Mallorie Brodie; Toronto; @gobridgit
Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?
I’m the co-founder of a construction technology company called Bridgit, alongside my business partner, Lauren Lake.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I have an honours degree in business administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.
What was your first paying gig out of school?
What was your BIG break? How did you land it?
In my third year of university, I created an online art gallery called Start Gallery. It was an e-commerce site, where I sold art pieces made by students. I even got to pitch it to Kevin O’Leary from Dragons’ Den! Start Gallery made me realize that business is hard, but the mechanics around starting a business don’t have to be complicated. It was a feasible career path. That experience helped to give me the confidence to apply to Next 36, the entrepreneurial program where I met my co-founder Lauren and we created Bridgit.
Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?
For me, it was when we received about 10 letters of interest, signed by construction companies. The letters stated that if we built this technology, they would buy it. It made me realize that we were building something of value, something that people would pay for.
Name one piece of career advice you always give.
I think it’s important to find as many people as possible to discuss your work. A mentor might be someone 20 years older than you, but they don’t have to be. Talk to people outside your company. Get advice from people doing a similar job to you.
I’ve learned so much from startup founders who would be considered a couple years behind Bridgit. Build your network. It’s always worth it.
Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?
We hear that question a lot, because there aren’t as many females in construction or tech. But since we did so much research for Bridgit, we spent a lot of time on site. We were able to build our credibility with our audience, and show them that we understand them. We built something that solves their specific problems, and they recognize that.