Expanding on entrepreneurialism
Shaun Sidhu completed his BSc in mechanical engineering with a minor in business from the University of Calgary in 2014. Having begun his career in the consulting industry, specifically to mechanical building design then shifting over to oil and gas. Realizing several of the deficiencies in how companies handle innovation he set off to start his own consulting firm, resulting in the additional co-founding of 2 technology, Calgary based start-ups. The first, BiLD having a focus in utilizing artificial intelligence to better predict the failure of building components and the related capital requirements. The second, Condo Bridge a SaaS solution to the constant headaches in property management utilizes software to automate the vast majority of property management for large buildings.
The key element in ever successful engineer I’ve meet is the ability to embrace such changes; to never be afraid of trying a new approach while using our technical knowledge to always provide reality checks and metrics of success.
Co-founder and CEO, BiLD
What is your favourite memory from your time at UCalgary?
My favourite memory (and there are lots) all revolve around my time on the Formula SAE team. If I had to pick just 1, it would be when the team were all working late into the night a few days before our competition. All 20 or so of us jamming out to the radio, some of us were painting the car, others were wiring the electronics and so on. It was amazing to see my colleagues all push towards a common goal, absolute comradery for something we were truly passionate about. Since it was often 3 or 4 in the morning, we would have to resort to 7-11 for food, but it gave is a break to all sit around the team office, have a few laughs, maybe yell at each other before getting back to work.
What was your favourite campus hang-out spot?
Most of my time was spent in the basement of the Mechanical Engineering building, where the Formula SAE team office and workshop were at the time. You could always find a team mate working away or studying there. It was a great little hidden spot to hang out. In the summer though, nothing beat taking a nap out by the prairie chicken!
What advice would you give your student self, knowing what you do now?
Focus on networking and getting your name out there. Academics are incredibly important, but 4 years of a flexible schedule and being a student is a great opportunity to meet people in the areas you want to work. Continually getting out there and growing your network are the best ways to land a dream job, grow a business or find a mentor. Never be afraid to ask a question or just have a chat with people, its where the best opportunities often are!
How did your engineering degree help you get to where you are today?
My degree has been vital in my successes. It's not always the content but the process. An engineering degree teaches us how to approach a problem and solve it. Regardless if the problem is technical or not, an engineering approach can always be applied. Pair that with the technical base we learned and nothing is unsolvable!
How has your career path evolved and changed since your graduation?
I’ve gone from working in the consulting industry, to oil and gas, to owning my own consulting firm and now doing all that but building software to automate vast portions of it. Much of my work went from being in the trench of product design to now managing people and designing processes. Engineering is an ever-changing field, with the only constants being the fundamental science that drives it. The key element in ever successful engineer I’ve meet is the ability to embrace such changes; to never be afraid of trying a new approach while using our technical knowledge to always provide reality checks and metrics of success.