The judges say: "Elton and his team have achieved tremendous growth, strong profit and a solid position in a highly competitive space."
The 2010 Information Technology Entrepreneur of the Year is Elton Pereira , the President and CEO of ParetoLogic Inc.
Elton Pereira still remembers the moment when he realized there was a lucrative and virtually untapped market for anti-spyware programs. It was midway through 2003 and Pereira, then just out of university, was working as a financial planner during the day while moonlighting as an online software reseller at night. His two brothers, Adrian and Myron, and his brother-in-law, Don Wharton, were also dabbling in web-based software resales, making a few extra bucks on the side while they researched the online software market in hopes of one day starting a business.
“At one point, Don called to say he’d done 250 sales in one day in spyware,” says Pereira, the company’s 34-year-old co-founder. “When you can do those kinds of numbers in one day just working out of your home, obviously there’s a lot of potential.”
Convinced they were onto something big, the brothers abandoned their software resales careers and began developing their own line of computer security products. The success of the brothers’ first anti-spyware program, ParetoLogic’s XoftSpySE, far outstripped their wildest expectations, grossing $3.5 million in sales in 2005. “We had huge sales right off the bat. It all happened really fast,” Pereira says.
What was your first real job?
Mrs. Vanelli’s Pizza in the Victoria Eaton Centre .
What was your first big break in your current business?
The first product launch was our big break because that gave us the cash flow to grow the company.
Who was your role model/mentor?
My dad really shaped who I am. He’s outgoing with a good sense of humour . . . always thinking about different ways to do business .
If I wasn’t doing this I’d...
Own a small business, maybe like a coffee shop, something just for fun.
Barely past its fifth anniversary, ParetoLogic now employs 125 people, has seven million customers worldwide and annual revenues in excess of $88 million. Along with perfect timing and a solid business plan, Pereira says, the diverse skill set of the company’s founders has been crucial to its success.
Friendly and engaging with a megawatt smile and a mind that moves at warp speed, the 34-year-old Pereira serves as the company’s public face. Adrian, 31, studied computer science at the University of Victoria, while Myron majored in marketing at Camosun College and Wharton studied economics at the University of Calgary.
Emboldened by their initial success, the brothers made a pact to turn ParetoLogic into a worldwide company on equal footing with computer security giants such as Norton and McAfee, and that goal hasn’t changed.
“All of us want to have a global enterprise,
and we don’t see any reason why we can’t
compete with the biggest players in the
industry,” Pereira says.