Co.Launch is a competitive accelerator program for early-stage tech startups in the ideation and prototype phase. A total of 12 startups were chosen to participate as part of the Fall 2018 Cohort. Five startups from the cohort were selected to pitch at the Finale to an audience of 300+ people at the Delta Bessborough with $20,000 in cash prizes up for grabs!
(*Psst...We're currently taking applications for the next Co.launch Cohort. Apply HERE)
Today, we caught up with Nelson Wani, one of the winners of the Co.Launch Finale to get his insight on his double life of being an engineering student and tech startup founder.
Nelson Wani is a third year Engineering Physics student at the University of Saskatchewan.
At 6 years old, Nelson tried to repackage dyed salt and sell it by marketing them as precious jewels. Fast forward, 10 years later, Nelson single-handedly built a recording studio to record music and rented it out.
On his most recent journey, Nelson was accepted to the Fall 2018 Co.Launch Cohort. From there, he founded Autumn Logistics, which gathers real-time analytics and presents firms with a new way to drive down costs, increase efficiencies and minimize lead time.
How did the idea for your business come about?
Initially, I started with the idea of creating a compliance Point of Sale system for the cannabis industry. But, the more I spoke to cannabis stores owners, the more I noticed a production problem. From that, I started meeting with people closer to the production space. I eventually got to manufacturers, and I found a real problem worth solving.
What is your greatest fear around entrepreneurship and how do you manage it?
I actually don’t fear entrepreneurship, I’m more afraid of never trying.
But if I had to choose, my greatest fear being an entrepreneur is working hard but not solving a real problem. For me, my biggest emotional return on time and energy spent on Autumn is making people’s lives easier, if I’m not accomplishing that I’m wasting my time.
What would you say are the top skills that have assisted you in building your company?
Learning quickly. It’s allowed me to move forward instead of getting stuck.
Good people skills. I have to be able to get customers, employees, and investors to trust in me and my vision.
What are the key lessons?
I have had more fun doing this than anything I’ve ever done, but it’s also been a lot harder than I thought it’d be. The biggest thing I learned is the importance of humbling myself and understanding that I don't know it all. It’s been amazing the amount of support people will give me as a student.
What advice would you give to students that are looking to get involved in tech?
Be aware of the opportunities that exist in the city. This can easily be done by going to events and asking questions to experienced professionals. Saskatoon generally has a great mentoring ecosystem and most people I have reached out have been very supportive. A lot of people are willing to take chances on young people regardless of experience.
If you or someone you know has the next great tech startup idea, apply for our Spring 2019 Co.Launch Cohort!