In a ceremony on March 30th, 2017, Trojan Technologies Founder Hank Vander Laan was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from TechAlliance.
TechAlliance is an Innovation Centre in London, Ontario that supports tech companies at any stage of growth, and Vander Laan received the award on behalf of his countless contributions to the local business community.
At the ceremony, a video was shown where Vander Laan shared some thoughts about his career, the history of Trojan Technologies, what it means to be an entrepreneur, and giving back to the community.
Below are just some quotes of what he shared. Full video can be found at the end of this post.
The Beginning of Trojan Technologies
“We lived on a farm just north of London, and there are some issues around private water supplies (which is a fairly big issue in the rural communities). We had no way of reliably disinfecting our water supply.”
“I was at a PTA meeting one day for our kids, when one of the other parents (a consultant to a small toolbox company) mentioned they had also come up with an ultraviolet device with a patent. This was the beginning of Trojan Technologies.
“It took us about 5-6 years more to really develop the science [uv disinfection] and the technology for municipalities.”
Tips on Building a Successful Company
“The key for me was to hire people who knew a lot more than I did (which is a lot of fun by the way), and also attracts great people if you have a certain confidence that other might know more than you do. You bring them into a situation and let them run with their abilities and their talents. This is always a bit of a revelation for any entrepreneur.”
“Because we were able to attract great people, so my role more or less became one of marketing the technology – doing all the public relations, doing all the liaisons with the regulatory agencies and also to develop a global perspective for the company.”
Giving Back to the Community
“Once you have a team in place, this allows you to start thinking about the broader community, and see what kind of involvement you can have with that community. So after 20-25 years of being the CEO and President of the Company, I was able to take my talent and contribute the broader London community.”