Paul Davidescu As the CEO and co-founder of Tangoo, Paul Davidescu knows all about the startup life. Whether it’s going up against the panel on CBC’s Dragons’ Den or building partnerships with brands like Donnelly Group, it’s all in a day’s work for this busy entrepreneur and his crew at Tangoo. In the few short years since Tangoo first launched in Vancouver, they’ve rolled out the app across all major Canadian cities, doubled the size of their team, and recently completed their latest round of funding. Sounds like they’ve got the #startupgrind down to a science!
OUR INTERVIEW WITH PAUL
Tangoo is driven by the idea of bringing people together through real-world social experiences. Tangoo recommends restos, venues, bars and cafes that fit a certain mood – like a romantic night out, happy hour with your crew, or a business dinner to impress a boss or client. You can use the app to coordinate social outings that get you offline and socializing in the real world.
Can you tell us a bit about Tangoo?
You recently appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and ended up turning down an offer. What was it like slaying the dragons?We went about things in an unconventional way. The usual thought process is to get the dragons on board, but the offer we got [Arlene offered $75,000 for 25% of the company] wasn’t the best for Tangoo. So we stuck to our guns. The most important thing was that we got our message across. And Vikram Vij, one of the dragons on the show, ended up joining our board of advisors afterwards!
I really like going to The Eatery. It has a great, funky vibe and tons of energy. You can munch out and get your fill of creative sushi rolls. And you get an experience along with your food. It’s much more than just what’s on your plate.
What’s your top resto to get together with friends without breaking the bank?
Deer Garden Signature. They serve these massive bowls of Hong Kong-style soup. It gives you a great cultural experience. Also, the Lost and Found Café. It’s the perfect coffee shop to work at…the mood there feels like home. Plus you meet a lot of interesting people that come there to get some work done, including entrepreneurs, artists and entertainment industry peeps. A good spot to make connections!
And your fave hidden gems?
For drinks after work, I really like going to Brassneck Brewery. They’ve got amazing beer, a friendly crew and a great setup. When I’m in the mood for a cocktail, I’ll pay a visit to the Diamond. I like the fact that it’s kind of hidden upstairs. And I love their whiskey sours.
Favourite place to grab a drink?
I really like the fact that you can go for a run any day of the year. You can hike and do lots of things outdoors, which you can’t do in colder cities in the Prairies and out East. Vancouver is so conducive to staying fit, and as an entrepreneur, it’s important to keep that work-life balance. I also love that it’s a very creative city with fantastic diversity.
What do you love most about the West Coast lifestyle?
I would start off the morning with an early hike to Lion’s Bay to take in this beautiful city. If it’s good weather, we’ll have a picnic with growlers from Brassneck and food from a farmer’s market. That would be followed by a walk through Stanley Park to hit up the aquarium and see those famous sea otters. After that, stroll through downtown to absorb the city before having an early dinner so we can make the 7:30 Canucks game! After the game, it’s time for an awesome dessert at the legendary Chambar and then off to wander Gastown and see where the night takes us.
Tell us what your ideal day in Vancouver looks like.
Barcelona. It was the most magical trip of my life. It’s a city full of everything that is conducive to making memories and connecting with people. It’s where the idea for Tangoo first came to me.
What is your fave city to visit?
I’m big on reflecting about things that I do, so I use Day One religiously. It’s a super cool journaling app. For business stuff, I use the Sunrise calendar, Whatsapp to stay connected and Pulse to keep up on things.
What apps are you addicted to (besides Tangoo of course)?
My glasses, my lovely pink socks, a Tangoo shirt (wink wink!), audiobooks, and my iPod with carefully curated playlists for different moods.
Fill in the blank: You can’t leave home without ____.
Lots. I want to visit my brother in London, get better at cooking, connect more with people I don’t see that often, start swimming, eat a little healthier…and last but not least, run a half marathon!
What’s next on your personal to do list?
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