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The entrepreneurial world is loaded with bright, usually young, people who dream of one day founding the next Google, Facebook, or something uniquely new and revolutionary.
While many are successful in their own right, not many make it to that level. However, one bright young Canadian is nearing that point and along the way is helping other young Canadians.
Rahim Fazal, originally from Burnaby, B.C., and the youngest person yet to enter and graduate from the Richard Ivey School of Business without a pre-requisite degree, co-founded and is chief executive of Involver – one of the hottest and most groundbreaking social media companies in San Francisco.
Launched four years ago, it was the first company to create a way for brands to use Facebook, which at the time was a growing social media network that has now become the world’s biggest with some 700 million users.
(Disclosure: I first met Fazal after he sold a Web-hosting company he founded while still in high school for $1.5-million. He’s been involved in three startups. We worked together to produce a book that showed Millennials how to plan their lives and achieve their dreams using business principles. The book is still the basis of Fazal’s frequent speaking on entrepreneurship to high school and college students throughout Canada and the United States.)
Fazal and co-founder Noah Horton, built the company into an advertising powerhouse that is backed by some of the top U.S. venture capital companies. During a recent visit to Involver, I composed a case lesson for other bright young entrepreneurs who might want to follow in his footsteps: It begins with an idea Fazal and Horton recognized the growing importance of Facebook to advertisers while working at a Silicon Valley company.
Rounding up a little seed funding, they took a chance and started developing a service that would help advertisers use the viral nature of social media to reach this new market.