[Notebooks showing sketches for a smartphone app]
Michael Hainsworth (voiceover): Before you can pitch your big idea to the world, you need an MVP.
[Michael Hainsworth, Mallorie Brodie, Lauren Lake at a jobsite, holding hard hats]
But how do you create a Minimal Viable Product?
[Brodie and Lake getting onto a forklift, smiling]
Bridgit CEO Mallorie Brodie and COO Lauren Lake found a low-tech solution to that high-tech problem, and it's made them one of the biggest success stories in the innovation economy today.
[Michael, Mallorie, and Lauren chatting at a jobsite]
>> Mallorie Brodie: I think where the big mistakes happen is where people spend, you know, 2 years and tons of money working on one thing, putting all their eggs in one basket, and then it completely blows up.
[CIBC logo, INNOVATION BANKING #INNOVATIONECONOMY]
>> Hainsworth (voiceover): I'm Michael Hainsworth, discovering the secrets to success in the innovation economy.
>> Brodie: Lauren and I are telepathic with each other, so it doesn't always take a face-to-face meeting. We tend to know what's going on with each other, so an extra skill we've developed over 6 years.
[Lake, Hainsworth, and Brodie walking through a jobsite]
>> Hainsworth (voiceover): The 2 were paired up at a university entrepreneur accelerator program in 2012…
[Vintage footage of construction workers at a jobsite]
…and discovered both came from families that found success in the construction industry.
[Hainsworth, Brodie, and Lake at a jobsite, holding hard hats]
>> Brodie: It's where we feel most comfortable, where we can wear our ripped jeans and steel-toed boots, so we're pretty happy.
>> Hainsworth (voiceover): They knew they had the foundation of an idea to build upon…
[An employee programming software]
…take the technology out of the construction office
[Lake and Brodie with an employee in a meeting room]
…and put it on the jobsite, managing materials, scheduling crews, and replacing rolls of blueprints with screens.
[Lake and Brodie speaking to Hainsworth while showing him around the site]
So even before they had an MVP, they turned their eyes to the skies.
[View of multiple cranes while the sun is setting]
[Hainsworth chatting with Brodie and Lake at the jobsite]
>> Lauren Lake: The crane hunting really started from day one, just driving around, talking to sites, and trying to figure out what actual problem we were going to solve. And so it wasn't like an idea that came overnight; it was probably about 6 months of going site to site, talking to about over 500 people before we narrowed in on what that problem was going to be that we focused on and then what the solution would be.
>> Brodie: When you're holding coffee and Timbits, I think everyone's pretty happy to see you.
>> Lake: Yeah, we were never saying, "Oh we have a better way," or, "we know better." We were just there to learn from the people, and we knew that being on-site and talking to those people, they would probably have a way better understanding than we ever would.
[Michael speaking to Brodie and Lake]
>> Hainsworth: So you go ask questions, learn what the industry needs, and then you come back, not with an app…
[Notebooks showing sketches for a smartphone app]
…but with a pad of paper and a pencil, showing them what the app would look like?
>> Lake: We kept doing that over and over again until we had a really good idea of what the product would be before we started investing in the actual development.
>> Hainsworth: So your Minimal Viable Product was a pad of paper?
>> Brodie and Lake (in unison): Yep.
[A dynamic graph showing Bridgit’s average revenue growth in the span of 5 years]
>> Hainsworth (voiceover): And it worked. Over the last 5 years, the average annual growth rate of Bridgit has been 313%.
[Map of North America with location pins over cities]
At any given time, 10,000 projects are powered by its front-line jobsite technology. It's been a wild ride.
>> Lake: So we have — we've raised a new round of financing, and that's really exciting for us. We are launching a new product; we just launched it actually about a month ago, and so the capital is going to warrant the launch of this new product, and really accelerating the sales and marketing efforts behind it.
[Business Development Bank of Canada Women in Technology Venture Fund with a dollar counter increasing below]
>> Hainsworth (voiceover): It's raised funding from 3 venture capital firms…
[Sands Capital Ventures]
[The dollar amount’s still increasing]
[Vanedge Capital Partners]
[The dollar amount’s still going up]
…and something new for Brigit, a debt financing deal with CIBC Innovation Banking that gives Bridgit almost 8 million dollars in new capital.
[Financing by CIBC Innovation Banking]
[The dollar counter stops at $8,000,000]
>> Lake: CIBC has definitely helped us make introductions; they've helped connect us with other people in the ecosystem, and so it's been, you know, a really great avenue, and they've opened lots of doors.
>> Brodie: In the early days, I think it's really easy to think there's only one place to get your capital from, on the equity side, and that's a great source of capital for startup companies. But at a certain point in time, you have investors and team members that have shares in the company, and you don't want to dilute them because you want cap table run rate to continue doing future financing and continue to grow the company at the end of the day.
>> Hainsworth (voiceover): So you spend more time with each other than your partners?
>> Lake: I think we've worked so well together; we have such a great friendship and business relationship that I think it just keeps getting stronger, to be honest.
[Presented by CIBC]
[The CIBC logo is a trademark of CIBC.]