Torontonians who are shaking up the tech sector

Torontonians who are shaking up the tech sector

Justin Crabbe founded Jettly, an on-demand private jet charter company

Company HQ: King and University
Founded: 2016
Employees: 15
Users: 19,000

How it works: “Jettly is like Uber for private aviation. Users enter their desired dates and destination, and we connect them with available pilots. You can charter anything from a helicopter to a luxury jet, and prices range from $15,000 for a basic flight to Montreal to $60,000 for an international trip.”

Eureka moment: “I’m a pilot and have my own plane, so I spend a lot of time at airports. I noticed that a lot of aircraft—especially the smaller ones—were being underutilized, and I decided to build a business around that rather than going the commercial route and working for Air Canada.”

How much you spent initially: “I personally invested $100,000, which got me a functional site and network, support staff and front- and back-end developers.”

Your turning point: “We ended up doing over $1 million in sales during our first year. At that point, we were only flying within North America, but I knew I could make it even bigger. Now we fly to 190 countries.”

Tech Jargon you use too much: “We spend most of our time talking about customer acquisition costs and return rates.”

Tech Jargon you hate: “I don’t hate tech jargon. It’s efficient for people who work in the industry.”

The best advice you’ve received: “Don’t be afraid to fail 10 times before you succeed.”

The worst advice you’ve received: “I don’t seek bad advice.”

Your tech role model: “Warren Buffett. He’s our biggest competitor, so I analyzed his business model closely. I respect him, but also think of him as a bit of a personal enemy.”

Coolest thing in your office: “Our office is filled with model aircraft. One of them has a wingspan of four feet.”

App you can’t live without: “Airbnb. I can hop on a plane whenever I want, so I travel often.”

Past life: “My first job was as a manager at McDonald’s. After that, I became an entrepreneur and then a pilot.”

If you weren’t running a start-up: “Growing up, I wanted to be a police officer. I still like the idea of cruising around in a cop car.”