When Patrick Payne, 57, graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in music (guitar is his instrument of choice), he never imagined he’d end up creating and leading one of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies. In 2013, professional services firm Deloitte recognized Payne’s Vancouver-based QuickMobile for its incredible growth: more than 10,000 percent in five years, plus its staff ballooned from 15 people in 2010 to 175 today.
Payne’s musical skills provided his entrance into the world of software in 1987 when he wrote the score for a video game. He went on to manage Ericsson’s mobile and Internet division in Belgium for five years and eventually created QuickMobile in 2006. The company’s first notable project was a Web app for the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, followed by an iPad app for Accenture’s Global C.I.O. Forum in 2010. “That was the first event app for the iPad,” Payne says. “And we basically haven’t been able to keep up with business since.”
QuickMobile’s clients now include Coca-Cola, Oracle, Toyota, and the Professional Convention Management Association. Its suite of products continues to expand: In 2013, the company released MobilePlanner, an app that allows planners to manage documents, vendor contracts, maps, photos, schedules, and menus; MobileVenue, an app venues can provide for their guests that includes property maps, schedules, and nearby attractions; and MobileEvent, which creates a master app for a client who can then use the self-service system to customize it for multiple events.