My name is Aran Hamilton and I’m living in Toronto, Canada.
I’m actually from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and if you know anything about “home” then you know that I’d be disowned for suggesting that I’m from Toronto. Many people live in Toronto, but very few will say they’re from here.
What I’m doing now
I’ve started a company called Venture Grower. The idea of Venture Grower is to spend 50% of my time consulting and 50% of my time incubating new companies.
My consulting projects right now are incredibly exciting. I quietly consult to some of the leading companies in the world on the topics of digital economy strategy, including mobile commerce, retail payments and couponing, money transfer, and digital ID and authentication.
Behind the scenes, I work with a lot of banks, telcos, governments and retailers.
In the past few years I’ve lead work for the Canadian Federal Task Force for the Payments System Review and convened some very successful national working groups on mobile payments and digital ID and authentication.
Where’d I come from?
A few years ago I started up at a company called EnStream. EnStream is a joint venture owned by the 3 largest Canadian wireless carriers (Rogers, Bell, and Telus) and their whole purpose was to launch some cool stuff in the mobile money space up here in Canada.
Over a few years, we were able to create and launch an innovative mobile money platform that won all kinds of awards, and really was the first of it’s kind in the developed world… so much of the mobile money industry started in the developing world! But more on that later…
I’ve spent a lot of my career creating and implementing business strategy and development plans for new and established companies.
Before I joined EnStream, I was at m-Qube and VeriSign for a few years. m-Qube was an awesome little start-up that we sold to VeriSign – an interesting company with some incredibly strong technology solutions. While I was managing VeriSign’s Canadian business, they really began to come into their own and play an even larger role on the world’s technology stage. My chief responsibilities were to develop the Canadian marketplace and to drive and support our 100+ person Canadian team. A big part of our Canadian business was mobile messaging – VeriSign is the largest aggregator in Canada and they manage a ton of infrastructure and programs for telecommunications and media clients.
Before that, I’d spent six years as a strategy consultant. My time at Monitor Company, PSTG and Digital Cement were great for me to cut my teeth and really dive into strategy consulting, launching successful business development, customer lifecycle and engagement strategies for such marquee clients as FedEx, Dell, Kraft, Sympatico, MDS, and Industry Canada. A lot of my work focused on smart use of technology, online and email relationship marketing and what the government should be doing online.
I have an M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, and a B.Sc. in Biology from University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. I’m over 6′6″ and I played basketball for Kings.
I just finished my tenure as a member of the “top secret” College of Electors at the University of Toronto. My crowning achievements there were helping reform the ancient body and then helping install Mike Wilson as the new Chancellor at U of T.
I was pretty stoked to be elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association by my industry peers a few years back.
A few years ago I dropped out of the traditional business world to develop a retail concept offering health products and services. We started with a blank whiteboard and ended up building a franchisor with over 30 locations in domestic and international markets. Not too shabby!
I like to spend time advising local entrepreneurs with their start-ups. I’m always looking to talk to interesting people doing interesting things or trying to hit the slopes on my snowboard!