The Challenge

As Erik Gingles watched a world junior hockey tournament live on TV last January, the camera froze at a crucial moment in the game. He could hear the commentary but see no action.

Frustrated, he thought it would be great if someone was streaming the game live from the arena using a smart phone. It would be even better if there were multiple streams from people sitting in different sections of the arena, which he could link to.

Mr. Gingles envisioned an app that could be downloaded on a smart phone to allow people to stream video from anywhere in the world and for followers to share this experience, either live or via archived video of the event.

Thus, the idea for Gingle was born.

But Mr. Gingles had no experience or money for the venture. He knew market data showed an increasing demand for online content in the mobile world. If he waited too long, he would miss the boat and lose the first-mover advantage in this dynamic and growing market.

The Background

Mr. Gingles graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1988, starting in the science faculty, then moving to business and ending up with an arts degree.

His university career taught him that he was interested in a lot of diverse things. When an opportunity to teach English in Japan presented itself in 1990, he decided to move there with his wife for a one-year assignment; that morphed into nine years, and led to the start of his writing career. His book, Living North of Lucky, is a humorous chronicle of his life in Japan and set the stage for his various writing assignments with CBC, Discovery Channel and others when he returned to Canada in 1999.

His work attracted the attention of a friend, who asked him to make a promotional video for her sister-in-law’s business. One assignment led to another, culminating in Mr. Gingles setting up i communications, a Moncton-based advertising and marketing company, in 2003. The company is also the producer of NBTVTodaycom, an online television network, begun in 2009.

Mr. Gingles is the president of icommunications, which owns Gingle.

Though Mr. Gingles has always been a hands-on entrepreneur, in the case of Gingle, he had no expertise and had to find some professional help to get the app off the ground.

His other challenge was money. Although he had been running a successful company, the recession had affected cash flow. While in better times, he knew he could have financed the app through his business, the option was not possible: He had a family and employees to support and could not afford to take on additional risk.

Read the full story at The Globe and Mail.