Mark Ang: Making his Mark

Mark Ang ’17

A few months after completing his Commerce degree from Trinity, Mark Ang ’17 accepted a job offer from one of the Big Four professional services firms. But on the day he was due to start his corporate career, fate intervened when Ang’s summer business start-up landed financing. He chose the entrepreneurial path—and hasn’t looked back.


Choosing Trinity

Born and raised in Toronto, Ang’s first choice for university was Trinity College. He was accepted into the Commerce program, and lived in an apartment not far from campus with his older brother, David, and their golden retriever, Riley.

Mark Ang with friends in his Trinity days

Like many Trinity alumni, Ang lists meeting his “people”—Tienen Nar, Henry Zhu, and Guy Tzisis (pictured with Mark at left)—among the highlights of his Trinity experience. “They continue to be my best friends,” he says. “My favourite memories of Trinity are of the time we spent with classmates—lunches in Strachan Hall, High Table dinners, and studying together in the Graham Library.”

Seizing opportunity

The summer after third year, Mark and his brother, along with U of T friend Heindrik Bernabe, decided to create their own summer jobs. In a scenario familiar to many entrepreneurs, they saw a need and found a way to meet it: They formed a business focused on moving and storage solutions for U of T students (Ang describes it as a “valet storage company”). Called Second Closet, the business gained customers quickly. Over time, responding to the needs of some of their business clients, the founders evolved Second Closet into a third-party logistics provider for brands, providing storage, fulfillment, and last-mile delivery. They rebranded the company as GoBolt in 2021 and looking at the future, realized the importance and the opportunity to place sustainability in the centre of their business model.

Mark Ang with Truck
Mark Ang with a GoBolt Electric Vehicle

Sustainability matters

Their focus on electric vehicles (EVs) for last-mile delivery was a byproduct of their business planning process, says Ang. “We started looking not only at our business but at how we would do business. We wanted to understand the impact beyond the underlying service we were providing. And when we ran the models and looked ahead a decade and beyond, we realized we were going to have thousands of trucks on the road. We knew the environmental impact of those trucks would be huge.

“At the time, commercial EVs weren’t really a thing. We finally found a company called Lion Electric out of Montreal and we were some of the first companies to use commercial EVs. We dealt with a ton of issues, but we made a commitment then to sustainable deliveries and we haven’t looked back.

“Our goal is to be making 90 percent of our parcel deliveries in metro zones with EVs by 2025,” continues Ang. “We’re proud of our commitment to sustainability, but I want to push the pace. There’s much more we need to do.”

Positive feedback

Brands and retailers including IKEA, ZARA, Rove Concepts, and Frank And Oak love GoBolt’s green delivery model, adds Ang. “It’s a solution to their problem, and they know it’s good business to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Mark Ang from Forbes
Mark Ang in the Forbes Top 30 under 30

Those outside the industry are taking notice, too: The company is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a multi-year winner of Deloitte’s Fast 50 and a recipient of the SupplyTech Breakthrough Award for Last Mile Solution Providers. And earlier this year, Mark was named one of the 2024 Top 30 Under 30 in Manufacturing & Industry by Forbes magazine.

Mentoring at Trinity

While Ang admits he doesn’t have much time for hobbies or interests outside of work, he did make it a priority to visit campus in January to speak with current Trinity students as part of an ongoing mentorship series. “Luck and timing play a huge role in the success of a business,” he told students, encouraging them to have big ideas and to be decisive. He also spoke about his gratitude for the “angel investor” who believed in his startup, and his commitment to pay that kind of investment forward for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

With his sights set on GoBolt’s global expansion, Ang reflects on growing from a six-person business to a sustainable organization of over 1,500 employees, 14 warehouses, and hundreds of trucks in just six years. “I’m most proud of helping to build an environment that fosters growth. We have a great team doing excellent work. I’m excited about the future.”

by Jennifer Matthews

Are you interested in speaking at a mentorship session or volunteering at Trinity in some way? Let us know! 

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