Alexandra Greenhill | Winner of the 2018 Woman Entrepreneur Award – National
“We all have the capacity to learn and grow, and a startup is an opportunity to do so everyday”
An innovative physician, health leader and tech entrepreneur, Alexandra is the co-founder, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Careteam, an AI-enabled platform defragmenting healthcare. She is also CEO of myBestHelper, an algorithm-enhanced marketplace connecting families with child and elder care. But that’s not all – she’s the founder of Littlecodr (little coder), a top-rated game on Product Hunt, that teaches kids to code.
Dr. Greenhill has advised numerous health and IT ventures served on various boards and is recognized across North America for her leadership.
WXN named her one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and she is the only Canadian to be named the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award Laureate.
She is a genuine Canadian leader.
Startup News had the opportunity to sit down with Alexandra Greenhill to learn more.
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
AG: As an executive physician, I didn’t know I was an entrepreneur until I met other entrepreneurs and realized my mindset is like theirs! I discovered that entrepreneurs are people who think “hey, this can be made better!” and then go to make it happen. The French origin of the word is very significant – it essentially means “to initiate something significant”.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
AG: Everyone thinks of startups as one type of organisation, but there are actually two very different ones, and they have different trajectories, rules, investors, risk and upside. On one hand, we have an awesome business idea which is a version of an existing model where much is known, the need for funding is smaller and the revenues should flow within 12-18 months. On the other hand, we have a team of founders tackling something massive and completely transformative, where all is to be invented, and while the risk is greater so is the reward.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
AG: Two words: growth mindset (developed by Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck). We all have the capacity to learn and grow, and a startup is an opportunity to do so every day – if you develop your growth mindset, the entrepreneurial journey becomes fun. It is also due to be successful, as the father of the Lean Startup, Eric Ries said, “The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else”.
SN: What is the one thing you think we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
AG: “Beyond working on improving the situation with women in tech that affects us just as much as it does other nations, I think we need to collectively lose the “imposter syndrome”.
All too often our leaders in government and in organisations meant to support innovation use examples of foreign companies in their speeches and slide decks, when an equivalent or better Canadian made innovation exists and could benefit from being showcased.
SN: What is your message to the world?
AG: It takes a village to do pretty much everything in a successful and sustainable way – raise a child, care for an elder, build a company. I want more people to realize how critically important it is to adopt a mindset of growth combined with a mindset of abundance, as well as to be helpful to each other and to accept the help one is offered. Spoiler warning ahead: That is the core message of the TEDx talk I did on how to live longer, healthier and happier – all the research I read as a physician shows that connection, meaning and the ability to offer and accept help are the most important criteria for our well-being
SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards so far?
AG: Great visibility in the tech community and beyond, very interesting connecting to the other award winners. Loved the pre-award group discussion that Victoria led – very unusual and very helpful.