MONTREAL — I’m in Montréal, Québec at the ungodly hour of 8:20 AM EST — yeah, that’s 5:20 PST — after arriving in my ‘otel about 1 AM last night.
But it’s all good, because today is Demo Day for one of Canada’s top accelerators: FounderFuel. Last year, over 800 people attended FounderFuel’s demo day, which has become a real event in Montréal. This year, it could be even bigger as Montréal’s Startup Festival is happening this week as well, bringing well-known Valley personalities such as Dave McClure and Paul Singh to la belle province.
Nine brand-new companies will be presenting, and FounderFuel general manager Ian Jeffery says they’re better than ever before.
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“I do think that we have stepped it up significantly,” Jeffery told me yesterday. “In this cohort are some of the most mature companies we’ve ever had. All nine are fantastic, but some have real revenues already, over a million downloads, and upwards of 175,000 monthly active users.”
You would expect the shepherd of a new flock of accelerator graduates to say that, but there’s evidence as well. Several of the companies have already closed their seed rounds — before Demo Day even begins. (I can’t name names before the actual event tonight.)
Here’s a quick overview of the companies presenting tonight. If there are any you’re particularly interested in, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to cover them individually today.
Transit App | Powering public transit
The app that simplifies public transit by empowering commuters with the information they need.
Groove | Reconnect with your music
The smart music player that learns from listening habits to create the perfect playlist every time.
LoginRadius | The social sign-on API
LoginRadius is a unified social authentication API for web and mobile platforms to engage, understand, and leverage users.
Provender | Your farmteam
The farm-to-fork online marketplace for chefs and farmers.
CrowdMedia | Reinventing news photography
A curated marketplace that captures newsworthy photos in real time for publishers.
SwiftIdentity | Whoʼs next?
The API powering the next generation of secure online authentication.
Instagrad | Making higher education a reality
The social fundraising platform for college and university savings.
Dashbook | Satisfying your information craving
The platform that satisfies your information cravings by delivering the content you care about.
Now In Store | Redesigning fashion wholesale
The wholesale marketplace that connects independent fashion designers to retailers.
Interestingly, one of the companies has gone from zero to paying customers within the 12-week accelerator program.
“CrowdMedia started with almost nothing,” Jeffery told me. “Now, they’ve got not only a working product, but people paying them … all in 12 weeks from idea to live product in-market with paying customers.”
VB’s research team is studying mobile user acquisition: Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.