It starts with an idea, a passion. After countless hours of dedication, hard-work, trials and errors – you need to make a decision. A new opportunity has arisen, an offer has been made. These three Edmonton entrepreneurs have had to consider their options, deciding to sell the businesses they worked so hard to build. They explained what led them to make their decisions, the challenge in leaving something so close to you, or staying with it after someone else purchases it. Dr. Greg Zeschuk, one of the founders of Edmonton-based game creator Bioware, Gord Lacey, founder of TVShowsonDVD.com, and Cory Janssen, co-founder of Techopedia shared their stories and experiences with Capital Ideas members on Wednesday, October 24.
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Cory is President of Galt Capital, a private investment firm, and co-founder of Janalta Interactive, an online media company that is the publisher of Techopedia.com, among other sites. He is the former co-founder of Investopedia.com, a financial education site that was sold to Forbes Media in 2007.
Dr. Greg Zeschuk
Greg was born and raised in Edmonton, where he attended the University of Alberta, earning a medical degree. Just prior to medical school Greg met Ray Muzyka, his future colleague in medicine school, but more importantly, his future business partner at BioWare.
Greg and Ray went on to build BioWare over nearly 20 years and made some of the most beloved Roleplaying Games ever created; Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Along the way BioWare grew to be an important player in the videogame industry and was purchased by Elevation Partners, a private equity firm in 2005, and later by Electronic Arts, one of the largest game publishers in the world, in 2007. Greg and Ray worked with Electronic Arts for nearly five years before both moving on to explore new opportunities.
Greg is now working on a web-based show called The Beer Diaries, which celebrates and promotes craft beer around the world.
Gord Lacey founded TVShowsOnDVD.com in November, 2001 while working as a Web Developer at Grant MacEwan College. He left MacEwan a few years later to spend more time on the website, and in 2007, sold the site to an American company. He continues to manage the site, answer emails, update information, and watch lots and lots of TV.
Read tweets from the panel on our Storify: Selling the business you built