Techvibes CONNECTs with PayPal’s Darrell MacMullin

On October 12th BCIC is hosting the CONNECT Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre and the lineup of speakers is strong.

Over the next couple weeks Techvibes will be highlighting a handful of the CONNECT speakers. So far we’ve profiled Steve Wandler of Metabridge, Ben Sparrow of Saltworks Technologies, and Jeanette Jackson of Light-Based Technologies. Today we learn a little more about Darrelll MacMullin, the General Manager of PayPal Canada.

Darrell will be participating in the Startup Business Strategies case study at CONNECT along with ConnectionPoint’s Daryl Hatton and they will share how Hatton managed to “dance with a giant” and land its partnership with PayPal.

Techvibes conducted an email interview with Darrell and here are his responses.

1) Who are you and what does your company do?

I’m Darrell MacMullin and I’m the general manager for PayPal in Canada. PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts and credit cards. Here in Canada we have more than 4 million Canadians buying and selling with PayPal and on average they are completing a transaction every second. Globally, PayPal has more than 84 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world. The company’s open payment platform, PayPal X, allows developers to build innovative payment applications on multiple platforms and devices.

2) Why are you participating as a speaker in CONNECT?

PayPal is participating in CONNECT to support one of our Canadian developers, ConnectionPoint Systems. ConnectionPoint leveraged PayPal’s open payment platform, PayPal X to help build their FundRazr app for Facebook. Daryl Hatton, ConnectionPoint’s CEO thought it would be great to share our experiences of a large, international company collaborating successfully with a smaller, Canadian start-up.

Also, PayPal really believes in the power of small businesses. We help thousands of small Canadian businesses accept payments, without all the hassle and challenges of setting up traditional merchant accounts. Participating in a great conference like Connect is right up our alley.

3) What was the biggest challenge you faced as an entrepreneur?

PayPal isn’t an entrepreneur, but we work with entrepreneurs every day. What we hear all the time is how people start a business because they are passionate about something, but the business of running a business can sometimes get in the way. I think that’s the biggest challenge for most entrepreneurs. It is important to not become too distracted from what you actually love to do.

4) What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to a startup in today’s economic climate?

Cash is the lifeblood of your business, so try not to spend too much money on startup costs. Look for non-traditional ways to do things that will save you money. It’s a self-serving example, but I know that if you want to accept credit cards, setting up a merchant account the traditional way can not only be frustrating, but can also involve setting aside significant reserves. PayPal is a much more efficient and cost efficient way to accept credit card payments.

5) How do you feel about BC’s startup ecosystem? What needs work/improvement?

PayPal is really excited about the vibrancy of the Vancouver startup ecosystem. There is a lot of creativity and excitement locally. I’m looking forward to learning more when I come to Vancouver, so I don’t feel like I’m in a position to criticize!

If you’re interested in hearing more of Darrell’s story, be sure to select the Startup Business Strategies session when registering for CONNECT online. Early-bird tickets are available until September 24th and a steal at $40.

Need another reason to buy your CONNECT ticket before the early-bird deadline? Buy your early-bird ticket before September 24th and you’ll be entered to win an iPhone 4 courtesy of PayPal Canada.