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"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.


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.


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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.


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

Entrepreneurs explain why Calgary is such an entrepreneurial hotbed.

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Follow Katherine Scarrow on Twitter: @scarrowkOpens in a new window

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