Extreme Startups

Extreme Startups

Rob Lewis and TechVibes is reporting that ExtremeU (you can read our past coverage 2009, 2010, 2011) has launched a new Toronto based incubator that leverages their experience over the past 3 years. Mark Evans provides additional details that includes “$7-million in funding from Extreme Venture PartnersOMERS VenturesRho Canada VenturesBlackBerry Partners Fund and BDC.”

Extreme Startups includes a who’s who of  the Toronto startup scene as mentors:

  • David Ossip
  • Daniel Debow
  • Anand Agarwala
  • Michael McDermentt
  • Ameet Shah
  • Albert Lai
  • Leila Boujnane
  • Ali Asaria
  • Noah Godfrey
  • Ray Reddy
  • Rick Segal
  • Salim Teja
  • Derek Seto
  • Nick Koudas

Congrats to Andy Yang, Sunil Sharma and Amar Varma in getting this thing launched. Plus how can this not be awesome with Andy Yang as Harold and Sunil Sharma as Kumar in Extreme Startupping.

Andy Yang and Sunil Sharma go EXTREME STARTUPPING


ExtremeU 2011

Extreme Venture Partners

Our friends over at Extreme Venture Partners have announced the recruitment for the Summer 2011 Cohort of the Extreme University. We written about the past programs:

The program has historically taken entrepreneurs that need to develop and grow. It has provided them with funding, space, education, access to some of the best entrepreneurs, marketers, business developers and engineers around. While the timeline for success has been different, the companies like Visibli, Uken Games, and Locationary have grown into 3 very strong, very hot Toronto based startups.

The 2011 Program has been updated based on the learnings from the past 2 years. Accepted entrepreneurs get:

  • Seed capital
  • Mentorship
  • Collaborative office space and shared resources
  • Shared Expertise
  • Network and Connections

We can argue about if this is fair market value or not, when compared to other seed programs. The Extreme Ventures team is revamping the details of the program. The changes take one of the best programs available and make it even more compelling for eager, resourceful entrepreneurs. It will really redefine incubator programs.

Why do I say that? Well I spent the first 3 months of development at Influitive living in the XtremeLabs space with the 2009 & 2010 cohorts. I chose to bring my startup and cofounders into this environment because it is the best in Toronto. There is an energy, a vibe of entrepreneurship, community, support and shared pain. There are world-class people like Fred Wilson that visit at the invitation of your office mates (thank you William). XtremeLabs and Extreme VP are launching world-class efforts like Hatch Labs with IAC will continue to bring the best in the world through the space. It is a great environment with the best people I have worked with anywhere – looking at you Farhan Thawar (@fnthawar) and Rick Segal (@ricksegal). All entrepreneurs can benefit from just being in the environment.

Who are they looking for?

We fund technology-oriented companies, with a focus on web or mobile-based software, but we are open minded to different ideas. We are looking for smart and fast-moving teams to participate. Typically all members of the two-four person teams will have strong technical abilities. We are looking for founders who have a unique understanding of a real customer problem and an innovative idea for solving that problem.

If you’re a startup looking for my personal favorite shared space and program you should consider applying to ExtremeU.


Be the next Bumptop

Too bad Bumptop wasn’t actually an ExtremeU company. However, the recent acquisition of Bumptop should help raise the profile of the 2010 Extreme University.

If you’re a student, a founder or just thinking about starting something you should apply to Extreme University. This is a world-class program, from an up-and-coming venture capital firm in Canada. They have a track record of selling companies to big players (Bumptop to GoogleJ2Play to EA). The Extreme Ventures, XtremeLabs, and Extreme University programs are building into a fantastic training and breading ground for a new generation of mobile and Internet startups. It feels like something big is happening inside the walls of Extreme Ventures.

Extreme University 2010


We are looking for four smart and fast moving teams to participate. Typically all members of the two-three person team will be deep technically, but at least one of the founders should have a technical background.


  • Get an initial $5000 + $5,000 (US) per founder in exchange for a 10% ownership stake in your company
  • Move your team to our shared ExtremeU office space at Yonge & King (downtown Toronto)
  • Have weekly mentoring sessions by industry experts in technology, funding, legal, PR, marketing and HR
  • Meet a who’s who of experts at our weekly socials and have an opportunity to practice your pitch and demo your in-progress prototype
  • Have access to local shared resources to accelerate product development (mentors, servers)


Applications are due by June 4th, 2010. The program starts Monday June 14th, 2010 to Thursday September 10th, 2010 at the ExtremeU offices in Toronto at Yonge and King. The final demo day will be Tuesday September 16th, 2010 at DemoCamp


It’s a great program located in downtown Toronto for early-stage entrepreneurs and founders. The Xtreme Labs has a great track record. If you’re interested, make sure you apply before the June 4, 2010 deadline.

Alumni – The Class of 2009

UkenUken Games
Uken Games makes highly addictive games for social and mobile platforms.

Uken Games was born in March of 2009 when two normal guys decided they wanted to have super powers. Given real world limitation, they turned to the virtual world to make their dreams a reality. They built Superheroes Alliance, their first game, which eventually grew to over 150,000 monthly active users. Since then, they’ve launched 2 other games: Villains and Twisted Treasure have amassed over 300,000 total users. Going forward, they are committed to building a strong community around each of their games, expanding across other both social (Facebook) and mobile (iPhone, Blackberry) platforms. Uken Games has received a follow on investment and are driving hard towards this goal.

Assetize is a Twitter ad network that enables publishers to monetize their social content. Publishers within the Assetize network range from large news and media organizations to individual users. The company has also partnered with a premiere sports agency to launch FanWaves – a Twitter monetization network exclusively for the sports world. The growing list of FanWaves publishers includes the NHL, NY Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Washington Capitals, as well as several professional athletes.

Next, the company plans to extend their monetization solution to other social networks, as well as other links stemming from media websites and blogs. Given the nascency of this space and lack of history, one of the challenges Assetize has faced is partnering with advertisers willing to market through social channels – a difficulty that is expected to decrease as brands realize the immense potential of social networks. Following Extreme University, Assetize is generating revenue and has secured a seed round of financing. The company is also currently in the process of syndicating a larger round from local and US-based VCs.

Locationary is changing the way that data on local businesses and other places is collected and verified.

This data is fundamental to the local search and local advertising markets which have revenues approaching $50 billion a year. Google and other local search engines currently buy the bulk of their local business data from aggregators that have employees copy the printed yellow page directories. The current process can’t scale and results in expensive, stale and outdated information typically 1 to 2 years old. Locationary has created a patent-pending, crowd-sourced solution to collect and verify this information across the globe.

Locationary is growing quickly and now has users in over 70 countries. They’ve collected data on over 20 million places and are now updating over 100,000 places a day. In this business, the fresher the data, the more valuable it is; and that’s what makes them special. Locationary has raised a Series-A investment through the connections made at ExtremeU.

Extreme Labs has a history of bringing great mentors and presenters to interact and engage with ExtremeU participants. In 2009, participants met some of the best lawyers, founders, VCs and others in Canada.

Albert Lai Kontagent Startup Lifecycle
Ali Asaria Well.ca How to get funding
Colin Ground Cassels Brock & Blackwell Setting up a VC friendly structure
Dan Debow Rypple Sales & Marketing
Leila Boujnane Idee Business Development
Mike McDerment Freshbooks Product Management
Rick Segal JLA Why do a startup now?
Rick Yazwinski Tucows Agile Development
Sal Rocco Stonewood Group How to hire superstars

The list of already confirmed speakers in 2010 is amazing: