Two Peace Country-based companies are in the spotlight, placing on the Profit 500 Startup List of Canada’s Fastest-Growing New Companies. Grassroots Realty Group, based in Grande Prairie, and Sonar Software Inc, based in Debolt, were both recognized by Maclean’s and Canadian Business magazines.
Grassroots CEO Yuri Smith says he is excited that rural Alberta is on the map and competing on a national scale.
“The lion’s share of the other people who are on [the list] were mostly centred in larger cities so we’re very excited to be on the list and can’t thank our community and live entrepreneurial spirit here enough,” he says.
“The growth has been beyond our wildest dreams and we would have never anticipated we would have graced the pages of Maclean’s magazine in our third year in business, or have offices across Alberta with plans to expand to double where we’re at over the next three years,” he adds.
The selection process to determine those that would make the list began with a nomination, followed by three rounds of intensive investigation into each company before the list was decided upon.
Smith says his current ambition is to see Grassroots expand into both the major centres and the outlying areas in Alberta, and becoming a household name in real estate across the province.
“We’re not coy about that. In an economy and in a time when everybody is being very cautious, we’re being cautious but we’re also willing to take risks and double down and continue on a warpath to keep growing and to be a name in Alberta real estate.”
Sonar Software COO Glenn Moore says the company has been fortunate enough to make the Profit 500 list for the second year in a row.
“It’s damn exciting,” he laughs. “In these COVID-19 times it’s pretty exciting to remain with steady growth and having good things happening when I know a lot of our neighbours maybe aren’t in that good fortune.”
Moore attributes much of the company’s success to the remote nature of their workforce and the ability to not be restricted by a static office.
“People being able to work from home, I think, really allows for a lot more creativity and people who have to work different hours, in different time zones and all those things. If there’s a bunch of software developers hiding out… call me. We’re always looking for [them],” he laughs.
He adds the ambitious goal for Sonar Software is to double or triple their workforce within the next 12 to 18 months.