What Has Crowdlinker Been Up To?

2018 was a busy year for the Crowdlinker team. In the past year, our team has grown from 16 people to 25 of Toronto’s top software engineers, UX designers, product managers and digital marketers.

New Additions To The Team

We’re happy to have added two new Product Managers, Alison Ma, and Carlos Chacon. Alison has experience working on several products as a software engineer, which set her up well in her current role as a PM.

Senior Developers Ahmad & Orest working with Product Manager Alison, while Full-stack Developer Fahad listens in.
(L to R) Senior Developers Ahmad & Orest working with Product Manager Alison, while Full-stack Developer Fahad listens in.

 

Carlos brings over 6 years of startup experience to the Crowdlinker team. He has worked for several product companies both as a Quality Assurance Lead and Product Manager.

Product Manager Carlos Chacon leading a Scrum with Full-stack Developer Fahad Shaikh
Product Manager Carlos (L) leading a Scrum with Full-stack Developer Fahad (R)

 

We also brought on a Head of Design, Peter Kattan, one of the city’s best UX designers. Peter is a passionate, creative thinker and status quo disrupter coming with vast experience in information architecture, UX, UI and Human-centered design.

Our Head of Design ,Peter Kattan (L), with UI/UX Designer, Lisa Hua (R).
Our Head of Design, Peter Kattan (L), with UI/UX Designer, Lisa Hua (R).

Moving On Up!

Moreover, we moved offices last summer, from our humble beginnings in King West above Belfast Love to the spacious and historic Balfour Building near Spadina & Adelaide. We love our new space and especially adore our new rooftop patio that comes with it.

Crowdlinker Team old office on moveday
“The Last Meal”. Our old office at 548 King St. W.

 

The first party we hosted on this breathtaking patio was our 6 Year Birthday Party. We were excited to have our clients and friends join us for a fun evening of music, drinks and socializing.

Crowdlinker's 6th Anniversary Party
The Crowdlinker Team enjoying the Balfour Building rooftop patio on our 6th Anniversary

 

As we continue to grow in age and size, our experience and capabilities continue to expand as well. We’ve also added several new scaleup and enterprise clients over the past year including Magnet Forensics, Nudge Rewards, PostBeyondFreshBooks, Planswell, Benecaid and other amazing companies. One of our most successful clients from last year was Zensurance, for whom we were able to achieve hockey-stick growth. Through running several PPC campaigns and optimizing their SEO, we were able to test, iterate and optimize their campaigns for traffic and conversions. The end result was that Zensurance was acquired by Travelers Insurance company for $16 million CAD.

Introducing CrowdDigital

Over the past 2 years or so, we have positioned ourselves into becoming one of Toronto’s fastest growing digital product studios. We now offer end-to-end product development services, working with our clients from the strategy phase all the way to product marketing and distribution.

As part of our continued commitment to our clients’ product successes in the market, we are proud to announce the launch of our new digital marketing division, CrowdDigital. We’ve sourced a team of the top pragmatic marketers in the city to implement proven strategies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC), Social Media Marketing & Email Marketing for our clients.

Crowdlinker Getting Elevated

Back in September, we were the Official Tech Partner for Elevate Tech Fest, Canada’s largest festival catered to startups, scaleups and emerging industries.

We handled the maintenance of their existing website, taking over the work done by their previous tech provider. Above all, we had a blast working with their team and loved the festival.

In summary, they featured talks, panels and roundtable discussions on topics ranging from disruptive retail trends to the nascent cannabis industry. As a result, we learned so much from all their amazing speakers and made some great connections.

Razor Suleman, CEO of Elevate, Muneer Nawab, Founder of Crowdlinker/CrowdDigital, and Masood Raza, Director of Marketing at Crowdlinker.
(L to R) Razor Suleman, CEO of Elevate, Muneer Nawab, Founder of Crowdlinker/CrowdDigital, and Masood Raza, Director of Marketing at Crowdlinker.

 

We were mostly excited to host our Crowdlinker Casino Royale, as part of Elevate King West. Elevate attendees joined us in friendly games of Poker and Blackjack. Our party also featured product demos from our friends at SpinVFX and RaveDJ.

At the festival itself, one of the tracks that stood out to us was Elevate Digital Transformation. This track focused on the need for companies to redefine their strategy and processes based on four key pillars, Strategy, Innovation, Agile & Delivery, and People.

The Need For Corporate Innovation

Immediately after the festival, we were approached by InnovationTO, a Toronto-based meetup focused on digital transformation in large enterprises, to collaborate on future events. Their organizers have put together Toronto’s first group dedicated to connecting corporate innovation labs and the Toronto startup community. Since October, we’ve partnered to put on three InnovationTO events across the city and have several more planned for 2019.

The November Edition of InnovationT with Elisa Smith, Engagement Manager at the Centre for Social Innovation. Hosted by Shopify.
The November Edition of InnovationTO with Elisa Smith, Engagement Manager at the Centre for Social Innovation. Hosted by Shopify.

 

Join us for the next InnovationTO, Ahead of the Curve: Disruptive Innovation within Insurance, which will focus on how innovation is taking shape within the insurance industry. We will explore a variety of topics including specific technology trends that are disrupting the world of insurance. 

InnovationTO's next event Ahead of the Curve: Disruptive Innovation within Insurance
InnovationTO’s next event Ahead of the Curve: Disruptive Innovation within Insurance will be held at Aviva’s Digital Garage on Feb. 21st, 2019

 

The panel will feature Insurtech leaders, Eric Arnold, Kelvin Lam, Kevin Kliman and will be moderated by Aviva’s Ryan Spinner. Learn how large companies and newer startups are leveraging innovation to stay ahead of the curve in meeting the needs of their ever-evolving customers. Register for the event here and use the code CROWDLINKER for free admission.

Practising What We Teach

Earlier this month our SEO & Digital Marketing Manager, Ali Abbas, was approached by York University’s Entrepreneurship Development Association to teach a workshop focusing on SEO best practices for startups.

Entrepreneurship Development Association's event Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs held at York University
Entrepreneurship Development Association’s event Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs held at York University

 

The event, Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, was the first initiative of its kind. The EDA decided this was a must-happen event with the demand for digital marketing knowledge growing among York students.

 

Crowdlinker's SEO & Digital Marketing Manager, Ali Abbas, teaching York University students SEO best practices
Crowdlinker’s SEO & Digital Marketing Manager, Ali Abbas, teaching York University students SEO best practices

 

The turnout was incredible with standing room only. The engaged audience asked several thought-provoking questions. Thus, we are looking forward to teaching more courses and workshops in the future. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay updated on upcoming educational events from Crowdlinker.

We look forward to keeping you in the loop with a new monthly Crowdlinker Newsletter. Each monthly email will update you on what we’ve been up to and our plans for the coming months. If you’d like us to stay in touch with news in tech, exclusive offers, and event invitations, subscribe to our new and improved monthly Crowdlinker Newsletter today.