A Closer Look at ideaBOOST’s Newly Graduated Second Cohort


ideaBOOST’s second cohort graduated this week after an in intense four-month bootcamp. The six companies took the stage to pitch a room full of investors, potential strategic partners and users at the Launch Pad event which took place at Steam Whistle Brewing Company in Toronto.

CFC Media Lab’s ideaBOOST is a digital entertainment accelerator program aimed at building technology platforms, interactive applications and products that will power tomorrow’s digital entertainment industry.

CBC’s Q-host Jian Ghomeshi returned to host the Launch Pad event. He kicked off the ceremonies joking about how refreshing it was to be talking about something other than the Mayor of Toronto before the companies each took the stage for their seven-minute pitches.

The six companies in ideaBOOST’s Spring 2013 cohort showcased a mix of consumer-facing solutions aimed at building communities around media and the arts and back-end systems that equipped content creators to bring their ideas to market.

Many of the companies pitching at the Launch Pad were looking for assistance in growing their user base and getting the message out about their offering rather than investment. This was the case for BeMused, an online discovery network for local artists to help them better self promote their performances. It was also something mobile app development platform, Lightning Platform – the WordPress for Apps was looking for from the crowd.

Kevin Kilman, founder of Instaradio, was also looking to get help in spreading the word about his app. Kilman’s audio app lets anyone create their own radio station by recording and broadcasting live content with the touch of a button. Kilman took the stage and vocalized his desire to have at least a dozen of Instaradio stations rival the likes of Corus in the next year. His ambitious goal was a pretty bold move to take in a room full of broadcasters and media company execs.

But his app may have the potential of doing it. Instaradio is hitting a couple of sweet spots in the user-generated digital space including concert and festival go-ers; kids singing covers; and those attending spoken word events like politics and stand-up comedy nights. The app already has over 50,000 users after only being in the iTunes app store for two months in Beta and an Android app is coming in about a month.

Most notable of the night were two entrepreneurs and art-lovers, Sophie Perceval and Olivier Berger, the duo behind Wondereur. Wondereur is an online destination curating art and selling it through rich storytelling meant to elicit the same emotional response you get from art you see in a gallery. The team took the stage with a slick and sexy presentation aimed at getting investor. The iPhone, iPad and web experience has already received a lot of attention from the media from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Monocle and the Globe and Mail. The team have also closed some important partnerships with Koffler, OCAD, AGO and Corus.

As one cohort ended another began. CFC Media Lab’s Chief Digital Officer, Ana Serrano welcomed the third ideaBOOST cohort at the event. Among the Fall 2013 companies are 360-degree panoramic camera Bublcam and L.A.R.G.E. Location-based AR Gaming engine. BetaKit covered the complete list for this cohort in an article earlier this week.

Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

As a writer, consultant and community builder, Tom Emrich uses his passion for new technologies to act as a catalyst to bring on the future. He founded We Are Wearables, an organization that rallies the tech community together to discover, discuss and demo wearable tech in order to foster adoption and facilitate innovation in the wearable space. We Are Wearables is the largest wearable tech community of its kind in the world with chapters in Toronto, Ottawa and Chicago. Tom writes regularly about wearables and other emerging technologies for MobileSyrup, BetaKit, Design News and Designers of Things. He also works with startups, and large organizations as an advisor and consultant offering assistance on product development, marketing and organizational strategy.