Three Grads Named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Toronto List
Three St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) alumni are making their mark in Toronto after earning a sought-after spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Local Toronto list, becoming one of the city’s top young and bold changemakers.
Luke De Haas ’15, Colin Lee ’15, and Aidan Tighe ’15 landed on the list with Mosea Technologies, the all-in-one social payment solution app they founded.
“It was an incredible feeling when we saw the Forbes announcement,” says Lee, who graduated from McGill University in 2019, where he studied chemistry and computer science. “We were being recognized on such a grand stage among so many incredibly talented people. I am extremely proud of Aidan, Luke, and the rest of the Mosea team for everything that we’ve accomplished thus far. And I believe that it will only fuel our motivation to accomplish everything that we hope to in the years to come.”
Founding the Startup
The idea for the app stemmed from a personal need to find a solution to easily share costs and split bills with friends.
“After living with six housemates at Queen’s University, I experienced first-hand the need for an app to organize payments with my housemates,” says Tighe, who graduated with a degree in political studies from Queen’s in 2019. “Each housemate would have a different list of expenses (groceries, Wi-Fi, utilities, etc.) that we would need to split up each month. I found that the process of accepting individual e-transfers was completely unorganized, and people would often forget to pay, or their transfer would get lost in the recipient’s cluttered inbox. Mosea’s group payment feature keeps each specific expense organized and clearly shows who has paid and who the recipient is still waiting on. Problem solved!”
In 2020, the three alumni founded Mosea, an app that facilitates money transfers, bill splitting, event ticketing, and more.
“Mosea is a hybrid of Venmo and Eventbrite,” says De Haas, a graduate of Laurier University’s business programme. “You can transfer money, set up groups for bill splits and vacations, as well as host events and fundraisers for parties, charities, hockey games, whatever it might be. It is completely free to transfer money, like Interac e-Transfer, and we take a 0% fee from hosts who are planning events or raising money for charity.”
Impact of SMCS
De Haas and Lee met before attending SMCS in Grade 9, then became friends with Tighe early in the school year. Tighe had been at SMCS since Grade 7. They all agree that the school impacted them, whether through the friends they’ve made for life, teachers and mentors they’ve had along the way, or the lessons they’ve learned.
“SMCS is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I cannot describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to attend the school,” says De Haas. “I am in group chats with over 50 members from my graduating year, I play hockey with a bunch of alumni that are older, and whenever I hear of another alumnus, there is always an instant connection and a million things to talk about. The school teaches you to think independently, be confident, be a good person, stand up for what you believe in, create a plan and execute it. St. Mike’s gives you the tools to create a path for a successful future but allows you to create the path that you choose. They let you make mistakes to teach you responsibility and accountability for all your actions.”
Lee adds, “Every single teacher and coach that I interacted with at SMCS had an enormous impact on helping me become the person that I am today. The first people who had a profound effect on me in Grade 9 were Junior Hockey coaches Mr. Lee ’94 and Dr. Sheridan ’89. They taught me the value of hard work and how to play for the other players on your team. It was one of the most fun times I’ve had playing hockey. We ended up winning CISAA that year. And those values have stuck with me ever since.”
For students looking to break into entrepreneurship, the Mosea founders offer wise advice about the importance of being passionate about the business, hard work, and surrounding yourself with trustworthy and dependable teammates.
“My general advice for younger students looking to start a business/find success after graduating is to focus on an industry/business that they are genuinely passionate about,” says Tighe. “Working on a project that excites you will help keep you motivated and creative. Starting a business can consume a ton of your time, so if you are working on a project that doesn’t interest or excite you, you’ll likely experience a lack of motivation to grind through when the going gets tough (which, in most cases, it does).”
The team is looking to continue developing and growing Mosea on university campuses and throughout major cities in Canada and is getting closer and closer to profitability.
“‘As long as you never give up, you will be successful.’ We are still far from what we would consider to be successful, but this mantra has helped us stay focused on our goals and never waver amidst distractions along the way,” says Lee. “We are incredibly lucky to have many people who have helped us along our journey. The entire Mosea team, our family and closest friends, and our investor team — none of this is possible without them.”