When I started my consulting business last January, one of my first clients was WineAlign.com. It was a start-up created by Bryan McCaw, who wanted to build a service so wine buyers in Ontario could make better and more informed buying decisions at the wine store.

Bryan created WineAlign because he has a passion for wine, and saw a perfect opportunity to launch a service to serve the needs of other people who also love wine. Despite the economic downturn, Bryan decided to bootstrap the business – a classic entrepreneurial decision that, frankly, Canada desperately needs to see more of.

Like many start-ups, WineAlign has been forced to fine-tune the service, try different marketing approaches and refresh its look and feel. At times, I think Bryan has been puzzled why consumers hadn’t flocked to a service that’s so useful – something I totally agree with given WineAlign works really well.

Slowly but surely, however, WineAlign is starting to see signs of significant traction. The company announced yesterday that it now has 5,000 registered users – a major accomplishment that reflects all the hard work that Bryan and his team have done this year.

Now, 5,000 registered users may not seem like a large number but it represents a critical mass who clearly like WineAlign. And, as important, it gives WineAlign a base upon which it can see exponential growth. No one wants to go to a restaurant with no customers even if the food is great, so the fact WineAlign has lots of users should make it easy for lots more people to check out the service.

Here’s a toast to Bryan and the continued growth of WineAlign. Its success reflects Bryan’s vision, perseverance and entrepreneurial passion.

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