On a weekly basis I hope to introduce to you some of the interesting people I encounter in Toronto and everywhere else I go. Here is Andrew Witkin. Andrew is the President of Toronto-based start-up StickerYou.com.
What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?
We are motivated to create a breakthrough solution for anyone in the world’s sticker needs. We get excited knowing that we are pioneering new ground and creating partnerships with customers and consumers to help make our platform better. Most of all we love seeing people’s reaction to getting their own personalized sticker product. That fuels us every day.
Do you have any success start-up tips for people wanting to create a name for themselves in your industry?
Take time to plan the business model such that what you are creating solves a problem, is differentiable, and (most importantly) is something that you can be passionate about. If you are going to have to work religiously at anything, you’ll want to love doing it. Determine what is needed from the technology. Build the core technology first, and not all the frills around it. Test the concept with customers and iterate.
In your opinion why is Toronto a hotbed for cool tech start-ups?
I believe people in Toronto collaborate fairly well and there is a diverse pool of talent to pull new concepts together.
What’s your favourite tech toy and social media site and why?
I have only used it a few times, but the iPad is impressive. You really enjoy the depth and simplicity of leisure consumption when using it, and I think that is powerful. If you can have fun using your media you are going to use it a lot more. I am admittedly not a huge user of social media, in part because I have less time for it, but when I do have some time I enjoy the features Facebook provides me.
Who would you say is one of Toronto’s social media/tech stars and why?
I think some folks I am following actively are Erin Bury and Sarah Prevette of Sprouter. They are doing a lot to raise the profile of start-ups in Toronto. Anything that can be done to raise the profile of the city is great!