Feature Founder: Hunter Macdonald of Tutela Technologies

By April 12, 2017Features

East Valley Ventures is profiling Founders of our Portfolio Companies to learn a little bit more about them. Today’s Q&A is with Hunter Macdonald, Founder of Tutela Technologies.

Where did you grow up?
Fredericton, New Brunswick

Where did you go to school?
Bachelor of Engineering @ McGill University
Masters of Engineering @ University of Victoria

Tell us about your family.
In a lot of ways, I am a product of my family. My father is a gifted salesman, my mother is an engineer who became chair of an
entrepreneurship program at UNB, and my brother is an engineer who started his own venture capital fund. I didn’t stray very far
from the tree. It’s nice to have family members who understand my work, like to listen, and can provide useful advice. We’re all also very active and take lots of adventurous vacations together.

What book are currently reading?
The Book of Rose – Alex Macdonald
This is a book my father published a couple years ago. It is fictional but inspiration is drawn from lots of our family’s classic stories.

What do you do for fun?
In the summer, I do a lot of long distance hiking/camping. In the winter, I snowboard and snowshoe.

When did you first get the idea to start Tutela?
I had the amazing opportunity to live with Sir Terry Matthews in Ottawa when forming
Tutela. My co-founder and I spent a couple months there pitching local companies and
entrepreneurs on our technology. However, people only liked one small aspect of our solution rela
ted to data and analytics. Eventually, one night while relaxing at Terry’s, we finally clued-in that we should scrap everything else and just be a data/analytics company.

What jobs did you have before Tutela?
During High School, I worked as a carpenter. This was a good opportunity for me to learn to work with my hands. Later, during my Undergrad, I worked for NB Power as a student engineer at the Maqtaquac Dam. Everyone at NB Power was great however I wasn’t passionate about the work and this helped me understand that I wasn’t meant to be an engineer.

What advice would you give someone thinking of starting their own company?
1. Study software engineering or computer science. Software companies don’t require a lot of start-up capital and are great for first time entrepreneurs.
2. Look into government programs for financial support and industry introductions. There’s an amazing amount of programs available to help Canadians start businesses in Canada.
3. Make sure you can be passionate about the product. Eventually, in starting the company you will fall on hard times. If you aren’t passionate about the product, you won’t make it through those hard times.
4. Surround yourself with co-workers and employees who can handle stress.

Who had the biggest influence on you and why?
I’ve always wanted to make a “big difference”. Growing up I thought that the best way to make a global impact would be to go into physics or engineering, invent some new ground-breakingconcept, and someday have my name in a textbookas the inventor of XYZ. Eventually I started to meet people like my father’s boss, Gerry Pond, and Terry Matthews. These individuals were making a bigger difference than anyone I knew. They were doing this by starting sustainable companies, hiring people, growing the economy, and then giving back to community. I decided I’d try to emulate them.

Author Pam Beyea

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