HYON, founded by Kristy Ehman in 2019, is creating a significant impact on the way used goods are handled by individuals and organizations.
Previously developed as software to streamline large sales events by managing processes such as “tagging items, coordinating volunteers, and managing payouts,” HYON has now pivoted to a broader goal – that is to allow people to get rid of their used goods without the inconvenience of having to sell the items themselves.
“The tech that we had built was far more valuable than the idea of using it solely for events, and we wanted to capture a larger market,” Ehman explains. “You still see people meeting in parking lots, exchanging cash, and bartering on-site for used goods. HYON aims to modernize how these used goods are being circulated.”
HYON allows consumers to buy used goods from verified sellers with the option for insurance and delivery. Customers can be individuals, businesses, and even government organizations who have processes for waste disposal or sustainability initiatives.
One of the initiatives that HYON participated in was the Innovation Saskatchewan Made in Saskatchewan Technology (MIST) program, enabling the organization to work with and build a collaborative relationship with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Saskbuilds & Procurement, who saw the potential in their idea.
“There was support from the top, and we understood the challenges from the bottom as we were able to work with senior leadership as well as those who manage the goods day to day,” shared Ehman. “There was always collaboration, and we never could have done that without MIST. Innovation Saskatchewan gave us the stage to gain support for what we’re doing at HYON,” she adds.
Having won the Co.Launch finale in 2018 through Co.Labs, then raising capital through the Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive, an aggressive angel investment program, along with many other supports from the ecosystem like the Cultivator (powered by Conexus), Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) Founders Table, Industrial Research Assistance Program (by National Research Council of Canada), and mentors, HYON has seen tremendous success in its early stages.
“Three to five years from now, I think we can win the used-goods space in Canada as we continue to keep items out of landfills and improve our carbon footprint,” Ehman stated. Even during COVID, HYON continues to thrive with much determination for growth. “There is potential for international expansion. We’re now meeting with stakeholders and conducting research to see how the international landscape will look like for us.”
The one piece of advice that Ehman could give to new tech companies looking to join the ecosystem is to, “Talk to the people who you think will buy what you’re building. Understand how they solve this problem today and whether they’ll pay to make a change.”
Founder: Kristy Ehman
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