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UTEST Program

Whirlscape’s Minuum keyboard makes SmartTV typing easy

University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) graduate Whirlscape Inc. released a video on February 25, 2014 showing how their Minuum keyboard can make typing on Smart TVs and consoles easy. UTEST is currently accepting applications for its third cohort. Apply now. Minuum, the "little keyboard for big fingers" is making waves in wearable technology with their disambiguation algorithm and advanced language modelling, which can be used on Android devices and smart watches. Read Darrell Etherington's article about Minuum on Smart TVs and consoles in ... Read more

UTEST accepting applications for third cohort of University of Toronto entrepreneurs

MaRS Innovation-U of T accelerator program among Canada’s best The University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology accelerator program (UTEST) is now accepting applications for a third cohort until April 17, 2014. Applicants must be current students or faculty at U of T, or have graduated within the last two years. UTEST has just launched a new website with complete application information about the early-stage incubator and a link to the application form: The 12-month program allows selected U of T affiliates to access office space, mentoring and ... Read more

UTEST grad Crowdmark profiled in The Globe and Mail article

Crowdmark, a graduate of the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program's first cohort, was the focus of a February 17 article by Ivor Tossell, The Globe and Mail's technology culture columnist. Created by U of T professor James Colliander, Crowdmark allows educators to quickly and efficiently grade large amounts of tests and exams. Tossell highlighted Crowdmark's innovation and ease-of-use for the grader. The product is cloud-based, meaning that a team of educators marking the same group of exams don't have to be in ... Read more

Huffington Post : MaRS Innovation among driving forces in Canada’s start-up landscape

In "Big-Brain Hunting: The Key to Supercluster Success," the Huffington Post's Pat Lynch investigates how and what makes start-ups successful. Attracting top-talent is listed as a major reason, but so is the environment required to give start-ups the tools they need to flourish. Lynch highlights MaRS Innovation as a driving force in sustaining the innovation industry in Canada by attracting big ideas and global talent, using former MI project manager Lyssa Neel as an example. Neel helped launch the education sector start-up Crowdmark, and ... Read more

Y Combinator-backed Whirlscape closes $500,000 seed funding round

Minuum keyboard creators accelerate wearable device input technology development TORONTO, Canada (February 6, 2014) — Whirlscape Inc., creators of Minuum, “the little keyboard for big fingers,” have closed an investment seed round for just over $500,000 (USD). Y Combinator, FundersClub, BDC Venture Capital, and a dozen other prominent angel investors have contributed to the round. Whirlscape’s plans for the capital involve innovating beyond its participation in Silicon Valley’s start-up accelerator Y Combinator. Whirlscape also aims to consolidate the success of its Minuum keyboard ... Read more

Whirlscape’s Minuum keyboard profiled on The Discovery Channel

Whirlscape Inc.'s Minuum keyboard was featured on the January 27, 2014 episode of Discovery Canada's Daily Planet. Lucas Cochran, Daily Planet's technology correspondent, covered the technology that's perfect for small devices and big fingers, noting that Minuum's creators are successfully combating the small amount of space available on wearable technology, like smart watches. Check out the video here. The profile, in Cochran's Digit@l segment, begins at the 1:10 mark. (more…) Read more

UTEST Featured in BetaKit’s The Accelerator Series

The University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) program was the focus of a recent online article in BetaKit, a Canadian innovation and technology resource. The article by Joseph Czikk, BetaKit's managing editor, is part of a series on Canada's most promising start-up accelerators and the people who  make them successful. Czikk highlights UTEST "as one of the most value-packed programs in the entire country" and credits the calibre of applicants and ideas to the program's requirement to have at least one co-founder ... Read more

Crowdmark announces new partnership with Ricoh Canada Inc.

Crowdmark, a MaRS Innovation and University of Toronto start-up incubated through the UTEST program, has reached a deal with Ricoh Canada Inc. Announced January 20, 2014, the deal outlines national printing and scanning service for Crowdmark customers, with U.S. discussions coming up in the future, to improve the start-up's online marking process for teachers. Here's an excerpt from the release (emphasis ours): Toronto, Ontario (January 20, 2014) – Crowdmark Inc., a software company that delivers an ultra-scalable collaborative assessment platform to educators worldwide, announced today ... Read more

Whirlscape releases Minuum demo on a Smart Watch

Whirlscape continues to build momentum for the Minuum keyboard. On January 21, the UTEST grad launched a demo of their keyboard on a Galaxy Gear Smart Watch. The remarkably accurate keyboard that encourages sloppy typing for smartphones and wearable technology uses a disambiguation algorithm to make sense of any letter combination, so it's been proven perfect for big fingers. Xavier Snelgrove, Minuum's co-founder and CTO, wrote a detailed explanation on the creation of the keyboard in Input, a blog by Minuum's creators. From language ... Read more

Financial Post lists Whirlscape as Canadian Start-Up to Watch

2014 set to be big year for the start-up and UTEST grad Whirlscape's Minuum keyboard leads the way in Matthew Braga's January 5 Financial Post article highlighting promising start-ups from across Canada. In 2013, Whirlscape's Minuum keyboard app debuted at number 2 on Google's Top New Paid Apps List after raising over $87,000 on an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. They've also been accepted into Y Combinator, a prestigious U.S. accelerator program. Here's an excerpt from the article: Minuum's potential goes far beyond improved touchscreen typing. The company's so-called "one-dimensional" keyboard ... Read more
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