Akeem Gardner is a co-founder of Atlas 365, a startup focuses on health and wellness nature products. Akeem is a passionate entrepreneur, he believes that to build a team for his startup is like to build a dream team in sports. Akeem is dedicated to build his “Championship” team over the years.
About the episode:
“We got to keep going regardless. Got to prove everyone wrong, got to prove that I’m ready and got to take care of the people around us. We got to keep this going. And that’s how I approached it.” –Akeem Gardner
In this episode, we cover several key topics including:
- Why Akeem is successful? [01:46]
- What business does Atlas 365 do and how did Akeem start? [03:20]
- How did Akeem build the team and other partnerships [09:47]
- Lesson learned: Do not trust an outside person in fund raising [17:30]
- What should Akeem have told a 20 year younger version of him? [23:02]
- The future for Atlas 365 and Akeem’s vision [25:09]
…and a lot more to listen to!
About Host Patrick McGuire
Patrick is a creative entrepreneur, team leader, and Altitude Accelerator board member who has focused on the sales and success of companies including: HR tech, fintech, sports tech, Software-as-a-Service, cannabis (CBD / THC), nutrition, health and wellness, fitness corporations, and business of all sizes with a love for helping business grow and scale from $500k to north of $50m. With an entrepreneurial mindset focused on team-building, his ethical leadership delivers win-win solutions for his companies and clients.
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Patrick McGuire (00:00)
Hey, it’s Patrick. Before we start, at the time of this recording, we went through a bit of a name rebranding from RIC Centre to Altitude Accelerator. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy the following interview. Welcome to the Startups Transform podcast. I’m Patrick McGuire, your host, board member and adviser at Altitude Accelerator, where we help startups scale to new heights. We chat with phenomenal tech business leaders who climbed their way to success within their industry. Our guests delve deep into the lessons they’ve learned along the way so that you can get a head start on your next big idea.
Patrick McGuire (00:44)
Today we’ve got an amazing guest. This guy is great. He’s someone I really appreciate. I respect a great deal. He’s done a great job at taking a vision and building it from ideation to creation to well, he’s gone on to monetization. He’s growing a business. He’s growing a brand. In fact, it’s in a growing industry and it is so cool. It is good for everything and it’s all around. It’s all encompassing. Akeem is the founder and he is the business driver, if you will, of Atlas 365 Inc. I just want to say thank you very much for joining us on the call today.
Akeem Gardner (01:17)
Patrick, Thank you for having me. Appreciate the RIC giving me the opportunity, always supporting entrepreneurs, and I’m very excited to be here today.
Patrick McGuire (01:26)
One of the things that I do like about what you’re doing, Akeem. We’ll get into the company info in a little bit, but what I like about you in general is you’re a guy who takes an idea and doesn’t just think about yourself. You’re looking at how do I bring in other people, how do I network, how do I help others? And that’s probably what’s making you guys so successful Atlas 365. So just want to give you that compliment up front and then we’ll get into things.
Akeem Gardner (01:50)
Thank you. That’s the only way that I know how to live. I grew up playing youth sports, playing team sports. And, you know, being here in Canada, we’re not like the United States where our coaches don’t get paid to coach us, right? So as we get older in age, we always have to come back and teach the younger generation so we can pay for it. Our skills and what I’m learning is it’s the same in the world of entrepreneurism, where you look for a mentor, more experienced entrepreneurs. They like to see the younger entrepreneurs with passion, with a lot of energy and a vision of where they’re going and the experienced people. They come and help us to narrow our skill sets and then we can go out and do that with the rest of the community. So I always had this sort of mindset, and everything that I do is about paying it forward. It’s about building team. It’s about building community. The other part about youth sports or our sports in general is you know that it takes a team to win a Championship. And I’ve always kept that with me. I knew that no matter how hungry or how passionate I was, if I couldn’t get people around me excited about what we were doing, then I would never be able to win a Championship.
Akeem Gardner (02:56)
I’m not an individual player. I’m a team player. So you hit the nail right on the head.
