Portfolio round-up: UTEST, Nvest and Whirlscape news

utestSometimes there’s so much happening with the MaRS Innovation portfolio that it’s hard to stay on top of all the news. Here are a few UTEST program stories that we missed in February.

  • UTEST was named to FundThrough.com’s list of “6 Exciting Canadian Startup Accelerators to Watch in 2015.” Program co-directors Mike Betts and Kurtis Scissons point out that UTEST does take an equity position in the incubated companies and does not run on a grant basis as mentioned in the article. (It’s a sweetheart deal, but not that sweet.)
  • Nvest LogoUTEST company Nvest was featured in a Globe and Mail story, “Next big sector to face disruption? Financial services” by Brenda Bouw. Here’s a quote:
    “Another emerging fintech startup is Nvest, an early-stage, crowd-sourced stock recommendation platform. Nvest compiles recommendations from its users, many of which are average retail investors, and builds a performance history others can track. The credibility of recommendations is based on a user’s past performance. Nvest co-founder Fredrick Zhou likens it to LinkedIn for stock recommendations. ‘Nvest is a place where investors post their trading resume.’ Investors are taking notice. Nvest recently received funding from the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology program and it is in the process of pitching the business to angel investors.”
  • Whirlscape logoFellow UTEST company Whirlscape has been experimenting with the perfect Emoji (see their blog). The Minuum keyboard was also included Wiley’s recent Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction (3rd edition). Here’s the tweet to prove it. And to round out the news, Whirlscape was mentioned on an Inc. list of “8 Canadian Start-Ups to Watch Out for in 2015.” We think it’s pretty cool that past UTEST guest speakers Wattpad and Bionym, which also have deep U of T connections, also made the list.