Several months ago, Studio Pyxis has started an exploration and questioning process regarding startups in the greater region of Montreal. Everything stems from two things : ascertainment and intention. The ascertainment extends over some years. After more than 26 years, I stopped counting the times that entrepreneurs offered me to be part of their projects. Some were inspiring, others less. But most of them had a passion for creation, which struck this chord in me, the one that stops me for a moment to watch, envy and dream. The intention is about the Studio. The will to align what we do with people’s needs. In simpler terms, the idea is to help entrepreneurs to develop products while getting involved financially in their project to contribute to something.

But why the startups?

Studio’s clients are mostly SMEs. When we talk about SMEs, we generally talk of small budgets and of clients that are really preoccupied with the content of the finished product. Not only because they are spending money, but especially because it’s a question of survival. Startups are even more sensitive about that. For a startup, being Agile is not an option, it’s THE way to go to reach the market quickly. They have no time to lose and need help on all levels. In the past two years, we have worked with startups in a more engaging way. We invest in some of them as strategic partner. The main qualifying factor being that it’s a stimulating software development project for us.

A lot of ideas, but few people to achieve them

These last two years, we have met dozens upon dozens of startups. We have noticed a recurring problem with technological startups : they have trouble recruiting developers. Actually, the whole IT industry is dealing with a workforce shortage. It’s easy to imagine that a startup can have problems finding developers if we consider that most of the time, it offers equity in return for the services and that success is not guaranteed. Often, when a startup manages to find a developer, he does not have all the required qualifications or he simply abandons along the way, his lack of patience preventing him from seeing his efforts bear fruits. This considerably slows down the rhythm and often the project stops altogether.

Helping in different ways

Studio Pyxis helps startups (and entrepreneurs in general) in many ways. First, we offer funding to entrepreneurs. This funding generally translates into software development. Studio becomes a business partner by developing the software for the startup in exchange for equity or royalties, or both.We also offer our Agile development expertise, thus promoting a quick evolution that takes changes into account. The way we proceed is perfectly adapted to approaches derived from the Lean Startup world and allows to really prioritize elements bringing immediate value while ensuring efficient management of the budgets. Finally, having created and marketed products ourselves, we can help entrepreneurs by accompanying them through all the developmental phases of their business.

The benefits

In this context, there are several benefits to using the Studio’s services to develop software. The first one is pretty obvious. Since the Studio is a partner and not a supplier, it’s in his best interest that the project is successful and that the development cost stays as low as possible. A second benefit is in regard to the technical expertise. Today’s software is often complex and need to interact with a considerable number of products and platforms. It’s hard for a single person to possess all the required knowledge to quickly develop a Web platform or a mobile application. Studio Pyxis relies on a team of experts that covers the majority of the necessary expertise. When the startup is ready to have its own team of developers, Studio will be able to ensure a smooth transition while maintaining the ability to develop at all times.

Conclusion

After two years of work, discussions and reflections with startups, Pyxis’ Studio has succeeded in putting together a unique offer to allow young businesses to quickly test their new product on the market. So we have had nice successes with this strategy. Namely with our client Adèle on demand that has managed to rapidly penetrate the Montreal market with its one of a kind offer. These nice achievements encourage us to accentuate our offensive on this exciting emergent market!

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martin landreville

Martin began his career as a developer. He then focused on client/server development and on building development teams in charge of medium and large scale projects. Furthermore, he provided training on object-oriented programming and client/server development in both Canada and the United States. For the past 15 years, he has been focusing on managing development and application management teams as well as on implementing processes allowing the management of application portfolios.

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