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Tech Cocktail Vancouver

Vancouver’s Launch Academy: Demo Day, with a Twist

LaunchAcademy

In a typical demo day, each of the companies graduating from an accelerator gets a few minutes to pitch their idea, show off their wit, and hopefully win the hearts of investors.

But today, the startups from Launch Academy are under more pressure: they have just 60 seconds to catch the crowd’s eye. Only the top five get a chance for a full, five-minute presentation, plus five minutes of questions. At stake is a trip to Seattle to pitch investors and a spot at Launch@Grow, a startup showcase in August that will attract hundreds of attendees.

This is the first demo day for Launch Academy, a 3-month incubator program in Vancouver. Here are tonight’s competitors:

Local

  • Placeling: An iPhone app to create a virtual map of your world, adding relevant information and recommendations from friends.
  • OfVancouver: An iPad app for discovering Vancouver, whether you’re a local, a newcomer, or a traveler. Created by Flat World Apps.
  • Iinnii Interactive News Network: A news site where you can share community news without having it filtered through the mainstream media.
  • For Two Please: A site featuring hundreds of local date ideas.

Education

  • Thinkific: Online and mobile classes currently focused on entrepreneurs, standardized test takers, and professionals. Cofounded by former teacher Greg Smith and veteran tech entrepreneur Matt Smith.
  • GoSoftWorks: Creators of iPhone and iPad apps for learning about astronomy, like GoSkyWatch and GoSatWatch.
  • Unitclass: A social learning platform that gets students to interact and learn outside of class.

Jobs

  • KarmaHire: Helps businesses hire with video interviews and technical tests.
  • CoopStudent: Connects businesses with co-op students looking for jobs.
  • MomoJobs: A recruiting site where anyone can refer a candidate for a job, and collect a referral fee if that person is hired.
  • Jobmodo: Tools to bring in potential candidates from your business’s social networks, including a Facebook job page.

Business

  • Chloi Inc: Services for businesses to help them market their apps faster and more cheaply, like APIs and cloud services.
  • netlek: Marketing software that helps you create an SEO-optimized website, post to Facebook and Twitter, send sales emails, and ultimately find new clients.
  • FluidFeatures: Helps you test your product by controlling which users see which features.
  • Ockamo: Analytics tools that track information about your online customers.
  • SpaceList: A marketplace for renting commercial spaces.

Productivity

  • four53: Software for dynamic web presentations.
  • DecideOnline: A tool for soliciting opinions, like which logo is best for your company.

Entertainment

Update: Launch Academy selected three winners: netlek, Battlefy, and Thinkific.

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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