Co-founder Adrian Salamunovic leaves Ottawa-based CanvasPop

CanvasPop
CanvasPop co-founders Nazim Ahmed (left) and Adrian Salamunovic. Photo by Jordan Wiens.

After 13 years, CanvasPop’s co-founder and chief innovation officer Adrian Salamunovic announced Wednesday he will step away from the Ottawa startup to pursue other projects.

“One of the hardest things for a founder to do is to let go of their baby, and after 13 years of being the founder of CanvasPop and watching it grow … it’s hard to let go,” Salamunovic said in a video post on LinkedIn.

He added that his “heart and passion” were no longer in the custom printing business that he co-founded with CEO Nazim Ahmed back in 2005, then called DNA11. It’s important for entrepreneurs to know when to exit, he said.

“Now is that time for me.”

CanvasPop raised $3.3 million in seed funding in February. At that time, the firm had two dozen employees at its Hintonburg location with a Las Vegas production facility that employed nearly 100 during peak seasons.

Contributing to the seed round were local startup founders such as Shopify’s Tobi Lutke and Cody Fauser, whom Salamunovic tagged in thanks on his post alongside other Ottawa entrepreneurs including MindBridge AI’s Eli Fathi and Invest Ottawa’s Nick Quain.

Salamunovic will remain on CanvasPop’s board of directors and a shareholder in the company. He said he’ll take some time to himself this summer but had some “really exciting projects” that he’ll announce soon.

“I’m looking forward to bringing more value to this world, doing what I’m meant to do as a startup entrepreneur,” he said in the conclusion to his post.

Aside from leading CanvasPop, Salamunovic has filled his time advising tech firms in San Francisco through 500 Startups and mentoring entrepreneurs in marketing and public relations.