Joist Helps Contractors Be More Efficient On The Go

Contractors spend a lot of time on the road and working on various projects. Typically they have to keep hand written notes in notebooks and on clipboards and then either they transcribe all that information themselves into Excel or Word, or take it back to the office for someone else to do. For some smaller independent contractors that typically means their significant other is spent doing data entry instead of savoring what little time they have outside of “work”.

A Winnipeg startup called JoistApp is looking to solve that problem. JoistApp is a mobile app that contractors can use on their iPad, iPhone or Android device which allows them to manage their business on the go.  Contractors can create invoices, create estimates, send invoices, manage projects and accept payments on the go.  Sure there are plenty of business management apps out there but JoistApp was created specifically for contractors.

Joist app, Winnipeg startup, Canadian startup, startup interviewsWe got a chance to talk with Brendon Sedo, co-founder of JoistApp, check out the interview below.

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CES 2013 Preview: Vancouver Startup Is Doing Amazing Stuff With Cars

As we prepare to bring you continuous round the clock team coverage of CES 2013, we got a chance to do a pre-show interview with a Vancouver startup called that’s connecting cars diagnostic, internal computers with the cloud and an app store. They are taking the up to 25gb of data that can be generated by a car every hour, and connecting it wirelessly first to the cloud and then to your smartphone.

Combined with info from‘s GPS and accelerometer, provides a connected car experience that can be accessed via your smart phone from anywhere, anytime. With, you can now locate your car on a map, track its movements and speed, govern how far and fast it is being driven(by your teenage son or employee), lock/unlock your car doors just by the presence of your phone, intelligently stop incoming texts and calls when your car is in Drive, be notified instantly when your car is being tampered with or towed, and a whole lot more. also offers access to diagnostic information as well. The company provides an SDK so developers can write apps that will give users/drivers the ultimate connected car experience. Cars will be able to tell their owner and even the local service center when they need to be serviced and what needs to be fixed, all the while keeping a log on your smartphone. With the SDK the sky is the limit when it comes to what can be created for the connected car experience.

REV Technologies, the company behind has been building electric vehicles for the U.S. army.

“At REV, we were building electric vehicles for the US Army, (decoding entire car computers) and making it possible for them to control the direction and flow of electricity of these electric vehicles to use them as generators for their army bases. We did this wirelessly using SIM card-enabled hot sticks and were always seeking the simplest way to do this with OEM-produced electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf. Eventually we realized that by going in through the OBD port, we were basically piping in the internet. It was a small step from there to imagining an entire ecosystem of apps, car-related companies and drivers of any kind of car interacting on an open platform.” Rev Technologies CEO Jay Giraud told nibletz in an interview.

Check out the rest of the interview below:

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Before SnapChat There Was Quimby


Unless you’ve been living under the Christmas and holiday rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the “controversial” mobile app startup, SnapChat and the ensuing controversy surrounding Facebook copying the technology as “Poke”.

SnapChat is a mobile texting app that allows multimedia texting. What makes it particularly intriguing is the fact that messages sent with SnapChat can self destruct. Make no bones about it or call it anything less than it is, it is the “sexting” app and its burning up the charts. SnapChat quickly found its place in the top 3 apps in the iTunes App Store where it’s been living for weeks.

Teenagers are using it in droves for sexting, to talk freely about others and for anything else they don’t want accidentally left on their phones.

Facebook was quickly called out, when after seeing the runaway success SnapChat was having, copying the technology completely and releasing it as a mobile app called “Poke”. Poke quickly rose to the top of the charts as well but when people realized how Zuckerberg’s mobile engineers blatantly ripped off SnapChat, Poke began falling as quickly as it rose to the top.

Before SnapChat though there was another app designed to do the exact same thing. We first reported on Toronto startup Quimby back in April when we interviewed the apps founder Heather Burns.

Burns had teamed up with our good friends at Toronto mobile development giant Bnotions. The premise for her app was the same thing, self destructing messages.

Burns tried to take the high road though, she suggested adults may use it for when they are away from each other for long times and long distances. Another use case for Quimby was highly sensitive messages between employers and colleagues. Either way Quimby is just as much for sexting as SnapChat is.

SnapChat also went on the defensive at first but of course any press but your obituary is good press right?

See out interview wit Quimby here

Vancouver Startup: iWishfor Is Making Gift Giving Easier

iWishfor,Vancouver startup, Canadian startup, startup interviewWith the holidays behind us, gift giving isn’t on the minds of many. However when we go back to work next week there’s going to be some people undoubtedly worried whether they got someone the wrong gift. Typically you can read the fake smile but sometimes you can go all year, or at least until someone’s next birthday, to find out that they didn’t really like the last gift you got for them.

There are startups trying to solve this problem and Vancouver startup iWishfor is one of them.

