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Chris Mihalicz

Chris Mihalicz

Faculty of Applied Science & Technology

Degree: Computer Science

Year of graduation: 2004

Reaping the Rewards of Entrepreneurship

Chris is the co-owner of two software and internet solutions companies: Three Point Turn Inc. and SoftART.

Ever since I was young growing up outside of Ottawa, I have loved video games. One day my father explained to me how games like Super Mario are actually made up of little pixels on a screen. Ever since then, I wanted to learn how to create one of those magical games. I started writing my first small programs at age 11 and was soon managing an online bulletin board system and building computer code. I was so keen that I destroyed the hardware in my mother’s $2000 computer trying to figure out how it worked. Needless to say, the support of my parents and family were a major part of my success.

When looking for a place to build my career in this fast-changing field, I turned to Sheridan, which was one of the few colleges offering a three-year computer science program.

Some of my strongest memories of Sheridan are of living in the then-new Davis Campus residence. I made a lot of good friends and enjoyed the student lifestyle, but more than that, I met my wife, Shannon Graham (Executive Office Administration grad), landed my first big client, and learned much that has influenced my life.

Two instructors in particular stood out for me during my time at the college. Doug Waechter made a big impact on my career. Instead of spoon-feeding information to his students, Doug created an environment where we needed to ask the right questions to succeed. It served to separate the ambitious students from the ones who were just coasting. He also helped me along my path of becoming an entrepreneur. Another memorable teacher was Joseph Sant who was able to transfer his enthusiasm for code and software development to students through his unique teaching style.

I had made the decision early on that I would create my own job, so following graduation, I became an independent contractor based in Toronto. I developed programs and a variety of software applications for several clients, including GlaxoSmithKline, before establishing my own companies in 2007 and 2008. Now, as a business owner, I need to focus not only on developing programs, but generating revenue and resources. Business is great. We have a thriving client base with new contracts and opportunities every day. There are tremendous rewards to be found in being on your own, including a strong sense of independence, freedom, and accomplishment after solving each challenge.

And the challenges will keep coming. The industry itself is continuing to grow quickly - software and the internet have become integral parts of virtually every industry. I expect the next few years will bring a huge amount of opportunity. Success will come to those who are able to adapt to the growth and change ahead.

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