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Brett Montrose: Communication alumnus to award-winning founder
Brett Montrose is a Communication alumnus and co-founder of Streamline Athletes. Montrose and his team recently won the "Digital Platform" prize at the Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize. Learn more about his journey and tips to current students and alumni. Read more below.
What are you doing today?
I finished my undergraduate studies in the spring of 2014. Seven years later, I’m fortunate to call Vancouver home, to have had a few years of digital marketing experience in the ed-tech space, and to be working alongside an amazing team to grow a company called Streamline Athletes.
With Streamline Athletes, we’re focused on developing software products that democratize access to education and sport for college-bound student-athletes. In layman’s terms, Streamline Athletes is a platform for data-driven sports recruitment that supports student-athletes as well as collegiate teams. We (my business partner, Alex, and me) founded the company in 2017, launched in 2019, and are now generating revenue with a staff of 25 employees.
What was your experience at SFU like? Do you have a favourite memory?
My SFU experience was profoundly positive. From arriving on campus and living in Towers as an 18-year-old, seeing the city welcome the whole world during the 2010 Olympics, training, competing, and travelling with the varsity track and field team, spending all night writing papers in the dining hall, the classic Shadow-Highland one-two punch, being a CMNSU frosh leader, playing ice hockey on campus’ frozen ponds, there are heaps of memories that put a smile on my face. But, the most impactful takeaway and the cornerstone of all the best memories are the people I met at SFU - within the School of Communication, in Residence, at social events, and within SFU Athletics.
How does your degree in Communications support you in your role today?
I don’t know where I’d be or what I would be doing without my time at SFU and my degree in communications. I spent some very formative years on campus and was fortunate to meet world-class people along the way.
From a more tangible standpoint, my degree gave me the toolkit to always think critically as I process information, honed my writing skills, and allowed me to understand an audience in order to interact with them in the most meaningful way.
What are your tips for current or new graduates from the Communication program?
Do not take it for granted. So many times over the last few years, I’ve wished I had the chance to study in the Communications program with the experience and maturity I have now versus as a 19 or 20-year-old. While I did my best to appreciate every moment, the time I had on Burnaby Mountain went by quickly and only in retrospect do I have the level of appreciation I do now.
Absorb all of the abstract information you can. While it may not always be clear how a tutorial, lecture, reading, or theme from the School of Communication will translate to a “job” in the real world, the purpose is to develop analytical skills that you can’t get anywhere else. You have the rest of your life to learn Excel functions or SEO tactics.
What do you like to do outside of your day job?
Most of my time over the past few years has been spent putting myself through the startup grind, so my time at work has been fairly demanding. Despite that, I’ve found time to enjoy my sports - I play men’s league hockey, run, watch and follow hockey closely, and am just starting to play golf this summer. I’m also a bit of a music nerd, so I spend some of my free time exploring new (and old) music; and when it’s not a pandemic, I try to get to as many live shows as I can. If it’s sunny, you’ll find me outside in the park or at the beach - ideally with my partner, Jess, our English bulldog, and a Spikeball net!