Jan 27, 2022

Daniel-Dubois.jpgA graduate of the Business Administration Diploma (2012), Daniel is a serial entrepreneur and passionate changemaker. After creating, building, and selling his last two venture-backed companies (guiides.com and ShareShed), Daniel moved to Toronto and joined Airbnb for two years.

In 2019, Daniel co-founded Key, an innovative company which offers a new model for home ownership, where Canadians can co-own a home with a small down payment.

Daniel’s passion about entrepreneurship has been widely recognized with the Top 30 Under 30 Award, Canada’s Top Student Entrepreneur Award, and top three Global Student Entrepreneur Awards by Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He was a Canadian Delegate and speaker for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in China, and spoke with Kofi Annan, Justin Trudeau, and Prince William on the importance of fostering youth innovation. 

This month, we talked with Daniel about entrepreneurship and life at Langara.

What are some of the most practical things you learned in the Business program at Langara? 
In my entrepreneurship class, our instructor Deland Jessop had us watch a TED Talk on the rise of the sharing economy. I learned about companies such as Airbnb, Instacart, Doordash and Uber while they were just getting started.

I was blown away that such a powerful trend was so wildly unrecognized, so I directed a film series on this topic and started my first venture-backed company, ShareShed [where people can rent outdoor adventure gear from locals]. 

What would you have liked to have known before going into your career? 
I would have liked to have known the Lean Startup Methodology earlier in life. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy. My ability to build a business drastically improved once I learned how simple it was to validate assumptions and focus on what really matters. 

Do you have a favourite memory of Langara as a student? 
My wife and I went to Langara together so any class we took together was a great memory. I especially enjoyed the elective, Biodynamics. 

What piece of advice would you give to alumni and students who want to become entrepreneurs? 
Join On Deck and other entrepreneur communities to figure out what you want to start. Follow a business model canvas and lean startup methodology to have your business plan done and your first minimum viable product shipped in a day. 

What are you most proud of? 
I am most proud of my family and the culture we have of taking fun seriously. We love wholeheartedly and are constantly making incredible memories together. 

What are the myths or misconceptions most people have about creating their own business? 
That you need to spend days, weeks or even months planning. You don't need to register a business or overthink about what you're trying to start. Just get started. What would you need to do today to validate that people want to buy your product? Done is better than perfect.

Thank you for sitting down with us, Daniel!