Andreas Souvaliotis is pitching. Given the current pandemic, he is doing so over the phone, depriving the listener of the full Souvaliotis experience, as seen on morning gabfests, current affairs shows and the occasional TEDx talk: the loud blazer, the checkered shirts, the hands conducting the many words tumbling from his mouth.
“Think about how easy it would have been, had Carrot still been alive,” the 56-year-old self-described autistic, gay, immigrant changemaker says over the line from Toronto. “We could be talking to over a million Canadians, a huge percentage of the population that you could be directing so precisely. And not only that, we would be gathering data back from them. It would be so much easier for authorities to understand who may be sick, who may be exhibiting symptoms, who just came back from outside the country. All sorts of data that we don’t have.”
Souvaliotis is pushing a narrative about his former company, Carrot Rewards, and its erstwhile fitness app, one of the most popular ever developed in this country. Carrot, Souvaliotis says, could have saved lives during the COVID-19 epidemic had it not gone bankrupt in the summer of 2019, its assets sold off for a fraction of their value.