The list was published just weeks before the announcement of the fourth UTEST cohort, and included recognition of TrendMD and Whirlscape as notable startups among the graduated UTEST companies.
Here’s the excerpt:
UTEST, a collaboration between U of T and MaRs Innovation, is in its fourth year of operation with 15 teams. The program is one year in length and is only available to current students, recent grads and university faculty. UTest invests $30,000 in its companies in return for 5% equity. Two notable alumni are scholarly content recommendation engine TrendMD and mobile keyboard creator Whirlscape.
The article also mentions Slyce as a breakout company from the INCubes accelerator; the company acquired York University technology through a license deal negotiated by MaRS Innovation prior to their IPO.
TrendMD’s content recommendation engine, an innovative content marketing solution, delivered 450,000 article readers last month
Faced with the challenge of finding research they need across a staggering and ever-growing number of articles online, researchers and clinicians are clicking on personalized article recommendations delivered by TrendMD’s recommendation widget.
TrendMD is a graduate of the UTEST program’s third cohort.
Using sophisticated algorithms across millions of articles served each month, recommended articles are identified based on keywords and user behaviour, such as click behaviour (“people that read X, also clicked on Y”), article popularity, and personalization (what the specific visitor has read on past visits to the network). From an article page with the TrendMD widget, readers get direct links to recommended articles either from within that publisher, or from a third-party publisher — exactly at the moment they are engaged in research– saving time and increasing awareness of relevant research they may not have discovered with a keyword search.
“Since launch, each week we have consistently increased viewers reached by at least 5%. We’re now generating over 95 million recommended articles to approximately 12 million readers per month. Of the people we reach, we’ve delivered over 450,000 readers to publishers in the network. As we continue to grow the TrendMD network, we retain readers longer and increase new traffic for our publishers. We’ve invested in infrastructure to prepare for significant growth in partnerships. We recently indexed over 1 million articles from Wolters Kluwer and began delivering readers to more articles right from the point our recommendation software went live,” said Paul Kudlow, co-founder of TrendMD.
Ingentaconnect recently added 96 journals from 32 publishers to the TrendMD network. Byron Russell, head of Ingentaconnect at Publishing Technology explains, “Each month we direct thousands of readers to our publishing clients’ content and add value by enhancing their research experience. Partnering with TrendMD is an innovative way of delivering more value to both readers and publishers. Readers get highly targeted recommendations for further research, and our publishers’ articles get significantly greater visibility through TrendMD’s growing network.”
In the past month, TrendMD’s recommendation widget was added to over a million articles across hundreds of journals from leading STM publishers such as Wolters Kluwer, Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, and others. TrendMD’s network is a growing list of the world’s leading research publishers which includes BMJ Group, IEEE (EMBS), MDPI, and Rockefeller University Press. The article recommendation widget is featured across more than 70 publishing partners and is viewed by nearly 12 million readers per month.
“Science, medicine, nursing, and allied health are strengths of our publishers’ network. We can deliver specific article recommendations personalized to a cardiologist’s interests, for example. Articles are identified based on what the user is reading at the moment and what he or she and others also clicked on from within the TrendMD widget across visits to network publishers’ articles,” Paul Kudlow commented.
TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2015 – Working with five leading universities in North America during 2014-15, Crowdmark Inc., a collaborative online grading and analytics platform, has demonstrated the benefits and advantages of using two-stage examinations in a number of undergraduate programs in post-secondary institutions across the world.
Crowdmark has worked with universities to introduce two-stage exams as a way to integrate collaborative learning and assessment into the traditional exam format. In a two-stage exam, students individually complete the exam and then, working in groups of three to four, immediately complete the exam again. This method provides students with immediate feedback through discussion with their peers as they deliberate the most correct response. The two-stage exam provides feedback on individual performance while increasing students’ engagement and comprehension of course content.
James Colliander, Crowdmark Founder/CEO and Professor of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia is encouraged by the reception two-stage exams have received at universities in North America.
“The experiments with two-stage exams last spring were very informative and helped shape our platform to support a new and emerging assessment scenario,” says Colliander. “Also with feedback from our customers, we made elegant improvements allowing Crowdmark to be used for other assessment types including lab reports and group projects.”
“Using it is simple — you turn it on, press calibrate and lift your arms and hands as you would to shoot a basket,” wrote Liwanag. “The objective is to bring the circle hovering inside the target on the watch’s screen to go green. When it does, the user is in the right starting position and has the ability to achieve consistency shot after shot.”
Onyx Motion is a graduate of the UTEST program‘s third cohort (and is currently based in Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone). Their basketball app, which is scheduled to launch in November after a successful Indiegogo campaign, is the first of several sports-focused products planned by CEO Marissa Wu.
UTEST is a 12-month incubation and acceleration program co-managed by the University of Toronto (U of T) and MaRS Innovation that allows selected U of T-affiliated early-stage startup companies to incorporate, use office space, receive mentorship and access $30,000 in funding, with opportunities for follow-on funding from MaRS Innovation.
“We are thrilled to partner with A&B and leverage their legal expertise for our startups and emerging companies,” said Kurtis Scissions, who co-directs UTEST with MI’s Mike Betts. “To date, 17 companies, including Granata Decision Systems, Whirlscape, Crowdmark, eQOL and TrendMD, have successfully graduated from our program. We look forward to adding A&B’s Startups Team of lawyers to our mentorship group for the UTEST program, beginning in 2015.”
