The QR Code Comeback: DMS Lab Helps Businesses Go Contactless
Red Piston is a digital agency that provides fresh creative design, development and management of social media, web sites, apps and games. Co-founded in January 2010 by Ali Al-Aasm, Jakub Koter and Andy Kale, Red Piston has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, as well as their Windsor-Essex neighbours, to bring innovation, creativity and delight to screens everywhere.
“It’s been great working with the Digital Main Street program at Communitech,” Ali states. “They were really helpful in helping IDQuickly reach a wider audience. And, of course, the WEtech Alliance team was a tremendous help as well. It was a wonderful, advantageous collaboration, all around.”
IDQuickly is a new project launched by Red Piston. The app is the easiest and best way for businesses and restaurants to collect government-mandated contact information in case of a COVID or other outbreak. It provides all customers with a clean, easy and safe experience.
“About a year ago, we were starting to reopen gradually after the first major lockdown,” recalls Noah Campbell, Tech Community Program Manager for WEtech Alliance and regional liaison for Digital Main Street Future Proof programs in Windsor-Essex & Chatham-Kent. “People were starting to go back into restaurants, shops and other businesses. Everyone who went in had to write down their contact information on a piece of paper. And that generally doesn’t work out for folks. If somebody tests positive and the Health Unit calls that business, then that business owner has to sort through all those slips of paper to call everyone who was in the store that day.”
IDQuickly was created to digitally collect information in an easier, more accurate way.
“It’s a tool that’s easy for everyone to use,” explains Adam Castle, Director of Venture Services for WEtech Alliance. “It’s easy for businesses. Easy for customers. And easy for the Health Unit if they need to ask for that data.”
After working closely with the WEtech Alliance team, Red Piston submitted an application to the DMS Labs Program to help them secure the necessary funding to start and scale.
By December 2020, Red Piston received their funding notification. They were awarded funds to pilot their solution and offer it to small businesses in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.
“Before long, they had over 150 businesses signed on to IDQuickly,” Noah reports. “And they quickly expanded beyond restaurants. They were working with greenhouses. They were working with restaurants. They were working with offices and realtors.”
And thanks to their strong performance and product market kit, Red Piston received additional funding from the federal government via Digital Main Street.
“The Digital Main Street program was absolutely amazing,” Ali explains. “Just being able to connect with someone outside our company that could listen to our ideas and provide constructive criticism was incredibly helpful.”
To learn more about ID Quickly, please visit www.idquickly.com.
Written by: Michael Seguin, In-house Storyteller, WEtech Alliance
About WEtech Alliance
WEtech Alliance is one of seventeen Regional Innovation Centres, funded by the Province of Ontario, serving the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions. They provide entrepreneurs with business services, training, mentorship and strategic connections to help bring new ideas to market, scale to the next level and build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation. WEtech Alliance has served as the catalyst for technology and innovation in the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions since 2011. www.wetech-alliance.com
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.