Janet Lam started her career in finance and business in 2007, working in the stock market for seven years before changing scenery for her MBA, studying at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. While there, Janet became passionate about startups and their unique community. “Being able to start something from scratch is very exciting,” she says. She was especially interested in developing products that could make life easier and smarter for consumers. After graduating in 2016, Janet returned to Vancouver, Canada and worked in the corporate world before she eventually decided to turn her attention towards the thing that first sparked her attention back in Barcelona—creating something from scratch.
Today, Janet has built two companies with unique focuses, but with the common feature of being one-stop shops that are dedicated to helping clients every step of the way, from beginning to end. One is Building Blocks Business Planning Ltd., a strategic business consultancy, where Janet serves as principal consultant. Building Blocks, which Janet founded with Stephanie Leung, focuses on helping entrepreneurs looking for business and funding strategies. They are a leading business plan provider in Canada that helps local businesses obtain funding and set up foreign investors for success in their immigration journey to Canada by providing a fully tailored and high-quality business plan. For her part, Janet is extremely hands-on and takes a personal approach to each client. “We have worked with a lot of foreign tech startup founders looking to immigrate to Canada using the Startup Visa Program. We provide business advisory and strategic guidance to help them create and fine-tune a business that is suitable for the North American market,” she says. “Our business plan also has a high success rate in helping businesses secure loans with Canadian financial institutions. After years working in the capital markets and in business advisory, I can provide advice on the process of going public in Canada. So, depending on the client’s corporate and financial objectives, we can help them explore different funding and business strategies.” Building Blocks also offers other consulting services such as idea formation, market validation, customer discovery, pitch deck preparation, and one-on-one coaching.
Janet’s other business is The Holistic Panda, which she co-founded with Diana Choi and Sangsoo Ra. The Holistic Panda is a discovery and booking platform for wellness services. This includes a range of services from life and health coaching, spiritual and energy work, mind and body healing, to fitness and holistic beauty. “By leveraging technology and community building, we created this company with a mission to make it easy and accessible for anyone on our platform to start their self-care practice.” Users can search for a health goal they want to achieve, and the platform will recommend the best wellness services for them from over 20 specialties provided by a diverse range of holistic health practitioners. In addition, The Holistic Panda takes a multicultural approach with an emphasis on cultural competency. “Having practitioners understand cultural nuances is critical,” Janet says. “As a company founded by Asians, we also sought to help the Asian community embrace and normalize the practice of self-care.” Janet was inspired to create the company after her own experience looking for a life and health coach made her realize how difficult it could be to find one. So, together with her team, they decided to create a way to make the process easier. The Holistic Panda also offers a free 15-minute discovery call with any of the practitioners on the platform to ensure their user is finding the right match before committing.
Janet’s background in finance gives her great insight into both companies and it also allows her to take the personal approach to her clients, who she values greatly, and help other entrepreneurs actualize their dreams the way she’s been able to actualize hers. In her leisure time, Janet enjoys golf, exploring new restaurants, spending time with her husky, as well as traveling. Having visited multiple places across the world though, her favorite place is still Barcelona, where she learned so much and found a purpose that continues to inspire her today.
Co-Founder, Principal Consultant — Building Blocks Business Planning Ltd.
Co-Founder, CEO — The Holistic Panda
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