Tech start-up InteractiveStudios Inc, founded by TIM students Colin A. Pritchard and Patrick Millward, lands a contract with Cadillac Fairview for several new touch screen kiosks to be installed in Ottawa’s CF Rideau Centre.
In 2013, Patrick Millward (CEO and co-founder) ,apart from running his own software company, was working as a security guard at the Queensway Carleton Hospital and was becoming frustrated with patients and visitors frequently getting lost in the hospital. This had sparked the idea to create a mobile wayfinding application for the Queensway Carleton Hospital. At the same time, Colin Pritchard (COO and co-founder) owned and operated ‘CP Design Studio’- a graphic design and printing studio out of Ottawa and Halifax. The pair had met in December of 2013 and discovered that their specific skill sets meshed well – Patrick being analytical, detail oriented, and talented in software development and Colin being orderly, knowledgeable in supply chain management, and a natural born leader.
Millward and Pritchard had developed a mobile prototype and pitched the idea to the QCH Director of Planning. The concept was well received, but the hospital was more interested in larger stationary screens that could be displayed and used by everyone. The pair then made some product modifications, sourced hardware, and InteractiveStudios Inc. was born.
InteractiveStudios Inc. develops interactive touchscreen, web and mobile solutions where facility managers are provided access to a web-based portal where they can view real-time analytical data on search behaviour, assess operational trends, easily edit facility information, and upload advertisements. Some of the company’s clients include the Queensway Carleton Hospital, Carleton University, UBM Global and now – officially – Cadillac Fairview.
Millward and Pritchard had sparked interest from Cadillac Fairview through a series of cold calling and received an invitation from their Toronto head office in December 2014 to present a prototype. In an interview with the founders Patrick Millward noted, “The prototype definitely peaked their interest”. After a three month demo, a contract was negotiated with Cadillac Fairview for their shopping centre in Ottawa, CF Rideau Centre. The contract for seven new kiosks for CF Rideau Centre was requested, negotiated, and recently finalized in March 2016.
Both Millward and Pritchard are current students at Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management graduate program. The founders became interested in the program after sitting in on one of Dr. Tony Bailetti’s classes – a professor and Director of Carleton’s TIM program. The young entrepreneurs explained how Bailetti had changed their perspective on how to operate a startup company – they needed to become more flexible.
“This change of mentality allowed us to quickly and effectively explore other markets, make pivots and position InteractiveStudios for market traction,” said Millward.
“The TIM program really helped us think bigger and on a global scale. The program is designed to help entrepreneurs take their ideas and turn them into a million dollar company within the first 3 years in business.”
As for advice for today’s entrepreneurs, the duo stressed “you can’t do it on your own”. They encourage those starting their own companies to use all resources available to them and reach out to as many as possible.
“It’s extremely important to always be out meeting people and networking. One great connection can boost the success of your business greatly”.