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Building an MVP with Bridgit COO Lauren Lake

Photo-Lauren Lake
Lauren Lake

Episode Summary

Before a start-up can land its first round of major financing, it needs an MVP. But how do entrepreneurs create a Minimal Viable Product? Bridgit COO Lauren Lake teaches us how she and CEO Mallorie Brodie disrupted the construction industry using a notepad and a box of donuts so you can change the world, too.

Episode Notes

Building the Next Generation Construction Industry from the Ground Up

Lauren Lake grew up on her father’s construction sites. By the time she entered a university entrepreneur accelerator program, other industries had adopted the latest in technology like wireless Internet access and iPads. Her father’s business hadn’t changed much at all. Lake teamed up with other child of the hard-hat economy to bring the future to an industry stuck in the past. What started out as a two day exercise turned into Bridgit, a start-up success story that’s grown an average 313% over 5 years.

The Construction Industry isn’t Building its Own Future

The construction industry is one of the least innovative, and least productive, in the world today, reporting, “The reasons for this narrow focus vary, but some players hesitate to expand into any other area because they have traditionally struggled to deploy new tools at scale, limiting their impact.”

Lake and fellow Next36 student Mallorie Brodie aimed to make a big impact. Delicately. Without any preconceived notions about what site managers needed, the pair went “crane hunting”. They literally searched the skies for cranes to discover where the job sites — and future customers — were. Once they found them, they arrived unannounced and armed with just two things: a note pad and a box of donuts. What they walked away with was the knowledge necessary to build a Minimal Viable Product the industry needed, and what they needed to kickstart the financing of their fledgling business.

Lessons Learned Along the Way

As Bridgit grew, Lake and Brodie had to make a decision: which co-founder would tackle the CEO role, and which would act as the Chief Operating Officer. Lake took the latter. She acknowledges Bridgit made many mistakes along the way, from planning to pricing, but each stumble taught the 20-something entrepreneurs how to make great strides in both the start-up world, and the world of heavy equipment.

Join Lake and Brodie on the job site with our #CIBCInnovationEconomy series, then listen to Lake get personal with the CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast about what it took to build the foundation of her own success.

CIBC Innovation Banking is a trusted financial partner to entrepreneurs and investors. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

Show Contributors: 

Lauren Lake

Michael Hainsworth