This was the big event—the culmination of the program’s 16 rigorous weeks of brainstorming, business modelling, brand building and pitch polishing.
The audience at the Steam Whistle Brewing Company The evening began with opening remarks from Krista Jones of MaRS’s information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE) practice, followed by a thought-provoking keynote address from bestselling author and blogger Julien Smith. In his presentation, which was filled with punchy imagery and quotes, Julien talked about persistence hunting, bodybuilding, selection pressure and the art of parkour to the startup #hustle. Some of the advice he offered included: “become a weapon or be destroyed”; “seek out adaptive struggles”; “don’t copy—evolve”; and “vulnerable is the new cool.”
Julien Smith Then came the main event: the eight-minute pitches from the six JOLT teams. After a brief black-and-white introductory video complete with theme song, each CEO took to the stage. This was the moment everyone was waiting for—and each team truly nailed their pitch and left the stage to huge cheers and applause. A job well done by all. The teams all got to relax and celebrate over drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a build-your-own poutine bar in the Steam Whistle venue before a night of dancing at the after party, which was held at Bloke & 4th. Now that JOLT’s four-month program is complete, the six companies move on to join the MaRS ICE practice ecosystem. JOLT graduates will receive continued support from MaRS advisors, capital partners, market intelligence and more. The most successful JOLT entrepreneurs might even be asked to join the MaRS network of experienced mentors to advise startup companies that join future sessions of the JOLT program. A big thanks to all who attended, showed their support and helped make this event such a great success! Here is a recap of the JOLT Summer 2012 cohort:
James Chilcott of ShelfLife provided by MaRS Media ShelfLife is a social commerce platform that provides 30 million North American collectors with everything they need in a single website. ShelfLife’s permanent record of every collectible ever made allows collectors to track their collections and be automatically matched with buyers and sellers. The platform’s mobile strategy bridges the gap between online and offline commerce, and its advanced social tools gamify the process of collecting by leveraging competitive mechanics.
Dessy Daskalov & Lindsey Goodchild of Greengage Mobile provided by MaRS Media Greengage Mobile is an enterprise software-as-a-service platform that enables large organizations to create awareness, engage employees and measure the impact of their corporate sustainability objectives. Leveraging the best of mobile and the web, Greengage’s platform uses social and gamification elements to drive employee actions and achieve corporate goals related to environmental, social, community and health initiatives. Greengage gives chief sustainability officers the tools they need to succeed.
Mike Holmes of SlingRide provided by MaRS Media SlingRide is a ride-sharing community for those who want a convenient way to travel while saving money and making new friends along the way. Fully customizable to a user’s social network and preferences, SlingRide gives users complete control over who they ride with. Unlike the bus or train, which can be inconvenient, SlingRide makes use of smartphones and thousands of nearby coffee shops where drivers and passengers can safely meet, making the process of co-ordinating a ride simple, social and enjoyable.
Keith Loo of tout.it provided by MaRS Media tout.it is the ultimate discussion experience for sports fans. By bringing real-time and in-depth discussions together with personalized sports discovery, tout.it’s goal is to bring together sports fans to build a passionate sports community. The research has been unanimous: sports fans are dying to tout.it.
Trevor Koverko of eProf provided by MaRS Media The top 20 education technology companies today are neither live nor interactive. This is an enormous problem because students overwhelmingly prefer to learn in a live setting. In fact, students learn twice as fast and retain three times more information when learning in real time. eProf’s live, interactive classroom experience brings online education to life. eProf is an integrated end-to-end experience that lets instructors acquire students, earn money and personally connect with each student.
Eugene Woo of Venngage provided by MaRS Media Venngage makes analytics and insights available to everyone, not just the 2% who really understand math and statistics. The problem with traditional business intelligence and analytics tools, such as SAP, Cognos and even Tableau, is that they are designed for the power data user. Venngage is designed for the layperson who does not have a background in data analysis.
The JOLT Team that made it all happen! Joe Wilson, Mark Zimmerman, Leona Teixeira, Ryan Poissant, Sarah Katyal, Krista Jones, Sue McGill, Jennifer Marron, Nathan Monk