“I knew I wanted to go into business

Smith Magazine

michael jordan cheap shoes On any given day, there are online deals to be scooped. One random day in mid November, the deals included a car detailing and a mechanical inspection for $39 (regularly $159) from Deal of the Day; $50 worth of pork chops for $25 from WagJag; and Executive Limo service to Toronto’s Pearson Airport from Buytopia for $39 instead of the typical $99. michael jordan cheap shoes

cheap jordans online real Shoppers have been flocking to online group buying sites in recent years. Six of ten Canadians have tried them, according to QSB Professor John Pliniussen, cheap jordans online who specializes in sales, e marketing and innovation. He not only studies their offerings, he buys them. “I just purchased three acupuncture visits through a group buying online site from a local business I didn’t cheap air force know existed at a third of the price I’d been accustomed to paying,” he enthuses. “Nice!” cheap jordans online real

Shopping and buying via the Internet have never been more popular, John says. “Group buying is just the latest iteration of e tailing and social networking. consumers, merchants, producers).”

cheap jordans near me Derek, Tim and Michele are well aware of this and the other challenges that come with launching a new venture. Despite their relative youth, all three are seasoned entrepreneurs, having launched at least one other business venture in addition to their current ones. They all credit their Queen’s experience as having provided fuel to feed their entrepreneurial spark. cheap jordans near me

At 29, Derek Szeto is a veteran in the online retail sector with 11 years’ experience and a YouTube video to prove it (“Eleven Years in 3 Minutes”). “I did a lot of my shopping online, trying to save money,” he recalls. “I was a high school student in Oakville, and there wasn’t a lot of money to go around. I thought I could share the deals I found with others and learn a bit about the Internet in the process. It really wasn’t meant to be any kind of business.”

It turned out to be just that, though a business he would run on a part time basis while completing his Queen’s Commerce degree, and one he would pursue full time after graduating. A degree in business was a logical next step. “I knew I wanted to go into business, whether as an entrepreneur or not,” he says. He’d seen first hand what running a business entails cheap jordans in china by watching and helping out his parents at their Chinese fast food restaurant in Hamilton.

where to buy real jordans for cheap As a Commerce student, Derek pursued a generalist path. He flirted with going the accounting route, even spending a summer with Ernst Young, which he remembers as a “great experience.” It wasn’t until he had to decide on whether he’d pursue a specialty that his career aspirations became clear. “I thought back to my summer job at E and compared it to my part time job running RedFlagDeals and realized that I was having more fun, was more interested and more engaged in doing something for myself. Any time you can combine what you’re passionate about in my case it was shopping and saving money with what you do for a living, well, that’s the path to take.” where to buy real jordans for cheap

real cheap jordans websites By foregoing a specialty, Derek was free cheap air jordan to pursue a broad variety of courses that interested him. “I took Managerial Tax with Prof. Dan Thornton and thought that was an amazing course. I was able to apply what I learned there to my business. I also really appreciated the breadth of content the Commerce program offered and the opportunity to learn from my classmates and professors, who were exceptional.” real cheap jordans websites

cheap jordans aliexpress One such professor was Marketing Hall of Legends inductee Ken Wong, who acted as a mentor and served on RedFlagDeals’ Advisory Board in the early years. “I could pitch ideas to Ken and get his feedback. If we needed introductions, he would help. He and some of the other professors were always happy to give their time to lend a hand,” Derek recalls appreciatively. cheap jordans aliexpress

cheap jordans in usa Armed with his BCom, Derek took the plunge in 2005, leased a 400 sq. ft. office in Toronto and hired his first employee. He also wed his Commerce classmate cheap jordans sale Sharon Lee, who has been with KPMG in Toronto since graduation. “We were ahead of our time and we really focused on the Canadian consumer. There were very few deals and online shopping sites targeted at Canadians. There were a lot of sites in the US providing shopping information for US consumers, so we adopted their model and brought it to a Canadian audience that was underserved.” cheap jordans in usa

The site grew and prospered by charging retailers a fee for sending online shoppers to view their specials. More staff were hired and a larger office space was acquired in 2006 when Derek was profiled in Inquiry magazine, this publication’s predecessor. By 2009, RedFlag Deals had two million unique visitors each month. It also attracted the attention of potential site buyers. “We had been profitable for a very long time and had no need to be acquired,” Derek explains, “but when YellowPages called in 2009, it cheap air force was a different story.” Yellow Pages offered the chance to provide more local content, to tie deals to specific stores in the consumer’s city, and to map their locations. It also offered an opportunity to break into the French language market in Quebec, something cheap yeezys Derek had been interested in for some time.

