Jeff K. Ward

Family-oriented geek web entrepreneur & dad.

About Me

Jeff K. Ward

First and foremost I'm a father of two cool little men and a husband to my amazing wife Robyn. We live, work and play on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, on Coast Salish territory. I'm of mixed ancestry; my father is Ojibwe (Sandy Bay) and Métis. My settler heritage is English and Ukrainian on my mother's side. I identify as a proud Indigenous man and my background informs not only my creative work but my business philosophies as well.


My first experience with business was as a kid when I got a few friends together to start a car wash at the end of my street. This would be our candy fund for this hot summer day. My mother told me to tell my customers that I was an "Entrepreneur". I had never heard this word before.  Late in the day, when our rags were dirty and buckets of water full of grimey water, our last customer of the day pulled up.  She was not pleased at all with the quality of service we provided as her car wasn't very much cleaner than when she arrived. I told her that I was an "Entrepreneur" and she responded with a scoff and said "Entrpreneur?! Hmph!", and drove away. That day I learned what that word meant and got a tough lesson in the value of customer service :)

I got bit by that entrepreneurial bug early on and I'm proud to have built several companies. I registered my first business at the age of 17 and below are the 3 endeavours that keep me busy these days.


Watch My TEDx Talk

Testimonials

Rebecca Croll, Director of Content, FWD50

"We were fortunate enough to have Jeff join us for the inaugural FWD50 event in Ottawa (2017), looking at how we can use technology to make society better for all. Jeff brought a crucial voice to the unique needs, potentials, risks, and future of digital government in the lives of indigenous peoples. He was a absolute pleasure to work with: generous, responsive and professional and I very much look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with him!"

-Rebecca Croll, Director of Content, FWD50

 Peter Wrinch, CEO, Hollyhock

"It was great to have Jeff and his family at Hollyhock for Activate: Digital Leadership 2018. Jeff's session on Animikii brought an inspired entrepreneurial, Indigenous voice to the conference. His personal story of building a mission based digital agency from the ground up resonated with so many of the change-makers at the conference. People were talking about his session all week. We would love to have Jeff and his family back to Hollyhock anytime!"

- Peter Wrinch, CEO, Hollyhock

Cherrie Lam, Digital Projects Coordinator, PeaceGeeks

"It was an absolute pleasure to have Jeff speak at our PeaceTalk on Reconciliation through Indigenous Innovation. His energy and ability to make a challenging and sensitive topic accessible and relatable to the audience certainly left a mark on us, and I have no doubt that his personal stories and insight left everyone in the room feeling inspired to take action and learn more about Indigenous knowledge, technologies and innovation. Jeff is a thought provoking leader, entrepreneur and presenter, and we would certainly recommend having him as a speaker!"

-Cherrie Lam, Digital Projects Coordinator, PeaceGeeks

Alistair Croll, Content Chair and Board Member, Startupfest

"Every year, we try to bring unusual angles and unexpected stories to the over five thousand attendees who come to Startupfest from around the world. Jeff’s ability to share his insights with that audience, explaining how to build and grow a solid business while finding a social True North and furthering meaningful outcomes, is a perfect example of this."

-Alistair Croll, Content Chair and Board Member, Startupfest

Joyce Sou, Director, B Lab Canada

"It was a pleasure to have Jeff Ward speak at our B Inspired event last fall. He did a great job of opening our eyes to how important Indigenous Entrepreneurship was in informing how business can be a force for good."

-Joyce Sou, Director, B Lab Canada

 Innovate BC, organizers of the #BCTECHSummit

“We were extremely excited to welcome Jeff and Animikii to the Ones to Watch Stage. Given that this stage featured the best up and coming tech companies in the province, it was a great opportunity for all of our summit delegates to learn about Animikii and help spark indigenous innovation across the province.”

- Innovate BC, organizers of the #BCTECHSummit

My Companies

This is my longest running company, founded in 2003, after a brief stint living in Silicon Valley. I wanted to create a company rooted in the Indigenous community that I grew up in.  We're a mid-sized digital agency serving Indigenous-focused organizations by maximizing their social impact through technology.  Animikii means "Thunderbird" in Ojibwe and is based on Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island.

Visit Animikii

Through delivering websites for Animikii clients, I saw a need for an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) so that they could update websites themselves. Today, YikeSite powers many websites and other web agencies have based their business on our white-label platform. In 2013, I sold half of this product and spun this out as a separate business from Animikii and is now headquarted in Guelph, Ontario. This site is a YikeSite :)

Visit YikeSite

ContentGems helps digital marketers find, curate and share engaging content. It is one of the leading "content curation" tools on the market and has thousands of users. As a co-founder in this business, I am responsible for branding, product design and collaborate with my 2 co-founders to set the strategy and roadmap for this product. ContentGems is headquarted out of the United States.

Visit ContentGems

Energize Your
Entrepreneurial Spirit

EYES Book Cover

I wrote this book with one of my older brothers, Scott Ward. He's a traveling comedy stage hypnotist, I'm a web geek. We got our heads together where our business experiences overlapped and wrote this book to encourage others to start their own businesses.


"Entrepreneurial brothers Scott & Jeff Ward share their ideas, approaches & strategies to inspire and motivate you down your path to success. Presented in 52 bite-sized essays, this book is packed with nuggets of information to help budding entrepreneurs get going."

Buy on iBooks

BUY on AMAZON Kindle

BUY in Print

News River

Here's content I'm reading and sharing on social media. This content is powered by ContentGems and our new "workflows" features. I share news and articles relating to entrepreneurship, internet stuff, and the Indigenous community in Canada. If you're interested to have the same for your site, check out ContentGems



Get in Touch

Feel like saying hi? Send me an e-mail or connect with me anywhere below (ordered by how often I'm active). I'm available to keynote at your conference or event. For speaking inquiries, please e-mail to check my availability. Please include dates, budget, and details of your event.