Fellow Profile — Adam Anshan

University: Dalhousie University

Major: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Minor in Economics

Startup: QRA Corp.

City: Halifax

Hometown: Toronto

What does your startup do?

QRA develops software to help engineers design and verify complex systems, like spaceships or fighter jets. By taking the designs and requirements of these incredible machines and turning them in to mathematical statements, QRA is able to find errors earlier and more effectively than traditional methods. Working with leading aerospace and defence companies, QRA is helping engineers save time and money while ensuring their designs are going to perform as expected.

Describe a typical day at your startup: (role, day-to-day)

It changes on a week-to-week (sometimes day-to-day) basis depending on what needs to be done around the company. Some days I’ll be cold-calling companies trying to learn how they currently do design verification and figuring out if they’d be a good fit for our software, some days I’m buried in a grant proposal, other times I’ll be off at a conference meeting new people and promoting QRA.

What do you love about working at a startup? (What are the benefits of working at a startup?)

For me, the best part is the people I work with. That was the main factor when I was making my decision of where to work and when I interviewed with QRA I was blown away by the intellect and ambition at the company. I can distinctly remember our CTO explaining QRA is “..trying to solve problems we don’t know we can solve” that was all I needed to hear. That kind of ambition has been so inspirational to me and convinced me on the spot QRA was where I wanted to be.

What’s a social issue that you are particularly passionate about?

Jeez, there are so many. If I had to pick one I’d say the general sense of institutional homophobia I still hear today on campuses is especially concerning to me. I recognize a lot of the people who use this language (probably most) are totally accepting of homosexuality and think that because of their internal believes it’s fine to use that language, but they don’t realize it contributes to a greater culture of intolerance, regardless of their intentions.

What’s your favorite book?

0 to 1 by Peter Thiel

If you could tell your third year university student self one piece of advice, it would be to….

Get involved in more on-campus causes. More clubs, more movements, be more politically aware of what’s going on on campus, so many other things.

What is the best part of being a Venture for Canada Fellow?

There are so many incredible things about being in Venture for Canada but the best is definitely the friendships.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career?

All sorts of things! I hope to start my own business after I’m done working at QRA, and continue working in the startup ecosystem for the rest of my life. I also hope to never work for a company with more than 100 people (unless it’s one I start myself).

Why should someone apply to Venture for Canada?

If you are ambitious, hard working, and eager to learn (about anything!) I’d say you’d make a great candidate.

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