Patrick McGuire (03:02)
That is fantastic. For those that know me, I’m a coach too. I coach youth sports as well. And I agree. I jokingly say to people, and there’s an older Canadian reference, but if all you had was a team of Gretzky, you’d never win the Championship. You need to have all the different players to make it work.
Akeem Gardner (03:18)
That’s exactly it.
Patrick McGuire (03:19)
But Akeem, I’d love you to tell me a little bit about Atlas 365. What do you guys actually do?
Akeem Gardner (03:26)
So at Atlas 365. Our goal is to create resilient communities with industrial hemp and technology. What does that mean? It means a lot. Hemp is a very beautiful plant with a beautiful supply chain. They say that hemp has over 50,000 commercial uses. I like to say that’s 50,000 before you add modern technology to it. So just so everyone knows, when we speak about industrial hemp, it’s different than recreational or medicinal marijuana and that the hemp plant is bred for industrial uses. Little to no THC. It has CBD and the fibers and the herds can be used for things like rope, building materials, so on and so forth. And when I started the business, these were all the avenues that I was trying to explore. But most recently, because of COVID, we had to pivot our focus. We really narrow in on the supply chain to find where we could really bring something to the market that was novel and that could attract the venture attention that we’re looking for. And we’ve recently began to focus on health and wellness and natural products. So what we’re doing right now is we’re aiming to leverage industrial hemp and technology to help people live pleasant and comforting lives by producing what would be a line of natural health products or nutraceuticals.
Akeem Gardner (04:43)
Later on, we may get into Pharmaceuticals, also cosmeticeuticals. Everything that can help us live resilient to comforting lives in our day to day lives.
Patrick McGuire (04:53)
That is very cool. And you know that I’ve got my experience in the industrial hemp category. I actually don’t do too much in cannabis, but I have helped a lot of companies raise funds, so I understand it. But for those that don’t know what CBD is versus THC, could you just kind of give a little understanding, like just to give a little knowledge?
Akeem Gardner (05:09)
Nobody out there, Hemp doesn’t get you high, it gets you healthy.
Patrick McGuire (05:14)
Akeem Gardner (05:15)
Most popular molecules are cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Right there is you have THC and you have CBD. THC is the active molecule or the active cannabinoid responsible for the high filling. It has some additional benefits as well. But we’ll put that aside because, again, THC isn’t my focus. Right? Right. CBD, on the other hand, is what you hear a lot more popular for people that suffer from pain, inflammation, epilepsy is a big one. There’s a lot of scientific evidence about people using CBD to stop their seizures. There are suggestions that CBD can be used for people with Parkinson’s disease, anxiety disorder, so on and so forth. So CBD has really been gaining a lot of popularity because it’s non psychoactive, it doesn’t get you high. And there’s a world of natural benefits that we think that we can get from this natural compound or this natural extract. That’s why you see a lot of different products or a lot of different brands coming onto the market with topicals edibles CBD, edibles candies, tinctures, so on and so forth. The marketplace is really excited about the potential for CBD, which is good when you’re an entrepreneur, but also makes it a little bit challenging when you’re trying to figure out how are you going to differentiate yourself from the traditional CBD brand.
Patrick McGuire (06:34)
Absolutely. That is a great explanation, and I love it. Hopefully, our audience is understanding the difference and understanding there’s a massive business opportunity in both the cannabis THC side as well as the industrial hemp CBD side. And you talked about it earlier that you guys don’t just look at CBD. You’re looking at the whole encompassing opportunity of industrial hemp, including hemp creed, as you and I have talked in the past, and clothing and rope materials and building supplies. So I love what you’re doing, and I love that you’re educating people on CBD as well. So, Akeem, let me get at this, because this is important. You guys are fairly new startup, if you will. You’ve been at it for a little while. When did you guys get started?
