So what the hell does a productive rebel actually do? Fair question. Simply put, we challenge the status quo and have an action plan for change. Your classic entrepreneur is a great example. Someone who is unsatisfied with the way things work-- or do not work-- and steps up to do something about it. Productive rebels are problem solvers.
At my core, I love improving processes. Whether it's coming up with an easier way to find information, to move around, or build our society, I love thinking of innovative ways to get things done. For example, I constantly entertain the thought of when we will bring retail to our homes: 3D-printing clothes, tools and other devices. Or maybe how in the future, as Uber sees it, that we will no longer be wasting our time driving from A to B but rather moved there via self-driving cars.
My contribution to this movement has been to build two ideas:
From T-Shirt to Arctic Bacteria
The first, evolved from the idea of creating a sustainable t-shirt company using a material other than resource-intensive cotton. I wanted to make hemp t-shirts (yes very hippy-hipster) and that idea grew into building homes with hemp. I pitched the idea to McGill and M.I.T. with my amazing civil engineering cofounder.
The idea needed work and so did my business and technical backgrounds: yes, the idea was novel but how was I to actually bring this thing into life-- particularly in frigid Montreal. After a few weeks I achieved my epiphany: I would build a freeze-resistant concrete using a freeze resistant bacteria. I know, I know-- it all sounds crazy. But hey, it worked (sort of). I recruited two professors: one in microbiology and one in civil engineering and started testing the scientific hypothesis of my idea. Turns out, there was a lot of work to be done but the idea could work. That's all I needed.
A few months of research later and my cofounder and I were pitching to construction companies interested in investing in our R&D. As of May 2015 this project has been successfully funded and is being researched at McGill University. More to come...
Virtual Tours for Apartments
The second, much less scientific-- but more realistic-- has been to build a dedicated apartment-hunting platform where landlords could let users visit their properties from the comfort of their homes. How? Using 3-D visualization technology, of course.
Hence, igloo (check it out) was born with my incredible co-founders Thibaud, Audrey and Pierre. A juggernaut team of thinkers and doers; business and tech. Our journey to help people find their homes has been an exciting and unstable one: one day on top of the world as we get a landlord with 400 properties or are pitching to Canada's top startup accelerator, the next at absolute rock-bottom when business is moving slow or not at all. I encourage you to come with us through this journey and follow our story here.