In 1993 Joel graduated with an MA in History, and was hired as the Toronto Bra Salesperson for Playtex. From there he spent 5 years working as a salesperson for bootstrapped tech entrepreneurs before attempting his first start up in 1999. After the start-up failed he spent the next 5 years selling accounting software (Pointforce & Netsuite) before co-founding Firmex, a SaaS Virtual Data Room business in late 2006. As CEO, Joel raised $4m in equity financing and by 2010 Firmex was cash positive. The business consistently achieved annual double digit revenue and EBITDA growth.
By 2021 Firmex served 1000s of customers globally and had 125 employees in offices in Toronto and London (UK). Firmex was sold three times; in 2016 (Novacap – Private Equity), then in 2019 (Vertu & BDC – Private Equity) and a strategic sale to Datasite in 2021. Firmex delivered 11x MOIC over 14 years to three sequential ownership groups. In 2022 Joel developed a succession plan and exited Firmex, which continues to thrive under long-term management. Today Joel advises a number of founders of earlier stage businesses and lives in Toronto with his wife, daughter, dog and cat.Vancouver Program Toronto Program