True Founder: Insights on starting your first business

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Join us to celebrate the book launch of Marc Lafleur’s True Founder: What no one else has the guts to teach you about your first business. Lafleur (BSc '14, Health Studies) is co-founder of truLOCAL, a company that he eventually sold for almost $17 million. Forbes asked Lafleur to write a business book on his experience in starting a company. His book is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to get insight into establishing their businesses.

Marc Lafleur with True Founder book cover.

While studying at the University of Waterloo, Lafleur found his niche in entrepreneurship. After two failed start-ups, he co-founded truLOCAL in 2016, a monthly meat delivery service platform that connects consumers to local suppliers. Within five years, truLOCAL accumulated a series of wins, including a successful pitch on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and annual revenues exceeding $20 million. Lafleur landed the cover of the Globe and Mail’s 2020 Report on Business for leading Canada’s 14th top growing company.

Lafleur is passionate about mentoring up-and-coming founders. After several successful angel investments, he has earned a reputation as a value-added investor among early-stage start-ups. As a black founder, Lafleur had become accustomed to having doors closed on him and has spent the past two years empowering minorities to understand that they not only deserve a seat at the table, but that their unique challenges give them an advantage. Lafleur created the “truLOCAL Equal Opportunity Grant” to support black entrepreneurs through $5,000 business grants.

As a keynote speaker, Lafleur has shared his inspiring message to companies such as Lululemon and Google, as well as academic institutions like the University of Waterloo and York University. Lafleur has taken a special interest in speaking to today’s youth in hopes of inspiring a new generation of leaders. He says, “If my story can inspire even one kid to take a risk and go after something someone told them they couldn’t achieve, then I’ve done what I’m here to do.”

Marc Lafleur is a graduate of the University of Waterloo. Realizing the importance of governance, he entered the Institute of Corporate Directors’ “Director Education Program” (DEP) and, in 2021, became one of their youngest graduates.”

The event features a talk from Marc and an engaging Q&A with Matthew Bondy, Vice-President, Enterprise Canada, moderated by Lili Liu, dean, Faculty of Health. 


3:10 p.m. - Doors open

3:30 p.m. - Formal program begins

4:45 p.m. - Reception and book signing

“True Founder" books will be available at the venue for purchase between 3:00  -3:30 p.m. and 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. outside the lecture hall. Visa, Mastercard, and Amex only - No cash. The author, Marc Lafleur, will be available to sign your copy between 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. at the reception following his talk.

Visitor parking is available by purchasing a ticket from the pay and display machine. We recommend X Lot, which costs $5.00. It accepts coin, WatCard, Visa or Mastercard. X Lot is on Hagey Boulevard behind the Optometry building (corner of Columbia and Hagey).

If you have questions or require assistance, email Saba Shafiq.