In October Momentum Ventures launched the Momentum Ventures Challenge, an entrepreneurship challenge targeted at young professionals looking for an opportunity to run their own business under the Momentum Ventures banner.
The winner of this challenge would be entitled to a full-time, leadership position at Momentum Ventures, a minimum of $500,000 toward their new venture, and access to Momentum Ventures’ network of veteran online talent and in-house support systems. Momentum Ventures’ CEO Matt Keezer was inspired to launch this challenge as a means to recruit new leadership talent for his company following the launch of Alio, an online travel agency that will in-time offer the largest selection of flights, hotels, cruises, and other travel packages.
We asked Keezer about what he expects from the challenge and why he thinks it could be a huge hit for both the Montreal startup community and Momentum Ventures.
Q: How has the reception been for the challenge to this point? Have you received any compelling applications?
A: It’s been good! We have been promoting it for a few weeks at this point and have received a lot of interesting applications. It’s really staggering just how varied some of the applications have been. We’ve had people from all kinds of backgrounds, technical and otherwise. We actually had an applicant who had written several children’s books. We looked her up, she wasn’t lying!
Q: What kind of qualities are you looking for in applicants?
A: Honestly, I wish I knew the exact answer, it would make the whole process much easier. At the end of the day I focus on two things, people who constantly drive to hustle and get things done, and are trustworthy. It’s a larger equation than that, but if you don’t check those boxes off the bat it’s a big red flag.
Q: What will help set applicants apart?
A: Examples of excelling in any area of their life. There is no perfect applicant who can code, and plan, and write, and market a product. Just demonstrate that you are an expert in your field who can build and motivate a team around themselves to achieve a goal.
Q: What, besides the investment and employment opportunity, do you think should interest potential applicants?
A: The fact we have a lot of experience. Whether it be on the business or tech side, it will be a big time learning opportunity for whomever we decide to bring in. Our team has been together for close to a decade, and we have built a lot of great products over that time. We have been there and done that so to speak and are very accessible and always looking for opportunities to pass on advice and knowledge. Likewise, we take care of our people. We pay for transit, the gym, and have a really forward thinking electric and hybrid car subsidy that covers 50% of lease payments on green vehicles.
Q: How does the challenge work? What do applicants need to do to apply?
A: Applicants can easily enter the challenge by visiting Momentum Ventures’ website. The challenge itself should be time-consuming. We ask that applicants write about three instances in their lives where they were winners. They can be as thorough as they want, and frankly they will need to be if they want to catch our eye.