Published on February 16, 2021
Michael Turcsanyi receives 2020 Alumni Award of Excellence
When it comes to computers, Goose Digital’s Michael Turcsanyi has always had an inside track.
In the early 1990s, where home computers were still a distant daydream to most kids, he grew up literally surrounded by them. Turcsanyi’s mother sold business-management software and had a laptop at a time when they were still the size of a suitcase.
His dad, meanwhile, was a systems analyst for the provincial government, so when Turcsanyi tagged along to his office, there always were piles of unused gear laying around.
“A lot of it ended up in my bedroom,” Turcsanyi (Network Engineering Technology ’00) says with a laugh.
Mastering tech and trunk-side sales
This early access gave him the opportunity to master new technologies before most of his peers – or his high-school teachers – had even heard of them. But Turcsanyi also had an entrepreneurial streak. As a teen, he had a side business fixing people’s computers, and was known to sell extra parts out of the trunk of his car.
After graduating from NAIT, Turcsanyi moved from Edmonton to Toronto, and within a year, he’d founded his first company as part of the nascent information-technology industry. Most business people at the time didn’t know much about IT, but Turcsanyi did.
“Looking back on it, we were so young,” he says. “Businesses were relying on these people in their early 20s to run their information systems. It’s a little bit mind-blowing.”
The company scaled quickly, and in 2005, Turcsanyi sold it to a larger business called Canada Web Hosting. He stayed on as a vice-president, at one point overseeing a team of 40 people.
But soon enough, the entrepreneurial itch returned, and Turcsanyi founded another company – an ecommerce software platform called OrderDynamics.
Once again, he was a quick learner: in 2013, five years after founding it, OrderDynamics was sold to a British marketing agency, netting Turcsanyi and his 3 partners a payday well into the eight figures.
After that much success, some entrepreneurs would be happy to relax and put their feet up, yet Turcsanyi’s drive and curiosity keep pushing him forward.
His latest venture, Goose Digital, helps businesses in a variety of industries expand and refine their digital marketing strategies. They have a roster of more than 160 clients that includes COMDA.com, RSA Insurance Group, and the arctic cruise operator Quark Expeditions. Goose combines Turcsanyi’s expertise on the technical side with his love of sales and entrepreneurialism.
Michael Turcsanyi founded Goose Digital to help organizations by providing marketing automation and digital marketing solutions.
Startup “energy and enthusiasm”
“Michael has an energy and enthusiasm that you need in a startup,” says Kevin Butler, Goose’s vice-president of strategy. The two have worked together for a decade, dating back to the OrderDynamics days, and he says Turcsanyi is in many ways an ideal boss.
“When the chips are down, he’s the guy you want in your corner.”
“His ability to rally the troops and get you emotionally engaged is off the charts. It’s like stage presence: you either have it or you don’t.”
For his part, Turcsanyi says the most important thing he’s learned is to listen to his co-workers – a skill he first absorbed back in northwest Edmonton at an early job in computer sales. Maintaining strong relationships is critical no matter your industry, he says, but especially working in the Canadian market.
“Canada’s not a very big place,” he says. “When you think about being specialized in a particular area, there are only so many people – and you’re probably going to meet a lot of them.”
Whatever Turcsanyi is doing, it’s clearly working.
“When the chips are down, he’s the guy you want in your corner,” Butler says. “I’ll bet on him winning over almost any other person I’ve ever met.”
Michael Turcsanyi is a host of the "Wing It Podcast" - which covers topics related to digital marketing strategies and industry news.
Alumni Award of Excellence
Michael Turcsanyi (Network Engineering Technology ’00) received the Alumni Award of Excellence for his accomplishments as an entrepreneur in digital marketing and transformation. This award recognizes the significant contributions made in recent years by NAIT alumni to their profession or community.