HyperDrive Demo Day Recap

October 19, 2013 / Start-up, AvidTap, HyperDrive

Update: Watch AvidTap demo day video.

It’s been a year since I left Well.ca to take on the most difficult challenge in my career. Starting a company is unlike anything I’ve done before. I’ve worked at a couple of world’s largest companies, and I’ve worked at medium size as well as startups. However, you won’t know what it’s like to be a founder until you become one no matter how many things you read. My approach has always been to jump in and make stuff happen rather than daydreaming.

On Friday my co-founder Kaz took centre stage on demo day and pitched to a room full of people. We announced that starting next year in Canada AvidTap will be powering Saladworks’s retail platform, which includes both in-store point-of-sale and their mobile loyalty and payment efforts. Saladworks is an international franchise with 100+ locations. Our validation consists of 9% weekly user growth, 80+ retail partners and we hit $10,000 monthly revenue in Oct. I hope to be able to announce more good news soon.

Some people say ideas don’t matter but execution does. You will for sure find me in that camp. So often you’ll hear people tell you they thought of this idea, or how they had the same idea years ago as this other successful company. What these people don’t know is how far it is from idea to success. Since we started AvidTap, we’ve seen so many startups in Toronto that were doing similar things as us, but they either don’t have traction or have already closed shops.

As I mentioned before we built v1 of AvidRegister in 1 month after somebody had paid us for a full year ahead of time. That not only required us figuring out the market need, also Kaz going and making that sale, but it was also quite a feat to execute in terms of development. Asking a stranger for money is the ultimate vote for whether the stuff you’re doing has any value to them.

After the demo day pitches were done, we got to showcase our technology to people and demonstrate how seamless the whole payment experience is. Our platform is getting Bluetooth LE and iBeacon support. But nevermind the technology, we will always select the best technology and enable the best user experience.

What a year it’s been for us at AvidTap and for me personally. A startup is physically and mentally challenging like nothing I’ve experienced both for me and my wife. That said, I consider myself an extremely determined person and I would love to describe my focus as tenacious. We’ll overcome whatever stands between us and the mission. In the past year, we’ve built our own hardware, our REST API, our mobile apps, our point-of-sale, the websites you see, the dashboard and analytics businesses see. I’ve personally used AngularJS, ClojureScript, Node.js, SocketIO, Bootstrap, Zurb Foundation, Java, Objective-C, Cordova, Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Vagrant, Chef, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Fast Fourier Transform, NFC, Bluetooth LE, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Heroku, Joyent, and AWS. I can flat out execute on development challenges. However, more than being a tech co-founder, I’ve been a support staff, a sales person, and a janitor. We’re in our 3rd office space, and we’ll build on our early traction to march towards what will be a breakout year.