Francois Gouelo is the CEO and Cofounder of Enso Connect. After graduating from the University of Toronto in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, Francois brought onboard Peter Sorbo, CTO and cofounder, to build a home management system that leverages smart home devices and AI communication for hosts, property managers, and guests in the short term rental industry. Francois is also pursuing his studies in parallel building Enso, at the University of Cambridge, pursuing a master’s of Entrepreneurship. Francois’ passions include scuba diving, traveling, and listening or playing jazz piano.
Frederick Daso: When did you first gain interest in being a founder?
Francois Gouelo: I’ve always loved the concept of entrepreneurship — it blends cognitive diversity, tenacity, and creativity to solve real problems. I knew I wanted to eventually work for a startup or build one of my own, but I never really planned it out.
Becoming a founder was an accident.
My friend Samin Khan (founder and CTO of Animo.AI) and I were in the same computational linguistics course at the University of Toronto. We kept bouncing ideas off of each other and discussing potential applications of our different course assignments. I was fascinated by his entrepreneurial drive. I worked on different past projects, but I didn’t know how to conceptualize these projects into real ventures.
He pointed me in the right direction: CSC454, a course at the University that blended Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. Under the guidance of Professors Helen Kontozopoulos and Mario Grech, we developed the prototype of Enso Connect. (You can read more about the founder story on one of our blog posts: https://blog.ensoconnect.com/en/a-calm-home-that-works-for-you).
Enso won that class’s $10,000 prize, and since it was my last summer before starting my Master’s in entrepreneurship, I thought, why not pursue this project and see where things take me? The moment I landed an in-person meeting with Airbnb that summer, I knew this is what I wanted to do as my full-time job, and so the journey of Enso Connect as it is today began.
Daso: What were the essential experiences that helped you be in the position you are today?