Toronto concocts the ‘perfect mix for apps’

Toronto has become renowned as Canada’s hub for app development. From entertainment apps to business apps, startups across the city are churning out some of the finest apps around today. Here are just a select few, as featured in The Globe and Mail:

NuLayer Inc., founded by Jeff Brenner and Peter Kieltyka (5 total employees)

Feature app: CrowdReel (website currently; iPad app in June)

NuLayer’s 25-year-old co-founders were flown to California by Twitter for a meeting recently—now that’s a positive sign. Their most ambitious creation, CrowdReel, allows users to pull together themed photos from Twitter. The McMaster University graduates demonstrated CrowdReel to the Twitter folks using an iPad. NuLayer has also landed a job building the iPad app for The Score sports network, allowing users to not just follow scores but also track players’ stats.

EndLoop Studios, founded by Brothers Garry and Ken Seto (3 total employees)

Feature App: iMockups

A succinct email from Apple dropped itself into Ken’s inbox and kicked his studio’s gears into motion. It said, If you want your app to be in the grand opening of the iPad App Store, you have precisely three weeks to submit it. Ken, 42, said that’s when they started putting hand to keyboard. The company met the deadline, and took its iMockups product from concept to downloadable app in less than a month. As a small group, Ken’s team works fast. The app, which costs $9.99, allows designers to mock up websites and layouts by selecting from a small display case of options, including various video and text icons, and sweeping them onto a digital whiteboard. A designer can shrink, enlarge, and move things about on the screen as clients sit next to them. After being featured on the front page of Apple’s app store, downloads soared 300 percent.

Five Mobile Inc., founded by Jeff Zakrzewski, Troy Hubman, Ameet Shah, and Oliver Tabay (35 total employees)

Feature app: The Score Mobile (BlackBerry)

Not long before Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in September of 2008, the financial goliath pulled the plug on one of its many investments. Tira Wireless, a mobile app developer with a large office in Toronto, was killed off. Five of the employees from there started the deftly named Five Mobile and never looked back. The company has grown to become one of Toronto’s larger developers. From NHL games for simple cellphones, the firm grew and began to create a popular BlackBerry app that aggregates sports results for The Score TV network. They also make apps for other big boys, such as Walt Disney Co., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and MapQuest.