Growing tech companies by growing skills

We're on a mission to level up the skills startups and scaleups need to meet their moonshots

Our story

We’ve spent the last twenty years in the trenches of tech. Our adventures in early stage and growth companies have been rewarding, hard, exciting and yielded heaps of lessons learned through experience. Along the way, we’ve noticed that every founder, leader and company we met and worked with had a universal challenge that had the potential to hinder their growth: talent.

Specifically, we noticed the same network of people were called upon (and often came up empty) to find unicorns with B2B sales, growth marketing, product management and people (HR) skills. We received – and sent – tons of “those” emails, seeking out referrals to talent that we feverishly willed to exist. In early-stage companies, the call was sometimes for a Swiss army type person who could do a bit of everything, thrive in a startup and had tons of hustle to boot. And other times, investors talked about how they wished they could upskill the people in their portfolio companies and coach and develop first-time founders.

Enter 321 Growth Academy. We’re here to address the need for people and companies to develop the key skills needed to grow companies. We’ve walked in your shoes and we want to use our experiences to help put you on the path to accelerated success.

We are focused on bringing about a “grow your own” approach. We can’t find them, it’s hard to recruit them from elsewhere (hello: winter), so we have to grow our own talent pool to help our startups grow.

How we’re different

Ignite growth with real-world skills development

321 Growth Academy is setting a new standard in entrepreneurial skills building. We go beyond just training to experiential learning, helping founders and early-stage company leaders gain real-world skills to solve real-world growth challenges.

Pioneering proven programs for growing startups and scaleups

We are experienced growth experts who deliver hands-on training (in sales, marketing, product management and people performance) to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Experiential learning

We go beyond just training to deliver a hands-on approach to building sales and marketing skills that accelerates your company’s growth.

Experienced instruction & coaching

We are experts in sales and marketing: 321 instructors, coaches and guests have ‘in the trenches’ experience building B2B software and growth companies.   Our instruction and advice is based on real-world experience.

Results obsessed

Growth or bust: we get it. We want to deliver programs that deliver growth for our clients. We believe in a grow-by-the-numbers approach and we do likewise: our metrics help demonstrate that we deliver real value for our clients. And when the numbers don’t add up? Then we adjust and improve. We’re about results!

Community of growth hackers

A community of peers and leaders of growth companies that have lived the adventure, learned along the way and are keen to share and help the community innovate and grow.

Continuous learning

When you develop your skills with 321, it’s not ‘one and done’. When you are a 321 alumnus, you are part of a community of like-minded founders and execs. You’ll expand your network, and be able to continue learning from your peers – both informally and at various alumni events.

Tech veterans

We get tech. At 321, we have heaps of experience in the tech sector at startups and scaleups alike. We get the quirky goodness and the unique challenges that tech has, and we love it. We want to put our tech experience to work to help you.

Our team

Carey Houston

Founder and Partner

Carey Houston is the founder of 321 Growth Academy and a successful leader in marketing, sales and product management whose career has spanned senior roles in tech companies across Canada. She is passionate about making an impact on the innovation ecosystem by building the skills companies and people need to achieve growth.

Carey has over 20 years executive level experience in marketing, product, sales and business development with B2B tech and high-growth companies. Carey’s career highlights include executive roles at Calgary-based tech companies including Evoco (sold to Accruent) and Chaordix, and senior roles in building the tech growth community in Alberta.

Carey is keen to support the next generation of tech entrepreneurs, through mentorship and actively volunteers to help the innovation ecosystem. She is also a fervent dog lover and community booster.

Carey Houston

Jana Taylor

Partner

Jana Taylor is a partner in 321 Growth Academy and a business-minded people leader, startup survivor/lover and growth company veteran. She’s worked in bigcos and public companies from Silicon Valley to Calgary, but her zeal is for startups and hyper-growth businesses in web services, software and social enterprise.

Jana is an accomplished tech executive with 20 years functional experience in strategy, marketing, product management, sales and people. She’s grateful to have been in on the ground floor of companies like iStockphoto and Benevity, which are great Calgary examples of homegrown innovation and ‘constructive disruption’.

Jana is passionate about accelerating tech and growth companies in Alberta and is an advocate for kids coding. She is also an awkward but enthusiastic skier, mountain enthusiast and women in tech supporter.

Sandra Spencer

Business Development & Programs Advisor

Sandra Spencer is a consultant, business coach, and program delivery and development specialist. At 321 Sandra plays a key role in supporting business development, program delivery and program management. Sandra is also the CEO of Nimble Strategizing, Inc. which helps create, market and deliver programs and training for organizations

Sandra has a strong background in entrepreneurship and startup coaching, honed through her experience with organizations like VA Angels, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), Nothern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Sandra helped bring 3 Day Startup to Canada.

Through her work, Sandra has helped to shape the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Edmonton and greatly increase opportunities for new founders to grow, learn, and experiment as entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to have Sandra as our Edmonton-based guru on the ground at 321 Growth Academy.

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