Recently, the first group of Startup Certified Companies have finished the program. We've interviewed Safiyyah Idroos, external link, Founder of Gifting Guru. Safiyyah is a student of Retail Management at Ted Rogers School of Management.
Tell us about your startup.
Gifting Guru is a gifting tech platform that generates instant gift recommendations for anyone on your shopping list. In our research, we found that the hardest part of gifting was always finding the perfect gift for your giftee. Gifting Guru’s gift recommendation platform will generate gift recommendations for whomever you are gifting to, instantly!
How was your experience with Startup Certified?
I had a phenomenal experience with Startup Certified. Every module that I attended was highly enriching and informative and most certainly contributed to the building and running of my startup. It was also a great opportunity to learn from and network with the industry veterans who taught the various modules.
How did you benefit from working on your own Startup?
Working on my own startup has been the most liberating, challenging and enriching experience of my career so far. From starting to first think about the business model to where Gifting Guru is today, I am so incredibly fortunate to have been through the Startup Certified Program and then the DMZ as the resources and expertise I was exposed to were invaluable.
What advice do you have for incoming students into TRSM?
There is so much opportunity available for TRSM students, it’s up to you to take advantage of that while you still can. I was able to complete the Startup Certified program by actively seeking out the opportunity as I became aware of it. Make the most of all the opportunities you are exposed to while you are here.
What do you believe makes TRSM so special?
TRSM is so special because of all the opportunity it offers to its students from industry connections, networking panels to all the beneficial conferences TRSM gives students the opportunity to attend. TRSM is also a school that really enforces experiential learning by allowing students to participate in programs like Startup Certified and various other resources to pursue careers that defy traditional business career paths.
What is your plan after graduation?
Ideally I would love to work on my startup full time again and make Gifting Guru my career. However, with respect to my degree, I am very interested in the Consulting industry and would like to pursue a career in a Retail Consulting role.
Book you would recommend.
I am more of a listener especially when I commute, and I highly recommend the “How I built this” podcast. Listening to the stories of highly successful entrepreneurs and how they built their respective products is very inspiring and motivating and I always feel energized and reassured after listening to an episode.
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable”. This quote really stuck with me through this summer working on my startup. It was a new experience for me where I felt far from my comfort zone but I had to establish it to myself that comfort is not going to get me anywhere and opportunity and success resides outside of my comfort zone.