Marc Lafleur

Toronto, Ontario

Marc Lafleur is a Canadian entrepreneur best known for co-founding truLOCAL, an online marketplace where ordinary consumers can connect with farmers who provide clean, locally sourced food products. He is also widely recognized for his appearance on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) show Dragons’ Den, where he successfully pitched that business, as well as his appearance on the cover of the Globe and Mail’s hallmark magazine Report on Business. Mark Lafleur also founded DB8 Labs, a company that solves common business problems by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and large language models.

Early life

Originally from Cornwall, Ontario, Marc Lafleur comes from humble beginnings. He has previously stated that at the age of sixteen, because of his family’s precarious financial situation, he was forced to wear shoes that had holes in them. However, he credits these tough times with giving him the drive to start four businesses from scratch, and the resolve to see beyond the failures of the first two and keep creating.

Upon graduating from high school, Lafleur enrolled in the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario from 2009 to 2014, where he earned an Honours Bachelor of Sciences degree in Health Studies. He also played cornerback for the university’s varsity football team, the Waterloo Warriors.


Even while he was finishing his post-secondary studies, Marc Lafleur was devising his first business. With his roommates on board as co-founders, he launched Tell, an instant messaging app, in 2012, a full year before graduating. The business folded six months later when, according to Lafleur’s own account, he “accidentally deleted all the users”.

His next venture would be in 2014, taking the form of an online platform called DashTask that aimed to capitalize on the sudden rise of the so-called sharing economy. DashTask was specifically aimed at college and university students, matching users who offered money to complete small chores with users willing to take on odd jobs. Marc Lafleur co-founded DashTask with a fellow University of Waterloo student who studied computer science, but after his co-founder was recruited by Google, funding dried up and the business was scrapped.

After the failure of DashTask, Marc Lafleur took a job selling meat products door-to-door, a position he kept for four years. It was from this experience that he would derive inspiration for his third startup.

In 2016, Lafleur joined forces with Greg Quaile to found truLOCAL, a digital marketplace that allowed users to find trustworthy sources for locally cultivated foods. Lafleur would also serve as the company’s CEO. The following year, the company was invited to make a pitch on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, where they landed offers of investment from four of the show’s titular ‘Dragons’. Lafleur and his team came to terms with fashion tycoon Joe Mimran and tech mogul Michele Romanow, which provided truLOCAL with the seed money they required to scale up. Over the next five years, the company would earn revenues in excess of $20 million, grow to employ more than 60 people, and expand into the United States. Marc Lafleur and Greg Quaile sold truLOCAL for a princely sum of $16.7 million in 2022.

It was around this time that Lafleur began indulging his interest in auto racing. He spent the summer after the sale of truLOCAL going to the track and learning to drive at a semi-professional level. What began as a hobby soon turned into a passion, and from there, evolved into something resembling a parallel career. In 2022, he began to race competitively in the Canadian Automobile Sports Clubs (CASC) Pirelli Sprint Championship circuit, where he found a great deal of early success. In his debut season, Lafleur had eleven podium finishes, won eight races outright, finished first in the driver rankings, and was named rookie driver of the year.

In 2023, Marc Lafleur wrote his first book, titled True Founder: What No One Else Has the Guts to Teach You About Starting Your First Business. The book takes a no-nonsense view on the demands of first-time entrepreneurship, focusing especially on the role that sacrifice plays in the early years of creating a new business. It was published and distributed by Forbes Books.

He also re-entered the entrepreneurial fray in 2023 with the launch of DB8 Labs, a tech company with the expansive mandate of solving the most common, most expensive problems faced by modern businesses through the use of artificial intelligence and large language model prompt engineering.

Net Worth



Co-founding truLOCAL with Greg Quaile in 2016.
Appearing on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and successfully pitching truLOCAL to the ‘Dragons’ in 2017.
Receiving the ‘Young Alumni Award’ from the University of Waterloo in 2021.
Negotiating the sale of truLOCAL for $16.7 million in 2022.
Debuting in the CASC Pirelli Sprint Championship racing circuit, winning eleven races, finishing first in the driver rankings, and being awarded rookie of the year, all in 2022.
Writing and publishing True Founder: What No One Else Has the Guts to Teach You About Starting Your First Business in 2023
Launching DB8 Labs in 2023.