So I was intrigued when I saw the launch announcement for Toronto-based startup Spenz, billed as "Mint for Gen Y" by founder Justin Hein. The app aims to answer the question "where did my money go" by helping you track your spending by category. The app launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City last month, and was the only Canadian company chosen to present on stage. Hein says the app is targeted specifically at college and university students who are getting their first dose of money management.
Because Birchbox doesn't deliver to Canadians' doors, the opportunity was open for Loose Button founder Ray Cao. He re-focused the company and debuted a similar product, Luxe Box, earlier this year to a select group of invite-only testers. Now Loose Button has rebranded it as "Luxe Box by Loose Button" and its opening the "luxury beauty products for everyone" service to the public.
Let's be honest, it's hard to tell people what you actually want for your birthday. Your crazy aunt, parents and best friend all want to know what to get you, but instead of saying "a new Macbook" like you really want to, you say "oh nothing, maybe some socks." And when you're buying a gift for a friend, whether for a birthday or other occasion, you're usually searching for a reasonably priced bottle of wine, instead of getting them something they actually want (although let's get serious - everyone likes wine).
This spring when I realized that by George, I might actually have enough to buy a place this decade, I set out to learn as much as I could about the home-buying process. While researching, I discovered a couple Toronto-based startups that are making buying a home a simple process for potential buyers, both pre- and post-purchase.
Although video is a huge part of the Web 2.0 landscape (hello YouTube and Vimeo), so far the videos themselves have lacked interaction. While you can post a comment under a video and share the entire thing with your friends, there's no easy way to interact with your social graph within the video and share only the pieces you find relevant. Toronto startup LeanIn is aiming to make video more social, or as they say "more fun with friends."
Toronto-based Tigits provides a secondary, changeable phone number to people who are looking for security and privacy on their phone. Subscribers' real phone number is masked by a set of temporary digits (hence Tigits - get it?). I entered my name and phone number, and in about 10 seconds I had my new Tigits phone number and voicemail PIN. Finally, anonymity is mine!