All posts for category: CFC Media Lab > ideaBOOST

Welcome to the Glassroom of the Future

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Hot on the heels of CES, the wearable technology trend continues to be a heavily contested topic of conversation. Deloitte predicts that in 2014 consumers will be wearing more than $3 billion worth of newly purchased technology. With those in the world of fashion failing to buck the trend until wearable tech gets well, fashionable!


The CFC Media Lab has been keeping a close eye on the wearable movement, particularly with the launch of ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab, the world’s first lab for the production of apps for smart glass.
Recently, we hosted a user-testing weekend, where participants experienced the first six apps under development in the lab. On top of claiming bragging rights for hosting the largest collection of Canadian Google Glass owners, users were blown away with our teams’ apps for Google Glass and Epson Moverio, and discussed the implications of a world where smart glass prevails.
Will AR or VR reign supreme in wearable computing? Our users were certainly blown away with the Epson’s fully immersive experience, and we encourage any fans of Oculus Rift (a modest $300 USD) to consider a purchase of Epson Moverio (mid-level $700 USD). unlike Oculus Rift, Google Glass (at the steeper end of the price range at $1,500 USD) is designed to keep users grounded in their physical space while complementing their field of view with relevant information/apps.
We’ve yet to bet on a front runner, but we certainly did learn a few things about developing for glass:
  1. Colour/Contrast Hierarchy: When designing the overall aesthetic of the app, don’t forget to maintain a hierarchy both in colours and contrast. If not, you will just end up burning out your users’ retinas and I’m assuming that is something you wouldn’t want to do.
  2. Breaks: Don’t forget to include breaks in the play or you’ll tire out your users after a short time. And, keep them short so that they also don’t lose interest. From your users you want longevity and sanity, not short and unfocused.
  3. Focus Navigation: Keep the navigation controls focused on where the game’s action is. Don’t put navigation in the background or middle ground, as it will only confuse the user.
  4. Simplicity is King: Keep the mechanics of the interface clean and simple. It’s like fashion, you’ll eventually hit a point of diminishing returns when accessorizing your outfit.
  5.  Be Intuitive: Make sure the app controls are intuitive, as you can’t expect a user to be patient enough to learn how to use it. We suggest taking a look at popular apps and replicating their user flow. (Since, they’ve already invested the time and effort into figuring out all of this for themselves.) 

Don’t forget that this is just a teaser folks. Make sure you stay up to date with the lab by signing up for our newsletter.

Calling all Canadian glass users! If you’re the lucky owner of a pair of Google Glasses and wish to take part in the next workshop just email us at


All apps will be launched and announced in March 2014 in San Francisco! Attendees will get to experience and enjoy applications from:

May the Glass be with you…

han solo

What is ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab?

ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab is a 3 month boot camp for developers and companies that want to navigate the incredible potential of games on the next consumer mega trend of wearable technology. Created in part by the Toronto-based CFC Media Lab and Silicon Valley-based Mind Pirate, the lab marks the first-ever program focused on developing games and consumer apps for the emerging smart glass consumer market. Visit us online.






ideaBOOST Launch Pad Introduces 6 Start-Ups

SS2_0621 A standing-room only event at the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto, Wednesday’s ideaBOOST Launch Pad event was an exciting night for Canadian entrepreneurs and investors to rub shoulders and wrap up months of intensive work. SS1_8450 Hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, host of Q on CBC Radio One and CBC TV, ideaBOOST participants from the Spring 2013 cohort took to the stage to make their pitch for investment and to entertain questions from the audience. SS1_8373 “ideaBOOST is the only niche accelerator for digital entertainment and I’m thrilled to say is growing from strength to strength since its launch last year,“ Ana Serrano, the CFC’s Chief Digital Officer said. “Tonight, we are here to view the six companies who have each participated in an intensive bootcamp helping prepare them to navigate the entertainment ecosystem and to build sustainable digital entertainment properties.” SS2_0774 In no particular order, here is a rundown of ideaBOOST’s Spring 2013 cohort:

  • Wondereuran app that brings storytelling to e-tailing, beginning with contemporary artists
  • BeMused Networka community-based discovery service for entertainment and events
  • Motion Panels+ – an authoring tool that animates graphic novels, cartoon strips and story books for mobile devices
  • ALERT-TV+an online system that enables producers to target and engage audiences using multi-platform strategies to measure success
  • Lightning Platform – a cloud-based platform that tracks and targets user actions to aid product and service development
  • Instaradio – a simple and powerful way to live stream and record audio that can be listened to on any device.