The idea behind iWishfor is pretty easy. People can take their smartphone and scan the barcode of any item they may want to receive as a gift. From there they can sign up their friends and family members to see the list of the things they want. All of those people become the list follower.

As a follower you can see the list your friend created and you can cross the item off the list if you pick it up. You can also add your own suggestions to the list which the other followers can see but your gift recipient cannot. This way, not only are you getting a gift that your friend or relative really wants but your also getting a gift no one else is getting for that person.

Everyone has heard of a wedding registry or a baby registry, apps like iWishfor allow people to create virtual registries for any occassion.

We got a chance to talk with the team behind iWishfor. Check out the interview below.

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Lookout Amazon, Google Acquires Waterloo Startup BufferBox

BufferBox,Waterloo startup,Canadian startup,startup,startup newsAnyone who’s followed mobile technology over the last 18 months or so knows that Google and Amazon are in an all out war .When Amazon launched their Kindle Fire tablet, loosely based on the Android operating system, they immediately set up a walled garden ecosystem to provide Amazon content to the tablet device.

Amazon has been in the online e-commerce business a lot longer than just about everybody else. For that they are one of the most trusted names in e-commerce. They’ve also built up a huge collection of content that fuels everyone’s taste in movies, music and of course books.

Many feel that Google’s Android powered tablets, dubbed “Nexus 7 and Nexus 10” are direct competitors for Amazon complete with their own media and app store called “Google Play”.

Now it looks like Google is planning on expanding their click and mortar business to directly compete with Amazon. The acquisition of Waterloo based BufferBox is just another indicator of what Google may have planned in the not so distant future.

BufferBox preceded “Amazon Lockers” by over a year.

When BufferBox co-founder [Mike McCauley] first heard about Amazon Lockers he was disheartened and felt their idea had been ripped off. He was later able to turn it into a much more positive spin when he said: Amazon “put credibility behind the technology,” McCauley said. “Now there’s a big new market Amazon has created. Because Amazon controls 30% of the e-commerce market, you need a third party to offer the service for everyone else.” to the Wall Street Journal read more at

The concept is simple, BufferBox lockers are placed in high traffic businesses. Customers of e-commerce shopping sites that have partnered with BufferBox can use the lockers for a safe, secure, and sometimes 24 hour a day place to receive packages. With BufferBox and the Amazon Lockers, long gone are the days someone has to worry about their purchase becoming lost, stolen or damaged, waiting in an overnight carriers pick up location or on the front step.

We’ve even heard from several sources that Memphis based FedEx is working on a similar locker based system that will solve a billion dollar problem with drivers having to attempt a delivery to the same address multiple times a week. This will also solve problems for e-commerce customers who may not get off work until after their local delivery service closes for the day.

Late last month Google announced that they had acquired BufferBox.  The team at BufferBox will all be joining Google in the acquisition but they don’t have to move far. Google’s Waterloo offices are on the upper floor of the building where BufferBox is based.

It’s obvious from our interview with BufferBox co-founder Mike McCauley that the small startup is looking to disrupt the way that packages everywhere are delivered.  Now they’ll get to do that on a huge scale as part of Google.

“Being a small company and a startup, there’s obviously a lot of challenges,” BufferBox chief executive Mr. McCauley said in an interview with the Financial Post

“So us being able to work very closely with someone like Google allows us to leverage their resources and share vision and combine thoughts and talent together to really make something a lot bigger than we ever would have imagined. We’re really excited to be able to build out that vision quite a bit quicker than we otherwise would have without them onside.”



Source: Financial Post

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Montreal Startup: JobBook Automagically Matches Users To Jobs

JobBook,Canadian startup,startup, jobsWe’re all familiar with the old online job board model. You fill out a profile, then find the jobs you like and apply for them. Most jobs sites like and HotJobs (Yahoo), would make it easy for you to apply by simply storing your resume information and then manually applying for a job. Montreal startup JobBook is one of the newer breed of job sites which matches you to jobs based on your profile.

The other thing that JobBook is doing is

Ottawa Startup NoteShares Wants Social Document Sharing INTERVIEW

Noteshares,Ottawa startup,Canadian startup,startup,startups,startup interviewOttawa entrepreneur Brenden Palmer knows there’s a better way to share documents. There’s more to sharing documents than just allowing access. That’s what separates his Ottawa startup NoteShares, from cloud based document storage lockers DropBox, and their hundreds of clones.

