Tell us about yourself?
Gunjan Syal – Founder and Chief Ecosystem Officer at GoEmerald. Gunjan innovates businesses and ecosystems in a way that the results are visible, measurable, and repeatable.
She enables innovation at an enterprise level by merging business, technology, and data. She has led innovation initiatives for businesses in 9+ industries. Gunjan is a globally celebrated workshop host.
When she is not obsessing about data-driven innovation or her plants, she is stalking JWST and Artemis program.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
You are who YOU say you are – create your own path to innovation. Use traditions as a guide, not a gospel.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
My work has become my life – I worked my personal passions into my work. People say to keep passions and work separately. There are boundaries that need to be respected, and if you are passionate about what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Using tech to make the world a better place for everyone. We want every business to become space economy ready – innovate responsibly and repeatedly!
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
I’ve always been someone who saw the annoying “in-between” things that make or break ecosystems long-term. A competitor can put out a fire that’s visible today, take the credit and walk away.
At GoEmerald, we focus on long-term repeatable innovation with a customer focus. If you are not moving in a direction that benefits the end customer, we will tell you!
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
I diluted my focus in the beginning – my advice is don’t be desperate and keep the focus on the target market you want. This is something I am still working on.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?
Getting close to our customer base remotely. It was difficult to generate sales during the pandemic. So we created an online community called Transform This.
Canada has an increasingly influential startup ecosystem, but it still directly competes for talent with the USA. Have you noticed this competition?
Canada has a lot of untapped talent, especially if you are willing to invest in people long-term. Most companies look for experienced people – luckily, in our market, everyone is new, so we are willing to invest in talent.
Do you think the Canadian government is providing enough support to startups? Have you benefited at all? What could the government do to provide more support?
We are not just a startup but also a partner for programs such as CDAP. There are also a lot of grants available for focused startups.
Do you sell mostly to the Canadian or American markets? Does being close to America provide opportunities? If so, what are they?
TBD – we are in the early stages of defining the target market in the US. We are looking to focus on the space economy in the US and hope this interview will help.
The VC setup in Canada seems to be more closely aligned with the European approach. Have you noticed this when fundraising? Do you have any advice for Canadian entrepreneurs looking to raise funding?
We are too early to answer this yet. We are too early to answer this yet. We are too early to answer this yet.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
They can join our community at http://transformthis.ca.We are passionate about building an inclusive and responsible space economy. Everyone is welcome to our community workshops.