He may only be 18, but Calvin Carr is at the financial helm of Bitness, a new Halifax-based start-up that gives retailers unprecedented insight into customer behavior.
“Timing was on my side for sure,” says the Waterfront Campus business student. Calvin met Alex Gillis, the 16-year-old founder of Bitness, at an event designed to encourage young people to consider entrepreneurship. “We really hit it off. I never thought anything of it at the time, but then he called and asked me to come work for him at Bitness in Volta Labs.”
It was a natural fit for Calvin who is taking part in an NSCC work term pilot program designed to encourage students to explore entrepreneurship and Nova Scotia’s burgeoning start-up sector.
“I’d heard good things about the business program, but I really just applied to do something,” says Calvin on why he enrolled at NSCC. “By second semester, I’d been introduced to the entrepreneurial life and loved it. It’s become my life.”
“This has been priceless for me,” says Calvin. “NSCC helped me figure out what I want to do, gave me the mindset I need and pushed me forward. I know what I want to do in life and I’m living it.”
Calvin credits his mentor, business faculty Deirdre Evans, for encouraging him and for her dedication to fostering an entrepreneurial interest in all her students. “I owe a lot to Deirdre. She has mentored and been there for me in everything I’ve done so far.”
Once his six-week work term ended, Calvin was hired on permanently as the Chief Revenue Officer for the young company.
Calvin returns to campus this September to complete his two-year diploma. He’s looking forward to sharing the industry-based knowledge and experience he’s gained with his classmates. “I’ve met mentors and funders and lived the day-to-day of a start-up,” says Calvin.
“Perhaps most importantly though, I’ve learned that nothing in business happens the way you expected. You can do as much short- and long-term financial forecasting as you want but, in the end, you just have to roll with the punches and keep getting back up.”