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Alexander Haque


Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Rebel.

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Alexander Haque


Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Rebel.

 

A Productive Rebel

I've been called a renaissance man. I have to admit that I love that title. I'm a renaissance man in the eyes of most, perhaps since I seem unsettled: I've studied philosophy, law, business and even know how to code a bit. When I was 15 my dad suggested I go work at a fast food restaurant to go "learn life skills". At the time, cooking chicken and manning the cash register seemed trivial but they were the building blocks to my core: I love business. Not in the Wall Street power-suit sense. Rather, I love innovation and self-actualization. I am fortunate enough to be a part of a generation of people who believe that we can change how things are done and question everything at every step.

We are productive rebels: I am a productive rebel. 

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Trivium


My Brain in a Vat

Trivium


My Brain in a Vat

Wait... What?

So what the hell does a productive rebel actually do? Fair question. Simply put, we challenge the status quo and have an action plan for change. Your classic entrepreneur is a great example. Someone who is unsatisfied with the way things work-- or do not work-- and steps up to do something about it. Productive rebels are problem solvers.

At my core, I love improving processes. Whether it's coming up with an easier way to find information, to move around, or build our society, I love thinking of innovative ways to get things done. For example, I constantly entertain the thought of when we will bring retail to our homes: 3D-printing clothes, tools and other devices. Or maybe how in the future, as Uber sees it, that we will no longer be wasting our time driving from A to B but rather moved there via self-driving cars. 

 

My contribution to this movement has been to build two ideas:

 

From T-Shirt to Arctic Bacteria

The first, evolved from the idea of creating a sustainable t-shirt company using a material other than resource-intensive cotton. I wanted to make hemp t-shirts (yes very hippy-hipster) and that idea grew into building homes with hemp. I pitched the idea to McGill and M.I.T. with my amazing civil engineering cofounder.

The idea needed work and so did my business and technical backgrounds: yes, the idea was novel but 
how was I to actually bring this thing into life-- particularly in frigid Montreal. After a few weeks I achieved my epiphany: I would build a freeze-resistant concrete using a freeze resistant bacteria. I know, I know-- it all sounds crazy. But hey, it worked (sort of). I recruited two professors: one in microbiology and one in civil engineering and started testing the scientific hypothesis of my idea. Turns out, there was a lot of work to be done but the idea could work. That's all I needed.

A few months of research later and my cofounder and I were pitching to construction companies interested in investing in our R&D. As of May 2015 this project has been successfully funded and is being researched at McGill University. More to come...

 

 

 

Virtual Tours for Apartments

The second, much less scientific-- but more realistic-- has been to build a dedicated apartment-hunting platform where landlords could let users visit their properties from the comfort of their homes. How? Using 3-D visualization technology, of course.

Hence, igloo (check it out) was born with my incredible co-founders Thibaud, Audrey and Pierre. A juggernaut team of thinkers and doers; business and tech. Our journey to help people find their homes has been an exciting and unstable one: one day on top of the world as we get a landlord with 400 properties or are pitching to Canada's top startup accelerator, the next at absolute rock-bottom when business is moving slow or not at all. I encourage you to come with us through this journey and follow our story here

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Epistemology


S  therefore P

Epistemology


S  therefore P

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I am proud to announce that I joined Retinad-- the Analytics Platform for Virtual Reality-- as the Director of Developer Relations. I cannot be happier to be part of a team of visionaries, thinkers and doers, who are at the cutting edge of tech and leading the charge for a generational product. Virtual Reality is probably the coolest tech you've never heard of, and I can't wait to help build the pillars of the hardware and software that will change our species. I invite you to join us on our journey to make VR fun, beautiful and engaging.

In December 2015 I was selected as a Venture for Canada Fellow.
A great honour considering in 2014 I decided to drop out of law school and pursue my ambitions as an entrepreneur. While that decision didn't come easy (read about it) and wasn't an obvious choice to my peers in law, I believe it was the best one for me and the one that has made me happiest. I'm thrilled to be joining a cohort of people who GSD and are motivated to make our fantastic country better and stronger.

In my first year of Graduate Studies at McGill University, I joined the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship simply as a volunteer. I quickly fell in love with Montreal's startup culture and the opportunity to help a small team of doers at the Centre to get more done. A few months later I was appointed President and mentor and have since consulted dozens of startups in addition to growing the entrepreneur ecosystem beyond McGill's walls. I proudly worked full-time at the Centre as the Operations and Marketing Manager, helping develop several programs and driving the strategy of the Centre forward. You can see the progress I made here, and the journey I had facilitating the first-ever McGill Launchpad Program to help build scalable startups.

From 2011-2013, I attended l'Université de Laval, in Quebec City and studied law. Prior to those studies I earned a bachelors of arts, specializing in philosophy and politics at the University of Toronto. While education is nice and teaches self-discipline, I'd have to say that it has never been for me. I'm a person who learns by actively participating and unfortunately, our educational system is based mostly on the principles of individualism and self. Ironically, my studies in philosophy helped shape my view that human beings occupy an essential place within the world's ecosystem and that to survive, cooperation is fundamental. Most importantly, my three years at UofT allowed me to meet some of the most intelligent and well-rounded people on this planet-- who also helped ground my young personality and world views. 

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Conatus: a thing will continue to exist and enhance itself. This is my core tenet. Mind is body and body is mind. I believe in balance and enjoy the struggle our species endures towards this. I love the intersections of art and science; logic and emotion. To me, this is where innovation and creativity occur, it is where we can pinpoint our humanity: evolution, weakness, strength and the ongoing struggle that accompanies it. It is both our gift and curse. My adrenaline is achieved when passion meets logic and when my mind's eye captures some of the glimmers of the universe. 

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Everything that exists has a place


(Ad infinitum)

Everything that exists has a place


(Ad infinitum)

Need startup advice? Just want to chat? 
Get in touch.

Where I currently live.

 

Where I have lived.