Akeem Gardner (07:14)
So we started in 2017. I was fresh off of graduating law school in the United Kingdom and coming home to Canada with an out of country law degree. My big thing was how am I going to differentiate myself from any Canadian graduate that’s now going into the world of articles, licensing, trying to become a lawyer, and what was happening when I graduated in 2017? And Patrick, you know, this the market was crazy was this green gold rush where all the licensed producers and everyone was getting excited for legalization of marijuana. As I mentioned, my background comes from the world of sports. My business partner and co founder, Randy Osei. He had a company called Rozaay Management when he would work with brands, athletes, influencers, so on and so forth, connecting them to each other to bring marketing deals to the market. Randy had a lot of experience, and I had a lot of experience working in the world of professional basketball. And I said to Randy, Randy, there might be something here if we could be of the first people to get a currently active athlete involved in the world of medical or responsible marijuana, then we can make the names from for ourselves.
Akeem Gardner (08:27)
My hypothesis was that this would allow me to set myself apart by being someone who can get this done with an active player instead of a retired player. The law firms will look at me and say, how did he do this? How did he maneuver around the world to not make any of the major sports leagues mad that their players were involved in the space? So this is how I got started because I wanted to solve that problem soon thereafter, what I noticed or what I realized and calling up a lot of the major licensed producers, a lot of the major companies, these companies didn’t necessarily care for us as an Atlas and what we were trying to do, we were the gateway to the professional athletes. But if we were able to figure something out on our own, if we were able to come up with a product and a product offering on our own, then the athletes become our value proposition. We can use them to market and brand and tell the story about our products instead of just selling the athletes to someone else to do it for them to make someone else’s money.
Akeem Gardner (09:26)
So this is sort of when my mindset started to shift and this is when I started to look at supply chain into what could it do for me? Where would our offerings come from? And then since then, we’ve been just narrowing our offerings, narrowing how we look at the supply chain, so on and so forth, and finding ways to stay alive until we were able to get it, which is where we’re at today.
Patrick McGuire (09:47)
So you touched a little bit on your partner, but who else is on your team? And tell us a little bit about them.
Akeem Gardner (09:52)
So we have expansive team. The federal government and Ontario government give a lot of grants to allow us to hire, take summer students, and really find talent. What Randy and I, we were able to do through a Canada summer jobs program. We actually found our third and other manager, if you would call her Pamela, who’s great. Between her, Randy and I, we really make a lot of the major decisions for Atlas and it’s because of Randy and Pamela, which is why I’m able to be as successful as I am and why the company is as successful as it is today. Because they’re really our backbones. They really keep everything going. They help us manage other students that we have on staff. And they’re always willing to not only challenge, but push me forward on any of the crazy ideas that I have. Randy is the one who always reminds me that I was the one who was crazy enough to use my loan to start the business. I was the one who was crazy enough to go rent 60 acres and do all the physical labor and invite people to get the job done.
Akeem Gardner (10:57)
And if it wasn’t for me taking these risks, we wouldn’t even have this opportunity to be here today. So when you have people like Randy, Pamela or Carlo, Dominic, Jordan, and so all the people that work with us on our team and having their confidence and the journey that we’re on, it really gives me that extra layer of confidence that, hey, I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m not just doing this because I had a smart idea and I thought I could make it happen, but because there’s a lot of people depending on us and not just depending on us, but they actually believe in what we’re doing. And that’s what makes me really confident about where we’re heading and the people that I have around.
Patrick McGuire (11:36)
That is fantastic. We talk about your partners and extensions and government grants and opportunities to help you grow as fast as you did. But you’ve got another partner that’s not really a partner that you’re working with. It’s a University doing some lab and research and helping you actually hole in on your final value prop. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Akeem Gardner (11:53)
Well, yes. And this has to do with the first question you asked me about always paying for and inviting a number of people on your journey to help you win a Championship. Most recently, we’re partnered with the University of Guelph. But how we got to University of Guelph was through OMAFRA and one of the gentlemen from Omaha where he actually came to my farm in the first year of our operations when we had no clue what we were doing. But he saw us driving in our four by four out to the field every day to harvest, come back inside to hang it up and just continuing to repeat that throughout our whole harvest period. And he also took the time to get to know me and understand how I think what I thought that we can do in an industrial health perspective, from an Ontario perspective, how we can leave the charge in this green gold rush, if you will. So what happened is, in my second year of doing industrial, he gave me a call and said that there are professors from the University of Guelph that wanted to do some work with industrial hemp.
