DemoCamp Halifax took place at Dalhousie University last night, revealing a more polished and professional look than in any of the three preceding years.

MC-ed by Katelyn Bourgoin of Swapskis and organized by Rachael Craig of Brilliant Labs, the event allowed seven startups to demonstrate their products. They weren’t allowed power points, only a demo of what their product does.

The startups that pitched were:

Salubrian Health – This Halifax-based health informatics company is focused on improving the quality of global healthcare. Salubrian Health implements web-based technologies that enhance the quality of communication between patients, practitioners, and health clinics. In particular, it provides a channel that allows patients to book appointments with a doctor a learn whether the physician is running late. 

Bitness – The company’s beacon tracks who enters an outlet like a coffee shop with their cellphone set to receive Wi-Fi signals. It can track who lingers at the cash register (signalling a sale), who stays in and who leaves. It can track the number of returning customers.

PlayPeanut -- Founded by Callum Mayer and Costa Zafiris, Peanut is a social gaming app for sports fans. It lets them bet against one another during a sporting event for “peanuts”, a sort of virtual poker chip. Friends bet against one another for bragging rights, and players can buy additional peanuts for real money if they run out. Venues like sports bars can use the app for in-house promotions.

GlitchWizard -- Allan Lavel and Connor Bell of the indie studio ThinkRad created this app to give users the ability to “glitch” photos, videos and GIFS and share them to social networks. The images are automatically distorted or embellished. Glitch Wizard runs images through audio filters, manipulates image hex, and performs a host of other experimental techniques that create unpredictable, beautiful results.

BlockShip Wars -- BlockShip Wars is a physics-based, multiplayer, real-time strategy game in which you command a fleet of space ships you design and build yourself out of blocks. You will gather resources to build ships and outfit them with thrusters, weapons, shields, etc. As well you can build your ship to the shape you desire. The object of the game is to take your opponents’ planets and destroy their ships.

Athletigen -- The startup launched a software-as-a-service product to help coaches, athletes and fitness enthusiasts improve performance through sports-related genomic analysis. The company owns the world’s largest sports genetic databank, and has been plotting a course to launch the product in conjunction with a genetic ancestry service offered by the world-leading, direct-to-consumer genetics provider, 23andMe.

Health QR -- Having started two years ago, Health QR’s main product is a software-as-a-service product that links pharmacies and their customers. The first version will allow them to do four things: view the customer’s prescription history; order prescription refills; find out when prescriptions expire; and let the customer receive information from the pharmacy.

R17 – Based in Quispamsis, N.B., the Launch36 grad has just released a new product that tells online advertisers whether their ads are actually seen by viewers. Founder and CEO Steve Mallett said about 35 percent or more of online ads are never actually seen by humans. R17 can track ads and tell whether they are visible to people and for how long.

The keynote speaker of the night was John Paul Morgan, the Founder and CEO of Morgan Solar of Toronto. He recounted his time installing systems for Doctors Without Frontiers in Africa and how he could have continued such work, all the while being told he was doing good. But as a physicist, he decided he should and try to create an affordable solar power system that would benefit all poor communities.

“I knew blatantly that I was likely going to fail,” he said. “But I also knew that it didn’t matter at all. I knew that if I didn’t even try, that that would have been the greatest failure of all.”


Disclaimer: Entrevestor receives financial support from government agencies that support startup companies in Atlantic Canada. The sponsoring agencies play no role in determining which companies and individuals are featured in this column, nor do they review columns before they are published.