Frank Cianciulli’s decision to invest in The Streaming Network grew out of the belief in a young sales representative named Matthew Ley working for Enunciate Collaboration. In 2008, Matt approached Frank to discuss an opportunity in the market to build a webinar business.
“He talked to me about a new idea he had – a one to many application – a webinar business, and talked to me about all the different applications where we could ultimately leverage our existing infrastructure to roll it out,” Frank recalls.
At the time, a business built around the idea of webinars was not a slam dunk, by any means. It was an unproven business model with a limited client base built on emerging technology platforms. But there were signs of potential for a business.
More importantly, Frank saw something in this young man, that made the decision easy. At the time, Matt’s idea was not to launch his own business, but to expand Enunciate’s capabilities.
“I never thought about starting a business until Frank talked to me about it,” Matt says.
“He had the passion for the project; he had the confidence to come in a speak to me about it, and he seemed to have a clear vision for it,” says Frank. “Having known Matt for a year or two, I knew that he had the values, he had the discipline, he had the integrity, and ultimately the work ethic and determination to make that vision a reality.”
Frank set Matt up with a mentor to assist with the business plan, from there, the pieces came together very quickly including the launch of a website and incorporation of the business. Frank also began inviting Matt to leadership meetings with other presidents in the Wish Group, so that Matt could learn from others who had launched their own entrepreneurial businesses at Wish Group.
“Frank believed in me and the idea of doing with webcasting what he had done with conferencing,” says Matt.
Three years later, Matt was running a business that was recognized in the top five of “The Top-50 Start Ups in Canada.” Today, The Streaming Network is the largest webinar provider and webcaster in the country, employing dozens of staff and serving hundreds of clients across Canada.
Frank wasn’t investing in technology or a perceived gap in the market, although both were key to the success of The Streaming Network.. Frank was investing in a leader’s the passion, vision and growth potential as a business service that represented the right fit for Wish Group.
Watch Frank Cianciulli discuss building and nurturing Matt Ley’s business idea that there was an opportunity in Webinars that was worth exploring
He has personally been awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, the New Generation Business Excellence Award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce and York University’s prestigious Bryden Next Generation Award in recognition of his success and personal commitment to his businesses and his community at such a young age.
Frank has been a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) since April 2005 having launched their Accelerator program geared towards helping early stage entrepreneurs accelerate their growth and most recently involved on the board of the Global student Entrepreneur Awards.
Frank has been on the Dean’s Advisory Board of York University since 2007 and is active in promoting business education at university levels through workshops and seminars.
Frank caught the entrepreneurial bug while working for an entrepreneurial conferencing company while still studying at York University.
His original plan of studying law was postponed indefinitely when he found a passion for audio conferencing sales.
Within a year, that company was purchased by Bell Canada and from that point forward being frustrated by the newly introduced bureaucracy and what he felt was the soul being sucked out of the organization, Frank set his targets on striking out on his own to start his own venture.
Being a history and political science major and having no experience in business planning or raising capital, this new found dream took over five years to finally materialize.
This led to frustration with the lack of infrastructure in fostering entrepreneurialism in Canada which later led to his passion for supporting entrepreneurial efforts with students, young and experienced entrepreneurs and within the entire Wish Group itself.
Frank firmly believes the reason for his continued success is due to investing in talent.
This mantra has led to a long succession of achievements starting with Enunciate Conferencing, which Frank co-founded in 2001.
Within five years, Enunciate launched nine collaboration products founded upon leading-edge technology and impeccable customer service.
With the intention of replicating Enunciate’s success, Frank continued to start or purchase several different companies in the telecommunications, human resources and technology/media space.
Thus far this has resulted in an unprecedented 7 different Profit Hot 50 Start Up awards, 5 different Profit 100 Fastest Growing Companies along with numerous other awards and accolades for the companies along with the leadership teams.
Around 90% of startups fail, but the secrets to success aren’t hard to understand. Frank Cianciulli is here to share insights on how to get your business started, best practices, strategies that have or haven’t worked for his businesses, how he’s scaled businesses without venture capital or bank financing, and so much more.
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