PODCAST: Blockchain, music, and turning down job offers

Monday, November 15, 2021

Image of Calvin Chan and Matt Reyes - Hypotenuse Labs co-founders

Alumni co-founders share why they said no to post-graduation job offers, and the work they do now in their software consultancy

By Megan Vander Woude, Office of Advancement

Listen to this episode on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Soundcloud.

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Two years ago, Matt Reyes (BMath '19) found himself with a tough decision. His friends Calvin and Anthony were forgoing full-time job offers to start a software consultancy business—and they wanted Matt to join. 

Matt also turned down a job offer and today the three are co-founders at Hypotenuse Labs, where they build AI and blockchain products for startups.

Matt and his co-founder Calvin Chan (BCS '19) joined the podcast to talk about why they made that decision and how they built a client base. Plus, Calvin shared some of the most exciting projects they're working on today.

Co-founders of Hypotenuse Labs with their company logoHypotenuse Labs co-founders from left to right: Anthony Zhang (BCS '19), Calvin Chan (BCS '19), Matt Reyes (BMath '19)

Listen to their story and learn about their work on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Soundcloud.

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Show notes

(1:20) Why decline full-time job offers?

(4:36) Matt's decision to join Hypotenuse was similar to his decision to study at Waterloo

(7:15) Choosing Hypotenuse means more time to spend with their passion projects

(11:35) The power of relationships and buildint a client base

(14:35) Networking doesn't always have to be about business

(16:33) The importance of passing it on

(17:41) Why build a cryptocurrency exchange: "… this was our chance"

(19:40) Calvin shares a current project: "The Spotify of luxury fashion"

(22:44) Another project for the Hypotenuse team: Improving mental health support with data

(24:11) One last project: A blockchain that connects the metaverse to physical products

(27:27) "The way we view the blockchain today is kind of like the web in 1999…"

Helpful links from this episode

Connecting cryptocurrency to your bank account: Learn more about blockchain and cryptocurrency in Waterloo Magazine

Hypotenuse Labs blog: Follow and read updates from the team on Medium

"Introducing AlgoSwap": Read about the challenges and process to create the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange

Hack the North: Learn more about Canada's largest hackathon