ecobee founder Stuart Lombard says entrepreneurs should spend time in the Valley, build in Canada


ecobee has come a long way from being a solution for founder Stuart Lombard’s family to save money; the smart thermostat is currently the second best-selling smart thermostat in the U.S., is sold through major outlets like Apple’s Connected Home section and best Buy.

Sitting down with The Disruptors co-host Bruce Croxon, Lombard revealed how the thermostat market has changed in terms of technology, and competition.

“Nest, ourselves, and Honeywell are one two and three, we’re number two with 24 percent [market] share,” Lombard said. “If you look at the market, we released the first internet-connected thermostat in 2009. And the market has gone from 0 percent internet connection to this year it will be 50 percent internet connected in terms of units sold. Most consumers look at it and say, why wouldn’t I?”

Croxon asked whether their decision to stay in Canada presented any challenges in scaling.

“I think Canada is a great place to build a business. When you go down to the Valley — and Canadian entrepreneurs should spend time there because it’s a different culture and there’s a lot of learning you can take out of there,” Lombard said. “But the market for talent in Silicon Valley is a lot more competitive. It costs a lot more to start a business. As a Canadian company, you should build your product here, and spend a lot of time and sales and marketing effort in the US because you really have to win in the US if you win at all.”

Watch the whole interview below:

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Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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