Futurpreneurs - Where are they now? | August 14, 2017
Over the years, Futurpreneur Canada has supported many amazing and one-of-a-kind entrepreneurs and small businesses. Phazon’s story is also intriguing because the inspiration and motivation behind this product came from Christian Houle, an ex-CFL football player. Christian, shortly after retiring, finished his studies in tax systems in hopes to join a firm—even getting his certification as a chartered professional accountant (CPA). His story and the launch of Phazon started with a common issue that athletes, or anyone that listens to music, face. According to him, there was no perfect pair of earphones that currently existed on the market: “I found the cords so bulky and I immediately went on the search for wireless earphones. The ones marketed as ‘wireless’, still essentially had wires (one instead of two)—so they weren’t really as ‘wireless’ as stated. I found them unappealing, bulky and not very comfortable.” This gave him the final push of motivation to use his financial knowledge to create an ideal product.
Other than the ‘wireless’ feature, these new earphones have many distinct features. They are water resistant, have superior audio speaker quality, are extremely comfortable and are designed to never fall out of your ears. They are also available in seven different colors. The truly wireless earphones are currently in the presale phase on Phazon’s website.
It is very clear to us that Christian’s product is not only practical but equally unique. Before pitching his product in front of the dragons, on the hit show Dragon’s Den, Christian launched a crowd-funding campaign to fund the project and received enormous support. “I managed the campaign by myself and it helped me learn so much. Thanks to the support received, I gained a lot of credibility as a businessman and have learned a lot in terms of marketing”, he stated.
His success resulted in the collection of over $2.1 million in crowd-funded financing. His ability to adapt is partially warranted to the wise words of Harvey Spectre, a main character in hit TV series Suits, where he quotes: “Some people want to lose small, I want to win big”. Phazon was awarded and recognised in the world of tech, receiving recognition from media platforms, such as Forbes, Macworld and TechCrunch, and it is all thanks to Christian’s work ethic and resilience that he got to this point.
Christian faced a few hurdles in terms of financing despite the crowd-funding and turned to Futurpreneur. In addition to financing, Futurpreneur offers a two-year mentoring relationship between the entrepreneur and a volunteer business mentor to anyone that goes through the program. “I believe that mentorship makes a huge difference in the success of a business. This has also been proven to be especially true when a mentor can offer knowledge and advice in a different aspect of business. For example, having a tech-focused entrepreneur paired with a mentor that specialises in marketing and can provide this specific advice”, said Christian.
The entrepreneurship route in life is a hard one, especially in the early stages of your business launch. It’s important to have a unique idea, product or service, but it is only the first step. We asked our tech entrepreneur, Christian, what piece of advice he would give to an individual who is thinking of started their own business. This is what he had to say:
“Don’t wait for your product to be finished before checking if it already exists on the market. Many people invest an enormous amount of time and money into something that that they aren’t sure the market wants. Also, I’ve noticed that many entrepreneurs don’t think too much about the marketing aspect of their launch, which makes all the difference when it comes to the success or failure of your venture”.
If you’re considering launching yourself into the world of business or want more information about our program, click here.
Written by: Sara Pivato, Social media and content intern, Futurpreneur Canada