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BOBs 2015 NEXT BIG THING: PageCloud and Punchtime

PAGECLOUD

Back in January, PageCloud founder Craig Fitzpatrick made a bold prediction about his startup – a growth trajectory on par with Shopify.

What makes PageCloud so special? A platform that makes building websites as easy as dragging and dropping. Users can add photos, text, videos and other elements to web pages using drag-and-drop movements and keyboard shortcuts.

The idea isn’t a new one. In fact, Mr. Fitzpatrick used to squeeze some degree of that functionality out of Apple’s now-defunct iWeb application.

But it’s a nut that had never been fully cracked.

“The building of websites has always been the domain of developers, and for all of their skills, developers aren’t always the best designers,” he told OBJ. “That was my frustration for years, and I just assumed that someone else will solve it … and 10 years later, nobody solved it.”

After pounding out the code for PageCloud and assembling the core team, Mr. Fitzpatrick, along with vice-president of business development Greg Evans, headed down to Silicon Valley in September 2014 to trot out the concept.

They came back with a US$1-million investment round. That was followed by a second $1-million round in January. Local investors include Tobias Lütke of Shopify, Frédéric Boulanger of Macadamian and Peter Sandiford, founder of LPI Level Platforms and Netstone Technologies.

The team is currently working toward a full platform launch this fall.

PUNCHTIME

A couple of years ago, Yves Eggleston, co-founder of local property developer Blueprint Builds, came to software developer Christian Desjardins with a problem.

Collecting accurate time sheet information from staff in an efficient manner was a nightmare that was costing money and playing havoc with his payroll. An associated construction firm reported that three of its staff were wasting a total of about 40 hours a month wrestling with the same issues.

Soon after, Punchtime was born. Mr. Eggleston was so impressed by the app Mr. Desjardins created for him that he became an investor and partner to help commercialize it.

The app makes it easy for employees or contractors to punch on and off the clock with their mobile device. It includes secure time and location data that gives everyone confidence that the hours worked are accurate and fair.

Punchtime plugs into whatever back-office and accounting software a business might be using and updates these systems automatically. Gone are the days of chasing down physical time sheets and entering data manually.

For Mr. Desjardins, the power of Punchtime extends far beyond just solving the inefficiencies of old-school time sheets. It’s a tool for collecting and visualizing data that can enlighten employees, the HR department and management alike.

“You can understand where staff are focusing their activities, who has experience with what project or situation – quantify all your human assets to know who is doing what and what competencies they have developed,” Mr. Desjardins said.

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