Written by Paul Proctor, Co-Founder and VP of Operations of New Startup Locqus
Locqus is officially just a few weeks old — but it truly began in 2007 when my lawn truck equipment was stolen. At 20, I had my own landscaping business but no insurance and the aftermath of the theft was devastating.
After a long recovery process, I needed to get back into business and invited my hockey buddy, Sandy Kronenberg, out to the bar after one of our games. I knew he was quite prevalent in the technology space and I had a couple of ideas rattling around in my head that I wanted to bounce off of him.
A number of these ideas were shot down, but the one I had at the bottom of the barrel stuck: vehicle tracking. This last idea was born out of my frustration and embarrassment of being robbed, not once, but twice. At first, I told him that I wanted to compete with a vehicle tracking company called LoJack, but the cost of putting tracking beacons on my trucks was too steep at $700. If people could locate their smartphones via a simple mobile app for $10 a month, there had to be a more cost-effective solution out there for trucks. Intrigued, Sandy agreed to do some part-time work on the idea and we started to explore how to turn this concept into a reality.
We pivoted from tracking trucks to tracking smartphones and adding business management components like payment processing and appointment scheduling into the mix. Although our target audience of field service businesses have already been rapidly turning to mobile solutions for employee time clocking, 60% of such businesses are still handling paper invoices – an outdated and time-consuming process. We knew there was a better way.
We pitched our idea to graduating Computer Science students at the University of Michigan – Dearborn and got 9 of them sign up. The top 3 were brought on to lead development for Web, Android, and iOS.
Instead of racing to Silicon Valley, we moved the newly formed team into a co-working space in the Bizdom building in Downtown Detroit; the seedling of tech revival. We found great acceptance in our new home and quickly started hiring and filling in positions. We now have 15 brilliant individuals on our core team and plan on hiring 5 more before Q1.
We officially launched on October 2nd and the Locqus app can be downloaded for free at our website. Our solution has reached thousands of companies as well as independent electricians, babysitters, dog walkers, pizza delivery guys who have been giving us feedback to help us constantly upgrade and improve.
Looking back, I understand that timing was everything for this venture. Co-founder Sandy Kronenberg had just exited his current company and I was looking for something bigger and better. The biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that you have to seize opportunities when they present themselves.Activate Social Media: