Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey by launching a technology-based business but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nicolas Gonzalez Thomas, founder, and CEO of Spliqs Intelligent Media, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Nicolas is also an active pianist, composer, and improviser.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At Spliqs, we care about human potential and believe that creativity is an overlooked aspect of human well-being. Everyone is creative. We started building AI-rich tools for people to experience creative joy in music for musicians and non-musicians. We used these core technologies to create a well-being product called Halo to support people in the pandemic.

We are currently working towards expanding this core AI tech to other problems that require the augmentation of human creative potential. Technology has always been a fundamental tool that extends and augments human creative potential, and AI is not here to do things for us. It is another tool that will enable a quantum leap in creative expression but not only in the arts; we see every aspect of human endeavor to be expanded by the collaboration and interaction between humans and AI. Think city planning, rocket design, all industrial design, home interior decoration, architecture, business strategy, and negotiation, etc.

Tell us about yourself

My motivation, which Spliqs shares, has to do with the frustration with current digital tools combined with rich visions of how they could be different. This sparked an entrepreneurship pursuit that compelled me to leave a very comfortable career in tech consulting and venture into creating what I saw was possible. Having personally tasted what a creative collaboration with AI could do motivated me to provide this to others. Early in my experiments with creative AI, I developed a prototype to help me compose music for an ensemble of musicians. In one month, I was able to produce what would have taken me four, and at a much higher quality than I could have without it. This music was performed in a professional setting side by side with the best composers in the city, a feat that, as an amateur composer, I could not have a dream be possible.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating tools that people love, even if that is for a small group of people at the moment. We have reached several significant milestones on the business side of things, but it is behind us as soon as that is accomplished, and we are still facing another mountain. So the biggest gratification comes from people's lives improved by something you create. We have received very positive messages from users, and that makes it all worth the effort.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I'm not sure I can generally speak as a 'business owner' as some traditional businesses face very different challenges. But as an entrepreneur innovating in the tech space, the biggest challenge is materializing a vision into an actual thing that solves a problem. And if you're pushing against an old paradigm, people, and principally investors, don't see the situation in the first place. I was dreaming, literally at night, that I was interacting with amazing AI tools back in the year 2000. Twenty years later, the world is barely catching on to conceiving these tools as a mainstream thing.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

There should be three different tips for each stage, start, run, grow. But for 'start':

  1. Focus on a problem that you can see that there is no great solution for, and you think you can create it if you have the resources. Preferably have a passion for this problem, but that's not a requirement. You could have a passion for solving any problem people care about.
  2. Don't worry too much about how you will get the resources and focus on being part of the network of people dabbling in that space. There's a community out there of people thinking about the same problems on every issue you can imagine.
  3. Put all the pieces together in a draft that you can keep improving on, like a Lean Canvas. And talk to people, network of makers, investors, etc.; if you're onto something, a minority of people will get excited. Be motivated by the process and enjoy it because it's ups and downs with no ending... turtles all the way down!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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