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Four Toronto startups looking for the big break

Posted by Robyn Urback / September 13, 2012

Toronto startupsCall it a less theatrical, Kevin O'Leary-less take on a Dragon's Den sort of setup. Four startups got their shots at a crowd of investors yesterday, assembled at the Toronto Stock Exchange for [IN]cubes Demo Day.

The scene was mostly suits and cold sweats (predominantly backstage, for the latter) as each presenter prepped to take the stage after months of incubation. Or rather, [IN]cubation? Here's a look at the four startups that made their pitches on Demo Day.

A Pinterest addict's dream. Hovr attempts to remedy that awful Pinterest (or similar website) frustration of finding something you like, but have no idea of where to buy. As a browser add-on and mobile app, Hovr lets you "hover" over the image of a coveted item (say, a perfect little black dress), and gives you a list of comparables that can be instantly purchased online. The mobile app can also be set to send an alert when you are close to a retail store with said LBD in stock. A somewhat juxtaposed take on the impulse buy?

Event Holler
This one's for event planners, organizers, and general party people. Event Holler is an event management and ticketing system that lets planner create their event on the system for free. Connected to a network of promoters, planners can set ticket amounts and promoter commissions before, essentially, waiting for RSVPs to roll in. The organizer just pays when a ticket is sold. Event Holler has been operating in beta since July, with the average promoter reaching 885 people.

And speaking of party people, MyGoodNight is for those who want to plan a night out on their own. Still in stealth mode for now, the guide will allow users to browse honed lists of night-out-options based on the preferences they plug in. The platform will integrate information from social media, venues, promoters, publishers, artists and more, while offering the option to purchase tickets online and share the plans your night out. For those who don't mind the occasional party crasher, of course.

GameDay Interactive
Something to occupy your interest during those too-frequent sports commercial breaks. GameDay Interactive is an app that allows users to interact with broadcasters, team reps, and other viewers in real time while watching the game. Users participate in a social media quiz where they can try to predict what will happen next in the game (such, "I bet the Leafs will blow this power play") and answer questions about sponsors (oh hey there, advertisers) with the opportunity to win prizes. Participants log in via their Facebook pages.

So, what do you think? Would you give any of these burgeoning companies capital to expand?

Screengrab from the Hovr app



James / September 13, 2012 at 08:20 pm
The reason that "MyGoodNight" is classified as a startup is beyond me
Dmitri replying to a comment from James / September 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm
talkic.com / September 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm
Any other events like this in Toronto where one might be able to pimp their startup?
Stra / September 14, 2012 at 08:22 am
I can see Hovr and Gameday succeeding. Not so sure about the other two.
TBG / September 14, 2012 at 08:53 am
Already started using Hovr, though haven't bought just yet. It's pretty slick. Comparables are there, it's fast, and it's easy. When they get all the items, this thing will take off.
molly / September 14, 2012 at 03:55 pm
hey! check out the Canadian Innovation Exchange! it's a fantastic event where VC's/Angels/Investors help fund start-ups like yours.
check out the website: www.canadianinnovationexchange.com

Hope to see you there!
Sabrina / September 15, 2012 at 09:54 am
love the idea of MyGoodnight! sounds so cool!
Markus / September 16, 2012 at 06:57 pm
I had a talk with those guys from MyGoodNight end of the Demo Day .. I love what they are building, specially for people like me who love to follow my favorite artists. At first I thought they are like every other club sites, but what they are building is truly beyond that. I am waiting to see their mobile version.

I like the Hovr guys and their presentation as well, very well put.

I think all four startup has great potential, I guess they need to show some traction to get some funds.
Jeremy Campbell / September 18, 2012 at 04:58 pm
I really enjoyed the demo day, great pitches and people behind these companies.

I too am a big fan of Hovr!

I was in the original INcubes and it was a great experience, and I continue to get value for my company so I would recommend it to startups looking for a good partner!

Stacey / October 4, 2012 at 12:26 am
there is actually a really great social media start-up called www.mysocialpassport.com
The founder use to live in Toronto and set the site up so travelers can meet others when on journeys, and as a 'forum' of sorts to share stories
Other Cities: Montreal