Jolt startups get jump start at demo day

They came, they pitched, they conquered. On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people congregated in Steam Whistle Brewing‘s historic roundhouse building for the first-ever JOLT Demo Day.

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.

Greengage Mobile