Akeem Gardner (12:52)
They wanted the stems and the roots, the parts that don’t have the flower and the leaves, the parts that are less regulated by the industrial hemp and the Cannabis Act. They wanted all the other parts to do some work. And I was like, no problem, Mahindra, you called the right person. Send them on, and I’ll give them all the help that they want. So be open to that relationship and also showing the people that I know macro and all the other farmers that we also work with and support that we are working hard, put us in position to have the University involved come to our farm and researchers. We spent a couple of days up at our farm saying, hey, we want to harvest some hemp because there’s a novel therapeutic that we’re looking for that will come out of the head plant that’s different than CBD, but that they were really excited about.
Patrick McGuire (13:38)
That is fantastic. It’s nice to have a partner that’s not an official partner, but they’re right there working with you to actually succeed for themselves. Self serving, but also for your company. I love hearing that come together.
Akeem Gardner (13:50)
It’s how it came together because it started like this. Right. But then, of course, the inquisitive mind, they’re coming to our farm and they want to do some work and they must be doing something exciting. So then by me staying around and during the year, always maintaining that relationship, continuing to call the various professors throughout 2019 into the early parts of 2020. That brought us right up to where Colbert hit and when COVID hit. I literally picked up the phone one day and I can’t remember what prompted me. But I picked up the phone one day and I was like, hey, you guys are looking for a commercial partner, and I’m looking for a partner like you guys to help me with the science behind what we’re trying to accomplish. Right? Is there a way that we can work together? Because Kobek sort of kicked me out of the farm, kicked me out of my office, kicked me from running around and going all these places to network and meet all the people that I have met. It really just put me right in front of the professors and allowed us to talk, get to know each other, get to know where each other added value.
Akeem Gardner (14:49)
And we were able to come up with an agreement to continue forward. And now we’re working more closely together because of all that work that we did previously, because I made myself available to people out of Macrono, because I’ve always wanted to invite anyone who wants to make a trip to the farm to come. It led us to where we are today.
Patrick McGuire (15:09)
Let me jump in on this one. You made a phone call to follow up on something you had previously discussed. Is that right?
Akeem Gardner (15:15)
Pretty much the first time they came to the farm was August of 2019. And from August to March, while they were in the process of doing their work, evaluating the so on and so forth, I would always just pop in here and there, hey, professor, how you do it? Hey, how you doing? Don’t forget about me. So on and so forth. Right. But again, when cold is hit, that’s when I made that next step to say, hey, can we actually do this and can we do this together? And this is why I think this will be successful. And that’s what made the difference.
Patrick McGuire (15:47)
I’m going to jump in on you again, because that’s what I wanted to hit on you’re. Now telling me that during covid, the problem, the big pandemic, the thing that’s going on all around the world, that’s shutting us all down, that’s locking us in our houses and offices and we can’t see our loved ones or see our business partners, things like that. But you’re saying that during covid, it allowed you the opportunity to refocus your business, reestablish a connection with an unofficial partner, and actually Hone in on the pivot and make it happen. Is that right? That’s exactly what happened, buddy. I love that. I love that. That’s the resilience of an entrepreneur. That is someone in the growing industry who is growing himself because he’s growing the company to make sure you succeed and you never give up. That’s the definition of an entrepreneur. I love it.
