Smart People: IoT startup – I Can Do it Better

Gabrielle La Rue is more at home holding a guitar than sitting behind a desk, but that hasn’t stopped her from founding Locketgo, one of the shooting stars of Canada’s IoT startup scene.

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Smart People: IoT startup – I Can Do it Better

Gabrielle La Rue, founder and CEO of Locketgo

Gabrielle La Rue is more at home holding a guitar than sitting behind a desk, but that hasn’t stopped her from founding Locketgo, one of the shooting stars of Canada’s IoT startup scene.

Locketgo is a young company based in Montreal providing on-demand temporary storage for event attendees. Its turnkey solution allows an event-goer to reserve a locker for their personal possessions before setting out and to access it without standing in line to use their festival wristband, smartphone, or PIN number to claim a storage space. Live concerts often take place at remote locations or in the open air where storage facilities are usually nonexistent. Mobile rental lockers aren’t a new idea but they are rarely found at events and most of them are low-tech solutions using traditional mechanical locks and keys. As an accomplished, gigging musician LaRue has encountered these units and was impressed. Hauling in a bank of lockers for the duration seemed to her to be a pretty good idea: “That’s when I thought to myself, ‘I can do it, too – and I can do it better!”

Everyone has their strengths. that helps a young company like ours shape where we want to go

Gabrielle La Rue

Smart People: Gabrielle La Rue, founder and CEO of Locketgo - IoT startup

 

At that time, La Rue was working for Eventgo, a company that offers web based software for show managers, venue organizers, and service providers in the entertainment industry. Her boss encouraged her to branch out on her own and develop the idea, which took two years to get up and running. “In fact, we still work closely together – and Eventgo gave me my first contract for three big events which helped me get on my feet,” she says.

IoT startup in Canada

Even more important was a stint at Montreal’s Centech. Founded in1996 by the École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), the accelerator helps tech entrepreneurs to acquire the business skills they need to succeed.” We were far from knowing what we were doing, and weren’t even close to understanding the technology we needed to build our systems properly. I talked to Centech on a Friday and joined their acceleration program on the Monday,” she recalls.

One advantage of her time at Centech, La Rue believes, is that she could tap into a wide range of engineering talent. “Everyone there has their strengths. That helps a young company like ours shape where we want to go.” A start-up, she discovered, is much like a good rock band– tightly focused, but with room for everyone to riff.

The Locketgo solution, which incorporates secure RFID-controlled locks and phone chargers, fully integrates with the festival ticketing and access control system. The area around the pre booked lockers enables event goers to enjoy their festival experience more by giving them a chill-out space. “It gives them a comfort zone, a place to rest and maybe put on their makeup,” La Rue explains. Now firmly established in the Canadian festival scene, Locketgo plans to take its show south to the US soon .And after that? “There are concerts allover the world,” La Rue says.

The Smart People 1/2019

 

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