Technology that aims to help athletes improve through big data, and software that improves the end-user visual experience of video shared $100,000 in prize money at the latest Communitech Rev Demo Day pitch competition yesterday.
Communitech’s Demo Day offers companies who are participating in the Communitech Rev program a chance to pitch their growing business to an audience mixed with peers, Waterloo Region business leaders, and, most importantly, investors from across Canada and the world. This edition of Demo Day was hosted during Communitech’s Tech Leadership Conference, which invited global speakers like Netflix’s Patty McCord, and homegrown leaders like Future Design School’s Sarah Prevette.
TritonWear was the big winner, taking home $60,000 at the end of the event. The creator and maker of the Triton unit – a wearable device that tracks and collects performance data on an athlete and sends the data to a coach’s tablet, will be using the funds to continue focus on growth and sales.
TritonWear CEO and founder Tristan Lehari, a former athlete, noted that people often focus on the final outcomes, but the best and most effective way to actually improve is to make calculated, purposeful changes in actions.
Communitech #revdemoday judging kicking off! pic.twitter.com/qipbX4iTXi
— Roger Chabra (@rchabra) May 10, 2017
“We provide action on data. But first, you need highly accurate data,” Lehari said. “We can pinpoint an athlete’s weaknesses and show them how to improve using their own data, as well as bring in competitive and general athletic data.”
SSimWave ended up taking home $40,000. SSimWave is working to create the standard for how video quality is measured, and is already being used and piloted by content creators and distributors on various platforms. Its Q1 2017 revenue reached $6 million, and they predict a quick growth curve.
Saj Jamal, VP of marketing for SSimWave, noted that the work they are doing allows video distributors and creators to ensure that the highest quality content is being viewed by their audiences. Its suite of products allows companies to monitor video quality and provide video in an optimized format for quality and bandwidth consumption.
“Our tools accurately measure how companies deliver a viewing experience,” said Jamal. “This all benefits the consumer in that they will get the highest quality of content.”
“Companies come in to the Rev program. They know they have a good product. They have customers interested. How are they going to tackle marketing?”
The judges included Techstars’ David Brown, Real Ventures’ Janet Bannister, Rho Canada Ventures’ Roger Chabra, and Golden Venture Partners’ Jamie Rosenblatt. While they conferred on the pitches and chose the winners, Demo Day attendees were treated to pitches from four grads of the Communitech Fierce Founders Accelerator, which focuses on empowering women-led companies. Pitches that night included BridesMade, Binary Tattoo, Borealis Wind, and Squiggle Park, who graduated from the accelerator in March.
Launched four years ago, The Fierce Founders program started as a series of bootcamps for companies with women leadership, and last year, the program launched an accelerator to help Fierce Founder bootcamp grads continue to build out their businesses.
Danielle Graham, the Women in Tech program manager at Communitech, runs the Fierce Founders program. “We want to see more tangible increases for our region,” in terms of female leadership, Graham said. “In 2014, Communitech saw female leadership in only eight percent of member startups and in November of 2016, we saw that number go up to 23 percent.”
One outcome that Communitech is working towards with the Fierce Founders accelerator is growing the number of female leaders applying to later stage programs. “The accelerator will support more female founders to get through customer validation, product development, and commercialization to reach the point where they would be eligible for our revenue and sales focused Rev accelerator program,” Graham said.
Rev, which began as a program to help fledgling companies ready to scale to revenue, has evolved into a program to provide focused sales and marketing mentorship and practical learning to create repeatable, automated, and credible sales processes and cycles in later stage startups.
Rev’s mission is to help more mature startups get on a path toward $100 million in revenue, which aligns with Waterloo Region’s target of seven to 10 $100 million companies in the next seven to 10 years.
“Companies come in to the Rev program. They know they have a good product. They have customers interested. How are they going to tackle marketing? How are they going to tackle sales growth? How are they going to target the right market? How can they scale and grow?” said Steve McCartney, VP of Startup Services at Communitech