By: Dana Bibi
Ever feel like sometimes, there are just not enough hours in a day? The initial life of a start-up is a whirlwind of hectic priorities and long to-do lists. Balancing all the different roles is a challenge, and you often feel overwhelmed. But slowly, a routine starts to emerge. We are excited to ask Andrew White, Founder and COO of CHAR Technologies, to share his version of his typical work day. White has been a RIC Centre client since 2011, where he has had access to many mentoring, networking, funding, and entrepreneurship opportunities. In 2012, White won the Innovator Idol competition, receiving prizes that helped him commercialize his product, SulfaCHAR™. SulfaCHAR™ entails a patented process where the activated biochar filters, and eliminates toxic hydrogen sulphide from the gas stream of renewable energy plants as an environmentally sustainable solution. Today, although his schedule still shifts day-by-day, a certain structure has emerged.
White starts each morning by checking and answering urgent emails. He then dedicates a large portion of his work day towards tackling the challenges and ongoing projects that are transcribed on a large whiteboard in his office with members of his team. Interspersed meetings with suppliers and potential clients are scheduled throughout the day. Through the RIC Centre partnership with the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, White has access to a lab where he works on CHAR product development and optimization. Although no day is like the next, these tasks are a constant part of White’s business activities.
When he is not working, White’s hobbies include sports such as cycling and volleyball. In fact, he recently cycled in the 26th-annual Becel Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart marathon. Furthermore, White resides in Toronto and enjoys all that the vibrant city has to offer. On the topic of work-life balance, White asserts that, “it is exceedingly elusive for startups. It is an important goal, but in the first few years, it is also important to acknowledge that you won’t obtain the balance. You have to work hard to find the time for your personal time.”
About the Author
Dana Bibi is currently enrolled in the University of Toronto’s Digital Enterprise Management and Professional Writing Programs. Her interest is primarily captivated by how information technologies influence and are influenced by globalization, and this relationship’s effect on the economy, social identity, culture, and politics.