“Day of Glass” Comes To Life, $1.8M Raised, $1.2M Revenue with Nobal CEO Pieter Boekhoff

pieter-boekhoff

In Episode #448, Nathan is joined by Pieter Boekhoff, the 2016 Startup Canada Entrepreneur of the Year and one of Calgary’s top 40 under 40. He’s also Mount Royal University’s Horizon Winner and one of Canada’s 10 Mentor Rock Stars. Listen as Pieter talks about the company he founded, Nobal Technologies, and the success of their flagship product – iMirror.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Lean Startup
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Wave Accounting
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— I do
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “I wish that entrepreneurship and startups was more of a thing and I’d known where to get into it”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:44 – Nathan introduces Pieter to the show
  • 02:25 – What is Nobal Technologies and how it generates revenue
    • 02:28 – Software company based in Calgary, Canada
    • 02:40 – Selling iMirror for retail and hospitality
  • 03:03 – 70% revenue from the one-time cost of the iMirror
  • 03:27 – Launched in 2014
  • 03:44 – The idea was inspired by the video made by Corning in 2011
    • 04:02 – Started to build prototypes
  • 04:23 – First year revenue is around $75,000
  • 04:37 – Total of 10 units sold
    • 05:15 – Each unit cost about $15,000
  • 05:38 – They’re looking into a sustainable monthly recurring business model
  • 06:05 – 40% gross margin
  • 06:23 – Net margin
    • 06:28 – Low overhead on the backend
  • 06:28 – They raised a $1M 2 years ago and $800K in grants
  • 06:50 – Process of government funding
    • 07:03 – Partner with NRCIRAP
    • 07:12 – They need to know you’re legit
  • 07:44 – 9 people on the team, based in Alberta
  • 08:00 – Pieter made $1.2 million in 2 years
  • 08:20 – Pieter’s focus now is only iMirror
  • 08:36 – 2016 revenue goal
  • 09:34 – Some clients have more than 1 mirror
  • 09:44 – Pieter wants to expand on the retail side
    • 10:10 – Long sales cycle
  • 10:40 – This is Pieter’s second business
    • 10:53 – Pieter saw the need for the iMirror from his previous business
  • 11:14 – Connect with Pieter through his Twitter and Instagram. Visit his website at Nobal.ca
  • 13:23 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Be willing to jump outside the box—ideas are everywhere.
  2. Expanding doesn’t always mean adding more people.
  3. Learn from your experiences and find ways to share them.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • @pieterboekhoff – Pieter’s Twitter handle
  • @pieterboekhoff– Pieter’s Instagram account
  • Nobal.ca – Pieter’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives