If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that a startup called Groupnotes (@Groupnotes) led by McMaster students Matt Gardner and Jason Moore won Startup Weekend Toronto (@startupwekndTO) earlier this month and was then entered into round one of the Global Startup Battle. Groupnotes is a collaborative tool that you can use to easily share, annotate, and comment on websites. It’s one of those simple but beautiful ideas that have big potential – perfect for a Startup Weekend. As part of the Global Startup Battle the team competed against startups from around the world in a one week vote competition. It was close, but the team managed to get into the top 15 which allowed them to move on to the 2nd round where a panel of judges would select a winner. The judges picked Groupnotes.
This is really an amazing accomplishment considering that they were up against 138 teams from around the world that each won their respective Startup Weekend events. Groupnotes was up against the best of the best and they came away with the top prize. In addition to design, PR, legal, and other services, the $35,000 prize package includes trips to Rio De Janeiro to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and a trip to San Francisco to meet with founders, investors and mentors. I think the most important prize may be the publicity – Startup Weekends are held all over the world and act as a connecting force within each city’s startup community and across different startup communities. People in startup ecosystems around the world are now going to know who Groupnotes is and that they won; this event has put Groupnotes on the map in the startup world.
By winning this competition Groupnotes hasn’t just put itself on the map either, through their ties to our local community they’ve helped to put McMaster, Hamilton and the broader Canadian startup ecosystem on the map as well. Matt and Jason both went through the Mechatronics undergraduate program at McMaster’s Department of Computing & Software, and Matt is currently working on both a master’s of Software Engineering in addition to a master’s program in the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation. They’ve made the entire community here in Hamilton very proud. As they continue with the next exciting chapter of Groupnotes we should continue to give them our support. Amazing job guys.