Long before Pharonyx existed, we were co-workers working for the same large engineering and construction company. We developed web tools for construction sites around the world, on multi-billion dollar projects.

Within a company of more than 35,000 employees, where the processes needed to be well structured and well defined, we were a dynamic young team with great ideas and ambition, trapped because the technology we were developing was not the priority. We were somehow the black sheep of the office, and although we inspired many, some others were disturbed.

On the eve of a second major corporate restructuring, I lost my job. My position had been eliminated! The new development projects were stopped, the senior management of the company implemented a new Information Technology strategy. My last 6 years of work felt apart before noon.

Nevertheless, I was aware of the enormous potential in the field of information technology and I was not going to give up easily!

The beginning

Three months later, I was in South America on a road trip. While I was in Chile, Samuel, who had also left the company, contacted me with the idea of ​​founding a company to develop a new software application for “Construction execution management”. With both of us having little or no experience in the world of entrepreneurship and Samuel having just completed his MBA, the choice made sense: we had to do it! After all, my wife was four months pregnant, I had only 15,000 kilometers to go before returning to Montreal and Samuel just had his second child, who was only 4 months old at that time: the timing was perfect (hum …)!

Roadtrip en Amériques

Roadtrip en Amériques, 17 countries, 70 000 kilometers, 550 days. Photo taken in the northwest in Argentina, at the “Cono Arita”. Photo credit : YougoPhoto.

After two months of exchanges and discussions remotely, whether on the WIFI from a gas station in Chile, from an hotel room in Peru, from an hostel in Ecuador or from a home where I was hosted in Colombia, we started the prototype and the first lines of code of this famous “tool of aid to the follow-up of construction” which would become K-Ops, by Pharonyx …

Logo de K-Ops

K-Ops for “Construction Operations”, alludes to the Pyramid of Kheops, which for thousands of years was the biggest human construction of all records: the highest, the bulkest and the most massive.

Logo de Pharonyx

“Phare” and “Onyx”, the first word meaning a lighthouse in french, a safety, a guideline for all while the other refers to a semi-precious stone. These two words assembled recall the term “Pharaonic” which itself evokes the grandeur, splendor and brilliance of a visionary civilization whose unlimited ambition made it possible to build buildings that still adorned themselves, more than 4000 years after their construction.

The project was born, we only needed to get it out of the shadows; make it prosper. After traveling the last few miles that separated me from Quebec, I arrived in Montreal where I became a dad 19 days later. Samuel left his job and we devoted ourselves full-time to the development of K-Ops, investing all the possible energy we had according to the circumstances of the moment.

It was then that some of our core business values were established: the family, an outstanding dedication and doing everything we can to make it happen!

Where are we today?

After 14 months of hard work, we could release the first version of K-Ops : Alpha.

Version alpha de K-Ops

La première version de K-Ops : Alpha, distribuée le 25 juillet 2017

In the meantime, we took part in the Centech three-month acceleration program and then got accepted in the 2-year propulsion program. We were also quickly surrounded by two exceptional partners: Guillaume Houle and Simon Gould, two leading construction experts, to help us offer and develop a web and mobile solution that precisely and simply meets the needs of our customers. That’s not all! Our Advisory Committee took shape with Mohammed Zakzouk, Mario Jorge Robalo, Simon de Baene, André Courtemanche and Claude Landry who agreed to support and help us through this adventure. How lucky to be so well supported in our first year!

All these prestigious people are strongly aligned with our core business values, our vision and our mission to make your working life simpler and less stressful while empowering you to reach new heights.. We believe that all businesses should help people find happiness, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment at work. We will strive to create a better working environment in Quebec and to follow the movement initiated by Simon de Baene, the founding president of GSOFT : the human being above all else.

Next steps?

We are in the process of completing the development of the mobile version and finalizing version 1.0 of K-Ops, which will be available by the end of 2017. We are also entering the Centech which will bring great excitement to Pharonyx over the next few months. We will also attend the annual event of Batimatech on September 19th, an event that aims to raise awareness among construction industry stakeholders of the importance of integrating technologies into their business and business practices.

Above all, we will be focused on providing the best service and the best product for all our future customers.

Pharonyx is a Canadian technology startup company out of Montreal, Quebec, that develops K-Ops, a cloud-based web & mobile tool used for tracking and managing evidence of execution progress on ANY construction project worldwide.