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Need to Know: David Gluzman

With his two companies – WineCollective and BlackSquare – Gluzman is reinventing the way people buy, sell and appreciate wine

Dec 11, 2015

by Michael Ganley

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David Gluzman
Photograph Chris Wedman

DOB: 1979
Hometown: Calgary
Higher ed: None
First Job: Fixing/programming computers while in high school

The Past
Gluzman never went to university or college. He was busy touring the world as a member of Canada’s national cycling team. While plying his trade in Europe, he developed a fondness for wine, but not for the baggage that surrounds it. “It’s still a complicated, sometimes pretentious industry to be a consumer in,” he says. So, after returning to Canada, he founded WineCollective, a club that connects people to wines without pomposity. “We realized there was a business in curation, education and convenience,” he says, “and WineCollective was born in March of 2009.”

But there was a problem. Gluzman had to figure out how to handle payments, fulfillment, gifting, and all the other things you don’t think about when you start an online business. “We had to do it by hand, which was neither sustainable nor scalable,” he says. So he and his team built their own e-commerce platform. Never one to miss an opportunity, Gluzman took that intellectual property and converted it into a commercial product, Blackboxx. Then he spun that product into its own company, BlackSquare, and now some of the biggest brands in the industry use Blackboxx.

The Present
Gluzman has 25 employees across the two businesses. WineCollective has opened a storefront in Calgary and Gluzman has launched wine411.ca, a data portal through which people can explore Canadian wineries. “We’re trying to tie it all together and mature the industry so that it can catch up to the rest of the world in terms of what’s happing with technology, the Internet, data, convenience, shipping and deregulation,” he says. “We’re at the forefront of it and we’re pushing it really hard.”

The Future
Gluzman really doesn’t know where it’s leading. “You never know where the world takes you,” he says. “There’s a lot to do on this planet with the limited amount of time we’re given. This might be forever, it might be the next decade. I don’t have huge plans.”

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