Ansik is fighting the perception that they have a perception problem. The Velocity Foundry company, which produces ShockLock, a mechanical reinforcement for worn out Gas-Charged Struts (GCS), knows that its solution isn’t sexy outside its target market.
“I’ve done over a dozen pitch competitions,” said Ansik co-founder Yashin Shah. “One of the biggest challenges was competing with this sort of magical, sexy technology. We’re sexy in our own way, but people don’t understand our level of sexiness.”
While Ansik hasn’t been winning many pitch competitions (although the company did take home $5,000 at the Velocity Fall Fund Finals), it has been winning customers, which is far more important for a B2B startup. After completing a beta trial with over thirty mechanics in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Ansik successfully launched ShockLock last week, and is now looking to scale its sales. As Shah and his co-founder, Shiva Bhardwaj, explain, their end customer isn’t exactly online – a Kickstarter campaign isn’t going to help raise awareness.
Instead, Ansik is moving upstream and targeting distributors, like recently signed partner Nortool (Ansik will also be at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto this week to find additional distribution partners). The sales strategy still requires a tightrope balance.
“One of the complications that come with this is satisfying everybody’s need,” said Bhardwaj. “From the manufacturer, to the end customer, we need to put together a pricing structure that works well with everyone.”
The challenges Ansik faces has not stopped the company’s founders from dreaming of moving beyond solving one small, but important, problem, to developing a suite of tools to increase the efficiency and safety of automotive servicing.
“We want to become leaders in automotive technology,” Shah said.