The deal was finalized in February 2009, with Derek becoming General Manager of Deals, Coupons and Shopping within the YellowPages group. Like other group buying sites, Deal of the Day offers time limited bargains on a wide variety of goods and services.

cheap jordans at foot locker Working for a conglomerate versus owning one’s own business has its challenges, Derek concedes. “At a large company, decision making is more time consuming,” he admits. “You have to make sure everyone is on board and in sync. The advantage is, you cheap jordans on sale can leverage a lot more resources. That site’s not even open to external advertisers, so that gives us a big edge.” cheap jordans at foot locker

Much cheap nike shoes has changed since Derek launched that basic website from his parents’ basement, but one thing has not: He still loves to shop and he still loves getting deals. “We just had our first child, Matthew, in May.

cheap js When Tim Ray was 21, he had a list of things he wanted to accomplish before he turned 30. With that milestone approaching in September 2010, he was well on his way to crossing cheap Air max shoes off two items: “Get an MBA” and “Become cheap adidas a full time entrepreneur.” He instinctively knew when compiling his list that completing the one could lead directly to accomplishing the second. cheap js

The idea for Foodscrooge, an online grocery group buying website, came to Tim when he was nearing the end of his Queen’s Accelerated MBA (AMBA) for Business Graduates program in late November 2010. “I was listening to a team present its consulting project for a company in the group buying space,” he recalls. “At that time, I had no idea what group buying was. As soon as I heard their presentation, it was like putting two and two together. I thought, ‘I could do a group buying site for food.’”

It wasn’t even that much of a leap. Tim had spent five years at Maple Leaf Foods managing all the company’s commodity poultry cheap jordans shoes sales for Western Canada. Even though the AMBA program is designed for those who continue to work while pursuing their degree, Tim decided to leave Maple Leaf to devote his full energies and attention to his studies. “I was a classic example of a concept that (Strategy Professor) Elspeth Murray covers in her classes: successful entrepreneurs who often get real world experience in a particular industry and then look for opportunities to innovate within that space.”

cheap but real jordans for sale By the time the consulting projects class wrapped up, Tim had already chosen a name for his new venture, Foodscrooge. “I registered the name and incorporated Cheap jordans it the week after that class. Within weeks, I was preparing the business case and going full steam. By January, after classes had ended in December, the business would become my full time job.” cheap but real jordans for sale

cheap jordans for toddlers The concept was a simple one: Source deals directly from the manufacturer in bulk packaged formats and make them available to subscribers for pick up from a local retailer. Tim’s extensive contacts in the meat industry would open doors to suppliers who recognized the opportunity to reach a new market. cheap jordans for toddlers

cheap jordan sites It became apparent that he had come up with a winning idea when he entered and won a business case competition organized by QSB’s Monieson Centre in partnership with the Prince Edward/Lennox Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA/CFDC). Tim’s was one of three enterprises pitched by Queen’s students that received a $150K loan funded by the federal government to launch startups in the region. (See the full story in QSB Magazine, Summer 2011, page 8.) cheap jordan sites

cheap authentic jordans online The loan, combined with his own capital, was enough to set up shop in the Picton Innovation Centre run by Conrad Guziewicz, one of the competition judges who became a mentor. He also brought in his business partner, Jonathan Ambeault. Tim and Jonathan had launched their first venture, EcoSpark Technologies, in 2008, a venture they pursued in addition to holding down full time jobs. The company focuses on facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles through the placement and installation of charging stations in convenient locations at affordable cost. cheap authentic jordans online

cheap jordans kid sizes “Jonathan is a very detail oriented, process driven kind of guy,” Tim explains. “I’m more the visionary, ideas, sales kind of guy. We complement each other really well, kind of like Ying and Yang. One of the important lessons I learned as an entrepreneur is that it’s really important to surround yourself with people who have the skills you don’t have.” cheap jordans kid sizes

