Homegrown Business: Cast. A Social Voting App Where Opinions Matter

For this week’s Homegrown Business profile, we spoke with the founders of Cast, a social voting app that includes all peoples’ opinions, because all opinions are important, count and matter.

– Cast Founders, David Banwat, George Boutsalis and Ricky Liorti.

What is your business called and what does it do?

Cast is a new social voting app that removes the friction to participate in online conversations. Vote on polls anonymously, comment publicly and analyze demographic data to see which side of the debate you fall on. A platform to be honest, authentic, and curious, because every opinion matters. Cast is the objective assembly of public opinion.

What made you want to do this work?

We were tired of being served one-sided narratives and subjective data. Social media does not do a good enough job of showing you consenting opinions or objective facts for users to formulate their own opinions. For the most part, we are all insulated by our networks of followers and that can lead to issues like echo chambers and group think. We wanted to create a place which objectively shows users what the world really thinks.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

We’re removing the friction to participate in online conversations. Social media, and our society as a whole, are creating environments where it is not okay to share unique or contrarian points of view. If your opinion doesn’t fit with the popular opinion then your opinion is viewed as wrong. This is unhealthy. From a young age we have all been taught that there is no such thing as a stupid question and to be ourselves. Cast is creating a platform that allows people to be their unique, authentic, and honest selves. We’re removing the social pressures that come with sharing an opinion online, (as long as it is not harmful or illegal) which will allow for an objective and honest representation of public opinion.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Cast is for everyone. All ages, races, ethnicities, genders, religions, political affiliations, interest groups, hobbies, etc. We are cultivating a global community of curious individuals.


How does your business make money? How does it work?

Currently, Cast’s priority is to grow our user base and not impede on the user experience with ads. We want our platform to be a place where you can engage with topics you are interested in and not have to worry about people trying to sell you stuff.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

You can find Cast on the App Store and Play Store. Our company HQ is in Queen West but we are a remote-first company. This works well for us because Cast is a global platform that knows no borders.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

What makes Cast different? When you compare Cast to other social platforms, you won’t find any that are as objective and honest about public sentiment. We don’t have algorithms that show you the side of the story you prefer to see, we show you the entire story and let you formulate your own thoughts on how you feel.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is the team we get to work with every day – the worst part is we don’t get to see them in person. We have a unique group who bring so much to the table and push each other to do more and do better day-in and day-out. The second best part is the thought that we are a small Toronto social network that is about to go toe-to-toe with social networking titans in Silicon Valley. It really does feel like David vs Goliath!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Nothing comes to mind.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

Hometown Coffee is an office coffee and snack service provider that was founded around the same time as Cast. It’s no easy feat starting a company (let alone office coffee) during a pandemic but the team at Hometown has surpassed their commitment to quality, variety and service and has kept us fueled to our app launch and beyond. Also, Burger Drops.