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Forty under 40 Award winner profile: Matt Carlson

Co-founder and CEO, Floorspace

BIV is proud to recognize Matt Carlson, co-founder and CEO of Floorspace, and 39 exceptional business leaders with 2022 Forty under 40 Awards.

Each recipient is featured in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine, and will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 22. Profiles of each award recipient – originally published in the magazine – will be available at in the days ahead.

Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?

I’m not 100 per cent sure when it started, but at some point I realized that the extra effort and hours you put in every day will compound your results over time.

What drives you?

I’m an innovator at heart and I’m always looking for new solutions to common problems. In my current role I have the unique perspective of observing how we can positively impact our team and our customers with new products and tools. Seeing this change keeps me energized every day.

Now that you are (or are close to) entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?

My previous role was very much focused on helping people on a one-to-one basis. The next decade for me will be about helping our team and our customers on a larger scale.

What was your childhood career dream?

I’m from a family of archaeologists and teachers. I respect what they do, but it wasn’t for me. I’ve always been interested in creative businesses – I originally thought about advertising or film production. In my current role, my product management responsibilities allow me to stretch my creative side.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

Leaving my (comfortable) position at a large commercial real estate firm for an entrepreneurial journey.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Your health and the health of your family is the most important thing in the world.

What is your best habit?

Most mornings you’ll find me on a trail in North Vancouver. It clears my head and gives me energy for the day.

Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.

My friends know me as someone who is always planning ahead. In college, I once booked an eight-week backpacking trip to Europe on two weeks’ notice.

Best piece of advice ever received?

An old saying that has stuck with me: A river cuts through rock, not because of its power but because of its persistence.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s a key part of life. Just make sure you learn from them and that you don’t make the same mistakes over again.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

Being the youngest person to be promoted to executive vice-president at Colliers. I hit this milestone in 2020, and I was fortunate to be the top office adviser in Canada during this period.

What’s left to accomplish?

So many exciting things. My co-founder and life partner Lindsay and I are passionate about leading change in our industry and shaping the future for our team. We’re just getting started with Floorspace!

Read the profiles of all 40 award recipients in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine. Register to recognize this year's winner at the Forty under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 22.