Harley Finkelstein knows what it means to hustle and he enjoys every minute of it. He’s an entrepreneur and Chief Platform Officer (CPO) at ‘Canada’s Smartest Company’ (Profit Magazine, 2012) – Shopify. Harley was directly hired by Canadian CEO of the Year (Globe and Mail, 2014) Tobi Lütke to bring a new way of analysing business challenges. Even though his job encompasses sales, business development, partnerships, Harley’s focus on a given day can be very fluid: from building out systems for third-party partners to scaling up an app store and everything in between. His insatiable desire to learn and grow has helped Shopify reach new levels of success.
Only three months into 2015, Shopify is already receiving plenty of accolades:
Canadian Business named Shopify one of Canada’s 15 Most Innovative Companies in their April Issue.
How it Innovates: Shopify does the hard work of building online stores for entrepreneurs, who can struggle to establish an online presence, with often pathetic results. To ease their burden, Shopify handles all the complexities of online sales, including design and payment systems. It even pairs each client with a dedicated “guru” to help ensure the site launches without a hitch.
In January, Fortune named Shopify to its Unicorn List. What’s a Unicorn? According to fairy tales from our childhood, it’s a mythical horse-like animal with a horn on it’s forehead. But for a little more detail in this context, we’ll let Fortune describe it:
“They’re called “unicorns”—companies that have soared to a $1 billion valuation or higher, based on fundraising. The billion-dollar tech startup was once the stuff of myth, but now they seem to be everywhere, backed by a bull market and a new generation of disruptive technology.”
It’s quite the accomplishment for the Canadian startup, with the list consisting of the likes of Uber, Airbmb, Snapchat and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. For more on the Unicorns of the business world, check out Fortune‘s full article, ‘The Age of Unicorns.’
In addition to his day-to-day CPO duties at Shopify, Harley recently joined Felicis Ventures as a member of their Advisory Council. He’ll act as the eyes and ears for the best Canadian companies yet to come.
For more on Harley, and how he can inspire your audience check out his speaker profile.