Peel Startup Weekend Winner Wins Global Startup Competition

Matt Gardner and his team “Carddrop” took home the $1000 grand prize at Startup Weekend Peel (Oct. 19-21, 2012) organized by the Altitude Accelerator in partnership with Sheridan College. Carddrop instantly adds full profile information to any phone’s contact list from any location without the use of an “app”. With a simple scan or tap, multiple e-mails, phone numbers and even profile photos are supported. McMaster students Jason Moore and Matt Gardner co-founded Groupnotes at a 54-hour start-up competition.

A month later, Matt teamed up with Jason Moore to develop a new idea called “Group Notes” at Toronto’s Startup Weekend. Group Notes is a web-based software where students can leave each other time-stamped notes to collaborate on a project electronically. Along with the three partners they gained, Gardner and Moore joined the Global Startup Battle (GSB). After an intense 54 hours + extra 24 hours to complete their pitch videos, the voting campaign began. In the end, their hard work paid off and “Group Notes” not only made it to the top 15 semi-finalists for the world’s largest startup competition, but they also WON IT!

“People really responded,” said Gardner, of their product. “Everyone who tried it had a different idea about how to use it.”

Groupnotes is software that is embedded into a web browser. Hit a button and a Post-It-like note appears on the webpage. Students can leave each other time-stamped notes, so if they’re collaborating on a project they can communicate effectively while at their own computers. If working independently, they can leave an online research trail.

“[Teachers] say ‘here’s the assignment paper,’ and then there is a black box and out of the other end comes an essay,” Gardner said, describing how school assignments typically come together. “And teachers, especially middle and elementary, say: ‘I don’t know what happened in between.’”

With Groupnotes, teachers can figure out their students’ research patterns.

“It turns a whole empty area into a teachable area,” Gardner said.

When it comes to group work, teachers can find out who is pulling the most weight, added Moore.

The software was immediately popular with Halton teachers for this reason, because as of next term, students must be awarded a process grade for projects and group work, Gardner said. Congratulations Matt and Jason!

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