Over 35 students gathered in the AC Hub on Jan. 27 to listen to Steve Cody talk about his life journey and provide job opportunities for students.
Cody, the owner of The Better Software Company, was only a teenager when he became an entrepreneur.
He lived in the projects with his mother and father growing up and when he got to high school, university and college weren’t options for him.
He dropped out of school at 16, and decided to invest $1,200 his grandfather had been saving for him. With it he began, and grew, the largest window-washing company in Ottawa.
Cody started a scaffolding business, Monster Halloween, a Halloween store, and Cody Party, a party rental business.
But in 2014 his son passed away. “I was in bed, basically for 9 months, and that affected me in a big way,” said. “So I had to sell all my companies.”
Debbie Weinstein, a top legal lawyer who was part of the group that bought Monster Halloween, noticed the software that the company used. She said that the program was worth more than anything that he had ever done.
It was 10 years ago that Cody hired someone to create software for his rental company. He was frustrated with how many programs he had to use, such as marketing and scheduling, to get one job done. He later ran Monster Halloween with the same program.
After he talked with Weinstein, Cody got curious and decided to talk with different business owners about his software. The owners told him that his software was exactly what they were looking for.
In August 2014, Cody made the decision to start The Better Software Company.
His company now has over 75 employees. The goal is to have a billion dollar company within five years from startup, which is $100 million in revenue a year. That goal clearly impressed the attendees.
“Most of the time the owners personality effects the business personality,” said Shunam Bawa, a second-year business management and entrepreneurship student. He said that he likes the company from what he heard from the talk.
Afterwards he students were invited to attend Cody’s companies’ job fair that he brought to the college. The event was organized by BMB Events, a group of four female students in business management and entrepreneurship.
“It’s really nice to open the floor to more opportunity,” said Katrina Lewis, who is one of the students.
Caitlyn O’Higgins, a new employee for The Better Software Company, helped with the job fair at the event.
She was looking for a change from her previous job in marketing and was attracted because of the companies fast pace. “It’s a very vibrant, energetic environment.”
The company offers software for small and medium businesses to help owners improve and simplify their entire business.
Cody said that he wants the company to always feel like a startup company, “we have to always be evolving and trying harder.”