Meet SnowTapp: Sheldon Zhang, Co-founder and President

At SnowTapp, we’re not just aiming to be another snow removal company company, we’re aiming to reinvent an outdated industry that’s failing to meet the needs of its customers. But before we reinvented snow removal and yard maintenance, we reinvented ourselves. We want to share our journey of reinvention and self-discovery so that you can get a better sense of where we come from, what we’re aiming to do, and how we plan on meeting your needs in a way that’s better for you in every possible way.

Sheldon Zhang, Cofounder and President, SnowTapp

Yardly President and Co-Founder Sheldon Zhang

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in China and lived there for a good part of my life. Both of my parents worked incredibly hard to give me the best life they could and I think they’re a huge part of why I decided to take the plunge and delve into entrepreneurship. My father was an engineer and a businessman in that order and seeing how that’s basically my career path as well, I always wanted to follow in his footsteps and take all of the knowledge and wisdom he gave me and turn that into something great. I got my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2012 and worked as a Project Lead at Pentair Thermal Management until I left to cofound SnowTapp in September 2015.

Why did you leave engineering?

Well, I don’t really think I’ve left engineering, the skills I’ve learned are still a part of me in a big way. Engineering and the way of thinking it instills in you have helped me immensely in business and entrepreneurship. I didn’t leave engineering as much as I left the corporate environment for entrepreneurship. A big part of why I left is because of how systemized and regulated everything is in a corporate environment. I love the technical side of engineering, but I also love having opportunities to be creative as well and I just didn’t have the opportunity to put that creativity to use at my old job. Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to build something meaningful from the ground up, something that would inspire me and ultimately, something that my family and I could look at with pride.

How did you get involved with SnowTapp?

This is actually a pretty great story.

So the cofounder of SnowTapp and my fellow coworker at Pentair, Terry Song, had already left Pentair to found SnowTapp. We were pretty good friends so I gave him a call shortly after to see how he was doing and he gave me a bunch of clues and three chances to guess what kind of company he was starting. On my third try, I guessed on demand snow removal and sure enough, that was the right answer!

This conversation happened on a Sunday. On Tuesday, I asked him if I could get involved and within half an hour of him saying ‘absolutely’ I notified my boss that I would be leaving Pentair.

Why do you think SnowTapp will win?

Apart from the fact that we’ve got an innovative idea that makes on demand yard maintenance better for both consumers and providers, I think a big part of why SnowTapp will succeed is because of our team and the values we all share. I didn’t start SnowTapp to make millions, I started it because I wanted to build something exceptional, something that would truly add value to people’s lives and make them better. Something that I could look back on and be truly proud of.

What do you think is the most important thing when you’re starting a brand new business?

It sounds cliché, but go big or go home.

We could have stayed at Pentair and worked part-time at SnowTapp. While that would have guaranteed a steady pay cheque, I don’t think we would have had a fraction of the success we have had so far if that’s the route we took. When you’ve got a great idea, one that you’re passionate about, you have to take the plunge, give it everything you’ve got, and never look back.

Nenad Dumanovic

Nenad Dumanovic worked for Yardly, the Lawn Care and Snow Removal Service Platform, as an Operations Coordinator. Read his posts for insights to maintaining the perfect lawn and property.