Mantella VP

Founded: October 2011

Flixel is the premier platform and community for discovering, creating and sharing engagingly beautiful living photos.  With the free Flixel iPhone application, artists and enthusiast can express their creativity through the art form of living photos.

Q&A with Phil LeBlanc, Co-Founder & CEO

Where did the inspiration for your company come from and how did you get started?

I stumbled upon Beck/Berg’s work called Cinemagraphs and I was floored at how cool these “living photos” looked and instantly wanted to create one. Being a fanatic of Instagram, I thought surely there would be an iPhone App that could help me create one. To my astonishment, there was nothing in the AppStore. After more research, I also found out that it took hours to create a Cinemagraph in Photoshop.
Within two weeks I created a UI mockup for an iPhone App, got a pitch deck together, and managed to raise our first 250k of seed funding from a group of Angel investors. Six months later I had a worldclass tech team, an amazing app with over 100,000 downloads and we were engaging a passionate community of living photo artists and enthusiasts.

What is the most important advice you’d give a first time entrepreneur?

To quote Dave McLure, build a team that includes a worldclass hacker, hustler and designer. The is the formula at Flixel and its comforting to know that each of these core disciplines is covered by a person the rest of us can completely rely on to deliver. There is too much to do in a small team to be worrying about your co-founder’s deliverables.

Why/how did you become an entrepreneur?

I’ve always enjoyed the process of starting projects from nothing and seeing them evolve from an idea into something concrete that actually has an impact on my intended customers.
Happy customer testimonials give meaning to all the hard work that goes into creating a new product. It is a reward hard to find in a regular job.

What success are you most proud of since starting your company?

Shipping, Shipping and more Shipping! It’s the only way to learn and improve your product and get to market fit.

Favourite coffee shop in King West?

Zoe's

Favourite lunch in King West?

Still Zoe's. Love that place.