As co-founder and Chief Operative Officer of fintech company Borrowell, Eva Wong's goal is simple: she wants to help her fellow Canadians make great decisions regarding their credit.
Founded in 2014 by Wong and CEO Andrew Graham, Toronto-based Borrowell offers a wide range of credit-oriented services to Canadians, including free credit scores, credit reports and credit monitoring, personal loans and financial recommendations. In the past six months, the company has launched its free credit monitoring app for iOS and Android, topped one million users and successfully secured $20 million in its Series B financing round.
Wong's diverse professional background with stints in both the business and non-profit sectors helped prepare her for the challenges of founding and growing one of Canada's largest fintech companies. She also acknowledges that one particular aspect of her personality helped her overcome many challenges, including implications that she didn't have the "right" background: her willingness to ask questions and build confidence.
The ability to connect with others in the Toronto startup community also helped. Wong and the rest of Borrowell's founding team were part of an accelerator at Ryerson DMZ and the One Eleven scale-up hub. As Wong points out, this provided her and her team with "many people to connect to and talk to [that had] similar experiences."
Wong and her company are also part of the booming and vibrant technology sector that has popped up along the Toronto-Kitchener-Waterloo corridor, which has quickly gained the nickname of the "Silicon Valley of the North" thanks to its reputation for AI innovations and fintech startups. For Wong, it's a great time to be a part of this community: "We are on the cusp of something that can be really big. The community is still small enough that people want to be helpful and a sense of collaboration pervades the community. It's very exciting!"
When asked about the lessons she's learned along the way as part of a fintech startup, Wong points to the importance of continually aiming to try out new things: "there are a hundred small things you have to do as opposed to one big thing...we were data driven in everything we have done, organizing, collecting data and making decisions."
Her attitude toward trying new things extends to her career path itself. Wong rallies against the commonly-held belief that the "right" background is necessary for success in the technology sector: "I would encourage people who are interested in a career in tech, whether it's founding a company or joining a startup. It's been the most exciting time of my career. There are great opportunities, meaningful work, and a real chance to make a difference."