Going on a virtual tour of Canada’s largest race simulation venue is very impressive in itself let alone when you learn the inspiring story behind this “fast and furious” business that is rich in car culture.
The beautiful lobby is adorned with lots of car memorabilia, and their 3,000sq/ft venue is home to 12 mixed-reality, full-motion cockpits. Whether you prefer Formula, GT3, Touring, or Karts, TracksVR can put you on one of their 50+ world famous tracks in the car of your choice.
In the main venue, there is a spacious lounge where corporations can hold one of a kind, unique, and ever-lasting experiences of team building exercises or planning sessions or board retreats.
TracksVR Virtual Racing Inc. opened its doors in 2018, in Calgary, Alberta, by Howard Trawick, the visionary founder and his wife (co-partner), out of passion for car racing and virtual reality. His deeply ingrained love of car racing started while growing up in Alberta at an era when there were many more car racing activities and events. He was hooked ever since and naturally progressed through a 25-year career in the car industry.
With a dedicated team of tech savvy, VR loving, and car racing enthusiasts, their vision encompasses mashing VR and racing together into a seamless offering for their customers, by fully immersing them into the driver's seat of a racecar with full motion unique experience. An idea that was born out of a trip to the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in 2015.
Explained best by Howard: “I wanted to create a sim racing venue that can bring the racetrack to people, to provide them with the actual feeling of being a racecar driver and feel like an athlete, while we build a community at the same time.”
Technology is one of the most powerful competitive advantages they enjoy. With the addition of VR, they’ve got a lot of wizardry going on in the background to run all this and they can start all of the machines at the same time, and everyone can race on the same track simultaneously. Thus, adding that additional level of immersion for all race drivers. With the VR headsets, everywhere you look, the generated world is there, and especially in racing, that is paramount. With a VR headset, you can turn your head anywhere and you are still fully immersed in the experience. This unique technology enables them to do streaming and eSports.
Excellent customer service is a major factor in their competitive advantage quiver, as they not only say it, they actually live it and breath it, day in and day out.
Described best in Howard’s own words: “I know everybody says it, but you have to live it. You must be passionate about what you are selling. That comes through to your customers when you look after them, they feel it.”
With an abundance of ambitions, this innovative Alberta business has plenty of futuristic visions to wow us. Opening more branches around Alberta, branching out to other provinces, even possibilities of franchising, in addition to some amazing new and innovative ideas of diversification. But we will just keep those under wraps for now.
Howard’s sage advice to fellow Albertan small businesses: “in crisis lies opportunity, and when you need help, ask for help. That’s part of community building.”
As per his goodbye bidding to people when leaving:
“don't drive out there like you did in here.”
Although this melodious small Albertan business officially started in 2019, the foundations of the business have been laying down for the last 16 years, by Daniel Jackson, founder of and lead educator at “Revolution Music International”.
Daniel had the passion for music since he was six years old due to the influence of his father. He became a travelling music educator. It was during that time when he noticed that many of the music lovers, he was teaching, were missing some fundamental aspects of playing instruments. So, he felt compelled to impart this essential knowledge and ability to others. He started writing music instruction books, since most of the books available in the market were lacking in that area.
Some of his former students who excelled, demonstrated the potential to teach as well. But how would they know what or how to teach? He needed to come up with a strategy to help them to not only hone their own musical skills, but also their teaching skills and leadership abilities. Hence, his slogan “making musicians into leaders.”
With the help of God, some experienced business mentors, friends, and his wife, Daniel started developing a whole music school around this concept. Which proved to be the launching pad of his music business career for the last 16 years. That too was the inspiration behind the business’s mission “to help musicians and aspiring musicians to learn, get paid, and to grow.”
Revolution Music International teaches various aspects and instruments of music, to name a few: guitar, bass, piano, drums and voice lessons. Their focus is on four basic elements of musicianship which are emotional quality, music theory, practicality, and mathematics while combining it with leadership and character-building principles, because these are traits that need to intertwine with being a well-rounded musician.
What sets Revolution Music International apart from their competition?
They not only provide music students with excellent teachers, but also provide online videos to accompany the lessons. They have successfully created a hybrid service model that helps students learn in person, then augment their learning with an online video recording of their newly acquired skills, thus, bonding the two together and solidifying the learning experience.
Another distinct competitive advantage they enjoy over their competition is the combination of the leadership development and character building into music lessons so that students, especially children and teenagers, would be able to go out into the world and be effective in whatever they do, even if it had nothing to do with music. They want to see their students become more than just musicians but become well-rounded effective persons in their life.
Dan’s final words to fellow Albertan small businesses is: “Don't give up. Keep persevering. Make sure to take the training necessary to do anything you can do to keep improving yourself, achieving excellence, and keeping your costs low. If there's something that you cannot do, farm it out to others who can. But always, always try to manage yourself well.”
Courtesy of Alberta Chambers of Commerce