On the tail of the ExtremeU class of three in 2009:
- Assetize enables social network users to monetize their accounts.
- Uken creates highly addictive social games.
- Locationary aims to be the World’s place database.
Bootup Labs has announced a class of six for January 2010:
- Blast Ramp is collaborative distribution platform for companies that sell and ship consumer products.
- Compass Engine helps developers create the next generation of location based games.
- FoodTree brings the community and transparency of the farmers market online.
- ReadFu brings contextual summaries for every link.
- Status.ly is a device-independent lifestream aggregator with focus on personalized customization and filtering.
- Zedmo lets you find events and social topics. Discover “channels” according to location, popularity, or topic.
It is great to see these initiatives taking shape, if not a small exodus of founders would continue to head south in search of more fertile startup pastures. Case in point: Toronto’s Christopher Golda and Mike Montano, who were recruited to participate in Y Combinator, created BackType, and received Series A funding from True Ventures.
As exciting as this investment activity is, the question remains: is it sustainable?
In terms of ROI, seed stage investing is notoriously difficult. Run the numbers yourself Johnny Appleseed: small amounts of capital + dozens of companies to manage investments in + just three months to build something = lots of work – uncertain returns. The challenges are compounded if the ecosystem lacks investment capital for follow on financing, in which case these projects might die on the vine.
So here is hoping that in 2010, and I strongly believe this will be the case, Angels continue to step up to the plate to bankroll months 4-12 and VCs make a triumphant return to Canada.