Entrepreneurship, tech and mobile are as hot as ever right now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been approached at networking events about an app idea. Or, while mentoring high school students that are a part of the YELL Canada or TYE programs, I work with a team whose business idea involves a mobile app of some sort. Mobile: it’s the place to be.
Andrei Iancu is the founder and CEO of Dynamic Leap, a Vancouver-based startup that will work with you to bring your ideas to life, and to the app store.
Who are you? Tell us about your business and what inspired you to create it.
I grew up during the ’80s in my native Romania. I have always been a techie and an entrepreneur at heart. As a hobby, I repaired my neighbour’s radios, TVs, music players – if something with an electronic circuit broke, I could fix it. Over time, word spread around that there was this little kid who could fix your electronics! I didn’t know it, but that was my first introduction to the business of “professional services” – and I loved it.
It was then that I knew I wanted to become an engineer. During high school I had my first encounter with the Personal Computer. It inspired me to become a software engineer. After graduation, I became a software developer, team manager, trainer, and university course instructor and learned new things every day. I always focused on cutting edge technologies, startups, established companies and for professional service companies.
In 2008, after obtaining an Executive MBA from SFU during the weekends, I decided to start a company of my own. This is how Dynamic Leap Technology Inc. was born. As a professional services company in the mobile space, I wanted to instill the values I learned as a kid while repairing electronics for my neighbours into Dynamic Leap: Love what you do. Be honest and fair. Focus on solving the customer’s problem.
I am proud to say that Dynamic Leap has an incredible track record of successful projects. We want to excel in each and every project we take on, and ensure that everything we create the best that it can be.
What has been the most challenging part about running this business and how have you addressed it?
After Dynamic Leap’s inception, I was confronted with the reality that I had to wear many hats. I was more comfortable with some hats than others. As an introvert, public speaking and business networking did not come naturally at the time.
Starting and running a business is definitely not easy. Sometimes there’s tough decisions to make. When it came down to it, I had to network and speak otherwise Dynamic Leap would disappear before even having a chance. I learned that being open and being authentic is the best policy. I built a reputation of honesty, truthfulness and competence that reflected well on both myself and my company, and still do to this day. Every hurdle, every challenge and every tough choice was worth it to make it here today, as Dynamic Leap and our team are better than I could have imagined, and is improving and growing every day.
How has Vancouver’s rising startup community played a role in the development of Dynamic Leap?
Dynamic Leap is deeply involved in Vancouver’s startup scene; we collaborate with various incubators and accelerators to help, advise and train new entrepreneurs and their teams.
Our first customers were startups. Even now, though we typically work with more established businesses, we still provide excellent services to startups of all shapes and sizes.
What core problem is your company specifically solving and/or what’s the main value you provide?
Dynamic Leap provides exceptional custom mobile software solutions to teams, companies and individuals. We have a tightly knit team of specialized experts: user experience, graphic design, platform specific software development, quality assurance, support and others who work closely on every project from start to finish. Talent, experience and know-how can be applied throughout our process, allowing us to execute efficiently and reliably.
If someone wants to build a piece of software, we can work with them to bring their vision to life. A team is very cost effective, reliable and can bring much more to the table than a solo freelancer.
How did you end up becoming an entrepreneur and what challenges did you personally overcome to succeed?
For the first 15 years of my career I rarely considered myself an entrepreneur. I was an engineer, an employee focused on solving technical problems and a manager concerned with the wellbeing, enthusiasm and productivity of my team. I did a job, and I did it well.
One thing always bothered me was that many of my superiors insisted that I maintain my role as a hands-on manager. I could never get to the “C” level circle. In retrospect, the reason why is very clear: why run the risk of getting a potentially so-so manager and lose a good engineer?
To break through this ceiling I decided to attend the Executive MBA program at SFU. The result wasn’t what I expected. Instead of becoming a better manager, I realized that I was actually an entrepreneur, that the best path for me is to start my own business – and that is how Dynamic Leap was born.
What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
When I think about an answer to a problem, or consider what step to take, I look up to the best of Steve Jobs. His focus on quality, his ability to define impossible goals and then reach those goals. His laser focus on an excellent customer experience, and that pseudo clairvoyance to give customers what they want, before they even know they want it.
I take this mantra and put it into everything I do, and I have worked hard to make our team as lean and skilled as possible so I can achieve these goals every day.
If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?
Do not fear taking some risks. Life is boring if you keep the status quo, and never try new things. Follow your dream now, do not wait.
What are some accessible resources used and winning habits you have developed to learn and grow as an entrepreneur?
Some traits I try to cultivate are focus, determination and a good attitude. These will help you throughout your career, and will help you reach the goals you define for yourself.
Make sure to keep a rhythm: daily standups, weekly check-ins, monthly company updates, quarterly strategy meetings and yearly off-sites. Entrepreneurial life is an emotional roller coaster and keeping focused on a goal is best achieved through working towards meeting these cyclical deadlines.
What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
Be authentic; do not be afraid to show people who you really are. Be courageous; take some risks and take decisions. Take the time to listen; listen to your customers, your mentors, and your employees.
As business ideas push the boundaries of technology and being first to market is more important than ever, entrepreneurs are beginning to align themselves more and more with strategic partners such as Dynamic Leap.
*Vancouver Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs and startups that are making a local and even a global impact. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send an email to casey(at)vancitybuzz(dot)com to explain why you’re a fit.