Toronto Startup: Kytephone Is A New Android UI Just For Kids

A Toronto startup, that was also a member of the winter Y-Combinator class, is hoping to lure parents who are equipping their children with Android powered smartphones. The startup is called Kytephone and it provides a new “launcher” or “UI” to Android phones that it is installed on, with parental controls, great kid friendly graphics and access to apps and functions that children of any age could use.

The best part about Kytephone is it’s customization ability. What Kytephone does, is it allows parents to lockdown certain things on their children’s Android phones. In some cases it could be for younger children so they don’t go off and dial 900 numbers by accident and in other cases it can be customized for tweens or teens to restrict access to features that could get them in trouble.

Kytephone allows the parent to customize access to just about every function of an Android phone. For instance Kytephone could be set up for a younger child, say 4-7 who could use the Kytephone UI to make calls to mom, grandma and brothers and sisters. They could also have access to the phones camera for taking pictures, and maybe a few games.

For tweens and teens, Kytephone allows the parents to set parameters for texting times, and even game playing times. When time is up, the child could be restricted to just texting mom and dad, and they may have to wait until the next day to finish that level on that game they played for an hour.

Kytephone has also found that some of their users are installing the Android app onto phones of senior citizens and elderly folks who may not want the bells and whistles of a full fledged Android smartphone.

kytephone,kids android app,kids android phone,nibletz, google play, androidThere are all kinds of companies out there that are offering some sort of software, similar to Kytephone however it seems that in customization and design Kytephone may have a leg up. In fact one of the competitors, Play Safe, has very similar functionality to Kytephone because their founder, reports, was in the Y-Combinator class with Kytephone co-founder Renat Gautaullin.

Kytephone has since graduated out of Y-Combinator and moved back home to Canada where they are part of the RyersonDMZ Incubator.

Overall Kytephone seems a little more customizable and a lot more robust than competing products. It’s also not tied exclusively to a carrier which means down the road if a user got a new Android phone on a different carrier they could just download Kytephone again and reuse it.

Kytephone is available free in the Google Play store. Gautaullin reports that they are working on some premium features, like timers to close off certain types of apps like games, and other things in the pipeline.


Find out more about Kytephone here

Download it here in the Google Play Store

Source: Betakit

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Toronto Startup: Hashcaster Receives Top Honor At Social Media Camp

I remember the days as a kid at Pine Forest Camp in Greeley Pennsylvania. At the end of the 8 weeks of sleep away camp we’d all gather around the Netsie Playhouse to see who won the coveted camper awards. Fast forward to 2012 and we’re not talking about a nice sleep away camp for jewish boys and girls, we’re talking about a cutthroat and fierce competition between social media companies, called Social Media Camp.

The awards at Social Media Camp are called “Coasties” and they were presented Friday night by Erica Ehm. The Social Media Camp is the largest gathering of social media talent in Victoria British Columbia, eh? (I couldn’t help myself)

The event received more than 100 nominations that began with a public vote and concluded with a panel of expert judges from around the country evaluating the finalists in each category.  The judges panel included: Jay Baer, Convince and Convert; Sean Moffitt, Wikibrands; Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD.,; Simon Salt, The IncSlingers; Scott Stratten, UnMarketing; and Angela Crocker, Beachcomber Communications.

Out of all the entries Hashcaster was named the “Most innovative social media product or technology”.

In a nutshell Hashcaster is a Twitter and hashtag management platform and dashboard specifically catering to the event marketer. Think trade shows, demo days, forums, discussions, sporting events, big conventions etc, they would all benefit from Hashcaster.

Why? Because Hashcaster makes sense of the quickly flowing hashtags. It provides real time analytics for the hashtags that you’ve created for your event and captures tweets that often scroll to quickly across a screen, Twitter wall or smartphone, to make any real use out of them.

Trust, me if there’s one thing I know about, with over 100k followers on Twitter, is Twitter and hash tagging.

Hashcaster also makes it easy for you to manage hashtag variations. Usually leading up to a major event like CES, Comiccon or SXSW, the “official” hash tag and the “unofficial” hashtags get mixed up into a hodge podge of hard to manage tweets. HashCaster allows the event organizers to keep tabs on their major hashtags and variations there of.

In addition to winning the aware Hashcaster actually kept up with the event itself.

