OK Tokii

Interviewing Torontonians making the trip to Austin


SXSW is a big deal for Oakville-based dating service Tokii.

Not only is the site launching during the festival, it’s also competing with five other startups in Maple Leaf Digital Lounge‘s 40 Hour Challenge. The winner will be named SXSW Interactive’s 2011 Canadian favourite.

Before it all begins, NOW spoke to Kim Stephens, Tokii’s VP of Operations and Technology.

Tokii is a “Relationship Management Platform.” What’s that?

It’s about helping busy people stay in love. To get back what they first had. On Facebook, I only see myself. A Relationship Management Platform is two people.

What will the 40-hour challenge be like? Are there going to be rivalries between you and other participants?

I’m excited to see what other people’s ideas are and where they’re going, but I do want to get my message across. I want to get other people to join.

You’ve never been to SXSW before. What are you expecting?

We’ve created incredible things. It’s nice we’ve got a forum to show what Canada can do. I’m looking forward to meeting with investors.

How are you getting to Austin?

I’m heading down on a flight with a few pit stops. I’ve traveled over most of the world and I’ve lived in a lot of different countries. I love getting on planes. Anything under 10 hours seems like a short flight to me now.

With so many events at SXSW, how will you keep yourself going?

I’m just going to survive on pure adrenaline boosted with wheatgrass and vitamins.

Describe your ideal SXSW day.

An ideal day would be a day where I meet a lot of positive people. To have the site go viral, that would be the perfect day.

Who are you excited about seeing at SXSW?

Seth [Priebatsch], “Chief Ninja” of Boston based startup SCVNGR. It’s really neat in the digital world. I find anywhere I go I meet interesting people. You can stand in line at Foodland and meet fascinating people. Down there, people are coming from over the world.

Are you going to let loose?

Well, that is a little bit what it’s about, yes. Have fun but be able to survive.

What will you be wearing in Austin’s warm weather?

Jeans, comfortable black pants, and hopefully some funky T-shirts that will fit in my little suitcase. A little bit funky, a little bit cool, and comfortable. Sneakers, do you take sneakers? I’m hoping to get a workout in there, so I need my workout shoes.

Workout? Really?

It’s a grandiose plan. I might be out until 4 in the morning. It’s like, “Do I workout at 7 a.m. or do I sleep the extra hour?” I’ll have another shot of wheatgrass, maybe.

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