Three Ontario startups fare well at worldwide entrepreneurship contest started their journey at OCE-sponsored event

January 2, 2014

Three teams that began their journey at Startup Weekend Maker Edition presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) in Toronto last month took some of the top prizes at this year’s Global Startup Battle.

Pawly, the product that helps pet owners stay connected with their pets from anywhere, was crowned overall global champion. Tweeting pill box Life Capsule took first place in the Activate circle closely followed by interactive story beads startup Griflens in second place. Griflens took top spot at the Starup Weekend Maker Edition in November.

“OCE is always looking for ways to support the best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs in Ontario,” said Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence. “Companies like those participating in the Startup Weekend Maker Edition are not only among the top startups in this province, they are making waves internationally.”

The Global Startup Battle, powered by Google and organized by and Startup Weekend, pits startup teams from around the world against each other for the chance to win prizes including $20,000 in match funding for Indiegogo and the chance to visit Google HQ in San Francisco. More than 20,000 entrepreneurs from 167 different cities took part in this year’s event which takes place as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

“I am so proud of Pawly, Life Capsule and Griflens for everything they’ve achieved so far,” said Chris Eben, Founding Organizer, Startup Weekend Toronto. “Their success in this significant annual competition demonstrates that Toronto’s startup community is an international powerhouse. The rest of the world should take note - Toronto is where you want to build your startup.”

Startup Weekend Maker Edition Toronto, presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence, took place at OCAD University as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2013. The event, Toronto’s sixth Startup Weekend, was the first to focus on hardware and 3D printing, bringing together entrepreneurs, developers, designers and makers for a weekend of rapid prototyping, experiential learning and customer validation. The event was also sponsored by OCAD U, The Working Group, GE and BDC.

“Startup Weekend really helped guide us in our journey to success by providing us the mentorship and focus we needed in order to make sure we were onto a problem worth solving, said Shiera Aryev, CEO and Co-Founder of Pawly. “We all share the same passion for improving people’s lives through technology and are so excited to be given an opportunity to improve pet owner and pet relationships.”

This is the second consecutive year that an Ontario team has claimed the top spot at the Global Startup Battle. Last year’s winner, Groupnotes, created a collaborative tool that lets you create a private comment section on any website. Groupnotes was also a top prize taker in the Experiential Learning Program competition for young entrepreneurs held as part of the 2013 edition of OCE’s Discovery conference.