Alumnae Spotlight – Eva Lau | Trafalgar Castle School
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February 01, 2024

Alumnae Spotlight – Eva Lau

Melissa Nowakowski

Key Traits to Trafalgar Alumna Eva Lau’s Success: Curiosity and Surrounding Yourself with a Strong Support Network

 

As a respected entrepreneur turned investor and venture capitalist, Trafalgar Castle School alumna, Eva Lau credits her curiosity and problem-solving skills for helping her achieve success. As co-founder and general partner of Two Small Fish Ventures, Eva uses her in-depth knowledge and expertise to help early-stage start-up companies such as Skip the Dishes, BenchSci and Sheertex launch their businesses.

Eva attended Trafalgar Castle School for her Grade 12 year and found it to be a transformative experience. “Living in boarding opened my eyes to new cultures and experiences. I met students from around the world, and that gave me a wider view of the world. Boarding taught me how to live in a diverse society, how to view things from other people’s perspectives and how to be flexible. I learned how to work in collaboration and how to be tolerant in order to bring out the best in all of us,” said Eva.

Then, one day, while visiting her uncle, Eva was determined to figure out what was wrong with a broken kitchen appliance by taking it apart and fixing it. It’s that curiosity that has led her to find out how things work and how to make things better.

Upon graduation from Trafalgar Castle School in 1988, Eva attended the University of Toronto and earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Eva started her career working in the Technology industry and Tech start-up companies like Brightspark Labs, a Toronto-based accelerator where she mentored local businesses. It was during this time that she met her mentors and caught the entrepreneurship spirit. Eva also completed her MBA from the Schulich School of Business. 

“I was one of the 10% of women who went into Engineering at University, who worked in the engineering sector, and who is now a venture capitalist,” noted Eva. “I surround myself with a strong support system of friends, mentors and family that believe in me and who help me achieve my goals and success.”

Prior to launching Two Small Fish Ventures, Eva was a founding team member of Wattpad with her husband, Allen. Wattpad started off as an app in 2006 designed to help writers share fictional stories one chapter at a time and grew into one of Canada’s most successful tech companies. Eva helped Wattpad scale from hundreds to tens of millions of users. The company has been using artificial intelligence technology to identify the trends, voices, and stories that are the future of publishing. In 2021, Eva and Allen sold Wattpad to a tech giant in South Korea. 

As a successful entrepreneur, Eva shares the following advice to Trafalgar students who may be considering a start-up business in the future. “Don’t be afraid of failing and running into obstacles. It is only by failing that you build resilience,” said Eva. “It is important that you pick yourself up and learn from your failure and try a different approach or tactic. That’s what makes the journey interesting.”

Eva added, “You also need the determination to keep trying and not to give up while staying open to new ideas and opportunities. Do not be afraid to reinvent yourself and have a growth mindset.”

Class of 1988 alumna Eva Lau wants to see Canada become a global technology giant. “We have the passion, talent and diversity to build leading Technology companies right here in Canada,” said Eva. “I believe in using my knowledge to nurture the next generation of tech giants while inspiring younger generations.”

One of Eva’s favourite memories of Trafalgar Castle School was seeing snow for the first time in November 1987. “It was magical watching the snow dancing in the air.” 

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