CEO in Training
CEOx1Day finalist Robert Goldfarb is interviewed by Western University's website prior to his day at BSM Wireless.
Robert Goldfarb, a fourth year double Major in Computer Science and Medical Science at Western University, is an aspiring entrepreneur whose ease with innovation and willingness to assume calculated risks and learn from experience has prepared him for his latest opportunity: to shadow Aly Rahemtulla, President and CEO of BSM Wireless as a winner of the Odgers Berndtson CEO x1 Day competition.
BSM is a leading provider of GPS fleet and asset management solutions for vehicles, an area of expertise with which Goldfarb is excited to become familiar. “I’m very curious about his field of work, and have a lot of questions about his endeavors and my own,” says Goldfarb.
His enthusiasm is not surprising. Look up drive and ambition in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of Goldfarb in the sidebar. At 21, Goldfarb has already created a handful of successful web-based companies which create solutions and fill gaps in the market. Goldfarb’s most prominent website, Brevada.com, offers business owners a way to collect “one-click feedback.” This system allows customers to rate a business, based on elements like location, service, or pricing, all through the push of a button. “Feedback-gathering is something that needs to be actively marketed, not just passively performed,” says Goldfarb. “I want to show my clients I care, and offer them tools their business and their customers will find useful.”
During his early undergraduate studies, Goldfarb’s passion for web and software development resulted in the creation of his first start-up company, Pannle.com. The website, which operated much like Twitter, was a learning experience that allowed Goldfarb to get his foot in the entrepreneurship door. “I was naïve when I started out, and pursued ideas much longer than I should have,” says Goldfarb, “But failure can lead to opportunity.”
Goldfarb was soon invited to collaborate on a new venture, the fruit of which was Firstinterview.ca. Now called Magnetichr.com, the firm creates hiring software for businesses, and allows job seekers to apply using video interface rather than with a resume. “I noticed most websites hiring by email, and I wanted to create something that was more personal, and would allow employers to gain a better and more personal sense of the people they could hire,” says Goldfarb.
Brevada.com busisnesses get one click feedback informationIn August, 2013, Goldfarb founded Brevada.com. Featured as an innovative new startup by the Globe and Mail, the web service was described as the potential solution to conventional customer feedback systems. “Most websites solicit feedback by making customers answer a list of questions they may not have responses to,” says Goldfarb. Brevada.com balks at the traditional approach and offers a new spin on survey delivery and efficiency. Brevada offers businesses customer feedback through a simple and sleek five-star rating system. An option for comments is available, but is not a mandatory field to be completed. When a company signs up, they segment their business into different products and services, each of which can be rated by their customers. If they have multiple locations, the analytics from the feedback will flag discrepancies. This four-person high tech company serves 150 retail and industrial customers. “Brevada is in a good place, with a number of new sign-ups every week,” says Goldfarb.
In May of 2015, Goldfarb will be graduating and heading to Toronto to start a job as a product and software developer at Top Hat Monocle, a company specializing in creating education software to increase student engagement during lectures. “I’ve used Top Hat in some of my lectures here at Western and I’m excited to be a part of that team,” says Goldfarb. Looking ahead, Goldfarb expects to continue to spread his entrepreneurial wings and tackle even more innovative endeavors. “I’ve grown and changed so much in the past four years as an entrepreneur,” says Goldfarb. “I hope that I can encourage others to take their visions and the advice they get, and make it happen.”