• Futurpreneur(s) and partners

Futurpreneur’s That Have Grown Their Businesses

Lauren Marinigh | October 6, 2016

This year, Futurpreneur Canada celebrates their 20th Anniversary, and to celebrate, we caught up with some of the entrepreneurs we have assisted over the past 20 years to see how their business has grown since they started. See below where these dynamo entrepreneurs are today.


Property Guys

Founders: Ken LeBlanc, Walter Melanson, Jeremy Demont
Inception: 1998

Property Guys is Canada’s largest private sale real estate franchise network and a modern day alternative to using a traditional real estate agent. By eliminating the listing agent altogether and working closely with real estate professionals the process of selling a property privately becomes much more practical, flexible and rewarding.

How they’ve grown:
Property Guys was born in 1998 and as of 2015 had 115 franchise locations with 365 full-time staff and 200 part-time staff. Their next move is exploring international markets to expand into places such as the United States and Australia.

What was the hardest part about growing your business to where it is today?
Managing a growing team. It’s easy when it comes down to two or three business partners, but when you’re dealing with over 1,000 people from coast-to-coast with different skills sets, experience and goals, it becomes a real balancing act.

What’s your one piece of advice for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business?
Growth requires hustle – It’s not just about having a great idea, it about putting in 18-hour work days – consistently. Our success didn’t happen overnight, it was years and years of very hard work, very long days, and many sacrifices that even continue today. Never become complacent, even if you’ve achieved some level of success. That’s why we still put in long days and have the hardest working team in the business – we’re always asking ourselves, what’s next?

Vitaly & Clocks and Colours

Founders: Shane Vitaly Foran, Jason Readman
Inception: 2011


Vitaly is a Toronto-based, lifestyle brand offering unisex jewelry, watches and men’s contemporary street-style clothing. Clocks And Colours is a rugged men’s lifestyle jewelry line catering to the rock and roll, motorcycle, tattoo and barbershop communities.

How they’ve grown:
Since launching Vitaly in 2011, it has grown by 300% annually, and within their first year in business they raised $58,000 and did $120,000 in sales. Vitaly employees approximately 28 employees and this year they expect to do close to $10 million in sales.

What was the hardest part about growing your business to where it is today?
The hardest part since day one has always been maintaining enough cash flow to support the growth of the business. It has always been a ‘good’ problem to have, but it doesn’t change how stressful it often is. With our growth being as consistent and dramatic as it has been, we have had to be incredibly stringent with how we spend.

What’s your one piece of advice for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business?
If you don’t expect to love what you’re doing, and if you’re not willing to give literally every drop of your energy to your start-up, don’t bother. Far more is possible than many might think, despite all the negative attitudes you’ll encounter, but you have to be ready to fight for it. If you’re ready to fight, ignore every comment that says you ‘can’t’ because they’re probably wrong.

Picture Futurepreneur

Biolantic Services Inc.

Founders: Michael Loder, Travis Barbour
Inception: 2014

Biolantic Services Inc. is a medical device service company based in St. John’s. Their company offers a wide-range of services to clinics (veterinarian, physiotherapy, dental and optometry) and hospitals all over Newfoundland. They service and certify medical devices such as anesthesia machines used in operating rooms and diagnostic imaging equipment (x-ray units, CAT scan, ultrasound, etc.). Yearly certification and functional testing of these devices are vital to ensuring patients receive a proper diagnosis and care.

How they’ve grown:
From acquiring their first customer just last year in January 2015, Biolantic Services Inc. are expected to double revenue this year and have signed a major contract which will allow them to provide their service to over 100 clinics.

What was the hardest part about growing your business to where it is today?
The hardest part of growing the business to where it is today was to maintain full-time employment while growing the company.  Growing a business takes a lot of hard work. We both work full-time jobs.

I (Michael) left a secure well-paying position with a multi-national medical device company and worked contractual positions with various companies to ensure I had the time to work on the company. We work hard to ensure the company continues to grow. We both have made financial and personal sacrifices to ensure the continued growth of the company but it’s a risk that we are willing to take.

What’s your one piece of advice for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business?
We learned quickly that work-life balance is the key to success. You need to put your all into your company but at the same time know when to turn it off. Work is work and personal life is your time. By working your hardest with your company you are able to enjoy your personal time to the fullest – you earn it. We all have “dark days” when starting a business. The days when you second guess every decision you make and wonder why you are doing this in the first place. That is part of the process – if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

It is easy to get caught up in the stress of running a company. In my opinion how you handle the stress and maintain balance has a direct correlation to our personal and professional successes. Work hard, have fun with it and enjoy the entrepreneurial journey.


Blush Lane Organic Markets

Founder: Rob Horricks
Inception: 2004

Blush Lane Organic Markets are retail locations which provide organic and natural foods focusing on local and social benefit.

How they’ve grown:
Originally starting their entrepreneurial journey with Organic Express which was sold to SPUD.ca in 2016 and sparked the idea for Blush Lane Organic Markets in 2004, Blush Lane purchased their first organic orchard and fruit stand in Keremeos, British Columbia in 2006 and opened their first stand along grocery store in Calgary, Alberta in 2008. In 2012 they opened their second store in Edmonton and was ranked in Profit 500 from 2013-2016. This year they’ve opened two more locations in Calgary and have intentions of having more to come.

What was the hardest part about growing your business to where it is today?
Nothing comes without sacrifice. I’ve put in long hours and had little holidays over the last 18 years. I love what I do and I know that my work helps to promote a cleaner environment and people’s health.  It’s great to have a purpose and to be able to live by our values.

What’s your one piece of advice for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business?

1) Get advice early and often.  Surround yourself with people who have made things happen and ask their opinions.  They will be glad to give it.

2) You have two choices: love or fear.  If you look at life from a position of fear you will always find a reason not to take chances. If you feel loved and supported by those around you and the world in general, you will be able to create the world you want to live in.