Today we’re live in Waterloo at VeloCity’s Spring 2013 Venture Fund Finals. 10 startups are vying for a total prize of $100,000 – there will be a total of 4 winners who’ll each be granted $25,000. Below is a complete list of the ten startups, plus a brief background on each. The event will start at 12:00pm.
Co-founded by Abhilash Jayakumar and Emmanuel DeVries, Blacktree Health is focused on building consumer focused biofeedback tools for stress & anxiety management. While the startup had previously evaluated a variety of personal health business concepts before settling upon their approach to stress management, Blacktree features a robust advisory board – including AIM Health Group Director of Physiology Zach Weston, and noted University of Waterloo Economics Professor Larry Smith. Both DeVries and Jayakumar are UW grad with work experience in the Waterloo tech community (read: RIM).
GoPexo has jumped into the booming travel space with an online collaborate trip planner. The service provides a variety of tools (idea board, itinerary planning and cost splitting) to allow friends and family members to hammer out the logistics of their trip. Founders Yat Choi and Jeffrey Tong are currently enrolled at the University of Waterloo.
Kite is a cloud service offering the ability to build and launch web apps. Kite boasts the ability to maintain the entire development environment in the cloud, allowing for easy maintenance and sharing of Rails, Django or Nodejs projects from any machine with Kite installed. Like a Dropbox for development, Kite also allows developers the ability to work locally with their favourite tools, keeping things organized through simple synchronization.
Banking on the recent explosion of the digital P2P currency, LibertyBit has built a Bitcoin currency exchange. LibertyBit touts their security and affordable exchange fees as key differentiators. Paul Szczesny, Founder and CEO at LibertyBit, is outspoken and engaging, with a background in software engineering.
Redro is looking to disrupt the restaurant business by providing a mobile social ordering platform for both businesses and consumers. The service allows users to discover and order what their friends are eating, while offering discovery, engagement, and payment tools for local restaurants.
Sesame IO offers a centralized web service for learning and education management in the K-12 age group. Sesame IO offers simple curriculum building and tracking tools, as well as the ability to construct student portfolios for individualized learning. Sesamie IO is currently in beta now for tech-savvy teachers.
SoundBrush is an iPad application looking to simplify music production with an intuitive, gesture-based interface. With SoundBrush, users can literally zoom, scroll and draw their musical creation into life. Similar to Garage Band, SoundBrush offers a robust instrument pack, as well as a built-in song sharing platform. SoundBrush is available on the iTunes App Store today.
Tessoll is another entrant into the mobile email space, offering what it calls an ‘intelligent inbox’. Tessoll purports to be a fully automated email management system, organizing your inbox in real-time to only display what’s important as it is needed. Tessoll is currently accepting applicants for its closed beta.
Wriber is a tool for writers who can’t write well. The service aims to lower the barrier to content creation by offering suggestions and questions to prompt inspiration and help structure content flow. Wriber founder John Zupancic says he is currently exploring both WordPress integration and a premium option for the service. Wriber is currently accepting applicants for its beta program, and has already raised $50,000 from private investors and the Waterloo Accelerator Centre.
Planleaf is a B2B service provider, offering an email-based project management solution. Planleaf will be launching in private beta soon.
In addition, part of this experience is Demo Day which sees another $3,000 up for grab that’s reserved for University of Waterloo students and their startup ideas: Closet Explorer, Flow, StudyMe, tl;dr, Diggos, Neverfrost and Shocklock.
Update: NeverFrost captured the $2,000 with the “Most Innovative product” and the “People’s Choice award,” plus “Flow” picked up $1,000 for the best Pitch!
Douglas Soltys contributed to this post.