SS1_8661 “The IdeaBOOST program has been an amazing journey that provided Motion Panels with opportunities which was previously beyond our reach. Last night’s Launch Pad was a milestone for us that signifies the start of our new adventure as we move forward with the launch of our exciting products. We thank the CFC for their valued support and hope that ideaBOOST continues to live on to help out other start-ups with their endeavours.” Melch Valimento, Motion Panels+  SS1_8819 “ideaBOOST program is a fantastic way to introduce your business to the Canadian creative community. The network is not only resourceful but also responsive and willing to get behind your idea.” Kevin Kilman, Instaradio SS1_8583 “Participating in the ideaBOOST program gave us access to mentors and resources that accelerated the development of BeMused Network’s beta service. The assistance we received at the early stage of our knowledge network development will go a long way in allowing us to reach our next goal. Turning an idea into reality truly takes a village. The amazing team running the program gave us the support we needed, and advocated for us wherever we went. The colleagues and supporters that we worked and continue to work with will no doubt be the most valuable thing from this experience.” Margaret Lam, BeMused Network SS2_0810 ideaBOOST’s third Cohort was also officially announced at Wednesday’s event. This cohort includes:

  • Bublcam – a consumer ready camera that captures everything through spherical photos and videos.
  • L.A.R.G.E.  - a tool kit for the creation of location-based and augmented reality experiences.
  • RadioMogul – a platform to create, customize & curate your own monetizable Internet radio station.
  • ThinkDirty – a mobile app that makes reading beauty and body care product labels simple, easy and fun.
  • uMentioned - a location app that allows you to anonymously flirt and make new friends with people nearby.
  • WeirdWood Manor – a unique storytelling experience—a novel brought to life through interaction and animation.

Be sure to stay tuned for updates on these new companies, and on the ideaBOOST program as a whole. SS2_0381

ideaBOOST Announces Cohort 3 Shortlist

After reviewing a long list of exceptional entrants, ideaBOOST jury members had the difficult task of narrowing down a list of shortlisted candidates. We are pleased to announce that the following eleven projects have been shortlisted and invited to proceed to the final stage in the selection process; a live pitch taking place November 4th in front of Founding Partners Shaw Media, Google and Corus Entertainment.

The shortlist is as follows:

1. Bublcam
The bublcam is a consumer ready camera that captures everything through spherical photos and videos.


2. Codename: Hotslime
Private communities for sharing. Codename: Hotslime — the third incarnation of the Bulletin Board System (BBS).

ideaBOOST Shortlist

3. L.A.R.G.E. Location-based AR Gaming Engine
L.A.R.G.E. is a tool kit for the creation of location-based and augmented reality experiences.


4. LongStory
LongStory is a progressive and queer-positive romantic adventure game for tweens.


5. Poesis
Aerial robotics. The company is focused on providing high resolution images and video captured by a low-altitude, custom-designed UAV’s with fully stabilized, full tilt/pan/360 control equipped for the RED EPIC, ALEXA M or DSL cameras.


6. RadioMogul
Create, customize & curate your own monetizable Internet radio station.


7. Soothsayer
A 3D previsualization tool for filmmakers to prototype their movies.


8. StoryTrigger™
StoryTrigger™ is a mobile app enabling the package to release info to the consumer’s smartphone.


9. Think Dirty
A mobile app that makes reading beauty and body care product labels simple, easy and fun.

Think Dirty

10. uMentioned
A location app that allows you to anonymously flirt and make new friends with people nearby.


11. Weirdwood Manor
A unique storytelling experience—a novel brought to life through interaction and animation.

Weirdwood Manor

The CFC Media Lab would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted companies and thank everyone who submitted their project for consideration this year.

ideaBOOST’s third cohort will be formally announced on November 20th at our Launch Pad event at Steam Whistle Brewing, Toronto.

Body/Mind/Change Invades Made in NY Media Center Launch Party


This past Wednesday, the CFC Media Lab invaded the super exclusive launch party for the Made in NY Media Center with Body/Mind/Change, our latest co-production with TIFF. Our installation, complete with 3D printed PODs and images projected onscreen, were the definite highlight of the evening.

