(Toronto—October 10, 2013) OCAD University is the first Canadian post-secondary institution to partner with Indiegogo, enabling OCAD U start-ups to be featured under a university-sponsored page.
The unique partnership provides OCAD U start-up companies with valuable campaign marketing support, vitally important in distinguishing these entrepreneurs from the sea of campaigns found among such increasingly popular crowd-funding platforms.
“We have seen that university communities have a wealth of ideas and ideals. We are thrilled to work with OCAD U as the first Canadian university Indiegogo partner to bring these innovative and world-changing ideas to the next level via crowd-funding. We look forward to working with many more,” said Bre DiGiammarino, Education and Social Innovation Director for Indiegogo.
To kick off the new partnership, OCAD U today kicks off Indiegogo campaigns by start-ups Sprout Guerrilla and PUSH, two incubator companies of OCAD U’s centre for entrepreneurship, the Imagination Catalyst.
Sprout Guerrilla’s crowd-funded campaign supports the company’s “I ♥ My City” project, in which participants are encouraged to create public art pieces out of Sprout Guerrilla’s DIY moss graffiti kits in a display of city pride.
“Moss graffiti can transform urban streetscapes,” said Sprout Guerrilla Founder Julie Forand. “It’s a creative and fun way to make a positive environmental impact in cities. Each person can make a difference, and the more people get involved the greater our impact will be.”
Campaign contributors can earn perks for their donations such as one or more of the moss graffiti kits, custom graffiti kits, “Moss my Business” or “Moss my Community” kits, Moss art by internationally acclaimed illustrator and OCAD U assistant professor Gary Taxali, or even a large-scale custom-painted moss graffiti mural.
Fitness technology company PUSH recently unveiled its PUSH Band, an app-enabled wearable fitness tracker that helps serious gym-goers, professional athletes or athletes-in-training track and analyze strength performance. With no imaginary points or arbitrary scores, PUSH uses scientifically validated metrics such as reps and sets, force, power, balance, speed, explosive strength, one rep max, volume load and tempo to visualize an athlete’s training performance.
“The PUSH Band seamlessly connects with your smartphone to allow for customized workouts, performance monitoring and progress review,” said PUSH CEO and co-founder Rami Alhamad. “It streamlines your progress so your routine constantly adapts to you in real time and over time while reducing the risk of injury.”
Results and achievements can be shared with friends, teammates, personal trainers or coaches for an enhanced social and competitive training experience. Users can compare their performance to others with the PUSH app’s live view where athletes’ data are streamed to a television in real time. PUSH also makes it easy for coaches and trainers to access performance results to visualize trends and compare individual progress to the team as a whole.
The PUSH Indiegogo campaign is already nearly halfway toward meeting its crowd-funded target. The Band will be available for pre-order as of October 10, 2013 for $149 USD, with shipping commencing in May 2014.
Founded on the principles of sustainability and effective environmental design, Toronto-based social purpose business Sprout Guerrilla (www.sproutguerrilla.com) seeks to green the world’s urban centres, one blank wall at a time. Sprout Guerrilla is founded by a SheEO, and is currently being supported by OCAD U’s Imagination Catalyst.
Toronto-based fitness technology start-up, PUSH (www.pushstrength.com), launched from the JOLT program at MaRS Commons. PUSH empowers athletes by providing a way to track workouts and visualize results. The PUSH team has worked tirelessly for the last year to bring the fitness realm a wearable device that generates real metrics — the PUSH Band. No imaginary points or arbitrary scores, just actual data that will help makes users stronger, improve form and reduce the risk of injury. PUSH constantly strives to improve its product with users’ needs in mind, and find innovative ways to make fitness routines increasingly productive and more fun. PUSH is supported by OCAD U’s Imagination Catalyst.
Indiegogo (www.indiegogo.com) empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowd funding platform, campaigns have launched from every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. At its core, Indiegogo is the equal opportunity platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project — creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York.
The Imagination Catalyst at OCAD U
The Imagination Catalyst (www.ocadu.ca/imaginationcatalyst) is OCAD University’s centre for entrepreneurship and commercialization. The incubator supports and develops entrepreneurial talent among OCAD U faculty, graduate students and alumni. The Catalyst helps launch new companies or products that help drive the local economy and contribute to Ontario’s and Canada’s collective well-being. The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD U’s gateway to the start-up community in Toronto, Ontario and internationally.
About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “university of imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
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For more information please contact:
Sarah Mulholland, OCAD U Marketing & Communications
416 977 6000 x327