Palmer tells

“We are not a hard drive in the cloud, and that is not what our premise and model is. We focus on creating a social community around user uploaded content. The point of using the platform is to share your documents and content, whereas other services and platforms like Dropbox, and simply allow you to have access to that content anywhere (which we offer as well). The differentiator is the ease of use and access that allows you to share this content and these documents with others who are using the platform. We don’t just allow access to share this content, but the social aspect around the document is the most prevalent aspect of our service and platform. Another thing that differentiates us is that we are launching our platform as a free web service.”
We wanted to dive in and make sure that Palmer wasn’t just another DropBox copycat. Obviously DropBox has been very successful and in their success they’ve generated a startup a day.
Adding a social aspect to documents makes them more open to discussion, commenting and discovery. Traditional cloud based lockers are really just dressed up ways to share attachments.
We got a chance to talk with Palmer in depth about Noteshares. Check out our interview below:

Canadian Startup: Student U Is Building Student Communities INTERVIEW

StudentU,Canadian startup,startup interviewWhen Facebook exploded into global social network domination by opening it’s gates to those that were not college students, a gaping hole was created in the social space. A few startups have begun trying to fill the hole for the “student social network”. One of those startups is Canadian startup Student U.

At it’s roots, Student U is a new social network for students. Through their app you can make no friends, chat, share pics, manage multiple profiles and much more.  Checkout out their website you’ll see that Student U is part social network, part student portfolio and part student dating site. The founders have put a big emphasis on flirting and dating.

Once the user begins engaging with the Student U platform they can “give presents”, “share emotions” and “fall in love”

Student U also went mobile first the right way and introduced an iOS app, Android app and a Windows Phone app all at the same time. Naturally, students are using the smartphone as their key to the internet a lot more than any other device so it’s fitting to have a three fold mobile strategy.

We got a chance to interview StudentU take a look at the interview below

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Vancouver Startup: Perch Turns iOS Devices Into Hands Free Cameras and More, Vancouver startup,Canadian startup,startup,startups,startup interviewBeing on the road as much as we are here at the voice of startups everywhere else, we’ve come to realize how useful the iPhone and iPad have become to stay intune with what’s going on at home.  For instance, FaceTime with my five year old daughter is something we do multiple times per day, every day. FaceTime is perhaps one of the easiest to use video chat apps ever created. A startup in Vancouver Canada, called Perch, has made it even easier.

Perch allows you to set up stationary iOS devices throughout your home or office. This unique app builds in video along with motion detection. Your iOS device becomes a Perch camera.  All you have to do is walk up to the stationary iOS device and start talking, Perch knows to start rolling audio and video. The Perch app then uploads the video to the cloud making it easy for the recipient to get it.

Perch cameras can be used for surveillance and security, or as a great interactive tool for the whole family. Perch calls this hands free video operation, “ambient video”. In addition to those features you can also text and video chat with anyone in your Perch family.

The app was born out of a previous startup called Redhand which turned iOS devices into sophisticated security cameras.

We got a chance to talk with the team behind Perch. Check out the interview below.

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Ottawa Startup Suprpod Is An Online Collaborative Space For Marketers

Suprpod,Canadian startup,startup,startups,startup interviewI’ll bet if you were to do the research you would probably find thousands and thousands of conferences and conventions for marketing folks. I seem to get invited to a new marketing conference every other day. But can you believe there’s no social network, community or collaborative space online just for marketers? That was until Ottawa startup Suprpod came along.

The online portfolio and collaboration site exclusively for marketers takes it’s name Suprpod from Dolphins. In an interview with co-founder Jennifer Butson says:

“Superpod is the term given to large groups of dolphins who travel together. Because dolphins are brilliant communicators in the animal kingdom, the term lends well to the group of expert communicators in the human world!”

Which is why their logo is also a dolphin. You should see the tricks their team can do with rubber balls on their noses.

All kidding aside though, collaboration between left brained marketers can be healthy, creative and produce some amazing results. That’s why it’s hard to believe no one had thought of this before.

The site has three basic function areas, browse, share and create.

The browse section is home to curated portfolios from some of the industry’s hottest minds. It’s ripe for the taking right their at Suprpod. PR, and marketing people can check out Suprpod for some of the best marketing ideas out there.

Share is where questions are asked and answered about anything related to PR, marketing and social media.

Create, will allow users to display their work like they’ve never seen before.

Butson has a lot of experience in both marketing and startups. It was working on a different startup that helped he find, hone and craft the idea for Suprpod. We got a chance to talk with Butson, read the rest of the interview below.

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Toronto Startup Tagtivate: Follow Any Content By HashTag

After checking out Toronto startup Tagtivate for a little bit we thought the best way to describe it is a Digg or Reddit for 2012. If Digg or Reddit had come out this year, it may be organized and searchable via hashtag. Everyone is using hashtags these days on Twitter, Instagram, heck even Facebook.

The hashtag is a peculiar little thing, you simply but a # sign in front of something and it’s easily searchable on any of the existing social networks.

What Tagtivate has done is taken the socially driven hash tag and put it on a content recommendation site for organization.

