Imagine you’ve just been fired and your phone rings. On the other end of the line is a someone who needs a payroll system by the end of the week or there will be riots at their site and there’s a strong possibility people will die. You say you’ll help. The problem is you no nothing about the software. That’s the exact situation Peter Holgate, now CEO of e-waste recycler Ronin 8 Technologies, found himself him during Apartheid-era South Africa.
After founding a business service and property development company Peter went on to successfully grew AlbaGas into Africa’s largest industrial gas and chemical supplier. Upon exiting the business in 2011 the companies still thrives today. He grew AlbaGas with no previous experience in the industry.
He has been a consultant and advisor at the Business Development Bank of Canada served on the board of Entrepreneurs Organization. He has two undergraduate degrees and an MBA. He speaks three languages, has seven kids and Brazilian Jujitsu. He believes Chopin is the only music that should be played on a piano.
Peter’s latest baby is Ronin 8 Technologies, they sustainably recycle electronic waste using a proprietary resonance technology. Think circuit board from your iPad. It has gold and rare earth metals in it that were previously need to be removed with acid, and 10.3 million tons of the stuff is produced annually. Ronin 8’s technology pulverizing the boards then separates the metals and polymers using different frequencies of vibration. Customers pay them to pick-up old circuit boards and sell the metals to the Royal Canadian Mint. How’s that for a business model?
Peter talks openly about:
- How getting fired and a wrong number led to his first business
- What he did right after learning his business partners were cheating him
- Drunk dialing a CEO at 3:00am that started a huge business
- How Elon Musk’s uncle spurred him into starting Ronin 8
Peter recommends reading For Good and Evil the Impact of Taxation on the Course of Civilization by Charles Adams. "It will challenge your views on how the status quo doesn't have to be the status quo" remarks Peter in our conversation.
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