Category Archives: Featured Startups

Featured Startup: Sniply

 Do you share content on social media? Like so many others, you are probably doing an amazing job driving traffic to other people’s websites.

Content curation has become an important part of social media. People share great content across the web to establish thought leadership and become a source of credible information for their followers.

While curation is great, it does take time. The challenge is that no one knows how to calculate, or even generate a return on investment for the time spent in curating content. At Sniply, we are making this possible with a new approach to link sharing.

 

laptop

Sniply is a simple tool that lets you embed your own message and call-to-action into any page on the web. For example, as you share an article from Mashable, you can use Sniply to embed a custom message and link back to your own website directly within Mashable. All you have to do is to input the URL of the page into Sniply, type a message, and Sniply will give you a special link which contains the article with your message inside.

mike               chris               nigel2

Sniply was founded in early 2014 by three Next 36 alumni, Michael Cheng, Christopher Bowal and Nigel Gutzmann. Michael specializes in product design while Chris and Nigel take the charge on software development. Within 4 months post-launch, Sniply already attracted thousands of users, acquired two of their competitors and expanded their team from 3 to 10 people.

Sniply links have generated over 1.3 million clicks so far and you can expect a conversion rate of 7-10% with every link you share. The best thing about Sniply is that you can share great content from your favourite sites but still drive traffic back to your own website.

Last but not least, Sniply is free to use! Check out this short video on how it works:

Featured Startup: speakme

You read an interesting article online. You get to the end, and your eye glosses over the comment section, because you know it’s full of spam and rage.

You see someone’s thoughtful input on a reddit post, think to yourself: “wow, I feel exactly the same way.” And completely forget their username 5 minutes later.

You send an email or text message, and you’re surprised to find out the recipient was upset because your tone got lost in translation.

While anonymity and text communication serve crucial purposes online, it shouldn’t be universal. At speakme, we want to make the world feel smaller by giving you a way to truly connect.

speakme is a social video experience where users collaborate in global discussions about anything and everything they care about. Members login with social media profiles, and record videos of up to 30 seconds about topics that matter to them. Others publicly respond via their own recorded videos, and these responses play sequentially, creating a full, vibrant conversation; less like a bulletin board, and more like a dinner conversation with familiar faces. By combining users’ social media presences with face- to-face interactions, we are seeking to make the internet a friendlier, more engaging, and collaborative place.

2908d72zack

 

 

 

 

 

The team starts with two co-founders, Zack and Adam Fisch. Adam’s focus is on product, UI, marketing, and finance. He has a JD from Western University and spent several years doing investment research. Zack is technical manager, with knowledge in HTML, CSS and Python, and a degree in History from the University of Waterloo.

screen3speakme is working with GrandBright Software, a development firm in Richmond Hill, Ontario, to bring the idea to life. GrandBright’s two principals each have over 20 years’ experience in developing enterprise applications.

speakme is currently looking to bring on a technical cofounder, as we ramp up prototype testing and prepare for beta launch in the coming weeks. If you or someone you know wants to know more, please get in touch!

Check out this great video on speakme:

AppSeed – From sketches to functioning prototypes!

An app that automates your sketches into functioning prototypes. Letting you create, prototype and test faster.

AppSeed exists to speed up how you create, test and share your ideas. We love the process and seeing how ideas start and grow with a team. We wanted to build a tool that builds on what designers currently do, and uses the processing power of your phone to take some of the manual labour out of going from a sketch to a prototype. We wanted to let you have an idea in a meeting and show it on device right away, letting you focus on your idea, not how to get it on device.

 

AppSeed uses computer vision to make the process of going from a sketch to a prototype faster and smarter. Using OpenCV, AppSeed:

Captures your sketched design

Identifies contained areas of your sketch and allows you to make them into a number of UI elements, including: Buttons | Maps | Streetview | Form text inputs with more to be added based on your feedback

Allows you to run the prototype on your mobile device

Allows you to share the prototype as an HTML5 prototype with others

Send the designs to a layered Photoshop file for editing

The Team

This app is the brainchild of Greg Goralski, technical lead and project director. Design, product consulting & support is provided by Adam Leon from Transmitter Studios. Dru Langemann was the cameraman for our video which was edited by Matei Kajs.