Akeem Gardner (16:30)
One of the things that you teach any youth in any sport is how to be resilient, how to fall down on your skates to get back up. Right. So when cold is hit, the only thing that I can think of my brain was what happened in the 1930 when the Great Depression hit, what happened at every other time in the world where something forced everyone to slow down. We all heard the stories of people staying resilient, staying focused, and coming out on the other side of the pandemic much more stronger. Kobe Bryant was my Michael Jordan, but we all just watched the Michael Jordan documentary. It’s these lessons that I learned in sport that went cold with it, I’m like, we got to keep going regardless. Got to prove everyone wrong, got to prove that I’m ready and got to take care of the people around us. We got to keep this going. And that’s how I approached it.
Patrick McGuire (17:19)
I love that. And we’ll talk a little more about success, but I’m going to pivot you just a little bit here. Nothing is ever that easy. So what was the worst decision ever made for the company?
Akeem Gardner (17:31)
The worst decision that I ever made for the company was trusting someone else to raise money for us.
Patrick McGuire (17:38)
Akeem Gardner (17:39)
That’s a lesson that I learned early on in my journey that I’ll never repeat again.
Patrick McGuire (17:44)
Well, who made that decision?
Akeem Gardner (17:45)
Who made the decision to trust someone else? I.
Patrick McGuire (17:48)
Why did you make that decision?
Akeem Gardner (17:50)
We had finished our first half season and I was like, okay, now we need to start to take things to the next level. In the year prior, I had no clue what I was doing, but I knew that there are certain things that Ontario supply chain needed in order to grow. In order to fill some of the gaps we had, we needed to corruption machinery, processing machinery, and so on and so forth. So I knew that there was some capital that I would have to raise. I have no clue where to get it from.
Akeem Gardner (18:19)
So the first year when I was very green, I was taking in information from a lot of different places. One of the things that I heard was you have to have skin in the game. You have to do this. You have to do this. You have to do this. Right. And I was hearing it without really understanding what skin in the game means or without really understanding all the advice that I was getting. Again, I was very I’ve never been an entrepreneur before. I never raised capital before.
Akeem Gardner (18:46)
We get ready to grow a little bit more, prepare for a second year. We formulate what didn’t work, so on and so forth and how we’re going to do better the next year. And in the middle of that time, we had met someone that was able to leverage some of the things that I thought I knew but actually did and sort of gain trust. I’m doing some air quotes for gaining trust from us. Essentially, he said, trust me, give me your money. I’m going to use this as a deposit to get more money.
Akeem Gardner (19:18)
And what he would say was he would say, oh, you need skin in the game. Oh, you need so on and so forth. And these are things again, if you go to RBC, if you go to FCC, if you talk to anyone, these are things that everyone saved. So that makes sense, right?
Akeem Gardner (19:32)
So I do that. And what happens? I lose the money.
Akeem Gardner (19:36)
Now, I think that was the best mistake I ever could have made, because what it did was around me. At that time, there were people that I didn’t realize that were around me in order to pluck off of our successes.
Akeem Gardner (19:52)
But they didn’t really want to go through the ground and to struggle with. So when that mistake happens, all the people around us show their true colors. And I see this all the time. At that period of time, if the money that I was expecting or if it had turned around and became a success, I got what I was expecting. I would have paid it on salaries that I didn’t need. I would have bought equipment that I didn’t need. Right.
Patrick McGuire (20:14)
You got sort of slapped into learning. Is that what I’m hearing exactly?
Akeem Gardner (20:19)
My mom says all the time, a lot of people here, grown up who can’t hear, must feel people always worrying about mistakes. But sometimes you have to go through it to realize that you never want to go through it again and why you never want to go through it again. And how you never put yourself in the position. You have to own your decisions. Right. Because no one else is going to own your mistakes for you.
Patrick McGuire (20:40)
Akeem Gardner (20:40)
You always hear people talk about them being happy and usually sustaining sport. I could be happy if I didn’t win a Championship because I know I left it all on the line. Right when I realized that after this mistake, even in some of the lessons I’ve learned since then, is that you can’t trust other people to make a decision for you, because usually when you’re an entrepreneur or founder and you’ve been given this idea or this concept that you’re developing, other people, they’re going to try to put their or impose their thoughts on you or how you should run your business, where you should take risks, where you can’t go on and so forth. But if a mistake happens, they’re going to say it’s all you all the fear is put to you. Why do you do this? Why did you do this? So on and so forth. So you can’t really live like that. And that’s how I was living because I was so grateful. I was taking a lot of advice from different places. The people who are working more closely with me, I would be like, okay, do you think this is reasonable?
