Digital agency Teknision (based in Ottawa, Ontario) wanted to take the Android Home Screen experience to the next level for tablets. To that end, they started building Chameleon. Teknision started their project on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $30,000, and ended up raising over double that amount. They also received an impressive amount of coverage from sites such as GigaOM, Boy Genius Report, and Engadget. They plan on releasing a version for Android mobile phones sometime in Winter 2012.
Division Furtive is an independent Montréal-based watchmaker that has designed a wrist watch where the traditional rotating hour and minute hands are replaced by horizontal linear cursors. Their Kickstarter campaign is currently still in progress, and they’ve raised £2236,,000 to manufacture Type 40 watches. The profits from the Type 40 watches will then go to help cover the manufacturing costs of the more elite Type 46 version.
The tale of Pebble’s legendary Kickstarter campaign has been documented by a wide variety of Web sites and news outlets. Pebble is a watch designed by Vancouver-born entrepreneur Eric Migicovsky. It has an e-paper face that can be tailored according to your tastes through apps and templates. It can also sync up to your phone and display notifications. The Pebble team started this campaign looking to raise $100,000; they ended with over $10 million. While it’s too late to pitch in to the Kickstarter campaign, you can pre-order a Pebble watch from their website.
The Cobra wallet is a wallet designed precisely to match your phone. While it’s extremely thin, it can double as a stand for your phone in either landscape or portrait mode. The Toronto-based makers of the Cobra wallet initially wanted to raise $30,000, and received almost twice that. The first batch of Cobra wallets ship in January 2013, and they are currently still accepting pre-orders on their website.
STACT is a completely customizeable and modularwine rack. As Jamie Kasza explains in his video, he loves wine but hates traditional wine racks. He set out to build a display that would fit in with any decor and serve as a beautiful piece of wall art. Kasza collaborated with award-winning designer Eric Pfeiffer to build STACT. Kasza originally set out to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter, and received over $100,000 in funding.
Startups are getting sexier. The rise of incubators, accelerators, and other parts of the entrepreneurship community are symptoms of the changing paradigm (or trend). The folks at Fidelity Format are shooting a documentary featuring the current cohort of Toronto-based accelerator Extreme Startups. Titled Day Job, this project is aiming to shed light on the hardships and struggles every entrepreneur eventually faces. Day Job is still raising money for the project, so it’s not too late — seize the opportunity and contribute.
Our devices are getting much more intelligent. Ubi is an always-on voice-activated computer that makes your home much smarter. For example, it can control appliances, lights, and electronics through your vocal command. It can also monitor your home, and alert you to when certain switches are activated (i.e. “The lights turned on in your bedroom”). It can also help your home conserve energy intelligently.) Ubi is based in Toronto. It raised over $200,000 on Kickstarter, which is a whopping amount greater than its original goal of $36,000.
The rise of the gaming lifestyle segment has spawned organizations like the MLG and sites like Polygon. With a greater amount of people gaming, as well as a demographic with more disposable income, there are events like bar nights where gamers gather to watch a StarCraft tournament. EXP plans to appeal to the mature gamer as a classy restaurant and bar, and they aim to be the community hub for gaming in Vancouver. They exceeded their goal of $50,000 and raised $61,000 to help bring their vision to reality.
The Espro Press
Coffee-lovers, listen up: the Espro Press is in pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. The Espro Press makes 25-30 ounces of full-bodied coffee, without the grit and mud of a typical French press. The Espro Press is also made to express unique flavors from around the world, such as lemon, tangerine, custard, and swiss. The Espro Press aimed to raise $15,000, and received over $83,000 at the beginning of 2012. It has received praise from Gizmodo, Uncrate, and Wired, and originates from Vancouver.
Within Every Woman
Within Every Woman is a documentary created by a Toronto-based filmmaker dedicated to exploring the stories of survivors of sexual slavery in World War II. It is dedicated not only to continue spreading awareness of the stories, but also to connect a previous generation with the current one. The creators of Within Every Woman sought $50,000 to continue producing their documentary, and ended up raising over $56,000.
SurfEasy is a browser that protects your privacy when you’re using a computer that’s not yours. This means it won’t leave a trace of your browsing history behind, and is capable of keeping your browsing safe from anyone that may be monitoring you. It also gives users the ability to bypass firewalls and blocked Web sites, which means you can access social networks or personal e-mail at work. SurfEasy was looking for $12,500, and ended up with just under $70,000 to continue protecting internet privacy. Surfeasy is based out of Toronto, Ontario.
The Muse is a headband senses your brainwaves and allows you to control apps and games with your mind. It is the brainchild of Toronto-based company InteraXon. It also grants you the ability to reduce stress, improve memory and concentration, and control other devices directly with your mind. The Muse senses the electrical outputs created by your brain’s activity, and can respond accordingly. It is well on its way to $150,000, and has already passed the 2/3 mark with over two weeks to go at the time of writing. If telekinesis or psychology has fascinated you in the past, here’s your chance to contribute to the InteraXon Muse campaign.