Jason Kealey, vice-president of strategy, FranConnect

Jason Kealey
Jason Kealey
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade honour 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs, business executives and civic leaders and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.
Click here to see the full list of the 2021 recipients and click here to watch the special broadcast honouring the year’s recipients.


Business: Franchise management software

Born: Gatineau

Biggest business achievement: Founded a high-tech startup named FranchiseBlast that supported more than 100 franchise brands before being acquired by FranConnect.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

Biggest obstacle overcome: Starting with no money right out of university, managed to bootstrap the company to its exit with no outside equity funding.

Biggest influences: Becoming a teaching assistant for Daniel Amyot (and later doing my master’s under his supervision) marked a pivotal moment in my self-confidence, which was critical in my development as an entrepreneur.

Biggest lesson learned during COVID-19: Avoid knee-jerk reactions. Even as many of our clients were being shut down by governments, we decided to take our time before making any major decisions. In the end, we made no layoffs and staff appreciated our transparency.

Charitable involvement: I’m a big fan of kiva.org, helping other entrepreneurs help themselves.

First job: Phone surveys in a call center

Advice I’d give the younger me: Surround yourself with people who excel at your weaknesses, but don’t be afraid to learn their skills and apply them yourself.

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