Building three businesses from the ground up has given Marc Lafleur a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed in today’s competitive business landscape. As the co-founder and former CEO of truLOCAL, he built it into a team of 60+ people, expanded across Canada and the US, and successfully led its $16.7 million acquisition — all within five years. Lafleur’s dynamic entrepreneurial journey shows audiences a new way to approach business and leadership for exponential growth.
While studying at university, Lafleur found his niche in entrepreneurship. After two failed start-ups, he co-founded truLOCAL in 2016, a monthly meat delivery service platform that connects consumers to local suppliers. Within five years, truLOCAL accumulated a series of wins, including a successful pitch on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and annual revenues exceeding $20 million. Lafleur landed the cover of the Globe and Mail’s 2020 Report on Business for leading Canada’s 14th top growing company.
Lafleur is passionate about mentoring up-and-coming founders. After several successful angel investments, he has earned a reputation as a value-added investor among early-stage startups. As a black founder, Lafleur had become accustomed to having doors closed on him and has spent the past two years empowering minorities to understand that they not only deserve a seat at the table, but that their unique challenges give them an advantage. Lafleur created the “truLOCAL Equal Opportunity Grant” to support black entrepreneurs through $5,000 business grants.
As a keynote speaker, Lafleur has shared his inspiring message to companies such as Lululemon and Google, as well as academic institutions like the University of Waterloo and York University. Lafleur has taken a special interest in speaking to today’s youth in hopes of inspiring a new generation of leaders. In 2023, he published his first book, True Founder: What No One Else Has the Guts to Teach You about Starting Your First Business. In celebration of his new book, Lafleur launched the Ultimate First-Time Founder Business Grant, which will reward one founder with over $50,000 in agency prizes to help supercharge their business.
Lafleur is a graduate of the University of Waterloo. Realizing the importance of governance, he entered the Institute of Corporate Directors’ “Director Education Program” (DEP) and, in 2021, became one of their youngest graduates.