Akeem Gardner (21:37)
I’ll do what you say. And then even though I knew it was the wrong decision to make, I would do it to keep the people around me happy. But when something happens, that’s a mistake.
Patrick McGuire (21:46)
Akeem Gardner (21:46)
I’m the one who has to fix it.
Patrick McGuire (21:48)
You got to own the good and the bad.
Akeem Gardner (21:49)
Yeah. So after that, when I realized pretty much is that if something doesn’t feel right in my gut, if something doesn’t feel right in my instincts, if it doesn’t make sense logically to me, I’m not doing it because at the end of the day, I’m not that I’m not doing it. Like I can’t be convinced otherwise. Right. But at the end of the day, the reason why I love Pamela and Randy and my team so much and the people that we’re working with now is because they share in the struggle, just like how they share in the glory. It’s not like they’re going to buy something and then something go wrong and then they go to the rate.
Patrick McGuire (22:23)
Yeah. And one of the things that I know, Randy, is one of the things that have made you most successful, made the company the most successful right now. You’ve said it a few times here, and you’re sort of woven into the conversation. It’s in the way you speak, it’s in your nature, it’s in your blood. I can tell you made the decision to be a hemp farmer, and you made the decision to own your mistakes and your successes. But you also need some sales, business partners like you’ve got with Randy and Pamela. You’ve got this opportunity to have them keep you in checks and balances. We are a fine teeter totter when it comes to teams. I’m going to move on to you a little bit because this is really about how it defines you as a leader of the company and what you do. But what are three things that you wish you could have told yourself 20 years ago, the 20 year old version of you.
Akeem Gardner (23:08)
Let’s say one of the things I would tell myself is pretend that you’re the captain of the team. When I was playing sports, I was never the best player on my team. I was always like a role player, maybe one of the top five players. I would always be an important part of the team. I’ll be a leader by example, but I never really like calling the shots. Right. The main thing that I could have done different is I could have realized that this is me, that I’m the captain or the general manager of the coach or whatever. Because of that, the pressure of everything lands on me. Just because I make a mistake doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It’s okay. See someone like Kobe Bryant, right? He’ll say, how could Kobi Bryant shoot 50 times? He’s a Warhawk, etc. Etc. E. But when you hear him talk about it, he’ll explain to you how he doesn’t see the misses. He doesn’t care how much time he misses. He’s resilient in his thinking. And that’s the sort of mentality as I’ve adopted it in my start up that have helped us go through things like go through some of our failures and know that there’s something good on the other side.
Akeem Gardner (24:09)
Lessons I learned in sports that can be applied in entrepreneurship as well.
Patrick McGuire (24:14)
If I was to dig into that, I mean, you’re saying it’s okay to make mistakes, just learn from it and go get comfortable with failure.
Akeem Gardner (24:20)
Failures is good. When you learn the lesson, you have to put in the work to get better from it. You can’t just fail and just give up on life, right?
Patrick McGuire (24:27)
Akeem Gardner (24:28)
Be a man, because that’s the only way that you’re going to learn from your decisions. Don’t blame other people. I, at the end of the day, have to live in that decision, and that’s the only way that you’re going to be able to grow. So just understanding the things that I’ve learned before in other areas of my life, but just redributing it to the world of business and owning a startup and making the decisions, things that don’t make sense to my gut, things that don’t make sense to my instincts. I’m leaning away from those things and staying with my gut because my gut has kept me on really good timing thus far. And I can’t complain about it because I love the opportunity that I have in front of me.
Patrick McGuire (25:05)
Really good. I really enjoy this stuff. I got just two questions left. First, I’m going to say Akeem, what is the future for the company for Atlas 365 since March.
