Lindsey Goodchild: Storytelling through Media
Lindsey Goodchild is the Co-Founder & CEO of Nudge Rewards, a global software business that helps improve retail and foodservice team performance.
Q. Tell us a bit about you.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been passionate about how we, as citizens and organizations, can make the world a better place. My passion led me to a career in consulting, where I had the fortunate opportunity to help hospitality brands embed sustainability into their everyday business.
Our thesis in consulting was that to drive change, we needed to engage and drive positive behaviours among the employees of these organizations, yet we were consistently challenged to find an effective way to communicate and engage with the team. This experience opened my eyes to the problem that we solve at Nudge Rewards. At Nudge, our software helps retailers and foodservice organizations engage directly with their frontline staff via mobile to drive business results.
Currently, we have a team of 25 wonderful people across North America and Europe who are dedicated to transforming the way brands engage, motivate, and reward with their associates.
Q: Walk us through your funding journey so far.
We knew that the problem we were solving could forever change the way brands engage with their 500M front-line employees across the world. In order to solve this problem at that scale, we decided to take on outside financing to support our growth.
But, it’s not always that easy. In the early days, you’ve got this huge dream, a beta version of the product, an early customer or two, and the founders. So, we got scrappy and found a way to get some customers to pay in advance for the product, we then went through an accelerator, and chased some government grants but it still wasn’t enough so eventually we went out to the local community for our first fundraise.
We were very fortunate to find some terrific early investors from GTAN, the IAF, and RBC. Our early investors believed in our team, and trusted in our vision. As we continued to gain traction, they continued to invest, and helped by introducing us to other investors who were players in our space. That’s how we met the gang at Brightspark, and they’ve become a key partner in our growth. As we look to the future, we are keen to partner with investors who understand the mobile enterprise space, and have worked with companies to help them expand into new verticals and markets.
Q. Have you faced any challenges or setbacks in the process?
Oh heck yes – all the time. For us, we’ve faced significant challenges at various stages of the business. At the earliest phase it was finding the right co-founders (I hit the jackpot on this one!), then it was finding the early believers (customers, partners, investors), then it was perfecting product-market fit. It’s always something new but that’s what makes it fun.
There’s also a ton of personal growth required to keep-up with a rapidly growing company, especially as a first-time CEO. You are constantly learning, and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone to get to the next level. For us, we’ve been very heads down the past 18 months, working on the business and now it’s time to go out and more publicly share our story. Stepping into the limelight has never been very easy for me, which is why I’ve so greatly benefited from some key supporters championing us.
Less than a year ago, I met Jodi Kovitz, CEO of AceTech Ontario and founder of Move The Dial, an initiative for elevating female leaders in tech. Jodi was talking to Toronto Life and made a quick introduction to me. Toronto Life has an initiative focused on highlighting innovators in the tech scene, and we were very fortunate to be invited to be part of it. For the interview, I had everything completely prepared and scripted for Toronto Life’s visit but when they arrived, the conversation unfolded very naturally. It resulted in a 1-page article that was recently published, and we’re still seeing the impacts of its reach. We’ve had a number of interested retailers and food service organizations reach out since reading it!
Q. What is your advice to other CEO's and/or aspiring leaders?
To seize the opportunities that come your way - even when they push you outside of your comfort zone. If you are outside of that comfort zone, be proactive in understanding why, and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
My first experience with Toronto Life was certainly a good one, but it also gave me the opportunity to reflect on how I can get better at telling our story. Right now, I’m committed to building my skills on that front so I can effectively communicate all that Nudge Rewards is, whether that’s from a podium at a conference, or with media. One thing I love about Move The Dial, is that it’s filling the gap for people in a similar position as me and helping us to build out the practical skills to help us reach the next level.
We have a great story. Toronto Life just didn't know us. Someone going a tiny bit out of their way, taking two minutes to connect us - created new meaningful opportunities for Nudge Rewards. That is #MoveTheDial. Small proactive action. Multiply it by every one of us taking small steps, together = change.
Guest writer: Jori Lichtman