Entrepreneur

Montreal’s reelyActive wins global startup competition, named ‘world’s best startup.’

Above: reelyActive's CEO Jeffrey Dungen and CTO Pier-Olivier Genest celebrate with their award

Image Credit: Crystal Endless

This sponsored post is produced by Startup World.

Canada’s reelyActive was named ‘World’s Best Technology Startup’ tonight at the grand finale competition of Startup World, an initiative to promote startups and entrepreneurship globally.

reelyActive, led by CEO Jeffrey Dungen and CTO Pier-Olivier Genest, identifies real-world context to facilitate a wide variety of applications.

Technology can increasingly make sense of one’s virtual footprint on the Internet: website visits, social media trends, etc., but it typically lags sorely behind at understanding context in the real world. reelyActive captures real-time snapshots of people, places and things at meaningful points of interest. They call this hyperlocal context.

Hyperlocal context is a way to model the physical world at a given instant in time. reelyActive’s novel radio hardware provides a cost-effective, plug-and-play means to identify and locate wireless devices. Their software associates the identified people and “things” with their existing online data.

The Internet of Things, already a movement in the technology industry, is finding innovative ways of connecting the physical and digital worlds to provide humans with an easier user interface for real life. Cisco predicts that the number of connected “things” will balloon to 50 billion by 2020.

Ambient social networking apps like Highlight have tried and failed to solve the problem of connecting or disseminating information of people who are in close proximity in a social situation or an event, but reelyActive enables hyperlocal context discovery on any device via a webpage, thanks to a simple but clever piece of hardware connected to the cloud.

reelyActive’s name stems from the fact that their radio sensors interconnect to form a ‘reel,’ which listens for nearby devices that ‘actively’ identify themselves using radio transmissions. The reel can simultaneously support a variety of protocols such as Bluetooth Low Energy, supported by the latest smartphones, wearables, and tracking devices such as Tile, as well as reelyActive’s own proprietary radio protocol.

The data collected by reels is processed either by reelyActive’s cloud or a local server, where all relevant information is provided by an API. This allows developers to build their own apps, which currently enable streamlined parking experiences, home and office environments that respond to the presence of their occupants, and analytics for people and things moving through a space.

The startup, based in Montreal, beat off stiff competition from 15 entrepreneurs who flew in from Africa, North/South America, and Europe to pitch on stage at the event, held at co-working space Parisoma.

Sponsored by American Airlines, Tropo, Eventbrite, Rackspace, NakedWines, and UserVoice, the competition has taken place in 20 cities globally over the past two years with the aim to connect Silicon Valley culture with the world and the world with Silicon Valley.

Judges Johnny Diggz, Developer Evangelist at Tropo, Lea Bajc, Investment Director of Northzone, Wayne Sutton of PitchTio, and Noah Doyle, Managing Director at Javelin Partners, collectively came to the decision based on criteria such as how innovative the idea was, global impact, and scalability.

Startup World founders Hermione Way and Erick Davidson started the project when they noticed a growing trend of startups and entrepreneurship outside of Silicon Valley:

“We live in a time where building technology startups is truly a global story, all you need is a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, and there’s no reason why you can’t build the next Facebook or Google. The next billion dollar startup could well come from Africa or the Middle East.”

“It’s fitting that reelyActive won the competition as our world becomes increasingly connected via the Internet and the barriers to entry are broken down.” she added.

Recognition for best mobile startup went to Geddit, most innovative startup, New York’s Placemeter, Best enterprise startup Mexico City’s Modebo, and most human impact startup Vancouver’s Change Heroes.

reelyActive is an alumnus of Montreal based mentor-driven technology accelerator FounderFuel. For more information about reelyActive, email jeff@reelyactive.com. Follow them on Twitter, & Facebook.

Startup World partnered with Startup Canada to help promote the event. For more information about Startup World, visit www.startupworld.com and email hermione@startupworld.com.


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