Akeem Gardner (25:17)
We’Ve been working on launching new brands into the marketplace to educate people on the benefits of industrial hemp and how providing them access with various products, various educational information as a way of maintaining personal quality of life, so on and so forth with the University of Guelph. We’re in the process of rolling out a new novel hemp product that will come to the market around Q 422-1202, one that we’re really excited about. So everything that we’re doing right now is preparing us for that product. Right now, what you’ll see in a few weeks is we’re launching a new Shopify account. We participated in the Google Shopping program to help us transfer our business to online, to digital. So learning about ecommerce, learning about growth, hacking, learning about different marketing and branding techniques has been what we’ve been spending our last few months on. Now we’re getting ready to put all that out in the marketplace along with our novel therapeutic, developing our sales channels. Hopefully sometime during all of that reason around, the financing to help us increase our growth or accelerate our growth are the things that we have to look forward to over the next six to twelve months.
Patrick McGuire (26:32)
For Atlas 365, that is very exciting and I’m very excited for Atlas 365. I love what you’re doing. We love being partnered with you and helping you grow. We love the idea that you’re working with universities and working with professionals that can make you better. We love the fact that you don’t quit, that you will take those mistakes, you’ll work around them, you’ll learn from them and you stay motivated and that you’re comfortable with failure. And that’s what’s making you successful as a company today. So really impressed and big compliments to you and the team at Atlas 365. Before we hang up, I’ve got to ask you, how do you get these people that are listening to be in touch with you, be inspired by you, maybe even to help grow your business or for you to help them grow theirs?
Akeem Gardner (27:18)
Website is also there, Atlas 365. Ca. My email is Akeem at Atlas 365. Ca and we have our social media channels and so on and so forth connected to our various platforms. So if anyone wants to reach out email website, these are the best ways. Linkedin is always a great way to get in touch as well.
Patrick McGuire (27:38)
Excellent. So for the company folks, let’s go to Atlas 365. Ca, go to LinkedIn, look at a keen gardener and add on Atlas 365 just in case you can’t find them. Just make sure you got the right ones because these guys are doing something awesome. And I look forward to seeing your success stories and hearing more about this and look forward to just enjoying your success. Thank you so much. Came for your time. I really appreciate it.
Akeem Gardner (28:06)
Thank you very much. Patrick, can I say one more thing just before I leave?
Patrick McGuire (28:10)
Yes, sir, absolutely. Leave us with a parting spot.
Akeem Gardner (28:12)
One more thing. This is for all the entrepreneurs out there and I think that this will help everyone going forward. It’s to be a champion of your own ideas first and then find someone who sees something inside you that you don’t need to necessarily see yourself. Things like the branch and economic development center, people like the RIC Centre. I’m very grateful for the experiences that I’ve had with Bull because even when I was very passionate I had a lot of energy and I had a bright idea. It takes time to narrow your venture and get to where you are today. For me it’s been three years and I don’t think I would have made it through those three years if not for things like the BBC like the Wreck being able to go to Mars to different conferences, meet mentors, meet advisors, so on and so forth. So I’m very grateful to have people like you guys in our lives in communities like this because it’s the entrepreneurs that know how hard this is and if it wasn’t for you guys helping supporting me, even if it was too early, even if I was bright idea, even if I was wide eyed.
Akeem Gardner (29:15)
The support that I got from you guys has helped me get to today so I just want to leave everyone with that. That would be my biggest advice is find someone that can check in your ideas that see something in you and that’s going to give you the time to grow and develop because that’s what the rich do for me. That’s what City of brands has done for me and I’m very grateful for that.
Patrick McGuire (29:36)
That is an incredible parting piece of advice and a compliment to the RIC Centre and Brampton economic development. Thank you so much, Akin and we really appreciate your insight.
Akeem Gardner (29:46)
Thanks, Patrick. Thanks for having me again today.
Patrick McGuire (29:49)
Thank you. Have a fantastic day. We’ll talk soon. Take care.
Patrick McGuire (29:53)
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