Tim found that having a Queen’s MBA was an added tool in his arsenal when meeting potential suppliers, investors and other professional contacts. “The Queen’s name is highly respected,” he says. “When you’re an entrepreneur and you’re trying to break into business, having an MBA is a definite plus. Then when people found out I had an MBA from Queen’s, it added a second point of reference that helped give more weight to what I had to say.” His credibility was definitely on the line when he went into the Dragons’ Den, the hit CBC TV show that gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their ventures to potential investors. Tim’s appearance was taped in April and aired in December (watch Episode10, Dec. 7, 2011). “We ended up doing deals with Arlene Dickinson and Bruce Croxon and both provided invaluable advice and mentoring.”

Foodscrooge was ready to launch in April with a test run in the Greater Toronto Area. So successful was that foray that the site attracted the attention of two potential buyers. One was WagJag, a TorStar company that is the largest online group buying site in Canada. A July meeting pretty much sealed the WagJag Foodscrooge deal. We wanted to go national, and TorStar has the resources to make that happen,” Tim explains. “They were immediately interested in acquiring Foodscrooge because they wanted to add a grocery component to their already successful WagJag site.” Over the summer the deal took shape and was finalized September 23. The timing might have been better. Tim and his fiance Julia Jordan were married on Sept. 17. “This past year has been a bit of a roller coaster, but it was a good ride,” he laughs.

cheap jordans size 5 As General Manager of WagJag Grocery, Tim is frequently on the road, topjordanscity working on expanding into other markets. Vancouver and Ottawa are up next, with more to follow. As Derek cheap jordans for sale Szeto also found, there are pros and cons to working in a corporate versus an entrepreneurial environment. “While there are processes to follow and some red tape involved, we can draw on WagJag’s 100 staff to help us scale up the business quickly,” Tim explains. “I really enjoyed the daily challenge of trying to grow something from nothing. There’s an excitement and adrenalin rush in trying to succeed in making a go of a new concept. But there were also things I didn’t enjoy putting in 16 hour days because I was the Finance, Customer Service, Sales and Operations cheap jordans from china departments, for example. Now WagJag’s customer service staff answer those types of emails and I’m freed up to focus more on strategic and growth aspects of the business. And yes, my quality of life has greatly improved.” cheap jordans size 5

cheap real jordans online Michele Romanow, youngest of the trio at 26, is on her third new venture and enjoying the ride. Buytopia also offers charities the opportunity to introduce their members and stakeholders to these online offerings and take a percentage of the value of purchases generated through their referrals. cheap real jordans online

Her entrepreneurial bent and social conscience were revealed during her engineering student days at Queen’s. Along with several classmates, she founded The Tea Room in 2005, the place for exotic teas and cappuccinos on campus that pioneered new environmentally friendly technologies and practices. Her role as a co founder and her impressive contributions to cheap jordans china Queen’s garnered Michele the 2007 Tricolour Award, the highest cheap jordans free shipping tribute given to Queen’s students by their peers for service to the University in extracurricular, non athletic activities.

Michele continued to keep an eye on The Tea Room’s progress during her MBA studies, an intense 12 month experience that whetted her entrepreneurial appetite even more. She teamed up with fellow Engineering grads Anatoliy Melnichuk, BSc’07, Arts’08, and Ryan Marien, BSc’08, Arts’08, to compete in several business case competitions pitching Evandale Caviar, a sustainable sturgeon aquaculture facility. They captured five first place prizes totalling more than $100,000 in competitions across North America, including Michele’s Dare to Dream Internship from QSB that contributed $15,000 towards the total.

“After my MBA graduation, I turned down a couple of job offers in order to launch the caviar business with my engineering classmates,” Michele recalls. “We chose New Brunswick, where we lived for three months to establish the fishery, then went on the road, visiting high end restaurants to sell our product.”.

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