Hanif Joshaghani has raised tens of millions of dollars for his startup which seems to only be growing in importance through the pandemic of 2020.
During our interview on the DealMakers Podcast, Hanif Joshaghani shared how he went from spending 12 years living in refugee camps as a kid to an MBA and founder of a fast-growth startup. He talked about the keys to a successful business, raising big money during COVID-19, business trends, and vetting potential investors.
Fight For It
Hanif certainly didn’t have everything handed to him on a platter since birth. You can’t accuse him of being a trust fund baby who was born with all the connections and capital without having to work for it.
In fact, after being born in Iran, and smuggled over the mountainous border to Iraq as soon as he was old enough for the journey at 18 months old, Joshaghani spent the next 12 years of his life growing up in a refugee camp.
He stayed there until it became just too dangerous and some countries began accelerating the process of accepting the most vulnerable. It was then at 13 years old he was sent all the way to Canada to live with a foster family until his parents could join him.
Even then he had his work cut out for him. He had to catch up in school. He aspired to go to college, and that meant earning a scholarship to the University of Chicago. Then the real world of work and landing an MBA scholarship at the University of Toronto.
All of this gave him the mindset of never letting adversity get in your way. He equates remaining stagnant to just laying down and giving up. Instead, he believes in constantly challenging yourself and fighting for it with every breath.
He was challenged even more when we went to school in New York. He discovered a completely different life and level of playing field. He was inspired to be a part of that.
Refusing To Be A Cog In The Machine
Hanif told our listeners that he was blown away the first time stepping onto the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It was another new world.
He went into investment banking. He had a great salary. He says he learned a lot about capital markets, big financing, public companies, and M&A deals.
Still, he came to the realization that no matter how good the money could be, he was still just a cog in the machine. Hanif wasn’t very passionate about that future. He felt the only antidote was to do something for himself.
So, with a couple of others, he launched an advisory firm, CoreWest. After doing fairly well helping entrepreneurial small businesses in Alberta, they began investing in some of their clients’ businesses too.
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