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Seif El Sahly, BEng '14

Entrepreneurial engineer sets out to revitalize Hamilton

A decade of renewal has helped Hamilton discover that architectural treasure may often lie behind the boarded-up front of a dilapidated building.

A passion for transforming these under-loved buildings has helped Seif El-Sahly establish his reputation in the city’s renovation industry over the last five years.

The 2014 civil engineering grad has built a successful Hamilton-based construction company with a focus on commercial and residential renovations.

“The work is very fulfilling – especially on distressed projects,” he says. “We take properties that are in poor condition and renovate them to look like spaces you see in magazines. This extreme improvement is so satisfying.”

His company, Newfore Inc., has taken on projects ranging from residential renovations to complete apartment building transformations.

The results led the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce to nominate the firm as a mid-sized business of the year in 2019, while El-Sahly has been named one of the city’s Top 40 Under 40.

As he works to develop his company, El-Sahly says listening to his customers is the key to growth.

“The advice sounds simple, but it quickly allows you to see areas in the business that need improvement,” he says.

Growing up in Dubai gave him a fascination for building construction that he always knew he would pursue, and he always saw himself as a business owner.

He says a fourth-year McMaster course taught by Joel Hilchey gave him a chance to put together his first business idea and really opened his eyes to entrepreneurship.

“I believe that had it not been for his class, I wouldn’t have developed the entrepreneurial mindset I have today,” says El-Sahly.

He urges students to look for opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

“Focus on things that make you uncomfortable,” he says. “Real growth comes from tackling situations that make you uncomfortable.”

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