About Made in NY Media Center
Made in NY Media Center is located in DUMBO, Brooklyn where storytellers from multiple disciplines, industries and platforms create, collaborate, connect and incubate across a spectrum of programs, events and experiences. They strive to bring together innovators in film, video, gaming, technology and more through education, mentorship, entrepreneurship and content creation.

About Body/Mind/Change
In Body/Mind/Change, Cronenberg partners with BMC Labs, a fictional biotech firm, to develop biotech enhancement implants inspired by the intellectual property found in his films, such as Scanners, Videodrome and eXistenZ. Cronenberg is the first participant in the project. At launch on October 25, registered participants will be guided through an episodic interactive narrative that functions as a simulator for training their PODs. Completing this three-part experience will guarantee them a unique POD generated from their behaviour during the simulations.

If you haven’t signed up for a POD yet, you still have a chance to do so at

Body/Mind/Change is a co-production between TIFF and CFC Media Lab, with creative direction and experience design by Lance Weiler. Presenting Partner for Body/Mind/Change is the department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Interactive Fund with support provided by the Government of Ontario. Executive producers are Noah Cowan, Ana Serrano and Shane Smith. Ana Serrano is the producer.





CFC & Mind Pirate Announce the ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab

Program seeks developer superstars to create games and apps for wearable technology devices

Potential to be among the first to publish games and apps for mobile wearable devices with excitingly new Callisto technology.

TORONTO, Canada and MENLO PARK, Calif., October 1, 2013 – Do you have what it takes to create the next blockbuster game or mobile app? Today the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and wearable technology company, Mind Pirate, announced the companies have partnered to create the ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab: a program that will give select developers and/or companies the opportunity to create games and apps for the next consumer mega trend of wearable technology. Select products from the program may be published and brought to market at a future date. Together the program employs the framework of CFC’s ideaBOOST accelerator program and the technology, expertise and vision of Mind Pirate.

Up to six U.S. and Canadian developers and/or companies will be selected to participate in a three-month boot camp where they will use their own programming prowess and Mind Pirate’s next-generation game platform, Callisto, to create products for mobile wearable devices, like Google Glass. Callisto does not release publicly to third parties until 2014, making ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab program participants among the first in the world to get their hands on this next-generation technology.

“We are thrilled to be providing best of breed developers and/or companies with this unique opportunity. Through our digital entertainment accelerator ideaBOOST, the CFC is at the forefront of taking business mentoring techniques from the lean start-up

movement and applying them to the media and entertainment industry. With the ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab, we can direct these proven prototype development and lean business acceleration methods towards the creation of wearable technology experiences,” said Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, CFC.

“Having participated in ideaBOOST as a board member, I knew it would be an ideal forum to give developers the opportunity to create exciting, new experiences for the wearable technology megatrend using our Callisto game platform,” said Shawn Hardin, Founder & CEO of Mind Pirate. “Callisto is the only wearable technology game platform on the market; it gives developers the tools to create engaging experiences that merge the virtual and physical worlds. This program is perfect for developers who are ready to take the leap into the next-generation of gaming. We can’t wait to see what kind of gaming experiences the ideaBOOST/Mind Pirate Production Lab participants will create!”

Callisto is the market’s first and only tightly integrated client-side and server side game-focused platform that supports leading mobile devices with a special emphasis on “wearables” such as smart glass and smart watches. It enables developers to create engaging experiences that merge the virtual and physical worlds through rich applications that take maximum advantage of the native capabilities of the underlying hardware but at the same time preserve a consistent experience across device types.

Interested parties can start submitting applications on October 2, 2013 by visiting The application deadline is October 22, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PST. The program will begin November 20, 2013 at the CFC headquarters in Toronto.

Fall Season Holds Body/Mind/Change, ideaBOOST and Lean Content for the CFC Media Lab

It’s time to wake up to the new face of film.

This past Wednesday morning, CFC Media Lab hit the new trendy Queen West hotspot, The Beverly, to host a media briefing to announce our upcoming slate of initiatives. The next couple of months will be exciting times at the CFC Media Lab with a roster of projects on the go, including:


A co-production between the CFC Media and TIFF, Body/Mind/Change is an elaborate multimedia production directed by Lance Weiler and stars David Cronenberg.

