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Vancouver hockey fans tweet while watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals inside a Gastown bar.
Vancouver hockey fans tweet while watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals inside a Gastown bar.

Small Business Briefing

Fantasy sports company scores funding round Add to ...

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Company gets into the finance game

InGamer Fantasy Inc., which produces what it calls " real-time second screen gaming" for sports publishers, has received funding from a group of five angel investors. The undisclosed sum will be dedicated to improving the company's products and expanding its sales and distribution. The Guelph, Ont.-based business is slated for a U.S. launch in September.

InGamer has also named Rick Wolf to the position of executive vice-president of strategic partnerships. Mr. Wolf is the former director of business development at NBC Sports Digital.

"He has been a part of some amazing U.S. success stories," InGamer founder Nic Sulsky says in a press release. "So we figured it was about time he was involved in an International one."

The investor group involved in the latest round of financing includes Garner Bornstein of Airborne Mobile, and ex-NHLer and Stanley Cup winner Bryan Muir of Mackie Research Capital. Mr. Sulsky says the other three investors prefer to remain "behind the scenes" for the time being.

He also points out that, as far as he knows, InGamer is the only company with offices at key innovation hubs Communitech, in Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District. It conducts operations and development at the former, and sales and marketing at the latter.

More than 80 per cent of all sports fans watch with a companion device in tow, InGamer notes in its release. "By integrating real-time conversation into a gamified companion product that is measurable and trackable, InGamer is pushing the envelope of true integrated media."

Using its mobile or online platforms, fans select a group of players while watching a live game and receive points based on how those players perform.

Cream of the events crop

Trade publication BizBash Media has named several Canadian event professionals to its list of the 66 most innovative people in the industry as part of its second annual “innovation Issue.” Some of those featured include:

  • Kim Graham, Kim Graham & Associates, Toronto: Known for organizing events for design, architecture, and real estate organizations in unlikely locales, such as a decommissioned subway station during the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Joel Hock, Solutions With Impact Inc., Toronto: Continues to expand his Car Rally for Kids with Cancer fundraiser, where attendees go on scavenger hunts navigated by celebrities such as Eva Longoria and Gene Simmons in Toronto, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Houston.
  • Natasha Koifman, NKPR, Toronto: Ms. Koifman executes events, pop-ups, and stunts for more than 30 national and international clients. She works around the clock during the Toronto film festival, managing PR for events from Artists for Peace and Justice fundraisers to a Skyy vodka aerial stunt.
  • Marc Thuet, Thuet Inc., Toronto: At art party Power Ball 13, he turned heads when he roasted a 900-pound bull on a spit.
  • Candice Chan & Alison Slight, Candice & Alison Luxury Events, Toronto: Ms. Chan and Ms. Slight have an eye for trends, making them well suited to events such as the Harry Rosen party during the Toronto film festival.

Manchester company sets up shop in Halifax

Wooshii, an online marketplace for video and animation, has chosen Halifax as its North American base of operation, citing the city's location, infrastructure and talent pool as key factors. The branch of the Manchester-based business will house a development team and an agency team, and manage the network of account managers throughout North America. Its newly appointed president, Paul Ryan, is a veteran of highly respected New Brunswick social media company Radian6, and its seed investors were two Albertans, Timo Ewalds, founder of social-media site Nexopia, and Mike Sikorsky, co-founder of such startups as Cambrian House and Robots and Pencils Inc.


Free innovation series continues

The RIC Centre in the Greater Toronto Area's Peel Region has organized a free, six-session series on innovation called Innovate Forward. The sessions, which run from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., are aimed at helping managers, specialists, and innovators from advanced manufacturing companies with practical tools, tips, demos and industry-leading speakers. Evaluating New Ideas on March 22, takes you through developing an objective evaluation method, reviewing an idea for validity, and leveraging your customer connections. It will be led by Paul Smith, vice-president and centre manager of Xerox Research Centre of Canada. Advanced registration is required.

Lots of tech. And then some partying

The Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference (CUTC) labels itself "an annual gathering of the most passionate tech students across the country." Over two days, it is designed to introduce as much technology as possible, in as many ways as possible – with talks from industry leaders, hands-on tradeshows, technical competitions, ideation challenges, and intimate breakout sessions. "After all the high-intensity talks, we want you to have some fun, whether that means dominating your opponent in StarCraft, racing across the city in a scavenger hunt, or maybe hitting a bar." Attend on April 27 and 28 at the University of Calgary, or April 28 and 29 at the University of Toronto.


Fishing for business in India

Marport Canada’s main business is selling underwater sonar technology to commercial fisheries to help them catch fish, but it also sells devices to the military to help them search for underwater mines. The company's founder wants to sell his product to both the defence and fishing sectors in India, but he’s going to focus first on the fishing industry. “This is a huge demographic that’s eating more and more seafood,” Karl Kenny says in our latest edition of The Challenge. “And the technologies they’re using are fairly old.” But breaking into India is a lot different than, say, selling into Europe.


Mechanic cleans up auto-racing circuit

Meet Eric Latino: a 47-year-old entrepreneur, master mechanic, co-founder of the emission control technology GESi – a type of catalytic converter that can be used on almost any combustible engine – and chief technology officer of his Whitby, Ont.-based company.

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