Brad Feld, from US accelerator TechStars, was back in Toronto for INcubes’ third demo day.
INcubes founder Ben Zlotnick and program managing director Traviss Corry have done well to push out three cohorts of startups in just over a year. They’ve added former Senior Advisor to the National Angel Capital Organization Bryan Watson, to serve as the Director of Special Projects and Connector in Residence. He believes INcubes continues to get better and is being brought to the next level.
The Boulder, Colorado-based Feld was the keynote speaker at the event. He was happy to see that Toronto’s startup ecosystem has flourished. In the past there were tech bubbles that burst throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The most famous was of course the dot-com bubble crash at the turn of the millennium. But Feld says he feels that things are different this time around, noting that entrepreneurship has not slowed down since the global economic crisis.
Feld believes startup communities can be created everywhere in the world. But to be successful, they still have to be led by entrepreneurs.
The institution cannot lead or control the startup community. Feld even believes the critical mass number of people involved for success in driving the entrepreneurial community is not that large of a number. One just needs to be inclusive of everyone that wants to be engaged at any level.
It is important to have activities and events that engage the entrepreneurial community on a regular basis, like we see in Toronto, according to him. Many of the participants are fully immersed in the startup life, as they live the dream in growing downtown Toronto and build their lives around it.
Here are the three startups that performed during the demo day:
• TopThat Have you ever been in a situation where you and a friend are trying to one up each other and it turns into a full-blown competition? TopThat allows participants to upload and tag their best images and videos capturing life’s random moments, crazy stunts and top performances and pit them against others to see who can "top that."
• L4NP.com Leaders For Non Profits certifies volunteers for non-profit boards, develops web-based tools that facilitate training, and matches organizations with highly skilled volunteers. Organizations benefit by accessing pools of talented volunteers capable of taking on leadership roles. Volunteers benefit from L4NP through its leadership development certification.
• Videogami.co The web-based app is a tool that converts how-to YouTube videos into fully interactive lessons that teach hands-on skills. We provide the tools that content creators can use to produce better online learning experiences.