ChangeLog: Startup briefs

ChangeLog is a summary of the latest news from the Ottawa startup community.

Wipebook makes hot deal on Dragons’ Den

Kickstarter darling Wipebook has been quite successful in each of its two crowdfunding campaigns, raising $420,000 in 2013 and $110,000 in 2014, but now the young firm can add famed investor Arlene Dickinson to its list of backers. The firm’s founders Frank Bouchard and Toby Maurice appeared on the April 1 episode of CBC’s Dragons’ Den. Despite criticism from her fellow dragons, Ms. Dickinson agreed to funnel $300,000 into the maker of portable, reusable notebooks in exchange for a 25 per cent stake in the firm.

Matchmakers to form fruitful sponsorship deals

A startup that calls itself “essentially a sponsorship dating website” is looking to link up companies with charities and special events to help strike more meaningful sponsorship deals. Sponsearch, launched at the beginning of April by local small business owner Jean-Paul Yovanoff, says it will use algorithms to comb through a database of clients and make matches that will provide the most benefit for both sides. The company aims to have its website up and running in late 2015.

Canon invests in Ottawa bioscience startup

Spartan Bioscience got a shot in the arm from Canon U.S.A. last month after the companies announced a strategic investment to fund research and development of new diagnostic testing products. The wholly owned subsidiary Canon Biomedical will also look into ways it can work with Spartan on other projects such as rapid genetic testing. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Klipfolio launches mind-reading dashboard system

One of Ottawa’s hottest young companies wants to read your mind. At least, that’s the idea behind Klipfolio’s new state-of-the-art technology. Launched this month after three years of development, the Klipfolio Neuro is an EEG brainwave-detecting headset that clients can wear to create and organize business dashboards just by thinking about what they want. The announcement comes during a big year for Klipfolio, which announced a $6.2-million investment round in February.

New app wants users to pay it forward

An Ottawa-based mobile technology startup that looks to reward the world’s good Samaritans has raised about $10,000 as of April 8 from a crowdfunding campaign that ended April 12, after OBJ went to press. Giovanna Mingarelli is the co-founder and CEO of MCrowdsourcing, which is developing an app called PlayMC2 that will offer prizes and coupons to users who post selfies of their positive “micro-actions,” such as helping out a stranger. However, the startup will likely have to look elsewhere to meet the $35,000 goal it set to complete the full app.

Uber-for-food drives for eateries with no delivery

For all those times when you wish you could stay home and order food from a restaurant that doesn’t deliver, an Ottawa entrepreneur has come up with a solution. Launched last month, MunchWagon sends freelance drivers to pick up food from eateries without delivery service. The company says its customer base has been doubling every day. Founder Goksu Coler says it’s a win-win for restaurants and customers, eliminating the need for restaurants to cut into profits by having MunchWagon’s drivers deliver food to customers’ doors instead. He’ll face competition from another Uber-for-food company called SkipTheDishes, though, which brands itself as Canada’s largest food delivery network.