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Need to Know: Sam Jenkins

Co-founder and CEO of Wellnext, Sam Jenkins is making his mark on the corporate wellness industry

Dec 12, 2014

by Alberta Venture Staff

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Sam Jenkins, Co-founder and CEO of Wellnext
Photograph Colton Ponto

DOB: 1982
Hometown: Edmonton
Higher education: Bachelor of Commerce, University of Alberta
First Job: Digital Media Producer at Control-F1
Fun Fact: Wanted to be a paleontologist when he was a kid

The Person
Sam Jenkins says it started with the violin. He began playing at age five, and the passion and creativity it triggered in him is a big reason why he’s been able to launch successful startups. “I love being able to create something from nothing – building something great from different pieces.”

The Past
His first foray into entrepreneurship came in 1999, when he launched Divergent Digital Media while in high school. After spending almost a decade in sales and consulting gigs, he co-founded Startup Edmonton in 2011. Jenkins, a self-proclaimed “business nerd,” credits the idea for Wellnext – a software platform that plugs into corporate cloud-computing systems, and acts as a tool to promote healthy lifestyle choices – to his years spent consulting with business partners. “There were a lot of people who were unhealthy, unhappy and unsatisfied with their workplace. So, we thought, ‘What if we built a tool to help people connect with themselves, their workplace and their peers?’ ”

The Present
Wellnext is one of only a few Canadian-based companies in the workplace wellness industry. Jenkins and his staff of six have customers across Canada and prospects in the Middle East and Europe. The quick uptake for his product, Jenkins says, is because both public and private organizations have discovered just how important employee wellness is to their bottom lines. “The definition of wellness involves many factors – physical health, mental health, community development, financial well-being, environmental health and social health. We are selling a solution that is a benefit to businesses, but there is also a big social impact.”

The Future
Jenkins is planning to launch offices in the U.S., Toronto and overseas. “We want to support different cultures and social types, and would like to have 10,000 customers around the world.” He also has his sights set on big businesses like Starbucks and Williams Sonoma, and even the Canadian and American governments. But it’s not just about the bottom line, he says. “Don’t get me wrong, I want our business to be profitable, but I really want our business to be impactful.” – Lindsay Shapka

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