Willson Cross, 26
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
Life Story: Willson Cross calls his latest venture a startup lab. Launched late last year, Pattern Labs is a Vancouver-based fund that tests consumer technology ideas in industries from travel to home services to food. “We will build an enduring company around the winner, and that’s a product that will improve the lives of millions of people,” Cross says.
The Vancouver native attended New York University’s School of Professional Studies, dropping out after his third year to join Shoes.com back in his hometown in 2016. Before the e-tailer went bankrupt, he left his job as a product manager to co-found GoFetch.ca, an online platform offering dog walking, daycare and other services. The company, which raised $3.4 million in funding and grew to some 45 employees and more than $1 million in annual revenue, was acquired by pet-tech player Future Pet Animal Health last spring.
Bottom Line: Pattern Labs, which employs about a dozen people, has closed a pre-seed funding round led by Silicon Valley investors.