Cheering, togas, and CEOs? St. Michael’s College’s orientation week included a presentation by Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Globalive and WIND Mobile. A U of T grad, Lacavera shared his entrepreneurial story while reflecting about his time at St. Mike’s.
“I’ve met a lot of great people here. People who started with me 12 or 13 years ago are still with the company, which is amazing and I also met some of them at St. Mikes,” said Lacavera, who graduated from U of T in 1997 and started his own company the following year.
WIND, launched December 2009 in Toronto and Calgary, has since launched networks in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Ottawa. In a move to offer no-contract plans by not subsidizing phones, Wind was the first of a series of new entrants in the Canadian telecommunications sector. “WIND is really our big consumer brand. It’s been a long process,” said Lacavera.
WIND is owned by Canadian telecommunications firm Globalive that is best know for its long distance plans “Yak” and “LooneyCall.” The company, founded by Lacavera, was able to start a wireless network after successfully making a purchase in Industry Canada’s 2008 radio spectrum auction. Wind has since been joined by new entrant competitors Public, Mobilicity, and Chatr.
Lacavera admitted he found U of T engineering difficult. “I wasn’t the best, but I learned a lot of lessons. I’ve met a lot of people who I still stay connected with.”
Lacavera suggested the real benefit he received at U of T was the connections he made with students, passing on the importance of making connections while in school to his audience. “Make as many friends as you can and network as much as you can.”
Lacavera suggested that social media tools have allowed for students to stay connected in a way never before understood. He laments not making more connections in university.
“Although I met a lot of great people, I wish I could have interacted with many others and networked as much as I could have,” said Lacavera. “You end up with a group of friends and I should have made myself go outside that comfort zone and interacted with other people.”
Lacavera also runs The Shamba Foundation, a charity that supports smaller organizations’ fundraising efforts. “We are trying to expand that to other cities in Canada.”
Lacavera advised frosh to pay attention in lectures and chase their dreams. “Lessons might have things on the surface you can memorize, but look for the actual meaning behind those lessons.
“[…] If you took the time to realize what people are really saying to you, I think you would learn a bit more.
“Whatever you’re good at. Whatever you love doing. Whatever doesn’t feel like work — that’s what you should do.”