They came as creators, innovators, teams, investors, students, mentors, and teachers. One of the best parts of attending Startup Fest was hearing all the fantastic ideas and stories that the attendees had to share. Everyone was juiced up about something and that kind of energy is infectious. Again and again, people talked about “the great vibe.” Here are a small sampling of the people who were there and took a moment to share their startups.
Piccles was hard to miss with their mobile chalkboard attached to a bicycle and they were among the first I encountered. Everyone was invited to sketch out an image on the grid that expressed their “goal in coming to this event.” The result was then turned into a gif for Instagram. This nine person dev team has spent the last two years working in Boston and Montreal creating their platform that allows people to “express their creativity.” They noted both the educational and entertainment value of their app. While they talked about the potential for their app to be used in hospitals and the saving the planet, mostly it just seemed like a way to make funky images. For more info, click HERE.
I met up with Anthony Xie while he was waiting in line to pitch the Grandmother Judges because he was told that they’re “shrewd.” He wanted to see if they would understand what his company, Hodlbot, was about. Hodlbot is Index Fund software for Cryptocurrencies. Just three guys launched it after encountering their own problems with trading cryptocurrencies. It lets cryptocurrency investors create their own index funds. Those who would rather not think at all can use the Hodlbot indexes. As he waited to talk tot he Grandmothers, Xie told me some of the stories of his one-year old company including some of the strangest clients he’s had, while I recounted how I lost my $20 investment in Bitcoin (before the Bitcoin boom), because my phone died. “We don’t advertise,” Xie told me. IT doesn’t sound like he needs to. I went home and signed up. For more info, click HERE.
Moving from software to devices, I talked to the team at Doctor’s Fab, who were showing their DropCare device. This medical device is used to increase accuracy and efficiency in IV injection and urinalysis. Typically, the task goes to nurses and takes up 10-20% of their time. The device gives very precise measurements and provides “supervision”: in what is normally an unsupervised task. It’s a great idea that seems like it should have been invented ages ago. One hopes this six person Korean team will find its place in medical fields. For info, click HERE.
Rethinking Social Media
Mark Meritt, a prof from George Brown University, showed me his rather awesome social media platform. AS someone interested in music and well aware of the influence of things like Instagram, Meritt wanted to change the way content gets shared. Instead of relying on followers and likes, his app uses distance as a metric to build your pool. Beginning with a 2 km radius, anyone who has a look at the content spreads the radius in increasing distances. It’s a clever way to spread ideas and information. “It’s like a Tindr for artists,” he says. Meritt.
To read Pt.I on Startup Fest, click HERE.