Jeremy Shaki is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lighthouse Labs. He is a Montreal native, Concordia University Poli Sci graduate, former Director of Marketing at Sugar Media, and he plays basketball pretty well. Or at least he says he does. Jeremy is very well versed in Marketing and Brand Strategies, Operational Structures, and Staffing, and has been applying those skills to his first love.. Education. He loves what he does, and he loves to talk about it. Beware.
Jeremy shared some great insight and wisdom with us about startups and you will find his “little known” side gigs interesting to say the least. Something tells me there may be a rap-off onboard the Startup Train this year!
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your startup experience? How did you overcome it?
I currently hold the CMO, COO and CEO job title for Lighthouse. Knowing when the right time to hand those off in your growth has been a really big challenge, and one I’m currently just at the point of having figured out. It really comes down to the challenge of scaling up while maintaining quality, and not wanting to put all staff in a position to be working all hours. We are now at the point where it goes from great for the company to bad for the company, and so we have been in the process of bringing in wonderful people who can maintain our values and dedication to each individual that comes through our doors.
What do you believe is the most critical trait for a startup founder to have or to adopt?
Grit. Which doesn’t mean an all hours worker (so commonly what is suggested). It means dealing with the ups and downs and maintaining the love of what you do through it. It’s a lot of resilience and perseverance that should be driven by a real passion for achieving whatever greater goal is in your mind. If you don’t like what you are doing, and don’t have a better reason for doing it than just being seen as a successful person running a company, you won’t last. You need to be driven, focused, resilient and passionate.
What did you like best about Startup Train last year and what is the greatest benefit to the riders in your opinion?
I love the one on one time with people in a focused way. People who came prepared with set questions got quite a lot out of our conversations and I then actually kept up with most of those people beyond that day. There are two companies I still keep in touch with that I met on the train last year.
What is your personal goal for Startupfest 2017?
To make sure that Montreal and the tech community know that Lighthouse Labs is growing in Montreal quickly, and to find all the great people in the community that we can support and learn from.
What is one thing no one would ever guess about you?
I was captain of the Team Canada Junior Ultimate Frisbee Team and played a worlds tournament in Turku, Finland. I also freestyle rap with friends and nobody thinks I’m very good. The no good part people would have probably guessed…