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Real welcomes successful consumer tech and marketplace entrepreneur as Entrepreneur in Residence

June 21, 2018

Product-market fit. Hiring first employees. Raising money. Managing a board. There’s a fundamental set of business building blocks that every entrepreneur needs to understand, and with the aid of industry veterans, those experiences become much smoother. That’s why Real introduced the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) role to our firm in 2016. By adding these experienced entrepreneurs to the team, we are able to deepen our support to our founders. And by providing access to one more person who has profited from the learning curve of building companies, we can help newer founders more easily jump the hurdles of early startup growth.

Today, we are thrilled to announce that Andrew Sider has joined as Real’s new EIR in Toronto. Part of the Real Ventures family since 2010, Andrew first joined as co-founder and CEO at Bunch, a discussion app for interest-based groups, which was acquired by online marketplace, VarageSale — another Real company — where he went on to make major contributions as VP Marketing and then as CEO until VarageSale’s acquisition by VerticalScope in 2017.

Before building Bunch, Andrew was also a member of the founding team at BandPage, a central profile platform for musicians that was acquired by YouTube in 2016.

“Every founder has to earn his or her stripes and there are some typical learning curves that early-stage entrepreneurs have to go through,” Andrew said. “My hope is that I can help to get them up that learning curve faster — be a trusted operational and tactical advisor, roll up my sleeves and help entrepreneurs skip or at least hyperspeed through some of those typical learning steps, which are painful the first time.”

Through a decade of working with Andrew at two companies, we at Real have witnessed this extremely persistent, hard-working, strategic founder learn a great deal and lead his startups to success. His involvement in the tech ecosystems in both Montreal and Toronto have also enabled Andrew to build deep networks and a strong reputation in both cities, and we believe that he will bring his breadth of startup experience, strong networks, and empathy to the Real Ventures portfolio.

“I had the pleasure of working closely with Andrew when he was CEO of VarageSale,” said Real partner, Janet Bannister. “His integrity, leadership and strong work ethic have always impressed me. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him again, this time in a different context.”

Although the EIR role at Real is a transitional position, these team members have a significant impact. As a skilled and experienced founder who understands how to develop strategies, execute plans, and build strong teams, Andrew will:

  • work closely with our portfolio companies in the areas of marketplaces, B2C businesses and growth marketing
  • help analyze new investment opportunities in marketplace and consumer businesses
  • help us accelerate our impact on the entrepreneurs we work with, as well as the Canadian ecosystem

As Andrew works with our portfolio companies, we’ll also be supporting him as he explores starting or joining his next startup. We’re both honoured and excited to have him join our team and look forward to his contribution to the Real Ventures community.

Read this announcement on our blog