Canadian Entrepreneur on Raising Venture Capital at Age 17

Last summer we told the story of a young entrepreneur that had raised a $1.8 million seed round led by Omers Ventures.

18-year-old Jordan Satok secured the funding for his Toronto-based startup AppHero. He took the title of the youngest CEO to raise venture capital from fellow Canadian Brian Wong who had raised $200,000 for Kiip at the ripe age of 19.

Last week Jordan was a guest at Toronto co-working space Project: RHINO for their monthly #DrinksDemos event.

AppHero is an intelligent social recommendation platform for mobile apps. Jordan and his AppHero team are passionate about helping consumers find the very best apps. The free AppHero app is available for iPhone and iPad.

Here’s a sample of quotes from Jordan’s talk followed by the complete video embedded below.

On how AppHero makes app recommendations:

Some people get a little scared by some of the data that we pull in. We don’t sell any ads. We don’t do anything to get in the way of offering you great recommendations. We just really focus on learning from your data. So if you tweet something like, “Really glad Bettman figured out the strike,” you’re going to get the NHL app recommended to you. We’re able to understand the contextual information and help you find really interesting apps.

 On personalization:

This concept of personalization is something that’s really under-utilized, and everyone needs to think more about. Because people are people. People are individual. Life wouldn’t be very interesting if we were all treated the same way, if we all had the same music on our iPods, if we all wore the same clothes – it would get pretty boring, pretty quickly.

On getting investors:

It’s never too early to start pitching investors. I was planning on going to Waterloo and getting an engineering degree a couple years ago, and had some VCs approach me and write me a cheque for seventy-five grand and that’s where things started. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything. If you’re a passionate person, with a team around you—or some friends around you—someone will write a cheque. And I’m not joking. Everyone wants to beat up on Canadian investors, but some VC (not someone I knew) took a chance on a 17 year old kid sitting in his parents’ kitchen. And I didn’t have an app, I didn’t have anything. Just go out there and do it.



The theme of the next #DrinksDemos is Inside the Mind of a VC and it will take place on February 13. The first five people to comment on this article telling us why they want to attend will get a free ticket.