Canadian Accelerator Extreme Startups Seeks 2013 Cohort

Extreme Startups had their second-ever demo day in late November. They have become one of Toronto’s most well-known startup accelerators in 10 months. Andy Yang, Daniel Debow, and Sunil Sharma owe their reputation to the quality of mentors, angel investors, partnerships, and venture capitalists they have managed to attract. All five startups have qualified for the Business Development of Canada $150,000 convertible note.

“With the BDC note in place and the $30,000 of non-dilutive SmartStart funding from Ontario Centres of Excellence, each of the Extreme Startups companies have received $230,000 from the program itself, the highest amount from any startup accelerator anywhere to our knowledge,” explains Sunil Sharma, managing director and chief connector.

Shifthub, a SaaS-based shift scheduling platform for small and medium-sized businesses, set out to raise $700,000 in funding. By last Friday, the startup was up to $480,000.

Shifthub has signed on 550 clients, with over 2,200 employee schedules being managed. The company is pursuing marketing integrations and are offering a full payroll integration with Wave Accounting.

The B2B software-as-a-service market is expected to boom in the next few years. Dan Lyons at The Next Web says a trillion dollars in wealth could change hands in the enterprise market.

Venio is an app that helps users create and plan healthy meals. Startup Weekend Toronto’s 2011 winner has attracted over 14,000 users.

82% of Americans are expected to be overweight by 2015. Venio has now closed $600,000 in funding to help tackle this alarming problem. They are well on their way to their goal of $750,000. 500 Startups is one of the primary investors.

Picatic plays in the event ticketing and management space as a crowd-funding platform. The core team of three has moved back to Saskatoon, while CEO JayeshParmar is opening an office in New York City at the co-working space General Assembly.

Lead mentor and COO of Trendhunter Marcus Daniels is one of the announced investors for the $450,000 in funding the startup has closed. Picatic is doing well, having made $300,000 in revenue, while selling 7,000 tickets through their platform. They are looking for another $550,000 in funding, to bring the total to $1 million.

MyShoeBox operates as a photo cloud sharing service. You can manage pictures across all devices and platforms. They are looking for $1.5 million in funding. The startup is raising a seed round currently. MyShoeBox impressively stored over 13 million photos in their first month after launch.

Kera is a guided browsing platform helping to enhance user experience through interactive in-app tutorials. It allows people to interact with page elements like buttons, text inputs, and forms.

The startup is looking to help enterprise clients train their employees on how to use software. Kera has raised $400,000. They even have the co-founders of Sysomos, Nick Koudas and Nilesh Bansal, on board. Sysomos was acquired by Marketwire for an estimated $35 million in 2010. Kera is still looking for an additional $1.1 million in funding.



Extreme Startups has established partnerships with Canadian technology accelerators in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, Boston, and India. Startup participants can have access to three months of co-working space from those locations.

Interested startups wanting to be part of the 2013 Extreme Startups cohort can apply here. The accelerator will provide up to $200,000 in funding per company, a collaborative environment, and deep access to the tech startup community. 

Will all the media attention and reputation building of the last 10 months pay off? 

Time will tell whether they can help groom the next big Canadian technology company. In the mean time, Extreme Startups continues to try and hit homeruns. And they are coming out with a movie called “Day Job.”