Here’s a snapshot of some MI start-up news that you may have missed over the last week: OtoSim Inc.'s medical training simulators, which teach otoscopy and otolargyngology skills in an…
Every six weeks, MaRS Innovation’s marketing and communications manager writes a guest post for the MaRS Discovery District blog profiling MI’s activities or one of our start-up companies. You can read the original post on the MaRS blog.
On Monday, June 17, Whirlscape Inc. released the beta version of its hotly anticipated, tiny, one-dimensional digital keyboard, Minuum: “the little keyboard for big fingers.”
If you follow tech gadget news, you’ve likely read about or even supported the company’s successful Indiegogo campaign, which raised more than US$87,000—over 870% above their modest initial goal of $10,000—from nearly 10,000 supporters who have now become beta users for the product.
The stats don’t end there. By number of funders, the Minuum Keyboard Project’s campaign is in Indiegogo’s top 10 of all time and is ranked No. 2 among all technology campaigns. Over 1.1 million people worldwide viewed Minuum’s original teaser video on YouTube, which the Whirlscape team edited and shot themselves.
10,000 Indiegogo supporters first to try one-dimensional, virtual mobile keyboard
TORONTO, Canada (June 18, 2013) — Whirlscape Inc., creators of Minuum, “the little keyboard for big fingers,” today released the Android beta to the nearly 10,000 supporters who funded the keyboard’s wildly successful Indiegogo campaign.
The Minuum Project campaign raised over $87,000 (USD) through the crowdfunding platform between March and April 2013, well past its initial goal of $10,000. Whirlscape promised to release the hotly anticipated Minuum beta two months after the campaign, and has delivered on that promise.
Minuum’s beta launch to its Indiegogo supporters was covered by TechCrunch, TechCrunch Japan and Mobile Syrup. Whirlscape’s technology was also highlighted in a VentureBeat article on the future of typing.
Minuum is a tiny, linear, one-dimensional touchscreen keyboard that re-imagines the standard QWERTY layout. It frees up mobile screen space while allowing fast, accurate typing. This touchscreen keyboard marks the first phase of the Minuum Project, which seeks to simplify typing on mobile devices—such as smartphones and tablets—and enable typing for wearable technology. The beta release is an important first step towards Minuum’s “type anywhere” future.
Program’s second cohort includes eQOL, E-Twenty Development, Root2Crown, Treata Smart Solutions and TrendMD
TORONTO (May 14, 2013) — Five companies tackling pervasive healthcare challenges — such as assessing dental health, helping patients and medical personnel navigate hospitals with greater ease, staying current with medical literature, or creating digital tools to help care for the elderly or those with chronic health conditions — have been admitted to the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) program’s second cohort.
UTEST, supported by the University of Toronto’s Connaught Fund, Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) and MaRS Innovation (MI), is part of a growing system of incubators and commercialization support services at U of T.
Two companies in UTEST’s second cohort, E-Twenty Development Inc. and Treata Smart Solutions Inc. are participating in Canada 3.0 at the Metro Convention Centre May 14 and 15, 2013, in Toronto.
This announcement was covered in PE Hub.
Each company will receive up to $25,000, incubation space in the MaRS Discovery District, mentoring and business strategy support to develop protectable intellectual property, launch their products and gain market traction. They are also eligible to become clients of MaRS Discovery District’s ICE or Healthcare practices.
UTEST seeks scalable, enterprise-focused software applications interested in building business-to-business customer bases — and preferably operational products with a short term to market. The program is co-directed by Kurtis Scissons (U of T IPO) and Dr. Lyssa Neel (MI).
The second cohort has big shoes to fill. UTEST’s first cohort has collectively secured over $1.2 million in follow-on funding and currently employs 29 highly skilled people (HQPs). Each company also filed solid patent protection and most have secured customers. Notably, Whirlscape’s Indiegogo campaign secured over $87,000 in crowd-sourced product funds from nearly 10,000 users, and was featured in the Financial Post, TechCrunch, Mashable and The Verge, among other global media outlets.
Start-up launches Indiegogo campaign to change future of mobile typing
Minuum’s crowdfunding campaign was covered by the Financial Post, CBC News, CTV News, the Toronto Star and Metro Morning (radio interview). They also did a second spot on CTV News‘s Tech Tuesday report and were featured on Global TV’s The Morning Show.
Minuum is a tiny, one-dimensional keyboard that frees up mobile screen space while allowing fast, accurate typing. Its specialized, patent-protected auto-correction algorithm corrects highly imprecise typing.
This algorithm, based on the touchscreen and wearable device research of company founders, Will Walmsley (researcher) and Khai Truong (associate professor) at the University of Toronto, configures the difference between what you type and what you mean, in real time, getting it right even if you miss every single letter.