Greg Goralski – @greggoralski

Greg is an interactive media professor at Humber College and is fascinated with the creative process. He has won gold at the National Post Design Exchange Awards for is previous work on architectural visualization tool, IN_situ. He is an alumni of the Interactive Project Lab and holds an MBA from Ryerson University.

He is also co-author of Foundation Flex for Designers and Foundation Flash Catalyst.

Adam Leon – @trnsmttr

With industry experience beginning in 1996, Adam has been involved in all facets of online media such as design and development, motion graphics, art direction, and project management. His educational background is in audio engineering, computer graphics, and interactive multimedia, and a residency at the Canadian Film Centre’s new media lab.

Adam was Schools Without Borders’ volunteer of the year in 2010 and the co-publisher of A FACE A NAME: Artists Doing Well and Good. He is an instructor of Animation For The Web and Digital Media Branding Strategies at Humber College and is a proud FACTOR jury member.

Are you an iOS Developer? Vidoyen is looking for you!

Happy Sunday! It’s the weekend, and we’ve got another job posting for you. Vidoyen, a start-up that uses short videos to educate and to promote public education. They are looking for a new iOS Developer. Details on the job description:

iOS Developer

Based in Canada, Remote / Toronto, Ontario – Full Time                                                                   

Vidoyen is looking for an experienced and energetic iOS developer to spearhead our mobile efforts and bring our video Q&A platform to iOS.

Our ideal candidate has a track record of leading iOS development efforts within a team environment, takes pride in sharing the apps they’ve been involved in building, and is comfortable in turning high level requirements into clean, maintainable and modular code.

Responsibilities: 

  • Work with a dynamic software development team to define requirements, translate to quality code, test and deploy iOS and mobile web applications
  • Help integrate with and refine our proprietary RESTful API for synchronization of user and content data
  • Interact with product owners to convey technical issues affecting functionality and timelines
  • Integrate with our technical, respect existing standards and processes, but also bring a fresh perspective to the table to help improve happiness and productivity within the team
  • Keep up to date with technology and mobile trends, specifically as they pertain to Apple’s product changes, AppStore policies, open source iOS projects and best practices

Required Skills and Experience:

  • 1+ year of iOS development experience or an impressive portfolio in lieu
  • Some experience in scripting or interpreted languages (Ruby, Python, Perl)
  • Experience in building complex iOS applications, including data synchronized with a remote source, functionality degradation in offline mode, integration with social APIs and video capture/editing
  • Experience writing unit tests, integration tests on iOS
  • Knowledge of and strong desire to follow best practices in iOS and client/server development

Nice to Have:

  • Experience with Ruby on Rails, HTML5 and related technologies
  • Knowledge of or experience with video processing and transcoding technologies
  • Strong sense of how to integrate open source in an iOS app to enhance developer productivity, and code maintainability/modularity
  • Personal apps or “side projects” built to solve a personal need
  • University or college level education in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a related field

To apply, send us your resume, LinkedIn profile URL and/or some links to applications you’ve been involved in building.

careers@vidoyen.com

Interested?

Here’ s a little about the company, Vidoyen:

Vidoyen is a social Q&A video platform, founded by Arshia Tabrizi, a leading tech and venture lawyer in Toronto, previously with Wilson Sonsini in Silicon Valley, and our CTO is Mike Jarema, a tech whiz and one of the first employees at Xtreme Labs.

Vidoyen is a fast and easy platform enabling 1-2 minute video answers from curated experts to questions from the public and is integrated with Facebook and Twitter. We provide trusted video content from curated contributors and operate as a social purpose business focused on public education and informed opinion and debate.

Although not in full launch (public beta for a few months) we have some media coverage already: http://www.torontostandard.com/the-sprawl/vidoyen.

We have big plans and looking to grow our team!

 

Day Job: Being an entrepreneur in the Toronto ecosystem

The folks at Fidelity Format have been working non stop the past few months filming a documentary about the five startups in Extreme Startup‘s  Fall 2012 cohort. In their own words “it’s been extra nuts for us trying to capture everything that encompasses being an entrepreneur in the Toronto ecosystem”

DAY JOB – Sneak Peek from Fidelity Format on Vimeo.