Lance Weiler, the Filmmaker and Creative Director + Experience Designer of Body/Mind/Change was on-hand to speak on this project. Taking the science and technology from David Cronenberg films, a biotech start-up seeks to improve humanity by developing PODs (Personal-On-Demands), a recommendation engine. Launching on October 25th, registered participants will be guided through an episodic interactive narrative that functions as a simulator for training their PODs (Personal-On-Demands). Anyone who completes this three-part experience will be guaranteed a unique POD generated from their behaviour during the simulations.

Register for your POD now at


Paul Woolner, Chairman of the Board of ideaBOOST identified ideaBOOST as a business accelerator which assists technology companies navigate an entertainment ecosystem that has been radically disrupted by new technologies and demanding audience expectations. Past successful alumnae from ideaBOOST have included ASAP Science on YouTube and Buffer Festival, for which Founder, Corey Vidal, was present to take questions.

ideaBOOST is currently accepting applications for its third cohort from technology companies, the deadline for which isOctober 11th. For more information, please visit

Lean Content

Barnaby Marshall, Director of Creative Technology at Slaight Music, and CFC Lead on Lean Content delivered a rundown on the project, co-produced with two-time Sundance award winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner and in collaboration with Eric Ries, author of the best-selling book “Lean Startup”. This 10-part online course is designed to help filmmakers, musicians, visual artists and writers survive and thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital economy. Culled from hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with top disruptive entrepreneurs (including the founders of companies like BitTorrent and Pandora) Lean Content provides artists and content creators with best practices, insights and lessons drawn from the experiences of tech world trailblazers. For more information, please visit

Recap: ideaBOOST Master-Class and Networking Event

On Thursday, ideaBOOST held its Master Class and Networking Event at the Arts & Letters Club on Elm Street in Toronto, and featured expert insights from leading entrepreneurs in the technology space.

The interview-based Master Class included input from Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of STEM 7 Capital; Doug Cooper, Program Director for the Communitech Hyperdrive Accelerator; and Hussein Fazal, the co-founder of AdParlor (sold to Adknowledge in 2011).

Participants from the current Spring 2013 ideaBOOST Cohort and Affiliate Program were invited to attend for informal networking and the featured Master Class.

Here are some of the tips Sharma, Cooper and Fazal had for emerging startups:

“Really leveraging and accessing the mentor network – that’s important. I think the most valuable part of being in any program is the mentor network,” Sharma said. “It takes a lot of personal initiative to contact, to research the mentors, research their networks and be typically un-Canadian in their strategy of reaching out.”

According to Cooper, accountability is crucial.

“Startups need to make some real objectives that aren’t just vanity metrics like site visits, ad impressions. If you’re just trying to engage people, these metrics mean almost nothing. The key is being disciplined enough to capture a metric that isn’t easy to capture.”

“You have to keep talking to people, emailing — just keep hustling,” Fazal said. “Startups shouldn’t be afraid of being persistent and hearing ‘no’.”

See full photo coverage from the July 24 event here.

Be sure to stay tuned for updates on this exciting group of companies, as well as the ideaBOOST program.

ideaBOOST: Audience Engagement Report Launched!

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced the release of its report detailing the audience engagement activities of ideaBOOST.

Launched on July 10, 2013, at the Montreal International Start Up Festival, the objective of the report is to understand the different types of audience engagement techniques used to develop and interact with audiences as well as how engagement methods can be used at different stages of development and production processes, and to what effect.


“The collaboration with the CMF is invaluable for ideaBOOST,” Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, CFC said. “Through this digital entertainment accelerator, we are inciting Canadian companies to embrace new models and frameworks for developing their properties/products and businesses. Audience engagement models are a key part of this new production revolution.”


The report can be viewed here.


Mini-BOOSTer Day was a success!

Held at the magnificent Spoke Club on King & Bathurst, the CFC Media Lab hosted its second BOOSTer Day on July 07, 2013. The ideaBOOST spring 2013 cohort was invited to come in and demo their products to the BOOSTers, as well as update them on their project’s progress to date. After a long day of presentations and focus groups, the participants and BOOSTers spent the rest of the evening enjoying cocktails and some good ol’ fashioned networking.

We’d like to thank all of the amazing participants and BOOSTers who came out and shared their thoughts and opinions on the progress of the projects.


Want to see how the day went? Be sure to check out our flickr page for some great photos!

