Skymeter takes on Insurance, Tolls, and Meters

Skymeter Logo Skymeter is set on replacing parking meters, toll booths, and monthly insurance bills. Talk about big aspirations!

A prototype location payment system (think GPS black box) has been developed and the Toronto company is forging development relationships from Holland to Singapore. London?s congestion pricing program has perked the interest of governments around the world. Insurance companies such as Aviva and Progressive are considering implementing pay per mile vehicle insurance. And what city wouldn?t want ticketless parking? Greens are excited about Skymeter, as road use charges have the potential to reduce automobile emissions.

The business model is to capture a percentage of payment just like credit card companies. Sure getting the systems into vehicles is going to be a challenge, but we have high hopes for this MaRS incubated company.

Contact: Kamal Hassan, CEO
Blog: Bern Grush, Founder – Tourism Reservation and Statistics Platform

Internet Works Planning a summer vacation on Prince Edward Island? You might not know it, but you?ll be booking a B&B using the Slumberland reservation system. And the B&B operator will be reporting their numbers to the tourism marketing authority using Tourism Stats. Internet Works is busy building web services for the tourism industry.

Internet Works’ pilot customer, Tourism PEI, was so pleased with the Slumberland reservation system and Tourism Stats data collection and analysis service that they?ve been showing it off to tourism authorities in other provinces. The company now has 5 employees, who are finishing off a conversion reporting module to track advertising response rates. Internet Works leases the web services individually or as a package. An enthusiastic pilot customer is a great start as Internet Works begins their journey to be the provider of choice for small to medium size tourism destinations.

Contact Dico Reyers – Toronto centric apartment aggregator is a Toronto focused apartment finder and review tool. Considering that the site was launched just 1 month ago, I find it amazing that there are over 900 reviews of various apartment buildings on the site already.

The site is a Google Maps mashup that lets you find apartments based on location and marks the location of grocery stores, subway stops and shopping malls on the map. This model is even better in Toronto, where people tend to be particular about what neighborhood they want to move to.

I already made use of by reading reviews of our new condo building on the site. I think that providing a service that allows condo owners to review their buildings would be useful, although there is a large disincentive to being critical of a building your currently own in. I turns out that the building manager is hard to deal with and that I should make-nice with Janice, the front desk lady. I did that today, bypassing the manager, and introduced myself to Janice. I was glad to know I didn’t need to waste time.

I also know how painful it can be to find an apartment in Toronto having moved up here blind to both Toronto and large city living period. I can still remember the shock at the sticker price for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, not knowing the ups and downs of one building or another just made it all that much more confusing.

Right now, is trying to use a referral fee model for sending people back to the site where a particular listing originated. If they can make this work, and pay, with all the providers out there, then it could be a lucrative model. There will also be some banner advertising and allowing landlords to purchase “featured listings” that will be displayed more prominently. is self funded to date and they are thinking about looking for investment to help them take the site to (I presume) other markets.

Jeff Hersh is the one-man show behind It’s pretty evident that he is able to execute well on an idea. A large marketing firm teaming up with a web development shop would not have turned out anything close to for anything less than a 500k budget for the first phase. Jeff has done it solo and is off to a great start. was showcased on MapleLeaf2.0 already and The Torontoist has a great review of the site.

Contact Jeff Hersh