Lurniture took home top prize at the recent Startup Next Toronto demo day, held at the MaRS Discovery District. The six-week pre-accelerator program is intensive and punishing, with a focus on helping founders with great ideas get their house in order to become great companies. As a media sponsor, BetaKit wrote at length about the process here, but here’s what #NextTO program organizer Nathan Monk had to say.
“Our role at Startup Next is to tear-down business models and founder egos.”
“Our role at Startup Next is to tear-down business models and the founder egos associated with them,” said Monk, also a senior strategist at #NextTO partner MaRS. “We force founders to get real customer data to purposely build themselves back up much stronger. There is no other pre-accelerator program like it in the world.”
While the six other startups taking part in #NextTO’s fourth cohort (Zeitdice, Robot Playtime, TapReport, Rewordly, TranQool, and Ziversity) delivered compelling presentations on why they were ready for the next step, it was Lurniture CEO and founder David Bloom’s impassioned pitch that won over the judges – not an easy task for a Salesforce-based coaching and enablement platform. Bloom was quick to attribute the win to the tight-knit community formed over the course of six weeks.
“I came in not sure what to expect,” Bloom said. “I was caught massively off-guard. In the last five weeks I have made massive shifts to [Lurniture’s] go-to-market strategy, not just from the mentors but the feedback from all the other founders. It didn’t feel like a competition at all.”
That said, Bloom will have to be ready compete, as the #NextTO heads down to New York this Friday for a Startup Next Canada Demo Day hosted by Techstars. They’ll be joined by five startups from the recent Startup Next Montreal cohort (Nukern, Ask PAM, Crema, RentHunt, and WealthTab), each equally hungry for U.S. exposure and investment dollars. When posed with that challenge, Bloom displayed the calm confidence that served him so well during #NextTO.
“We took Toronto, let’s take New York.”
Hoping to attend the Startup Next Canada Demo Day but can’t make it? Want to learn more about the Startup Next program? BetaKit is producing a podcast in conjunction with Startup Next Toronto to give you the goods! Sign up using the form below so we can let you know when the podcast is live.