Whether you’re an Elvis fan, a sports fan, a gamer, a mother, a father, a kid, a handyman, a biker, a weightwatcher, or even someone looking to relax, this next entrepreneur profile may interest you.Nearly 2 years ago, Andy Kale, Jakub Koter and Ali Al-Aasm were faced with sudden unemployment. Not long after, the trio teamed-up and decided to venture into business for themselves. They loved designing applications for various mobile phones so Red Piston was born. Today, Red Piston’s apps and games are played all over the world. The once team of 3 is now a team of 10 and growing. Their latest app, Smart Play, is Red Piston’s first children’s app. The game lets children be as creative as they like while teaching them to recognize words and objects in a familiar environment. Interactive scenes include: farm, doctor’s office, safari, school, ocean, office and more. Potty training? Red Piston’s My Potty Chart app for the iPad helps your record your child’s progress. The app features three fun ‘stamps’ – checkmarks, hearts, or stars – that your child can choose for each successful time on the potty. Handyman or professional contractor? You might want to download Red Piston’s Handyman Sidekick, an app designed to give you a helping hand with your next home improvement project. So if you’re trying to calculate how much stuff you need – like paint, flooring, wallpaper or mulch, this app will come in handy. Red Piston has also developed apps for a rather long list of celebrities and artists through Universal Music Group including: Kid Cudi, Melanie Fiona, Lifehouse, Kelly Rowland, Owl City, and Rise Against. Locally, some of Red Piston’s work includes: Windsor Elvis Fest, Windsor Social Magazine, The Drive, Kersey Cardio Kickbox, and Top 7: Smart Community. So what new with Red Piston these days? Well, in a few short weeks the team will be fighting for the honour of Startup of the Year at this year’s Annual Business Excellence Awards. The other category finalists include: Sweetheart Diapers and Xanadu Health Club Inc. Lastly, for those gamers out there, Red Piston is actively looking for a few more beta testers for their newest game. If you have an iPhone / iPad you can register and join their Beta Team at http://bit.ly/GD71w9. MEET RED PISTON Business Name: Red Piston Inc. Location: 374 Ouellette – Downtown Windsor Type of Business: Mobile Application Development How long in Business: 2 years Website: www.redpiston.com Twitter/Facebook: facebook.com/redpiston twitter.com/redpiston Idea Origination: When we (three partners of Red Piston) lost our jobs at BBDO due to cuts, we decided to start a company that shared our love for the apple brand and one of it’s greatest products, the iPhone. Basically, what started out as a hobby, turned into a full time business. MEET THE ENTREPRENEURS Name: Jakub Koter Age: 29 Prediction for the Future of Your Business (5 Year): We will always be on the cutting edge, we love new technologies and using these technologies to help other businesses, to entertain and create awesome products. Toughest Part About Being an Entrepreneur: Late hours, working late, not enough hours in a day. Finding the right balance of working hard and living life. Best Thing About Being an Entrepreneur: The best reward for me is when people use our product and love it. It could be a game that puts a smile on someones face when they’re bored or a B2B solution that enhances the productivity of a certain process. First Job: My first job was at age 16 at an internet cafe developing websites, after spending the previous summer break learning how to design and develop them. 3 Tips/Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Do what you love, and do it better than anyone else. Make sure you spend less than what you make. Network. Best Career Success: Creating the app called Mind Wave, which was featured all over the world. Favourite Quote: “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” – SJ Favourite thing about Windsor-Essex: Competitive rent costs which are great for startups and quick access to Detroit allowing greater client reach. Why do you support entrepreneurship and/or Startup Canada: Entrepreneurs take risks which I think mixed with creativity are required to generate growth and innovation which stimulates wealth for everyone. ___________________________________ Name: Ali Al-Aasm Age: 32 Prediction for the Future of Your Business (5 Year): We’ll continue to evolve and stay at the forefront of the next-generation technologies, building great products and providing significant job growth to help diversify the local economy. Toughest Part About Being an Entrepreneur: Finding the balance between doing what you have to do to be successful and also spending time with people you enjoy like friends and family. Best Thing About Being an Entrepreneur: Being in control of your own destiny. When your a entrepreneur your in the drivers seat, the amount of effort that you put in usually equates to the amount of reward coming out of your venture; it’s exciting and scary at times but if you fail you have no one to blame but yourself. First Job: Working as general help at a pharmacy. 3 Tips/Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Work hard and smart, Look for people to offset your weaknesses and fill gaps in your business, Meet people and don’t be afraid to team up with others. Best Career Success: Getting to realize my dreams and work on cool things like games. Favourite Quote: “Get rich or die trying” – Fifty cent, or “To legit, to legit to quit” – MC hammer. Favourite thing about Windsor-Essex: Big city feel but people have a small town attitude, very friendly and approachable. Why do you support entrepreneurship and/or Startup Canada: I support it because we have some smart people who can create amazing, wondrous opportunities not just for themselves but for the community. ___________________________________ Name: Andy Kale Age: 38 Prediction for the Future of Your Business (5 Year): We’ll continue to evolve and stay at the forefront of the next-generation technologies, building great products and providing significant job growth to help diversify the local economy. Toughest Part About Being an Entrepreneur: Long hours and trying to balance family and work. Best Thing About Being an Entrepreneur: Turning an idea into reality. This applies not only to what we do on a daily basis – take our clients’ or our own ideas and make them into functioning apps and web sites, but also helping the business grow from an idea to 3 partners, to now 10 employees. First Job: Making screens, grinding glass and delivering windows for Martindale Windows. 3 Tips/Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Find something you love and dive in; surround yourself with great people; hire attitude – train skill (of course hiring skilled people with great attitudes is ideal!) Best Career Success: Having the opportunity to work with major brands. Favourite Quote: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address Favourite thing about Windsor-Essex: The general “roll up your sleeves and get it done” attitude of people here. Why do you support entrepreneurship and/or Startup Canada: The entrepreneurial ‘don’t take no for an answer’ spirit is what drives innovation and powers the economy. By supporting entrepreneurs, you’re supporting the continued growth of Canada.
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