For more information on ideaBOOST, visit our website at

Join the conversation: @cfcmedialab #ideaBOOST



Recap: ideaBOOST at Banff World Media Festival

On the week of June 9th to June 12th, the ideaBOOST spring 2013 cohort – AlertTV, BemusedNetwork, Instaradio, Lightning Platform, Motion Panels and Wondereur – travelled to join the Banff World Media Festival to engage with top leaders across an evolving media landscape.

Attracting over 150 Development Executives and a wide-ranging cross-section of television and digital media professionals from around the world, BANFF is the ideal place to make new contactsfind production partners and green-light new projects.

Here is a recap of the ideaBOOST teams’ experience at the festival:

One-on-One Meetings with Potential Mentors & Investors 

Throughout the duration of the festival, the cohort were joined by festival mentors including Joseph Giraldi – VP Digital from the Smithsonian Channel, Deborah Drisdell - Director of Digital Enterprises for the National Film Board, Jesse Albert – President of Xpansive Media and Jason Haikara - President of MediaLink, for individual face-to-face meetings. The participants were advised on key areas including sales strategy and acquisition, audience engagement, product development and brand integration.

According to Nick DeMartino, President of Nick DeMartino Consulting, the strong line up of executives scheduled to meet with the 6 teams allowed for a great variety of pitch opportunities which were all observed by one or more of the mentors. This not only helped the teams improve their pitches, but gave mentors a chance to see their progress, intervene during the meetings as needed, and provide instant feedback after the fact. The teams learned to listen, to hear about customer pain points, about how different companies currently solve their problems, and whether a new improved solution would be appealing.

They were also joined by a number of ideaBOOST faculty for guidance and support throughout the festival experience, including Ana Serrano, CFC Chief Digital Officer, and Ondi Timoner, Award-Winning Filmmaker.

Rapid-Fire Tech Showcase: A Live Practice Pitch

On Tuesday, June 11th, the cohort were invited to participate in a demo hub, hosted by ideaBOOST. They each had 4 minutes to present their product and demonstrate how they are transforming the landscape of entertainment media.

According to DeMartino, “By the time the teams hit the stage for the formalized pitch sessions before a live audience, we could see a marked improvement in the articulation of all six companies’ value propositions. Most of the companies were more relaxed, confident, and clear. Several had added excellent personal stories that drove home their company’s concept effectively.”

The immersion in repeated pitches to slightly different audiences over and over in a short period of time heightened many of the deficiencies of the teams and their models. Because of this intensity, they will be able to narrow the focus on the essential challenges facing each of them.

Many doors were opened for the teams during the conference. There was a lot of valuable positioning data, questioning, challenges, and assistance in focusing the product features, product/market fit, and revenue models. Some companies added new customers to their sales pipeline, others found new champions or found new points to pivot for their company. Instaradio was connected to a company developing “radio plays” as part of a transmedia property – the connection happened spontaneously through the extended network of the BWMF.

Feedback from the Cohort

Melch Valimento, Motion Panels:

“All the feedback that we’ve gained through the numerous connections that we’ve met is currently helping us in shaping how our final product would look like. Some assumptions about our product were debunked, while some key expectations were essentially met, allowing us to re-group and re-focus our energies to implement the more important features of our app.”

Kevin Kliman, Instaradio:

“Banff was great… Tons of valuable meetings and insight around integrating our company into the entertainment ecosystem. Biz dev is one of our biggest needs, and Jesse Albert was great at walking me through how to approach the problem.”

Angelica, Wondereur:

“Over the course of three days, thanks to the ideaBOOST team, serendipity and our own targeting efforts, we had the opportunity to meet with about 20 people in the media industry… we were able to capture valuable feedback on our value propositions and trigger serious discussion on potential deals/partnerships.”

For more information about the ideaBOOST teams:

  • Motion Panels 
    an authoring tool that animates graphic novels, cartoon strips and story books for movile devices
  • Instaradio
    a simple and powerful way to live stream and record audio that can be listened to on any device
  • Bemused Network
    a community-based discovery service for entertainment and events
  • Lightning Platform
    a cloud-based platform that tracks and targets user actions to aid product and service development
  • Wondereur
    an app that brings storytelling to e-tailing, beginning with contemporary artists
  • AlertTV
    an online system that enables producers to target and engage audiences using multi-platform strategies to measure success