The Tagtivate team does a great job of providing examples in our interview below, the concept is fairly simple though.

Instead of a bunch of html links that can look like jibberish or instead of trying to come up with that all important Reddit, Digg or Hacker News headline, you simply find the content you want to share and hashtag it. If I wanted to post good startup stories to the Tagtivate platform I would simply add a #startup to the piece of content.

Check out our interview with Tagtivate below.

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Calgary Startup: TypeWhale Connects Journalists To Expert Sources

Over the last decade the 24 hour news cycle has quickly sped up to less than 15 minutes. Heck in the age of blogging, and specifically tech blogging, 15 minutes can be a luxury. That makes it extremely hard, or time consuming, to go out and vet expert sources. Most journalists, myself included, have a stable of 10-20 sources we can call on, on a regular basis, to vet out stories, but when a topic goes beyond our inner circle of sources journalists need experts.

This is a major problem in the online news and blogsphere. It’s the problem that Calgary startup TypeWhale aims to fix.

TypeWhale is a community where academic experts from top universities and journalists can collaborate on media queries. In the beta phase, TypeWhale is focusing on the education sector, as a “natural pool” of credible expert sources. Universities are identifying their expert sources and connecting them directly to the media via TypeWhale.

“TypeWhale is not about who has paid a PR rep to pitch their story, it’s about who is the most qualified to answer the media queries,” explains co-founder, Kylie Lakevold. “TypeWhale came from a passion for getting expert voices heard. This is what encouraged us to build a community where journalists and experts can collaborate live on the web.”

TypeWhale aims to take the media manipulators out of the equation. Lakevold came up with the idea when she came across a service that many journalists use where they can put a question out there and any “expert” can comment for a piece. The problem is that popular system has no way of vetting the “expert source”. You could get a response from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about. Or even worse, a PR hack on a mission to drive just one client.

We got a chance to interview the TypeWhale expert, Lakevold, directly. Check out the interview below.

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We Talk Mobile Payments With Canadian Startup Payfirma

Payfirma is an early adopter in the mobile payment space. This Vancouver based startup is credited with being the first company to bring mobile payments to Canada.

Mobile payments are the way of the future, and for many the future is now. In the US we have Square, Paypal, Google Wallet and the forthcoming ISIS available in several mobile platforms for consumers to pay for services and goods.

Like others, Payfirma makes it extremely easy for merchants to take payments from customers in a variety of ways. Payfirma offers an online platform, point of sale software and a mobile app.  Payfirma started out in 2011 and quickly became an industry leader in mobile payments. Back in December of last year they had passed the $1 million dollar per day transaction mark, and were already being called the “Square of Canada”.

The company was also named Canada’s best startup in 2011 at the KPMG startup awards. Payfirma has built a US presence as well, opening offices in Chicago and San Francisco.

On the mobile side Payfirma looks a lot like Square or Intuit’s mobile offering with a card swiping dongle that attaches to the top of an iPhone or Blackberry. Information is read from the dongle and transmitted via the smartphone to give merchants the ability to take credit card payments on the go.

Merchants who vend at swap meets, flea markets, craft fairs and other events were often faced with a tough choice. They could either choose not to accept credit cards at all or take them the old fashioned way by hand, for processing later. Processing credit cards by hand and then running them later can easily result in fraudulent sales.

We got a chance to talk with the team behind the award winning Payfirma platform. Check out the interview below:

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Montreal Startup: Hypejar The Wikipedia Of New Products? INTERVIEW

Hypejar,Montreal startup,Canadian startup,startup,startups,startup interviewGrant Yim and his team of co-founders at Montreal startup Hypejar are hoping that their startup becomes the “wikipedia of new products”. Hypejar aims to help manufacturers and startups with new products, generate buzz and excitement before a products official launch.

The web based platform promises to feature new and exciting products before they hit the market. Hyperjar users will be able to keep track of the upcoming products that they’re interested and get notified when those products officially hit the market. Users will also be able to vote products up and down in reddit style to indicate which products are more popular and which ones are more highly anticipated.

Hypejar is also targeting those smaller startups, and independent inventors. Inventors will be able to add their own products to Hyperjar and update their products “wiki”, to notify potential customers of new features, pricing and availability.

While Yim realizes there are plenty of sites out there that post reviews and product information after a product is released, there aren’t many sites that post information before a product is released. We know from our previous website that many manufacturers do vet out “review units” of products before a release, however Yim sees one of Hypejar’s main differentiators as the fact that users will have access to information on a large number of products before they get released.

Hypejar will become a vehicle for those early adopters who love to find out about the newest things first. It will also be a great vehicle for manufacturers, and inventors who need to gain traction for their products before they are released.

We got a chance to talk to Yim about Hypejar and the startup scene in Montreal.  Check out the interview below:

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