ideaBOOST unveils spring cohort


The CFC Media Lab unveiled its second cohort of six start-ups on Wednesday during a presentation at Corus Quay in Toronto.

The projects in this round of the business accelerator are more focused on disruptive tech and back-end aspects of content creation, personalization and sharing. They all in some way leverage and address the idea that the way people discover and produce media and content has been transformed by the internet.

Motion Panels+, from Piglion Studio, is an app that turns static comic books and graphic novels into animated sequences, panel by panel, when users flip the device the comic or novel is being read on. The Motion Panels+ Mixer app lets content creators build their own comic pages and animate them, to be showcased within the app’s gallery or linked to the creator’s own websites.

InstaRadio is an app that lets users stream and record audio anywhere, and broadcast to anyone, from their mobile devices. As company partner Kevin Kliman describes it, the app could “enable everyone to create their own station.”

The BeMused Network is a discovery platform for the performing arts. The project has two core aspects – it’s for content discovery, and it’s also a platform to facilitate that discovery. The platform lets users search for events, like performances and plays, by neighbourhood, and connect with local artists, all related to their interests. Local artists can also work with the platform as a tool to cultivate audiences for their work.

Lightning Platform is a cloud-based framework born out of Toronto-based game studio Social Game Universe. The creators, familiar with the problems game developers face when creating apps, like how to get to market quicker or how to understand user behavior on a deeper level, created the tool to help address these problems. Lightning lets users create and manage second-screen and social game mechanics. As Lightning’s Matt McPherson describes it, content creators can use it “to look after back-end plumbing” while focusing on their core business.

Wondereur is an app that links content creation with e-commerce, based on the idea that storytelling, reimagined for the digital space, can drive the shopping experience. Its beta version, currently available as an iPad and web app and soft-launched about a year ago, lets users learn, through photojournalistic essays, about the stories and creators behind pieces of art, which they can then buy directly through the app. The creators of Wandereur aim to develop the app to “enrich ownership of objects through digital storytelling.” Meaning, they aim to use mobile tech, storytelling and augmented reality to create a personal experience around collecting objects and experiencing objects and art in public spaces.

And Vancouver-based AlertTV+ is a system for producers and content creators to customize their multi-platform strategies to target audiences, track ROI and measure effectiveness of campaigns. The browser-based system also includes a report-generating function.

Additionally, nine groups will participate in program’s first affiliate program. These groups are part of the spring shortlist, and will be able to participate in select ideaBOOST sessions. The projects are: Space Janitors, Dads, Hello Cool World Dream Machine, CineApp, Stickeration, nPulse, Circles, Bundle and Indiloop.

ideaBOOST helps these ventures by investing up to $15,000 in development costs, in addition to $15,000 of in-kind services for projects in the program. Program’s mentors also provides strategic business advice.