Three University of Waterloo entrepreneurs make Forbes’ list
CEOs who started their companies while still students at University of Waterloo are among bright stars named to the Forbes 30 Under 30
CEOs who started their companies while still students at University of Waterloo are among bright stars named to the Forbes 30 Under 30By Carol Truemner Faculty of Engineering
Three successful tech entrepreneurs from the University of Waterloo have been named to the third annual Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Eric Migicovsky, a systems design engineering grad and CEO of Pebble Technology; Ted Livingston, who became CEO of Kik Interactive Inc. while a mechatronics engineering student; and Douglas Lusted, a environment and business student who is CEO of WestonExpressions (now known as LINKETT), were all named to the prestigious list.
Migicovsky, 27, launched the most successful Kickstarter project of all time with his Pebble smart watch, raising over $10 million in just 38 days. "Pebble, which displays smartphone notifications via Bluetooth, sprang from his irritation with an ever-chirping smartphone,” writes Forbes.
Livingston, 26, co-founded Kik Interactive Inc., an innovative smartphone messenger service that has grown to 100 million registered users. Livingston has also given back to the university by donating $1 million to help launch the Velocity Fund, which provides financial and other support to students through the University’s Velocity program.
Lusted, 21, has been part of the Enterprise Co-op program at the University’s Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre.
He launched WestonExpressions (now LINKETT), a technology corporation providing hardware and software innovations for the advertisement industry. He won the University’s Innovation Showcase and Velocity Fund in his second year, which led to the development of the Linkett Interactive Digital Signage System. The Linkett device equips existing televisions and digital signs with motion and mobile capabilities, enabling on-the-spot promotions to consumers passing by.
Migicovsky credits Waterloo Engineering’s Capstone design projects for giving him the skills to create his Pebble smartwatch. “I can’t imagine what it’s like going through engineering without working on something like Waterloo’s fourth-year engineering projects,” he said in a 2012 interview. “If I hadn’t had the background where I was working on short four-month schedules and building things, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now.”
Overall, 450 30 Under 30 Leaders, mostly from North America, were chosen by Forbes in 15 categories, including tech, finance, social, games, science, education, media, marketing and more.
“These founders and funders, brand builders and do-gooders aren’t waiting for a proper bump up the career ladder,” wrote Forbes. “Their goals are way bigger — and perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial, and impatient digital world they grew up in.”