Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Entry archive:

Small Business Briefing

Y Combinator pitch boosts Waterloo's BufferBox Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz. Download our app  here.

“BufferBox makes rage-inspiring missed deliveries a thing of the past.”

Of the dozens of startups that pitched at Y Combinator’s 15th Demo Day, Waterloo-based BufferBox – along with nine others – really stepped outside of the ... well ... box, earning a spot on TechCrunch’s list of 10 best startups.

The Globe’s Report on Small Business crew met Aditya Bali, one of the founders, last January at our Young Entrepreneurs Night hosted at Kitchener’s Communitech Hub. Even before their wild Y Combinator success, we knew the BufferBox crew was on to something.

How BufferBox works:

Ship penny loafers, T-shirts, jam jars, stamps – whatever – to any of the company’s self-serve parcel delivery kiosks. Once the delivery arrives, you’ll receive an e-mail with a unique PIN, with which you can open your BufferBox at any time to collect your package. BufferBox charges a fee for every parcel delivered through its system.

Why it’s cool for Canadians:

While BufferBox shares some common traits with Amazon Locker – a kiosk where all of your Amazon packages can be shipped – BufferBox is different because it works in Canada (Amazon does not), and it works with all of your packages (UPS, FedEx, USPS, and Amazon). The founders of BufferBox say they’re not worried about the competition if they move into the U.S., since only 30 per cent of the commerce volume comes from Amazon, and the other 70 per cent is fair game.

The future looks bright:

As the company begins rolling out its first boxes in Toronto's centrally located Union Station, its larger goal is to have 100 locations in the city, in convenience stores, grocery stores, and transit stations. According to TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook, this should expand the potential user base to approximately seven million consumers by the end of the year.

BufferBox also announced it has signed agreements with heavyweights Google and Walmart eCommerce, giving consumers the option of having packages delivered to a BufferBox instead of their homes.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

2012 TechRev Innovators

On Sept. 18 at 6 p.m., Startup Calgary will honour companies from across the broad spectrum of advanced technology that were identified as innovators with compelling applications and stories. The event will be held at Ross Glen Hall – Roderick Mah Centre at the Mount Royal University.

Small Business Summit

Vancouver is also the home of the next Small Business Summit, to take place on Oct. 4. Presented by The Globe and Mail’s Report on Small Business, the one-day event will include keynotes, panel discussions, mentor programs and other offerings. Save more than 40 per cent with the “kick-off rate” by registering before Aug. 31. For more information, click here.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Sell skin-care products in-house or go retail?

Lege Artis Skin Care wants to know how best to step up sales of its new skin-care products: exclusively through its clinic or through other retailers.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Video: Is Calgary the best city for entrepreneurs in Canada?

Entrepreneurs explain why Calgary is such an entrepreneurial hotbed.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.comJoin The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe’s website, you cansign up here. Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit ‘save changes.’ If you need to register for the site,click here.

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories