supporter of various charities including Sunnybrook Foundation, Chabad, and Africare, who help provide clean water and resources to rural Africa. I think it’s imperative to give back, and based on my background these are a few of the many charities that I feel strongly about. Living in Canada, we are so fortunate to have access to the resources and opportunities that we do, so I feel it’s important to help those in need. Whether it’s your time or money, every little bit counts.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Failure. Many years back I launched a new product line that tanked. Failure is something that even the most successful people in the world have experienced at some point. When it first happens you feel terrible, and come to the proverbial fork in the road. You either can pack up your bags and go home or pick yourself up off the floor, learn from it, and become a stronger person and entrepreneur. I chose the latter and it’s that initial failure that helped propel me into the successful entrepreneur that I am today.
What does the word notable mean to you?
Something or someone that is memorable or striking that you find intriguing and want to know more about.
Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
Japango. It’s a tiny restaurant on Elizabeth street where you can find some of the best sushi in the city.
What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
ESPN.com and Techcrunch. Headlines by Drake.
Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Brazil. Beautiful beaches, great food, and very friendly people who know how to live life to the fullest. Next up is Africa. I would love opportunity to go on a safari and also learn more about my heritage.
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Taking time away from my young family. They grow up so fast and I hate having to miss even a minute.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Watching copious amounts of football on Sundays.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on?
Home maintenance projects.
What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Home improvement projects.
And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is reaching a point in your career or personal life where you can reflect on your accomplishments and be both happy and proud. It’s not necessarily defined by the size of your bank account. True success comes from doing something that you love at a high level, with people who inspire you. Financial success will ideally be a byproduct of this, but by itself does not necessarily defines success.