Opportunity Bubbles to the Surface at TrafficSoda

"One of our first, and greatest successes was seeing the impact our software had on our customer's growth goals."

Jessica Chalk, CEO and founder of TrafficSoda, always knew she was capable of entrepreneurship. Her mother kept a poster Jessica once made where she described what she wants to be when she grows up. "You need to know how and when to spend your money, be determined and set high goals," were just a few words of advice that ten year old Jessica had set for herself. After years of risk taking, her drive to be a part of larger things, and seeing value in early stage ideas, she realized she needed to follow her passion.

The Accelerator Centre (AC) played a central role in Jessica's entrepreneurial journey and in the development of her startup TrafficSoda. Jessica first came to the AC as young marketer at I Think Security (now APrivacy) after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University's Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. But it wasn't enough to just work for a startup. Jessica wanted to become an entrepreneur in her own right.

Through Laurier's Launchpad program, Jessica was able to bring her fledgling startup TrafficSoda back to the AC to take advantage of the incubator's world class programming and mentorship. "The AC, its staff and mentors played such a huge part in my growth as an entrepreneur," she explains. "They were instrumental in helping me make that transition from being an employee to becoming an employer. It's like having a hub of likeminded people that will help you get to that next level."

In reflecting on her experience at the Accelerator Centre, Jessica speaks to the culture found within the Waterloo-based incubator. Seeing other entrepreneurs accomplish all of their goals with a "just go" attitude only served to further inspire Jessica and her team to follow that work ethic and put everything they know and have into building their business.

Building the right team was one of the greatest challenges she faced. "Balancing the urgency to get people in with the pressure to pick the right person is difficult and can be stressful. You thrive when you have an incredible team in place. We overcame that hurdle and have since found an incredible core team," says Jessica.

TrafficSoda has grown tremendously over its three year lifespan. In the last couple of years the company has earned the trust of many businesses who now count on TrafficSoda to help them achieve strong search engine rankings and drive their growth online. "We believe our success is their success," says Jessica.

Jessica knows no limits to her entrepreneurial ambition. Five years from now, she envisions TrafficSoda as an industry leader providing marketing tools for technical search engine marketing and online growth. "And we'll be providing that service through honesty, transparency and clarity," she makes a point of reminding us.