It’s hard to believe that less than a year ago we launched JOLT, a leading Canadian technology accelerator that invests in emerging web and mobile startups and provides them with the tools, seed capital and advice they need to compete and succeed on the global stage. While the market continues to evolve, the characteristics of the companies we invest in has remained constant.
Today, I’m excited to announce JOLT’s second cohort of companies: six promising startups all leveraging mobile technologies to exploit some fundamental change in the markets they compete in. Each is led by a talented CEO and powered by a passionate team of entrepreneurs.
Meet the startups of JOLT’s Winter 2013 program (February – June 2013):
Team: Zeïna Belouizdad and Byron Hawes
Category: Travel, mobile, consumer Internet
Elevator pitch: Flee is a travel recommendation application that combines a streamlined booking process with highly curated original content. Flee cuts through the convoluted online travel booking process, allowing users to spend less time researching and more time experiencing. Flee’s elegant and intuitive interface inspires discovery and encourages adventure.
Team: Joannes Chan, Clayton Tso and Mark Hopson
Category: Retail, mobile advertising, mobile analytics
Elevator pitch: FlyerFlo is modernizing paper flyers with a free mobile app that allows consumers to discover new brands and receive personalized promotions from all of their favourite local retailers. For retailers, FlyerFlo increases return on the marketing dollar by providing a mobile platform and actionable analytics. Engaging shoppers with contextualized offers is no longer just a pipe dream, but an accessible reality.
Team: Won Jun Bae, Mike Kwon, Grant Yim and Dylan Jude
Category: Mobile, social, consumer Internet
Elevator pitch: Hypejar is an open, social platform powered by people who are passionate about upcoming product releases—it is the Pinterest of what’s next. Discover, discuss, track and get notified of the upcoming movies, music, games, books and consumer products you want and anticipate the most. Hypejar users collectively determine what product releases are the most hyped around the globe.
Team: Mike Lovas, Rami Alhamad and Suresh Joshi
Category: Sports technology, fitness, mobile
Elevator pitch: PUSH is an app-enabled fitness device that analyzes, manages and tracks the progress of your weight training workout. PUSH’s user-friendly smart device attaches to all common weightlifting equipment, allowing anyone from a pro athlete to a casual fitness lover to track and analyze performance and progress using a smartphone.
Team: Arian Rahbari and Ivan Cheung
Category: Music, education, software, mobile
Elevator pitch: Most people who start learning an instrument quit within a few years. Singspiel is here to change that. The Singspiel learning platform and tablet application turn traditionally tedious music practice into a fun and engaging activity for beginner music students. Singspiel offers real-time personalized feedback to students while they practise. Compared to other learning software, Singspiel uses standard music notation and supports popular instruments such as piano, violin, guitar and voice to create the maximum impact while letting musicians use tools already familiar to them.
Team: Anand Dhillon, Natalie Gray and Karn Saroya
Category: Fashion, retail, data analytics, e-commerce
Elevator pitch: Of all apparel bought online, 40% is returned and 75% of these returns are due to poor fit. This is a $6 billion problem for retailers and a pain for shoppers. Stylekick is a service that suggests a size based upon an item you have in your closet. You can also search for clothes based upon specific attributes, such as sleeve length, waist or material. We can help anyone find the fit they want without any 3-D scanners, personal body measurements, complicated machines or gimmicks.
The six teams are heading to San Francisco in early March to attend LAUNCH Festival, one of the top tech conferences in the world for launching a startup, raising money, networking and connecting with top tech journalists. JOLT has partnered with LAUNCH to provide this opportunity to its startups. Follow their journey on Twitter via @joltco and #MaRSLaunch.
For more information on the participating companies, visit JOLT’s startup channel on the Financial Post website.