JOLT Accelerator Unveils Fall ’13 Cohort Along with New Online Look

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Toronto’s JOLT technology accelerator, housed in the MaRS Discovery District, is announcing its Fall 2013 cohort along with the launch of its fancy new website.

Foreshadowing a bit of news to come, JOLT’s executive director Sue McGill told BetaKit how optimistic she was for the future of the accelerator, and also mentioned that more announcements are coming over the next few months.

“Since our launch, just over 12 months ago, we’ve been focused on growing all aspects of our portfolio and the JOLT platform,” said McGill. “We’ve created an amazing and diverse community of founders and collaborators and we’re extremely excited about the momentum and direction our companies are heading.”

Here’s a bit of information about the five new teams under JOLT’s guidance.

Cumulonimbus Software: Cumulonimbus crowdsources live atmosphere data using sensors in Android devices with pressureNET, their open platform for sensor data collection. Cofounders Jacob Sheehy, Philippe Stuart Jones, and Jared Kerim are solving the weather forecasting problem with pressureNET. The trio said that the recent ubiquity of smartphones has enabled easy collection of unprecedented quantities of live atmosphere observations. This data is valuable in many industries, such as weather forecasting and renewable energy production and storage, in the form of highly accurate atmosphere models and forecasts.

LaunchPad: LaunchPad fundamentally improves how mobile apps are built and managed by integrating directly into mobile apps and allowing all team members including designers, copy writers and legal to simultaneously control their part.

The company was founded by Aaron Glazer, Andrew Norris, Jonathan Norris and Cobi Druxerman. According to the team, LaunchPad enables true mobile optimization and exceptional user experiences that haven’t been possible to date in mobile, while reducing a lot of the costs and complexities inherent in mobile application development. LaunchPad will be free for small independent developers and a tiered monthly paid service for larger app development teams and enterprise companies.

Raise Your Flag: Raise Your Flag helps students who aren’t going to university or college explore careers that don’t require a degree or diploma and create career plans to gain meaningful employment. CEO Ryan Porter and cofounder Scott Walkinshaw founded this startup in 2011 and wants to help these often forgotten “other” students to bring “more value to the workforce than ever before.” The platform also helps educators offer clear guidance to their work-bound students.

Turnstyle Solutions: Turnstyle uses cutting-edge technology to provide businesses an unprecedented understanding of their customer behaviour. Founded in 2012 by Devon Wright, Chris Gilipin and Matt Hunter, the startup uses cutting-edge technology to provide businesses an unprecedented understanding of their customer behaviour.

“It is our mission to help retailers and brands learn more about their customers, empowering them to serve them better and grow their bottom line,” wrote the team. “Our team is dedicated to helping you grow your business. With over a decade of reporting experience, and a passion for building solutions that enhance the customer experience, our team is dedicated to helping businesses grow.”

xTouch: XTouch’s technology enables virtually ever surface to be touch-sensitive by simply placing a mobile device on it, only requiring a single microphone for detecting and localizing taps on a surface. Cofounders Amin Heidari, Tusi Chowdury and Parham Aarabi founded the company this year and say that touch interaction with mobile devices has changed how consumers interact with the devices, and it is still limiting as an interface.

Device manufacturers, app developers, and especially, end users can benefit from mobile apps where users simpy touch virtual buttons on a surface or table. “Imagine if you are waking up and can tap the headboard to get a weather report, or if you’re cooking in a kitchen while calling people or checking email by simply tapping different locations on the kitchen counter,” wrote the company. “Imagine your smartphone anchoring a virtual game table where you play interactively with your friends. All of the above
accomplished without touching the screen directly.”