Business Admin Grad Applies Studies to New Ventures
Greg Twinney embodies the word “entrepreneur”. Taking initiative, accepting risk, and facing challenges are all characteristics that have defined Greg. They are also what has made him part of four successful business ventures, with a fifth in progress.
Greg was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Kobo until the company was sold a few years ago. Kobo is a global e-reading company, working with the shift to downloadable books. The company matched Greg’s interest in being a trend-setter who creates change in the world.
“No matter how tough a task may appear, I want to accept that challenge and know that I was part of making that change happen,” said Greg.
Greg’s latest venture is connected to real estate where he sees a need and opportunity to create transparency through technology, simplifying the home-buying process by providing key information to buyers.
“I’m an entrepreneur at heart,” said Greg. “I encourage those with the same passion not to be afraid of taking that first step.”
His first step, just out of high school in Newmarket, was setting up a window-cleaning business. With nothing more than a van, a squeegee and a ladder, he began knocking on doors. The process wasn’t perfect in the beginning but he learned on the fly. The business blossomed, allowing Greg to pay for his education at Seneca.
The first of his family to attend postsecondary school, Greg was engaged and enthusiastic about his business administration program because he could apply the skills he learned to his own business. “It was tremendously helpful learning from teachers who were experienced, credible and had practical knowledge,” said Greg.
After graduating in 1995, he found his first job with Can-ar Coach Services – part of Tokmakjian Limited – as an accounts receivable clerk. From there, he became the first employee of an export sector of the company selling buses and parts to the Cuban tourism industry.
In the late 90s, when the technology industry was buzzing, Greg found a new passion and began investing in Cyberplex, an online advertising company. Through persistence, he found his way into a role at a time when the company wasn’t planning on hiring.
His next move was to a smaller startup Opalis Software, where he became CFO and found his niche as a business developer. Four years later, Opalis was sold to Microsoft.
All part of life, Greg reminds graduates to “just follow your dream and go for it.”