April 10, 2017

The Espresso Capital team had a great time at Troughs and Triumphs last week, hosted by Influitive. Mark Organ, Influitive founder and CEO, began the evening event attributing part of his success to meeting and listening to “experienced practitioners and leaders.” The panel consisted of some of Toronto’s top SaaS executives, including Steve Woods, Ashira Gobrin, and Razor Suleman. Together they discussed the “troughs and triumphs” of their journeys and how they would do things differently if they were to do it again.

Lessons learned from the panelist:

Steve Woods is the founder and CTO at Nudge Software, based in Toronto. An engineer by training, Steve became the Group Vice President of Software Development at Oracle before joining Nudge. Steve advised the crowd that there is a “certain point where there is no return, and that is where you want to reach.”

“Embrace darkness and fear; refuse to stop moving forward.” – Steve Woods

Ashira Gobrin is SVP of people and Culture at Wave HQ, a software for small businesses to track and handle money. Ashira discussed the importance of human capital, and incorporating trust and transparency in the workplace in order to foster good morale. She also shared some ways to balance work and home life, hers being sacrifice and compromise.

“Customers can often articulate what the problem is; the smartest are those that listen.” – Ashira Gobrin

Razor Suleman founded Achievers, a cloud-based platform which helps align company and employee values through employee recognition. Razor shared his incredible journey, explaining how “startup life is all about perspective”. A piece of advice he shared with the founders in the room was to engage in debt-financing, and strike the healthy balance between equity and debt.

“Know your three priorities for the day. Find a way to cut the noise and focus on the signals.” – Razor Suleman

Tweetable takeaways:

We would like to thank Influitive for hosting a great event which brought the Toronto tech community together for an evening of insightful conversations.