On Day 2 of Launchpad SUMMIT‘s 2020 virtual creative career conference, you’ll want to catch life and business partners, Toni Allen and Edouard Ratiarson of R3VE at 11 a.m. for their session exploring how to map out your own canvas as a creative entrepreneur, how to define your unique value proposition and leverage that to further position your business; and how to readapt, pivot and reinvent revenue streams during an economic crisis–like the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“To break any ground as a creative entrepreneur, you need to be able to find the perfect equilibrium between business, creativity and a technological innovation that is in growing demand,” explains Edouard.
“Once those three pillars have been identified, you then become a bridge that can provide solutions that are needed in the market. But to do that, you need to spend time studying and getting experience in those three seemingly disparate fields, in order to gain your perspective on their intersections.”
Toni and Edouard certainly have gained years of experience and knowledge learning the pillars of business, creativity and technological innovation. They were both doing similar work in digital marketing and innovation for various companies, so being life partners they decided to join forces to start their own family-run business.
“Launching your company is far from easy, otherwise everyone would have their own companies. One needs to not only have tremendous passion for the work that you do, but you need to have a very clear understanding of the business model and how to differentiate from the competition,” explains Toni and Edouard.
Both Toni and Edouard have varied experiences as creative entrepreneurs. Having grown up in an environment with the expectations that she become a doctor, a lawyer or a banker, Toni couldn’t imagine stepping out of the mould. She worked in banking for over 15 years, obtained her MBA and had children before she decided to switch gears and worked toward building her own dream and lifestyle. She began to freelance as a UX designer and strategist, then scaled to a business, hiring other designers, before starting R3VE with Edouard.
Edouard’s career began while studying Engineering Science at the University of Toronto, while designing and developing websites on the side. The first website he ever built won the Top 10 websites on the internet. At the same time, he also ran a digital hip-hop recording studio called Audio One, working with Pre-The6ix Toronto hip hop artists.
Taking a break from his engineering studies, Edouard opened his first business — an all-ages nightclub — and launched his own college radio show. After graduation, he spent an entire year in Madagascar, his place of birth, reconnecting with his roots and producing music with top and underground music artists and helping to bring hip-hop production technique and culture to the island-continent. Upon returning to Canada, he started working at large advertising agencies, helping them set up their digital practices, and his career, as someone’s employee, culminated in heading up Ogilvy and Mather Canada’s digital arm. He’s been working on his own digital agency ever since.
R3VE means dream in French, so the company was Toni and Edouard’s way of making their entrepreneurial dreams come true and allowed them to branch out into not only servicing big brands like McCain Foods, Boston Scientific and MindMotion, but also independent music artists like Nefe through their subsidiary, Coachhouse Music.
“There are a lot of risks as an entrepreneur and it is not for everyone,” explains Toni. “Don’t run away from the risks, but learn to recognize, prepare for and mitigate them.”
Don’t miss their session! Toni and Edouard are going to do a deep-dive into securing predictable revenue streams that are right for you. They will show you how to evaluate the product-market-fit for your products and services, including finding the right customers. They will also show you how to use marketing channels at a profitable cost.