Calgary Startups That Will Help You Send Gifts Via Text, Find a Camp for Your Kids and Rally Co-Workers
We roundup of some of the most useful, new Calgary startups.
photograph by jared sych
Within the city's diversifying economy, a variety of new startup companies are popping up from the minds of local entrepreneurs to the Calgarians' fingertips. There's no shortage of pitches and plans for new services, and these startups are appearing in different sectors and lines of work around the city. Here's a list of five Calgary startups that have established themselves in the past few years to provide new services, whether it be at home, with their friends or at work.
Providing a modern, convenient way to spread generosity to your friends is the commendable aim of this new phone service. Gifty.Link is a startup that was created in Calgary last year with a simple idea for how friends could send gifts to one another, via text message. The way it works is users buy a product from one of the startup's participating companies, and sends it as a gift via a text that includes a link the recipient can click for a gift that's redeemable in-store. The options already available to send to your friends ranges from ice cream from Made by Marcus, a latte from Rosso or homemade goods from Crafted. As the options for gift-giving through Gifty.Link grows, its users will be able to cover everything from coffee and lunch for a coworker, to jewelry or prints for close friends.
Startups borne of social entrepreneurship is a major aim of many new startups, and Calgary has their fair share working towards this too. Mindful Mental Training (MMT) is a startup that helps users coping with mental health concerns. This online program seeks to offer single-hour mindfulness courses, and eight-week stress reduction programs, alike, all to promote the concept of mindfulness in everyday life. The service allows users to work through mental health developments and issues between their physician visits, through online videos that can be viewed at any pace. MMT cuts through its users' busy schedules with classes of varying lengths, making their services more accessible. The goal of the videos is to provide a tool to help viewers manage depression and anxiety. Thus far, the service's founder Derek Luk, was named one of Alberta's Top Young Innovators in 2016, and won Startup Calgary's People's Choice Award in 2015, receiving acclaim for his work so far.
Considering its ability to organize and direct resources and teams separated from one another, the RallyEngine name describes just what this tool does for organizations. RallyEngine is a piece internal communications technology rallying teams together quickly and efficiently to figure out how best to tackle pressing problems. Originally, this tech was made by developer Strut Creative for a police-endorsed program called CodeSearch, to help the Missing Children Society of Canada find children in a specific area at a specific time. The developers and partners behind the app saw an opportunity to apply the same tech for use by more companies. Thus, RallyEngine was created as a web-based service, that can work with organizations to locate and organize their members, alert or update them about an ongoing situation, and coordinate the team members based off of who's available, nearby and their different levels of expertise. The idea being RallyEngine can quickly bring a team together, and has already worked with the University of Calgary to build an emergency app that services more than 31,000 students on multiple U of C campuses.
As much as parents want to find the perfect camp or class catered to their kid's specific interests, often they don't have the time to comb through the many websites and resources to find just the right fit. At least, this is the belief that inspired the creation of SpikeBee. This online hub for providers of classes, camps and events to post listings, provides an extensive and simple resource for parents to search through. The various listings are separated by category and by city, making it easier on parents to search more efficiently. The site has grown to include events in 15 cities across Canada and the United States for all ages. A search option even allows for events aimed, at least partly, towards ages 18 and up, meaning SpikeBee can help just about anyone find activities suited to their interests.
One of the most common trends in startup apps today is to create an Uber-like service disrupting established business models. This is exactly the spot this new app hits for dogwalkers. Pet owners can download Spot, a new Calgary-based app, to find reliable dog walkers nearby. The app's creators ensure this reliability by requiring a four-step vetting process for each of their registered walkers who sign up for the app, including a police background check. A 30-minute walk goes for $20, costing $5 more for every 15 minutes added to the walk, up to as long as one hour. Dog owners can even keep tabs on how their pups' walks are progressing, through live updates and GPS tracking via the app and a post-walk report they'll receive once their canine has returned.