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Alumnus “Hardboots” Software Development Solutions

Jeff Potvin Since its inception in 2007, Seneca alumnus Jeffery Potvin’s software development company Hardboot Inc. has delivered more than 600 projects in the digital space across countless industries and seen continuous growth each year. Companies such as HomeSense, Walmart, BVD Petroleum, Canada Life, Merit Travel Group, and First National have all benefited from the expertise of Jeffery’s team.

“As the business owner I only refer to Hardboot as ‘we,’” said Jeffery. “I understand that without the people around me, I would not be able to support our growth and the numerous projects we take on from start to finish.”

Jeffery is a graduate of Seneca’s International Business program. With the encouragement of his professors, he also became part of the College’s first intake for the Internet and Electronic Commerce graduate program. Jeffery excelled in his course work, achieving high honours.

As well, Seneca’s academic pathways created an opportunity for Jeffery to pursue a degree in Computer Science at York University, which he did while operating a small tech business with his brother. He then received a great job opportunity from Loblaw Companies Ltd. to build e-commerce platforms as a developer and online marketer. Over the span of five years at Loblaws, he successfully facilitated growth in product development, marketing, merchandising and finance, by creating a more efficient and cost effective business model.

“To this day I am most proud of the restructuring that was accomplished at Loblaws,” said Jeffery. “I was also assigned a mentor, who became a great friend and was influential in my learning of the corporate world. During our time working together, we discussed the business concept that ultimately became Hardboot.”

An avid traveler and backpacker, Jeffery took some time off after working at Loblaws and went backpacking through Asia, where he reconnected with his mentor. Upon his return home, Jeffery enrolled in a Public Policy and Management degree program at York. At the same time, he launched Hardboot, with a mission to provide digital solutions and project management; writing business proposals and fulfilling hiring needs while studying became the norm.

The company has grown to include approximately 30 employees in Toronto, along with a satellite office in New York and a partner company in the Philippines. Hardboot also acquired a company in Pakistan, which Jeffery collaborated with to produce several products including Swyvel, a project management tool, Threadr, a polling application, and Symplyfy, a lead generation tool.

Jeffery has now turned his knack for business analysis, planning, execution and relationship building into a successful venture, now approaching a decade of delivering quality work. He believes his Seneca professors, who persuaded him to enter the field, were influential in getting him where he is today and taught him to share his expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs.

“I enjoy volunteering with youth and sharing my knowledge,” says Jeffery. “I will always take a moment to make a connection for someone else and hope that by helping others I can create the same positive impact my mentors had on me. I also want to set a positive example by working hard and continuing the forward progress of Hardboot. You have to keep throwing track to keep the train moving.”