Toronto Students Win Startup Weekend Youth Edition with “Shake On It” App

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Gordon Sun and a few high school and university-aged peers have been enjoying their free office space at Toronto’s Project: OWL coworking space after recently winning Toronto’s Startup Weekend: Youth Edition, which was sponsored by the Ontario Centres of Excellence and The Working Group.

The weekend saw Sun, 18, and his team take home first prize. The team included Arshaan Bhimani, 18, Simar Singh, 19, Jeff Sheng, 16, David Liu, 17, Gladys Ng, 17, Jesse Han, 17, Nawaz Amiri, 17. They created the “Shake On It” betting app.

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Sun told BetaKit that they wanted to create an app that could resolve the challenges they give each other as high school and university-aged students. “There’s so much competition around us but there’s no accountability, so there’s not a way to actually track all of these bets,” he said. “Based on our daily experience as high school students and university students we felt, why not create an app that we’re passionate about and we can actually use it.”

The judges apparently liked the idea too, including Mukund Chopra, principal of Chopra Ventures, Ben Zlotnick, founder of Toronto’s INcubes accelerator and Michael Murchison, cofounder of social referrals platform, Volley.

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Shake On It lets anybody- friends or strangers- place bets, whether it be based on today’s USA- Germany world cup match, or something silly or simple. It also keeps track of who wins and loses, adding the accountability factor.

Sun said they’ll gamify it, making a points-based system where people can attain moments of victory and ascend to different levels. They’re also approaching brands about providing tangible rewards where users can turn in their points for prizes.

Like most of the participants in the big event, Sun is heading off to university in September, to Western University for economics and pre-acceptance into the Richard Ivey School of Business. He said the team will try and continue to work on the app, but now that they’re at OWL they’re trying to get as much completed as possible.

There’s just a splash page but Sun said the app should hit the public by the end of July. Once that happens, let the games begin!

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk is Managing Editor at Betakit. Prior to Betakit Joseph wrote for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.