Some fantastic companies are emerging within our city, but I’ve yet to encounter ones that combine community development and green practices in their core values as Haiku Media Group. By being in the digital signage space business, the company offers an alternative to print advertising via significant green practices and a deep commitment to supporting the community. One of the three co-founders, Oliver, took some time to give us more insight on the company and their story.
Who are you? Tell us about your Business/ Core idea?
We are Haiku Media Group, a digital signage company with a fresh new approach. Your core values are Environment and Community, and our business model aims at giving back in multiple ways. We are deploying digital screens at business locations around Vancouver. The screens are WiFi-enabled, and we fully control them via a remote server. We control the content of each screen, as well as the On and Off time. This makes our service a much more eco-friendly alternative when compared to other advertising media. In addition, we make sure to support the many wonderful non-profit organizations based in Vancouver. We offer them support with free ad space and social media exposure, and as a result, we have established great relationships with most of the great local organizations. Also, we have established great collaborations with the locations that host our screens, and they get great perks from us in return.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea came from three Electrical Engineers and friends who wanted to start a company together, keeping in mind the values that we all have as typical Vancouverites. Eventually we discovered this digital signage technology, we improved it to make it our own, and figured out how to best apply it to our city.
What have been the greatest challenges?
The greatest challenge has been making the public aware of our screens, and the type of information that they offer to the community. Other than that, we face the typical challenges of any start-up company, mainly due to the limited resources.
What is your long term vision?
Our long term vision is to cover Metro Vancouver with our technology, and then move on to another Canadian city, until we install our digital screens across the country.
How does this effect/improve the culture/life of Vancouver?
This service finally offers Vancouver digital signage focusing on information valuable to the community, rather than simply display commercial advertising. Viewers get to enjoy information about events, road work, green tips from David Suzuki, and other announcements while lounging at their favorite place.
Advice for other entrepreneurs?
Leave negativity at the door. Your first start-up is intimidating at first, but you quickly discover that most people in the business world are naturally friendly. In time, you’ll get more comfortable and less shy, and as you meet more and more people you will gain opportunities that you had not even thought about originally. Treat every business contact you make as highly valuable. Networking is key.
It’s great to see an initiative that intertwines such important city focused core values into its product. Joining the city’s green technology movement seems to be an interesting space to be in, which we hope will pay big dividends for Haiku as they continue to do great things for the city.
Stay in touch @pauldavidescu
*Vancity Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs or startups that are making Vancouver a better place. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send firstname.lastname@example.org an email explaining why*