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Oct. 19, 2021 | Tuesday
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Ransom Hawley: 'It's all about the hustle'
Caddle was named one of Canada’s top growing companies in 2019. (Supplied/Jeff Chesebrough)

A Niagara entrepreneur is breaking out as one of Canada’s top growing companies in 2019.

CEO Ransom Hawley is the son of John and Liz Hawley, local entrepreneurs who brought their vision of The Village development in Niagara-on-the-Lake to fruition. He said being raised by entrepreneurs, he learned the ups and downs of starting a business; it was “just a matter of time” before he began his own start-up venture. That venture is the mobile-first insights marketplace called “Caddle.”

The free app connects consumers with companies by offering cash-back insentives for filling out surveys and interacting with brands, while sending consumer data back those brands. Hawley said the app never collects personal identifiable information.

“Caddle” ranked number 35 on Canadian Business and Maclean’s 2019 Startup 50 of Canada’s Top New Growth Companies, but Hawley said that doesn’t mean the company plans to slow down.

“It took a lot of work to get where we are today. But all that said, we still have a giant mountain to climb,” he said.

“We’re very excited that we made the list, and it’s a nice nod, but all of us here are like, great, let’s high-five, and let’s get to work,” Hawley added.

Caddle operates out of Innovate Niagara in St. Catharines, which Hawley said has been fundamental in the company’s initial success and growth.

“I had approached Innovate Niagara when I was still working for SC Johnson, because I just had this idea, but I didn’t know what to do or how to start it. They’ve been pretty integral in our success,” he said.

Caddle is what Hawley refers to as a mobile-first insights marketplace. It’s a marketplace because there are two sides to it, he said. It provides insight for brands, or clients, on consumer’s patterns and needs, while rewarding consumers, or members, for participating in surveys, watching videos and buying products.

“On one side we have the users and on the other side we have clients, and we have to keep both happy, which keeps things interesting,” he said.

Hawley said the seven years he spent working in sales and marketing for SC Johnson led him to create the market research app. The speed at which brands can now get accurate data from consumers was unheard of when he was in the industry. He said that type of decision making and speed was never available to him.

“I used to have to go to traditional research firms. If I reached out on a Friday night, I would probably hear back in a week or two. Then we would schedule a discovery meeting, and it would cost $20,000 or $30,000. I would get the results back in four to six months.”

He said such a dated model and pace of gathering insight doesn’t match the pace of business today.

The company will continue to strive to meet their goals, he said. Though the nod as one of Canada’s fastest growing businesses was encouraging, he said the work doesn’t stop here.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work. A few years ago, I was reading this article about the most common traits among successful entrepreneurs, and it has nothing to do with IQ,” he said. “It has everything to do with perseverance and hustle.”

Hawley said new members of the Caddle app can use the promo code IMETRANSOM to receive $5 in their accounts, at