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Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO of Hootsuite, Entrepreneur, Ryan Holmes Biography,
Entrepreneur Founder Stories

Ryan Holmes: Pioneer in Social Media Management

Early Life and Education

Ryan Holmes was born on December 30, 1974, in Vernon, British Columbia. Raised on an isolated farm without electricity, Holmes developed a keen interest in computers early on. He won a programming contest in fifth grade, earning an Apple IIc. Holmes attended Okanagan College for business and computer science before dropping out.

Ryan Holmes


From a young age, Holmes has been dedicated to improving technology. His journey began in the fifth grade when he won a programming contest and was awarded an Apple computer, which he ingeniously modified to run on a car battery. Holmes later attended the University of Victoria in 1997 but left to join several startups.

In 2000, Holmes founded his own digital agency, Invoke. In 2008, a project for Invoke led to the creation of Hootsuite, an online tool that enables businesses to manage their social media profiles on a single platform. Hootsuite quickly gained traction and evolved into a major enterprise, growing from a small team to 700 employees and reaching a valuation of $1 billion, according to Re/code.

The company has secured around $285 million in funding, as reported by Crunchbase. Holmes is committed to strategic growth for Hootsuite. He recently penned an article for The Wall Street Journal highlighting the risks of startups rapidly depleting investor funds. Despite receiving an initial $25 million, Hootsuite remained frugal, investing primarily in executive talent and software development. Holmes noted, “Our new office space was anything but glamorous, filled with used furniture in aging warehouses on the wrong side of the tracks in Vancouver. We didn’t spend on gala launch parties, and our salespeople traveled on the cheap.”

During subsequent, larger funding rounds, early employees were given the opportunity to sell their shares back to company investors. Holmes remarked on the significant impact this had: “The impact, both psychologically and on a practical level, was huge. This meant that, rather than just desperately racing towards the payday that comes with an IPO or exit, we could instead turn our attention to a longer-term vision: steadily building a multi-billion dollar company.”

Holmes continues to pursue his vision of revolutionizing communications and empowering customers to build meaningful relationships through their messages. He was a pioneer in recognizing the potential of a unified platform for a company’s social media identities. As an early adopter of the .CEO Top Level Domain, Holmes uses RyanHolmes.CEO to consolidate his online presence, including links to his Twitter account (with 53,300 followers), LinkedIn profile (1.1 million followers), and his company’s website. With a Kred score of 887, Holmes is affirmed as one of the most influential CEOs on social media, demonstrating his expertise in the digital space.

Personal Life

Holmes enjoys rock climbing, yoga, and paragliding. He continues to influence the tech world through various ventures and thought leadership.


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