YEDaily: Emily Key

Emily Key is the Founder of Reverb Media Group, a software development consulting firm that builds custom enterprise software. Find out the inspiration behind the 26-year-old Dalhousie grad’s business and what some of the challenges of running a tech-based company are in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Reverb Media Group is a software development consulting firm that builds custom enterprise software. We plan, design, and develop web and mobile applications that empower businesses to do business better.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
The success rate of software implementation is generally really low, and my co-founder and I wanted to change that. When we met, our initial conversation was about how we could improve the software industry and make people’s lives easier…and now we do!

While his extraordinary talents lie in software engineering and being a great project lead, my specialties are in business management and client relationships. It’s a really nice marriage of skills; we’re delivering higher quality software to our clients, and giving them a fun, warm, and comfortable experience while we’re at it. Our clients are able to focus on their business while we take care of their technology. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do on a day-to-day basis is interacting with people! Whether it is spending time with our clients or prospective clients, or recruiting new team members, I love getting to know people and enjoy listening to what’s on their mind. It’s really fulfilling to cultivate new connections and grow them into strong, long-term relationships.

The most challenging part is staying innovative. There are so many great software development firms and startups out there doing incredible things, and technology continues to change at such a rapid rate. Staying on top of it all, while trying to be consistent and confident about long-term strategic planning, can be tricky.

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
The five-year plan entails a 40-person core team, a Toronto office, and an international office.

What does success look like to you?
To me, success is making other people feel happy.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
There are many memorable moments so far, and starting a company with a qualified and passionate business partner is definitely at the top of the list. I feel very lucky.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Surround yourself with people who support you, and be sure to have critics in the crowd too. You need to know the hard truth to move forward, and sometimes it’s not always pretty!

Do your best to see obstacles as opportunities, and remember to take a moment to revel in the small things. Sometimes we are so focused on climbing up a mountain that we forget to turn around and see just how far we have come.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I am a very proud Rotarian! As a member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver, I have the opportunity to do community service both locally and internationally.  It is a wonderful experience to work with professionals on such high-impact projects. There are 1.3 million Rotarians around the world doing incredible project in hundreds of different countries, and they are some of the nicest and most selfless people I have ever met.

I am also the Director of Partnerships for TEDxVancouver. This is important to me because I love technology and creativity, and bringing people together to learn about, discuss, and debate the various speaker topics is so much fun! My love for the sea, and the local food and wine scene encouraged my involvement with the Vancouver Aquarium’s Toast to the Coast in a sponsorship capacity. Also, I recently became a member of YWCA Vancouver and am really looking forward to getting more involved with their youth programs.

What is Notable to you?
When people are genuine, it is really notable. When you can embrace who you are and really understand what you have to offer, you will be a magnet for great people and great experiences.

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