“When Binh Nguyen, then a graduate student in biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto, was working in the renal engineering department of a local hospital, he was struck by what he felt was a suboptimal setup for dialysis treatment,” writes Jordana Dixon in “Health startup helps patients become more independent,” for the Globe and Mail on April 13, 2015.
eQOL Inc. is a University of Toronto and MaRS Innovation start-up company that participated in and graduated from the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program’s second cohort.
Taking these complications into consideration, Mr. Nguyen envisioned an all-encompassing lateral system that would optimize the process of in-home dialysis utilizing technology, but most importantly, improving patient experience.
Editor’s note: As of today, the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) program, which MaRS Innovation co-directs with the University of Toronto, is accepting applications for Cohort 4. The full application is available on the UTEST website. In meantime, it’s our pleasure to reprint Brianna Goldberg’s “day-in-the-life-of-an-entrepreneur” feature on Cohort 3 company Nvest, published for U of T News.
Jackie Yan focuses on tweaking his PowerPoint slide deck despite the chaos unfolding around him.
Near the entrance to the office space he shares with teams from the six other startups that are part of the UTEST accelerator program, a phone spits distorted tones of an investment-related conference call at Hanna Tomory, CEO of a fatigue-management start-up called Syncadian, as she scratches a list of notes.
A few steps down the hall, Marissa Wu, founder of the digital sports coaching wearable startup called Onyx Motion, goes over presentation notes with her co-founder Vivek Kesarwani. They discuss the finer points of athlete training with the intensity of so many layup drills performed on the basketball net propped against the wall of their desk space.
Across the table in the conference room where Yan is feverishly editing his slides, James McCrae pieces together 3D sculptures of horses, wasps and dinosaurs created with software from his start-up, FlatFab.
“We’re hoping to make more stable structures with our 1.0 design, maybe integrating finger-joints,” McCrae explains as he prepares to demo FlatFab’s wares for a video crew from the Privy Council Office in Ottawa, Ontario.
The videographers are producing a video about MaRS Innovation today, which co-directs the UTEST accelerator program with the University of Toronto, and are capturing b-roll of UTEST founders at work on their ventures. With seven companies currently sharing the working space, there’s always something happening.
SAULT STE. MARIE, February 13, 2015 — eQOL, a Sault Ste. Marie-based company working to enhance patient independence and a graduate of the second University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) incubator’s second cohort, has received $435,475 from the Ontario Government. David Orazietti, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, made the announcement on February 13, 2015.
The funding, which includes $415,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and $20,475 to hire an intern under the Northern Ontario Internship Program also through NOHFC, will allow eQOL to complete clinical studies using their Dialysis Platform for Communication, Assistance and Training (DiCAT) product.
“With this support from our government, eQOL is able to use their innovative new technology in clinical studies – the first step towards commercializing the technology,” said Orazietti. “This software will not only enhance the quality of life for dialysis patients, but will also benefit our health care system and community as it streamlines processes and alleviates strain on hospital resources.”
DiCAT, a mobile technology solution for independent/home dialysis, aims to simplify and reduce the intimidation that patients experience with this self-care process. Its iPad and web-based applications provide enhanced connectivity, access to resources, and process management, which will promote a shift from in-centre care to in-home care. Successfully completing the clinical study and implementing DiCAT will allow patients who live far away from healthcare centres to receive care at home without having to relocate, which will have a great impact in northern regions.
Signarama Canada first global franchise group to rollout solution
TORONTO, January 29, 2015 — CoursePeer Inc. and National Franchise Group have partnered to launch Franchise University, a service offering global franchise groups a powerful cloud-based training and collaboration solution for their franchisees. Signarma Canada, the global sign industry leader ranked 28th on Franchise Direct’s Top 100 Global Franchises list, is among the first brands to join.
CoursePeer, a University of Toronto and MaRS Innovation company that provides learning and collaboration solutions for enterprise and government, will begin a full rollout of Franchise University solution for Signarama in the first quarter of 2015.
“Training a new hire and retraining existing employees can be very difficult and a time-consuming task for a franchise operator. Cloud-based approved training allows staff to be trained and retrained without losing focus on the franchise’s daily operations,” said Ghassan Barazi, CEO of National Franchise Group.
TORONTO (January 21, 2015) — MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto (U of T) are pleased to announce that the founders of Granata Decision Systems Inc., a graduate of the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) start-up incubator program, have joined Google Inc.
Dr. Craig Boutilier is a professor in U of T’s Department of Computer Science. He and Tyler Lu, a graduating PhD student in the same department, co-founded Granata Decision Systems in 2012 to develop their advanced decision-support technologies. Granata’s software platform provided real-time optimization and scenario analysis capabilities for large-scale, data-driven marketing problems and group/organizational decision-making. The company was part of the UTEST program’s first cohort.
“This is a significant milestone for the UTEST program and the wider MaRS Innovation portfolio,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO. “We co-created the UTEST program with U of T to foster entrepreneurship in a meaningful way while encouraging students and professors to translate their academic ideas into commercial realities. We hope Craig and Tyler’s success will motivate other researchers and students to consider working with MI and participate in UTEST and our other commercialization programs.”