“Maker moms” take first place at Startup Weekend Maker Edition Toronto


Griflens, the new startup that hopes to spark a playground craze, are the winners of Startup Weekend Maker Edition Toronto.


Their team beat out stiff competition from ten other innovative hardware startup ideas to win the contest that empowers entrepreneurs to launch businesses in a single weekend. They impressed judges with their 3D printed story beads that combined tell an interactive story that changes depending on which beads you have in your collection, both on and offline.


Griflens walked away with a huge package of prizes that included a Makerbot ReplicatorTM 2 desktop 3D printer, iPad airs, pro memberships at the new maker space, The Shop and a wide range of tools and consultancy services to help them grow their business.


“Winning Startup Weekend Maker Edition Toronto is just the first step,” says Griflens lead, Alison Gibbins. “We want to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winners, Groupnotes, and continue to put Toronto on the map with our product, we’re now preparing to compete in the Global Startup Battle.”


Startup Weekend Maker Edition Toronto, presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence, took place at OCAD U this weekend. Entrepreneurs, makers, designers and developers joined forces for an intense 54-hour contest, building hardware and launch startups. Teams used laser cutters, Arduinos and a fleet of 3D printers to build their prototypes and bring their ideas to life.


Griflens are already taking pre-orders at griflens.mybigcommerce.com and will be using their 3D printer prize to fulfill orders. They hope these early editions will become collector’s items down the road.


Second place winners, Pawly, impressed judges with their robot chew toy that helps pet owners interact with their pets while away from the home using video and voice connectivity. Third place winners were Ascend, a startup that plans to lower the rate of falls for seniors by creating a product that helps older people grip more effectively when going up and down stairs.


Both Griflens and Pawly will go on to compete against winning startup ideas worldwide in the Global Startup Battle Champions Circle. Part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Global Startup Battle also invites all Startup Weekend teams to compete in a range of different categories to win more prizes and exposure for their fledgling startups.


Startup Weekend Toronto is an intense 54-hour event where local entrepreneurs, developers, designers, marketers, product
managers, startup enthusiasts and anyone interested in building a business will come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch a startup. Startup Weekend Maker Edition Toronto is presented by Ontario Centres for Excellence and sponsored by OCAD U, The Working Group, T+H Events, GE and BDC.

Startup Weekend supports the development and expansion of entrepreneurship through events worldwide that educate aspiring entrepreneurs by immersing them in the process of moving an idea to market. Startup Weekend has built a network of more than 55,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer organizers and 100 trained facilitators spread across more than 300 cities in 100 countries. Kauffman Foundation, Google, Microsoft, .Co, Sendgrid and Cloudmine are sponsors.