Ben grew up always wanting to be the sports doctor for the Montreal Canadiens. Turns out you need to go to school for a long time to become a doctor, and childhood plans have a way of changing. While doing a BSc. in Psychology at McGill, Ben started his first company, meep! media inc. That led to the founding of Vertabase, which launched one of the first web-based project management applications.
In 2006, Ben started blogging at Instigator Blog. It began as a hobby and an experiment in social media, but very quickly became a key conduit for networking and creating opportunity. Ben’s blog is a reflection of his professional life and his current interests. Of late that’s represented by a lot of content on customer development, product management, recruitment and marketing.
In 2007, Ben launched Standout Jobs, a venture-backed startup in the recruitment space. Standout’s goal was to empower HR departments to more effectively market and sell their organizations for recruitment purposes. The company provided SaaS software to help companies build interactive and engaging career sites and recruitment micro-sites. Standout Jobs was sold in April 2010.
More recently, Ben launched NextMontreal, a technology news & opinion site for Montreal. It’s goal is to shine a spotlight on all tech-related activity in the city, for the community itself, and external observers as well.
Ben has actively consulted and advised numerous startups in Montreal and elsewhere, often around product management, funding, sales, marketing and operations. He enjoys the diversity of juggling projects. Of late, he’s been focusing a great deal on mobile and gaming opportunities.
So why start Year One Labs?
“I want to help entrepreneurs build great companies, and leverage my fourteen years experience to add as much value as possible. Entrepreneurs need more than money; they need guidance, focus and a team of dedicated people to drive things in the right direction,” he says. “We can find great entrepreneurs, provide structure and support, access to advisors and opportunities, and push them towards building scalable startups.”
From Francis Wu, Web Designer/Programmer at SocialGrapes:
“My collaboration with Ben Yoskovitz on several projects has been a pleasure. He is a seasoned tech entrepreneur, connector, and advisor. I’m always impressed with his ability to generate, understand, and validate ideas. This makes Ben my favorite go-to guy for pitching startup ideas and an insightful resource for any tech entrepreneur.”
From Justin Evans, Founding Partner at Stresslimit Design:
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ben for the past 3 years. He consistently brings a rare balance of high-level strategy and peerless research skills that are backed by real-life experience in the startup. Best of all, he’s never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get things done. His work for us has been a major part in driving the success for number of our highest-profile projects.”