Todays Notable Young Entrepreneur is The Working Group Partner and Studio Chief Andrés Aquino, whose company builds custom software for businesses looking for an edge in their respective markets. What was the inspiration for his career route? Find out in today's profile...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
TWG builds custom Internet software (web + mobile applications) for businesses looking for an edge in their respective markets. We pride ourselves on helping to deliver business success, not just shipping beautiful designs and great code. We also invest in and advise startups and growth stage companies that make use of software to change the world.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
The inspiration for TWG was based on our belief that software is the best technology available to improve the world. Software is everywhere, and its deep integration into our lives is now inevitable – if not already actualized for some.
I don’t just want to sit on the sidelines as the world grows through (and beyond) the information age; I want to be a part of shaping and supporting the innovators of our world to do their thing.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Best: Solving complex business problems for companies that are changing the world, with a team of passionate and talented thinkers, designers, coders and friends.
Most Challenging: Same.
Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
100+ person company, with an even stronger culture of craftsmanship, learning, and problem solving; a roster of Fortune 500 clients that specialize in innovation; and a track record of helping build and fund startups that have had meaningful and significant impact in their markets.
What does success look like to you?
I believe that the meaning of life is to create fun and successes. So success, for me, is closely tied to life purpose. I suppose success looks like contributing to a world where everyone is following their own dream. At TWG we only hire designers, developers, and project managers that are passionate about building high quality software. We believe that when you do what you love, you’ll produce your best work and have the most fun doing it. It makes for a virtuous cycle of fun and success!
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Tough question. Selling my last company to Air Miles was a big milestone for me, but that feels like a long time ago. In the last five years at TWG, I’ve achieved more success, and created more fulfillment than I ever had before – hard to top that.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Find the space where your passions intersect with what makes you different from others, then have way too much fun succeeding.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We support Childhood Cancer Canada by hosting a day-long painting workshop for kids and their parents. At our first event this June, I had to duck out for 20 minutes to compose myself – these kids and families have to work so hard to achieve a state of normal, and I was overcome with emotion and admiration for their courage.
We also think very highly of SickKids Hospital and would love to help improve the experience that families have while visiting this already world-class hospital. It’s hard enough raising kids, so we want to help remove any additional logistical challenges that come from having to care for your sick child – a smart mobile app might be just the thing to help parents on their journeys to the hospital. They don’t know it yet, but we would definitely like to do some pro-bono work for them in the near future.
What is Notable to you?
Being your truest self, and being respected for that.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
All Mac since the 90s.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
Cycling. Swimming. Guitar. Managing the TWG studio.