Startup news round-up: May 17, 2012

The global English-as-a-second language market is worth roughly about $4 billion annually and 25 per cent of that spend goes to agencies that place students in ESL schools.

ESL finder

Vancouver startup Tribal Educational Technologies hopes to grab a bite of that pie by serving up ESL Explorer, an online social networking tool that connects would be ESL students with each other and with ESL schools, according to Rob Lewis of

ESL Explorer offers a way for school to communicate with prospective students and provides students with a simpler and more effective tool for choosing the right ESL school for them.

“The business is simple,” says Nick Miller, founder and CEO. “Just like TripAdvisor helps you plan your perfect vacation, we help ESL students find their perfect school.” ESL Explorer has attracted the attention of a number of local and international angels and VCs, said Lewis.

Rob Lewis – TechVibes

myUWindsor app

If they ever find themselves hungry in campus and get the sudden urge to check their grades at the same time, students are the University of Windsor in Ontario now have a mobile app that can help them do just that.

The university today announced the roll out of myUWindsor an application that works with Android, BlackBerry and iPhone phones. The app provides access to Web-based services and information students would typically access on the university’s home page through the student portal and the Collaboration and Learning Environment Windsor (CLEW).

Among the things they can do with the app are:

  • Review courses, schedules, grades and exams
  • Update financial information on their accounts, including their UWinCARDS and meal plans
  • Receive direct messages from professors and course instructors
  • Access a campus map which will allow them to search for specific buildings
  • Check out menus and daily specials at the Market Place Cafe
  • Get updates on Lancer sports
  • Access ocial media sites such as the UWindsor’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and Twitter feed
  • Listen to CJAM, the University’s campus radio station


Download the new app here:

Back office app

Is your staff drowning in sea of records, receipts and other pulp-based debris? Toronto-based startup Scalability Inc. might just have the tool to help you your workers out of the mess.

Co-founder Ray Luk says Scalability’s Web-based service provides back office services including bookkeeping, accounting, government filings, payroll, record keeping, and human resources management.

“It’s the combination of tool and the people with the expertise to help with the timing that can make a huge difference,” Luk to StartupNorth.

He’s also well aware that the space is getting crowded. Apart from Scalability, other Canadian players in the space are Wave Accounting, Shopify, TribeHR and Dayforce.

David Crew – StartupNorth

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