As of yet, no guide or resource lays out all of the steps it takes to start and run a successful business—making life as an entrepreneur incredibly difficult. As many tech founders can attest to the early years of a startup are the most critical, and that the decisions made during this time will have a resounding impact on the growth and the success of a business. With so many tech companies being started by first-time entrepreneurs the BC Tech Association launched Centre4Growth (Now the Growth Program) in 2010 to help local startups to accelerate their growth and build strong anchor companies through mentorship and other learning opportunities.
Innovators in mobile development, Finger Food was one of the first companies to join BC Tech’s growth program in 2010. Seven years later the company has evolved into leaders in AR/VR design and development. We had the opportunity to speak to Finger Food CEO, Ryan Peterson to discuss how BC Tech’s growth program has helped them evolve, the importance of continued innovation, and how their product is disrupting the status quo for industries around the world.
Sage advice and experience can make all the difference when it comes to the growth of a company. For Finger Food the move from mobile development to AR/VR has been a journey of transformative development—a trek that could not have been made without the help of their mentors. “The Centre4Growth provided us with two different mentors, Howard Donaldson and Rory Holland, who have been instrumental in our growth,” said Peterson. “It was Howard that encouraged Trent (Trent Shumay, Finger Food Co-Founder) to hire a CEO. His advice to Trent was not to try to do it all on his own and to expand the leadership team to help the company grow.”
The successful growth of a company often relies on the employees that it hires. Having the advice of mentors who have built their own teams can make all the difference. “Rory has been able to help us work through all of the issues that we’ve encountered in trying to grow our organization. Right now, we are focused on building a culture of curiosity and attracting the best people from around the world to come and work with us—he’s helped us make great strides and has been advising us every step of the way,” said Peterson.
The core of Finger Food’s success has been in their ability to adapt and innovate to the ever-changing tech environment. Following a fail-fast approach, the Finger Food team is encouraged to execute on new ideas and adopt the latest technology to offer their clients the best and most cutting-edge product. “Today the biggest strength of our business is that we continually adapt to the market. We pivot every year on new technologies, and we’re giving that expertise to our clients. Our major focus as a company is to pick one client per industry and create a product which completely transforms the way that entire industry operates.”
Not ones to settle for the status quo, Finger Food aims to start revolutions in the industries they serve. Traditional industries that have done things the same way for decades are going through periods of rapid evolution with Finger Food’s guidance. Through the use of holographic imaging, Finger Food was able to reduce the time spent designing new vehicles from six months to three days. “I don’t know if people realize this, but most car companies still use clay modeling to design cars—a practice which began in the 1930s. Currently, when a new design for a car is proposed, a draftsman lays it out, and a clay model which takes about six months is created. We went from AutoCAD, a process that includes clay modeling, to a full sketch holographic image in about three days. We took a set of instructions that have been the same for almost 100 years, and completely changed it.”
With more than 100 employees and over $15 million dollars in yearly revenue, Finger Food is an industry leader. Their journey to success has been a story of catalytic change and intuitive tech foresight. Through the support of BC Tech, they’ve been able to build a team that is transforming the way traditional industries work by reimagining the human experience around design and technology.
To learn how your company can benefit from BC Tech’s incredible program offering check out our Growth page.