2018 Winners



2018 Entrepreneur
of the Year

Nima Tahmassbi (sogoodtobuy)
Montréal, Québec

In 2006, Nima began selling car accessories on eBay to support himself while finishing his university degree in Montréal. As a result of his early online success, Nima was offered North American distribution rights for a manufacturer of air conditioners and ductless heat pumps. Though cost-effectively shipping large appliances would be difficult, Nima saw the category as an unexplored area of opportunity. During the early days, eBay was Nima's main source of sales, and profits were used to build out other initiatives to help fuel growth - a warehouse, marketing and advertising, and, eventually, a company website. The business started taking off in 2008, but shortly after, it was hit by the effects of a recession when his manufacturer went out of business. Nima reacted by finding a new supplier, but this time around, he created his own in-house brand to protect his business from future manufacturer changes, as well as give him the freedom to expand his brand's product offerings. Last year, Nima unexpectedly found himself contributing to recovery efforts in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. Learning that the affected region was unable to purchase power generators locally, and that Americans were turning to eBay to buy much-needed supplies at competitive prices, Nima's team quickly sourced in-demand items which they offered with free, expedited shipping. Today, Nima runs a multi-channel, multi-million dollar business, operating out of four warehouses across North America. His once-side business on eBay has become Canada's top online air conditioner brand.

2018 Micro-Multinational
of the Year

Mike Maguire (motomike_canada)
Woodlawn, Ontario

After running a pizza shop in Ottawa, Ontario for a decade, Mike traded in his apron to pursue his passion for cars. He got a position in the parts department of a local car dealership where his entrepreneurial instinct led him to opening an eBay store to sell the company's deadstock inventory. He saw products begin to move off the shelves to customers not just across the country, but around the world, so he doubled down on his ecommerce efforts. Realizing that he could further capitalize on his interest and expertise in sourcing motorcycle and car parts, Mike left the dealership a couple of years later to embark on his own eBay venture. Clearing off shelves in his own garage for his new business, he began sourcing rare, obsolete and liquidated parts for cars and motorcycles and created eBay listings that offered international shipping. Quickly, he found himself selling to customers across the globe, and his sales more than tripled within the first three months. Today, over 75% of Mike's sales are to buyers from international markets including Japan, France, Germany and the UK. His inventory portfolio has grown along with his export sales, and he now also caters to ATV, snowmobile and boating enthusiasts. His eBay business has grown from two shelves in his garage into a 3,000 sq. ft warehouse in the span of three years, and he's on track to double his annual sales in 2018.

2018 Integrated
Entrepreneur

Matt Dirk (silvergoldbull)
Calgary, Alberta

When Matthew joined the Silver Gold Bull team in Calgary, he had one objective - expand the bullion business's online presence to broaden their customer base. He believed bullion, a traditional business-to-business industry, was primed to tap into the consumer market thanks to ecommerce, and he saw an opportunity to show consumers how purchasing precious metals could be both fun as well as a smart, secure investment. While Silver Gold Bull was selling to traditional clients through their own website and over the phone, Matthew saw eBay as the right channel to penetrate the untapped consumer market. He initially established a store on eBay.ca, offering bullion products with consumer appeal like Canadian maple leaf coins and retro imprinted gold coins. Instantly, he saw the consumer business take off - shattering the company's eBay sales goals in the first few weeks on the site. To continue the growth and amplify the company's international presence, Matthew opened an additional store on eBay.com to cater to US customers, and has plans to open additional eBay stores soon. The company's online sales are up 400% with total eBay sales anticipated to hit the $8 million mark by the end of the year.