Chris Guillemet + Da­vide Xausa + Boris Martin

BC Business Magazine - - Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 - —N.C.

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO+ CO-FOUNDER AND PRES­I­DENT+ CO-FOUNDER AND VP OP­ER­A­TIONS, V EL O FIX GROUP OF COM­PA­NIES

Chris Guillemet and Da­vide Xausa had a sim­i­lar prob­lem. Both cy­clists who had known each other since their early teens, the Metro Van­cou­ver na­tives felt that bricks-and­mor­tar bike shops couldn’t cater to their needs. So the pair set out to cre­ate a mo­bile re­pair ser­vice. Guillemet had man­age­ment ex­per­tise from help­ing run a cou­ple of Van­cou­ver-based com­pa­nies, while Xausa had fi­nan­cial ex­per­tise, thanks to his work as an ac­count man­ager with the pro­vin­cial govern­ment.

The prob­lem? Guillemet and Xausa didn’t know how to fix bikes. In 2012, they stum­bled on Boris Martin, a young me­chanic who was, in Xausa’s words, “be­ing harshly un­der­uti­lized.” The three de­vel­oped Velofix, a fleet of mo­bile bike re­pair shops, us­ing a model that sees fran­chisees pay a fee to op­er­ate a truck with rights over a cer­tain ter­ri­tory and hand over a per­cent­age of the pro­ceeds. Launched in Van­cou­ver, the com­pany now has 140 fran­chises through­out North Amer­ica, from Vic­to­ria to Jack­sonville, Florida.

If there was any doubt about whether the busi­ness could be sus­tain­able, the Velofix founders be­lieve they crushed it in the city where they be­gan. “The fact that we started in Van­cou­ver, which has more bike shops per capita than any­where in North Amer­ica, proves that the model gives the con­ve­nience fac­tor that a bike shop just can’t,” Guillemet says. “I don’t care if you have a great me­chanic. You still have to get there, park, leave your bike for a week and pick it up.”

The plan doesn’t stop there. Velofix launched its first mo­bile ski re­pair shop in 2015 and is now in 25 com­mu­ni­ties. “There’s a mil­lion things we can do,” Xausa says. “Can we move into more win­ter ac­tiv­i­ties, like snow­mo­bil­ing? Is there any rea­son we can’t hire Red Seal—cer­ti­fied me­chan­ics for that? There are a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties still; we’re just scratch­ing the sur­face.”

What did your sum­mer jobs teach you about busi­ness? That I am far bet­ter with my brain than my hands

(From left) Da­vide Xausa, Boris Martin and Chris Guillemet

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