Referred to as a “Hashcast”, the platform curates in real-time photos, videos and stories from the event’s hash tag community as it trends on Twitter. It then pushes this content to an event branded web site  and advanced in show Twitter wall where participants and visitors from around the world can experience the event virtually.  Finally, the platform determines “who and what” is most important to the hash tag community; making highly valued content more visible and helping the community connect with top influencers.


Find out more about Hashcaster here

See Social Media Camps Hashcaster here 

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Toronto Startup: Verelo Keeps A Watchful Eye On Your Website INTERVIEW

If you’re a web based startup or small business web uptime is crucial. These days if you’re down for even two minutes, it can cause a world of hurt. A customer can go to your website, see its down and then send that information out to the social web.

If you’re launching a startup it can be worse. Launching a startup is one of the most competitive sports in the world. If you’re down, again only for a short time, new users, competitors and the media can stumble upon a down site and never come back.

There are services out there that can cost hundreds of dollars a month. There are also services out there that are free but will send you spam from every SEO business on the planet. In comes Verelo a service that will monitor and protect your website, providing piece of mind.

We got a chance to talk with one of the co-founders of this Toronto startup. Check out the interview after the break.

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Toronto Startup: IppinKa Is A Crowd Buy Store For Beautiful Products

A new startup out of Toronto called IppinKa is recruiting tastemakers and lovers of beautiful products. In the tech world these people are commonly referred to as early adopters. However if you have a keen eye for beautiful things than you should pay attention to what this startup is doing in the crowdbuying space.

IppinKa is also recruiting designers of great products. Are you a sculptor? Have you made a unique home accessory? Are you a contemporary furniture designer? IppinKa is looking for you. They hope to match those tastemakers with designers of fine quality products.

As their website suggests they are starting a movement for functional and well made products.

We got a chance to talk with one of the co-founders of IppinKa before their upcoming launch.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Jerry Chang is a sucker for Japanese products. Educated in Engineering and Product Design, his role model is Dieter Rams.
Fran Rawlings is a social media maven and a world traveller who loves finding great products from different corners of the world.
 Alan Soong, with an education in Engineering, is a product designer by day and seasoned online shopper by night.
Where are you located?
We are located in Toronto, Ontario.
Where does the name IppinKa come from?
“Ippin” is the Japanese word for great products. “Ka” means house. We came up with the name after seeing a picture of a house with beautiful products displayed in it.
 More after the break
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Toronto Startup: Quimby Technolgies Creates Self Destructing Mobile Messaging

Have you ever been in a relationship and maybe sent a naughty message or two, possibly with a picture? Did you live to regret that message when you broke up with that person? Now we’re not talking about kids or teenagers and sexting here, real adults do this kind of thing, especially those that travel a lot. Maybe you had a really rip roaring night at the club and sent a bunch of photos to your posse, perhaps you wanted them to live the moment with you, but not on Monday morning back at the office. What about this, have you ever had an idea you may have wanted to share with some somewhat trusted colleagues, but just enough so they could grasp the idea, not steal it down the road?

If you’ve ever found yourself in one of those scenarios or millions of other similar types of situations than you’d be happy to know that Heather Burns and her Quimby Technologies, a Toronto Startup, has created a self destructing messaging platform. Burns teamed up with Alkarrim (Alex) Nasser of BNotions, to create Quimby Technologies and Quimby the self destructing messenger app.

Now Burns is pretty sharp, she is well aware that there are some people who are going to shout out at the rooftops why this is a bad idea. The same kind of people that can’t get over the fact that Craigslist or Zaarly exist, and in our exclusive interview we asked her about just those types.

More after the break
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Canadian Startup: Wantser Is the Canadian Version Of Pinterest For Wants

Pinterest has caught on like wild fire. We’ve run several stories about Pinterest and it’s crazy valuations. We’ve heard lately that their active users have gone down however it’s still extremely hot. With Pinterest you can “pin” pictures on the internet. It’s been highly adopted by women who pin everything from the latest fashions, to art projects, home interior decorating ideas and even fashion.

Imagine if you will, pinning the things you want and then having access to the ways to get those things. If you see a fancy new purse on Pinterest instead of pinning it, you “want” it. Well that’s the idea behind Canadian startup Wantster.

CEO Ky Joseph and Chris Edelman a Canadian radio sales executive, started Wantster to do just that. You can simply download the Wantster “want” button to your browser, the same way some do with Pinterest, and when you see something you want, “want it”. With Wantster’s mobile app you can take a picture of something you want for later and put it in your “want” list.

More after the break
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