We look forward to seeing this documentary hit the big screen soon! Enjoy the sneak peek above!

Kiinzel is looking for a Co-Founder / CTO

A few months ago we posted about Kiinzel in our Featured Startups. They’re now looking for a CTO/Co-Founder to help lead the evolution of their platform and lead their technical team on this journey. Check out the posting for this position on Startup North!

There’s a new kid on the block with speed and agility who passionately wants to disrupt traditional classified sites with a social commerce platform that’s intuitive, super fast and trustworthy. This new startup is an online person-to-person marketplace for trading, buying and selling unwanted items socially. This company’s mission is to turn anyone into an entrepreneur, while encouraging bartering through offline interactions for more sustainable living; their vision is to provide a vehicle for collaborative goal achievement – say what? Marlina Kinnersley, CEO, explains:

“Swapping happens all around us, between people all over the world throughout our lives because we want something we deem valuable that someone else has. Together we can trade our unused items for something we will treasure.”

Users will be able to create a store, post for free, specify their wish lists and ultimate goal, share their swap or sale items socially and achieve their goals through uptrading activity.


“Marlina has a really innovative and compelling concept here, and she is looking for some talented developers/coders who are excited about the intersection of social media and e-commerce.”

 Bohdan Zabawskyj, VP-Technology, Mercatus & Advisor.

 

Please contact Marlina Kinnersley at marlinakinnersley@gmail.com for further details.

Check out her About Me page – http://about.me/marlinakinnersley and connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Featured Startup: Tunezy

 

Tunezy is a Music Experience Marketplace. This Toronto based start-up company allows independent artists to pursue their passion for music, while allowing them to effectively monetize fan engagement. Users are able to earn Tunezy’s virtual currency called “Notes” by listening to, commenting on, and sharing music. They can then use these notes to “tip” artists and purchase experiences such as virtual concerts, concert tickets, and back stage passes.

 

“Tunezy is an idea that sprouted from what we viewed as trends and gaps in today’s music industry – record labels aren’t what they used to be and more musicians are now opting to stay independent. We’re hoping to create a new way for fans to enjoy and appreciate music and, support their favorite artists. We believe that artists can stay independent and still thrive by leveraging the social web. We are motivated by the individuals who are creating music and sharing it with the world and – we want to help” says Derrick Fung, CEO

Having won first place out of 80 teams at the National Business and Technology Conference in Toronto, they have continued to grow and impress. Currently featuring artists all over the world on the website, Tunezy is set to launch to the public in Fall 2012. For more information feel free to contact the team at hello@tunezy.com or even better, see for yourself at www.tunezy.com and start discovering and supporting new artists today!

April’s Featured Startup: Mega Traders

As part of growing and cultivating the #DevTO community we want to start featuring some of Toronto’s startups. This month we have selected Marlina Kinnersley’s new venture: Mega Traders.

There’s a new kid on the block with speed and agility who passionately wants to disrupt traditional classified sites with a social commerce platform that’s intuitive, super fast and trustworthy. This new startup is an online person-to-person marketplace for trading, buying and selling unwanted items socially. This company’s mission is to turn anyone into an entrepreneur, while encouraging bartering through offline interactions for more sustainable living; their vision is to provide a vehicle for collaborative goal achievement – say what? Marlina Kinnersley, CEO, explains:

“Swapping happens all around us, between people all over the world throughout our lives because we want something we deem valuable that someone else has. Together we can trade our unused items for something we will treasure.”

“Marlina has a really innovative and compelling concept here, and she is looking for some talented developers/coders who are excited about the intersection of social media and e-commerce.” Bohdan Zabawskyj, VP-Technology, Mercatus & Advisor.

Users will be able to create a store, post for free, specify their wish lists and ultimate goal, share their swap or sale items socially and achieve their goals through uptrading activity.

“We are a ‘stealth startup’, looking for a team to help create a prototype/MVP model to demonstrate the viability and market demand for the concept”, the CEO says.

Please contact Marlina Kinnersley at marlinakinnersley@gmail.com for further details.

Check out her About Me page – http://about.me/marlinakinnersley and connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.