Toronto startups unleash slew of productivity boosters

Toronto tech startups want to help you get organized with social media tools offering time management, shared notebooks, and a way to better sort your Gmail attachments.

Tech entrepreneurs took to the stage at DemoCamp Toronto 28 on Feb. 22, presenting their start-up ideas to a full crowd.

Six companies demoed their ideas to tech junkies and industry professionals at Ryerson . 

“Celebrate your customers,” key note speaker Mark Ruddock advised the crowd.   To survive and succeed as a tech start-up, it’s key to understand your competition and appeal to venture capitalists looking to invest.

You have to be passionate,” he said. “There’s something incredible about being in love with the product you’re building, it’s an incredible rush.”Ruddock is the former CEO of Viigo, which was acquired recently by Research in Motion .

Startups featured at DemoCamp Toronto 28 include:


Kipu is a scheduling tool that’s goal is to help you achieve better work-life balance by seeing where you spend your time. Users can colour-code their work projects and social engagements, from business meetings to time spent at the gym. You can also collaborate with team members by connecting projects.  

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Currently built for the W eb, Kipu should be available for the iPhone by this summer. Users can request access to private beta now. Once out of beta, the pricing for Kipu will be $8 per month.


Rocketr is a quick note-taking and note-sharing application, built to support collaboration among team members. Unlike similar tools, Rocketr opens directly into the note-taking interface.

Users can request a passcode to try it out now, and can also participate in a usability test. Updates on where the app will be available will come out soon.’s goal is to simplify searching through your inbox for attachments. While the site currently only works for Gmail accounts, users can use several Gmail accounts at once to simultaneously search their work or home inboxes.

You can search for types of attachments-like images-and have all images attached to your e-mails pop up as thumbnails. You can also search by the name of the person who e-mailed you the attachment.

Users can request an invite to try now.


GreenOwl Mobile’s TrafficAlert app allows you to check your various routes for traffic jams or accidents. Information is currently only available for the Greater Toronto Area and a few other southern Ontario areas.

The app anonymously sends your location via GPS periodically to its server to alert other users on a similar route of any upcoming problems. It also includes a button to call in tips to the traffic centre, which will then provide real time updates to users about where there may be a problem and why. 

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TrafficAlert is free and is currently available for iPhone and BlackBerry. It will eventually be primarily voice activated and will cover more areas. 


Trendspottr aggregates. filters and publishes real-time trends on Facebook and Twitter, and allows users to search for trending topics. You can also see what kinds of people are driving a particular trend and what is trending about you by entering your Twitter username.

Users can register on the Trendspottr website for its alpha release.


With TubeMote, users can use their smartphones or tablets as a remote for online video sites like YouTube.  Users sign in to their TubeMote accounts on one computer and will be given a URL to open on their mobile phone or other device. It also features a search tool to choose what you want to watch.

TubeMote is currently free and can be used with various browsers without downloading anything.

The next DemoCamp Toronto is tentatively planned for early April 2011. Organizer David Crow is hoping to have an all-female lineup of entrepreneurs present their ideas.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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