Live at GrowLab Demo Day in Vancouver

Above: GrowLab

Image Credit: John Koetsier

–VANCOUVER Ahh, the chaos, excitement, sheer terror, and sometimes — sadly — ennui of demo day.

It’s startup accelerator GrowLab’s demo day tonight in Vancouver, Canada, and I’m live, on location intrepidly reporting before I dash off to my phone booth tonight to transform into my regular office-bound oafish existence. Demo Day is at District 319, an abandoned Asian movie house-turned funky event space, with ominous No Minors Allowed signs decorating the entrance, and the magic starts in just two and a half hours.

There are seven startups presenting today, all of which received $20-25,000 in preliminary funding from GrowLab in exchange for five to nine percent equity. The founders are currently in their holy-mother-it’s-our-last-chance-to-practice mode, but I’ll be chatting with each in about an hour.

“I’m excited, there’s a lot of energy here … it’s definitely been a journey with GrowLab,” said KarmaHire’s James Clift “I’m super-proud of my team and what we’ve accomplished, and excited for the future.”

All of them spent the last three months working around the clock preparing for this moment:

  • ePACT is the emergency network that connects families, organizations and entire communities via web and mobile access to critical information, communication and support in any crisis.
  • KarmaHire revolutionizes the 9B recruitment advertising market. It is an optimized hiring platform for fast growing companies to create high converting recruiting pages in minutes, attract better talents, and increase their ROI.
  • Procurify is a spend management solution for organization of all sizes. It is an online software that is easy-to-use, secure, and cost effective.
  • Spacelist is the MLS for commercial real estate.  With over 16 million square feet of available space, businesses can clearly see all their options, setup a tour and move into a great space with less stress and less confusion than ever before.
  • Nanu Interactive develops applications that add sharing and magic to family activities. We want to enrich the things you do by using technology to make them magical.
  • OOHLALA is the must have collage app that helps you connect with your campus life.
  • Will Pwn 4 Food makes fast-action 3D games that you can play on their website, anytime, anywhere for actual cash and prizes!

photoToday’s a big day and a lot is riding on the startups’ pitches. Investors and mentors will be in the crowd watching, and up to five of the most successful graduates will receive a convertible note for $150,000 from the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Former GrowLab grads include Skyscraper, which just raised a $500,000 seed round in December of 2012, and Mover.io, which is looking to be be the default mover of data — everywhere.

More a little later today.

Image credit: John Koetsier

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