Jack Newton is a wealth of knowledge for other entrepreneurs trying to navigate the current market to startup, fund, and scale new companies.
Newton hasn’t just built an incredible startup that employs 500 people. Or has simply raised hundreds of millions of dollars. He did this through some of the most trying economic moments in recent history.
During our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Jack shared incredibly valuable insights on when to make the leap, a million-dollar blog post, why you should check your email spam folder, tips for successfully scaling your team, and managing a remote workforce. Plus, your most important job as a founder and fundraising in a downturn.
He’s been into machine learning since before it was cool and has been in startups across multiple industries.
Jack Newton was born in Toronto, Canada. Since then he spent time growing up in Edmonton and eventually made his way to the other coast and Vancouver.
Each of these destinations is pretty entrepreneurial and have their own challenges. It’s likely these factors were influential in instilling him with an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age.
He and his cofounder Ryan have known each other since they were just eight years old. They’ve tried many ventures together since then. When it was snowing and hitting -40 degrees Jack started a snow shoveling service and hired others to help out. They even started a food delivery service, long before Amazon was as popular as it is today.
Learning How To Solve Problems
Being an entrepreneur is really all about being a problem solver.
At university, Newton took to machine learning, long before it was cool. There he had the privilege to learn from some of the best minds in this space. That includes well-known AI expert Jonathan Schaeffer.
After his Bachelor’s degree, he was recruited and became the first software developer at healthcare startup Chenomx.
He quickly found the problem bigger than he was ready for. So, he went to get his Master’s Degree in machine learning before heading back to Chenomx ready to take it on.
They brought him back in as Director of Product Development. He got to touch technical development, go to market strategy, and learn about fundraising. He caught the startup bug. It gave him the itch to get out there and create something of his own from scratch.
He and Ryan shared this yearning and became two hammers looking for a nail.
When To Go All In
Ryan had been working at one of the largest legal firms in Canada. In 2007, they saw the cloud coming, and how it could be a once in a lifetime transformation that could fundamentally transform industries.
They were surprised to find that there was no competition in the legal tech space, for creating a cloud-based practice management system. They started bootstrapping. They worked on it part-time in the evenings and on weekends around their full-time jobs for six months.
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