Steve Croth. Co-Founder and CEO. FlipGive.
Steve Croth is one of the most forward thinking CEO’s we’ve ever met- but not in the way you might expect. At his grandfather’s funeral, Steve Croth was inspired by his legacy as a community man. Steve Croth thought backwards about what he wanted to be remembered as and the type of life he wanted to lead. His career story exemplifies the importance of thinking about the end of your career now and as co-founder and CEO of FlipGive, Steve Croth is building a legacy to be proud of.
What does your job entail?
As CEO of the company, I set the strategic direction of the firm and manage the operations on a day to day basis. I work with our board and investors to ensure that we are following our vision and executing well. A lot of my time is ensuring that we are well aligned in what we are doing and marching toward a common goal.
How did you come up with the idea for FlipGive?
The inspiration for FlipGive came during my MBA at Ivey. Over the summer we did a business case on permission based marketing. I loved technology, but I realized no one was using it is a tool for social good. We started by targeting the advertising industry and our original platform has changed since we began. Now we’ve flipped giving on its head, instead of only having companies donate themselves, we allow companies to enable their customers to fundraise or donate to the causes they care about by shopping.
What’s your biggest challenge?
One of the biggest challenges is mobile technology and the constant news stream. People are so distracted today, it’s hard to get people’s attention. Also, keeping up with technology is a challenge as you have to be constantly innovating, data driven and ahead of where people are going.
What are the opportunities and trends?
Retail is in both a challenging and exciting period of change. There are many factors changing brick and mortar businesses for example, there is less discretionary income than five years ago and more international competition moving into markets. With e-commerce, retail is fighting for a shrinking pie.
At the same time there’s tremendous pressure for people to come up with funds for social programming. I look at what is being cut in our children lives and it’s all programs such as music, arts and sports. Those are so important to a healthy balanced society and we need to come up with a better way to make our dollar go further. It’s the convergence of commerce and social at the same time that is creating an interesting opportunity for
What do you look for when you hire?
I’m drawn to people that are intelligent, ambitious, self-starters, who can think and also execute. We call it FIO-people who can figure it out, and then we give them the autonomy to do so. It’s also important to have the belief that there’s a new way to do business – do good and make money.
What advice would you give to people looking for a meaningful job?
Your beliefs and love for what you do should drive your search. Everyone has the opportunity to build a legacy for themselves and they need to believe they have the opportunity to do that. For anyone working in a firm or starting out their career, I would say never be afraid to do new things and remember that you can still make change even if are not an entrepreneur. Don’t settle or hold back- go for it!
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