The Innovative Entrepreneurial Journey of Bryan Jaskolka 

Small Business Canada

Bryan Jaskolka entered the entrepreneurial industry at 16 with a web design and development company from the seed money he won from a national contest for young entrepreneurs. 

In 2005, Jaskolka was 22 and pursuing the Ivey Advanced Entry Opportunity (AEO) program at Western University. A severe accident left him bedridden, and he shifted his focus from education to innovation during his recovery. Drawing on his entrepreneurial experience in web development, he built a digitally focused mortgage brokerage, which he reinvented as a lender in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis. 

It was a period when the internet was getting integrated into everyday life. However, the mortgage industry was significantly behind the curve and was strictly a brick-and-mortar business characterized by cumbersome manual processes and paper-heavy transactions. Seeing a potential to modernize the industry by building a predominantly online mortgage brokerage, Bryan Jaskolka began work on Canadian Mortgages Inc. as a small, family-run mortgage brokerage in the basement of his childhood home.

Canadian Mortgages Inc.

Canadian Mortgages Inc. (CMI) is one of Canada’s largest non-bank private lenders, servicing the mortgage brokerage industry and investors since 2005. It has since provided over $1.65B in mortgage funding to Canadian homeowners who have been shut out of the conventional lending space. 

He established the company without external equity or institutional funds and personally bootstrapped the expansion of CMI by assuming all the associated business risks. Jaskolka built relationships with family offices and sophisticated investors to raise funds for business operations, achieving growth mortgage-by-mortgage. 

He also worked to expand CMI’s fundraising efforts, gain access to a significantly larger pool of cash, and source funds digitally by building and launching CMI MIC (Mortgage Investment Corporation) in 2015. As a result, they were successful in being noticed by large global financial institutions looking for a partner who can provide them with private mortgages at scale. 

Bryan Jaskolka’s determination and vision made him grow a small, two-person business into Canada’s premier private lender, with nearly 100 employees and more than $1.65B in mortgage funding.

He wants to expand CMI’s national footprint and presence in key regional markets by continuing to grow their broker partnerships, scaling access to capital by diversifying their investment offerings and advisory relationships, and working on getting CMI’s MIC funds on more trading platforms. He is also focused on anticipating the marketplace’s changing needs and continuing to drive innovation to strengthen CMI’s position as a leader in our industry.

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The Initial Period

During the initial period working as a mortgage broker in the subprime space, Jaskolka noted the rampant inefficiencies. The mortgage industry was a technology laggard, heavily reliant on in-person interactions, manual transactions and significant volumes of paperwork. He took the responsibility of ground-breakingly bringing mortgages into the 21st century with websites, online applications, and digital files. CMI was conceived and founded as a predominantly online mortgage brokerage with a vision to leverage technology to modernize the industry. 

Jaskolka had the vision of providing financial solutions to disadvantaged consumers from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, he planned to build an online marketplace to make the industry more accessible, transparent, seamless, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

A major setback happened when the 2009 financial crisis took a toll on the mortgage industry. As a result, CMI faced a few difficult years as the company shrank and lost most of its original staff.

With many lenders exiting the subprime market, the need for high-quality private mortgage products became apparent. However, Jaskolka stayed determined to evolve and took the opportunity to reinvent CMI as a lender and reimagine the entire industry’s business model. The reimagination rooted in technology and innovation led him to develop proprietary software to standardize, digitize, simplify, and significantly speed up the credit approval and funding processes, making it simple and green. 

These efforts turned CMI into a tech-forward private lender with game-changing digital platforms that enable fast, seamless lending for investors, brokers, and borrowers alike. 

Impact On The Business Community

The founding vision of CMI was to allow disadvantaged homeowners access to lending solutions in a professional, fair, transparent, and ethical manner, which has been a driving force behind CMI’s success and industry impact. 

CMI is a direct lender that works exclusively with mortgage brokers to bring flexible, customized lending solutions to their borrower clients. They understand how brokers think, what they need, and how to help them best serve borrowers. They leverage their unique expertise to deliver an exceptional client experience and help brokers provide the right solutions for their borrowers’ unique needs.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, they implemented software changes to ensure that their virtual deal submission and funding process was fully digital from end to end. They also launched borrowing programs aimed at helping those who had temporarily lost their employment income. 

Throughout the pandemic, they supported community organizations that provide critical assistance to Canadians under challenging times, such as Feed the Frontlines, an initiative created to provide meals to doctors and nurses during their shifts. Black Health Alliance and the Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Centre. Recognizing the negative impact the pandemic has had on mental health, we also supported the Canadian Mental Health Association.

They contributed to Food Banks Canada and sponsored over 1000 meals for those in need. Most recently, they contributed to The Legacy of Hope Foundation, a national, Indigenous-led charitable organization working to promote healing and reconciliation in Canada.

An Advocate Of Dispelling Myths

Bryan Jaskolka’s passion for innovation fuelled his desire to become an entrepreneur and propelled CMI to become an industry leader and the largest private residential mortgage lender in Canada. He advocates dispelling myths and changing preconceived notions about the private lending space as one that’s solely a lender of last resort. 

He stood up against predatory lending practices and worked to dispel misconceptions to bring private lending into the mainstream and ensure that obtaining private financing doesn’t feel like a shady transaction but rather one similar to any other bank financing.

His collective efforts have helped to evolve the industry into a highly professional domain, elevate its reputation as a trusted and respected avenue for brokers, borrowers, and investors alike, and gain regard as a key segment of the Canadian financial services marketplace.

Recognizing his efforts, the Canadian Lenders Association named Jaskolka a Top Executive in Lending in 2019. He is also a former CMBA committee member.

Bryan Jaskolka’s work is based on transparency and integrity, structuring mortgages that fit the needs of borrowers while providing strong risk-adjusted returns for investors. To know more about his initiatives and CMI, visit their website at  

Through innovations and digitization, small businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition and market trends. To know more about these ground-breaking businesses, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.

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