Mario Bouchard founded iBwave Solutions in 2003. At the time, Mario had been an expert in in-building wireless systems for over 15 years working for telecommunication giants Bell and TELUS Mobility; he had niche expertise. His business partners were software developers who had the experience of shipping software.
When they brought in serial entrepreneur Mike Cegelski as CEO of the company, they already knew they were solving a real problem; it was a problem they had seen first-hand at Bell, TELUS and Rogers.
Among the four partners, they knew the market and the pain points, they understood the customers, they had the ability to ship quality products and they had extensive knowledge of the related markets.
When their prototype for what became iBwave Design was ready, they went to tradeshows specialized in in-building wireless services to validate the need.
Their market was niche; it was easy for them to find the right people to speak with. Armed with a simple flyer explaining what the product would do, they were able to validate that no one else was building a similar product and that there would be a real need for their solution.
The first tradeshow they attended was in October, their prototype was ready by December and the first sale came in February.
From that point on, iBwave was profitable and growing. The founding team’s original vision had been validated.
Ten years later, iBwave became one of Canada’s most profitable technology companies without having to ever raise outside capital.
With over 500 clients all over the world, the founding team is well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming the standard for in-building wireless systems.
More on Leveraging Niche Expertise
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