When it comes to meeting challenges head on, Marc Lafleur has consistently shown he’s got what it takes to beat expectations and set new standards.
The 31-year-old from Cornwall is familiar with national attention. After selling his startup company truLocal in 2020 for $16.7 million, following an appearance on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, Lafleur had already achieved what many hoped to accomplish over a lifetime.
But then, he ventured into what he described as a lifelong passion. Nobody could have predicted the level of success Lafleur achieved.
Last year, Lafleur bought his first race car and put together a team to compete. This summer, he’s become more familiar with the podium, instead of his cottage.
The start of Lafleur’s race in life started here in Cornwall, as a student at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School. He described himself as somewhat of a loner, with ‘holes in his shoes.’
“It wasn’t until I started playing football that I realized I loved this… that was one of the first times I realized you can do anything you want to, as long as you put the work into it,” said Lafleur.
“I really enjoy proving people wrong.”
Lafleur went on to build a company from the ground up, focusing on using new technology to connect consumers with local producers.
“I’m not special, I don’t have a high IQ, and I never took a business course in my life…if you wake up every single day and your No. 1 priority is whatever your goal is there is no reason you can’t do it,” said Lafleur.
“When it came to driving I realized, ‘if you half-ass this there is no way you can perform.’”
Lafleur and his team then put every effort into practising for their new endeavour. Before long, it became apparent to the entrepreneur he was putting in more time at the track than most of his competitors.
This summer, Lafleur exceeded expectations. He placed on the podium while believing a sixth- or seventh-place finish would be an amazing feat.
Now his focus isn’t just on the finish line.
Lafleur is focused not just on continuing his career, but on building the sport.
Using new technology, Lafleur wants to transform the sport of racing from something that tends to lend itself to the privileged, to something more accessible.
“Maybe it’s because we didnt’ have a car growing up that I love them,” said Lafleur, before going on to explain the many barriers that exist in professional racing.
Lafleur hopes to tap into new crowdsourcing technology to make the sport accessible to people who otherwise might feel shut out.
It isn’t just new fans that Lafleur is tapping into. He’s bringing his skills from across different parts of his life to solidifying a winning team.
“Another unique thing about this sport is that you pretty much have to have sponsors. We got extremely lucky to have found businesses that were willing to help us out early on so huge shout out to Harry Rosen, truLOCAL, IMSA FastLane, Touchette, and Exo Performance for taking a chance on us,” said Lafleur.
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