Meet the HIVE

hamilton_hive_logo_250Where: Radius @ 151 James Street South

When: Wednesday March 4th 2015 from 4:30pm to 7:00pm



Meet other young professionals and find out how you can get involved in the community through Hamilton HIVE and its 22 member groups!

Whether you are a freelancer, arts enthusiast, media professional, architect, health care professional, young entrepreneur or just wanting to get to know your community, this meet and greet will connect you with other like-minded and business-savvy young professionals living, working and playing in Hamilton.
Appetizers provided. Cash bar available.


Hacking Health Cafe on March 12th

Hacking Health is designed to improve healthcare by inviting technology creators and healthcare professionals to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line problems. Cafés are informal meetups to discuss and debate digital health in your city, where people and ideas mingle.


When: Thursday March 12th 2015 @ 7:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood South Hamilton, Ontario





Giancarlo De Lio, the founder and CIO of VitalHub and an Entrepreneur, Investor and Idea generator

VitalHub was developed to solve the challenges faced by doctors and nurses who are frustrated with hospital IT systems. VitalHub gives users a single, intuitive interface to multiple clinical systems. Simple to learn and use, it fits seamlessly into clinician workflows. Patient information is available anywhere it is needed. VitalHub lets clinicians focus on the patient, not on the computer.

We will also hear from:

Debbie Schmidt, RN, MCSE, CRA, CCRC, Clinical Informatics Specialist – Nursing, S. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Debbie Schmidt is a Registered Nurse; a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and A+ Technician, a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, and a Clinical Research Associate. With over 20 years of healthcare and technology experience, Debbie plays a pivotal role in merging healthcare with technology in support of effective change management across the continuum of care. Debbie will talk about the upcoming trends are for technology in healthcare, what are some of the specific needs across the continuum as well some general information on industry networking and funding for healthcare start-ups…how to take an idea and make it a product.

Sina Afshani from BlueOrchid will talk about his assistive device that is light, unobtrusive and more affordable than existing lifts.


Machine learning using scikit-learn

Originally posted on


Scikit-learn is a fantastic library to solve problems using machine learning and other, more traditional statistical methods in the area of Data Science. In this post I’m outlining why machine learning is important, demonstrating a simple machine learning problem and how to solve it.

Why should you care? Data science is becoming more and more relevant with the growth of big data, and more autononomous systems (ex. recommender systems, pattern recognition). Machine learning, specifically, is applicable to many fields including finance (ex. Detecting credit card fraud), medical (ex. Classifying patient cancer), entertainment (ex. Chess playing bot). The number of careers involving machine learning will steadily increase (there is evidence it’s already happening) since the supporting technologies are becoming more prolific (Hadoop, scikit-learn, Mahout etc.).

One of the problems I was working on not too long ago was classifying which user is at the front of the computer. I have developed a small user classification game utilizing an SVM. The game asks a user for a bunch of words to create a profile of the user – the machine is “learning”. In the next part of the game, the user types a bunch of words and the computer tries to recognize who is typing at the keyboard by utilizing what it learned.

How does the computer learn? The feature generation is accomplished when the user is asked for their name, then presented with a series of words from a dictionary and finally asked to type words as they appear. The features that is recorded is the typing speed, number of errors, and corrections made to typed words.

The next part of the program is to run the data through the classifier (which in our case is SVM). The tricky part is to get the right values for gamma. You could experiment with this by using a test data set; do not use your training set. Once you have this data, the actual classifying is trivial with scikit-learn:

#create the classifiter
classifier = svm.SVC(gamma=1)
#get existing features, and their expected results
(features, targets) = profiles.get_classifier_data(), targets)

#based on new features and targets feed into the program and guess the new predicted targets
predicted = classifier.predict([[data_point.time, data_point.error_count, data_point.distance]])

How could this be improved? I think the first opportunity for improvement is to recognize data clusters automatically using k-means and possibly utilize principal component analysis. That way, every cluster of data will be automatically assigned without first creating user profiles.

I hope this post elucidates the high level machine learning process for anyone that is interested. The technologies and ideas used here are just some tools that can be added to your toolbelt. If you’d like to find out more about machine learning, I recommend Andrew Ng’s set of lectures.

Full Listing


Nix Sensor talk at McMaster on February 25th

McMaster Alumni Matthew Sheridan and Zachary Strong of Nix Sensor will speak on starting up a hardware tech company, and their experience running a successful Kickstarter campaign.
About the company:

Nix Sensor Ltd. designs and manufactures color measurement tools for designers, creators, corporations, and color professionals in over 30 countries.

The first version of their consumer product, the Nix Sensor, raised $70,000 on Kickstarter and has been featured at the Consumer Electronics Show (Las Vegas), at The Next Web Europe Conference, and on the Discovery Channel.

When: Wednesday February 25th @ 6pm

Where: TwelvEighty @ McMaster University (1280 Main Street West)





REfficient Sponsors the Junos Awards Festival



Hamilton, Ontario – February 19, 2015 – REfficient is proud to announce they are a sponsor of the 2015 Juno Awards Festival, Canada’s music awards. The company is sponsoring a stage as part of the Turn It On Streetcrawl on Friday, March 12.

REfficient is a Hamilton-based company that sells used and surplus new commercial grade Audio Video gear as part of its repurposing program. REfficient manages the surplus of large companies and sells it to smaller companies and individuals that can reuse it. The audio video equipment includes speakers, amplifiers, road cases and other gear. Along with REfficient’s telecom division, the company has become the Canadian go-to to find quality equipment at affordable prices. REfficient has customers in nine Canadian provinces, three Canadian territories and 12 other countries.

Hamilton is the 2015 host city of the Junos, Canada’s music awards. This year Hamilton has planned a full week of activities called JunoWeek, including a Turn It On Streetcrawl on Friday evening. REfficient is sponsoring a stage that will feature some of Canada’s most promising artists.

REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty said the opportunity to support both the local and national music industry was a clear decision, “We have been outfitting local sound engineers and musicians with AV gear since 2012, and so we are absolutely thrilled to support the Junos in our hometown of Hamilton and Canada’s music industry at large,” says McLarty.

About REfficient

REfficient’s transactional marketplace is built on a “triple-win” model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient solution for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and

Bruno Venesia
905-544-5000 x5011


Interview with Stephen Dagg of White Flag



stephendaggStephen Dagg has worked in creative director and art director roles in the video game industry at companies like Electronic Arts and SAVA Transmedia where he helped create games such as Army of Two: The 40th Day and Need for Speed: Nitro. Since moving back to Hamilton Stephen has founded White Flag Entertainment (@White_Flag_) and launched mobile game Flippin’ Doo Doo.

Check out the interview with Stephen Dagg below!


How did you get started in the video game industry?

I received an offer to join EA Montreal’s cinematic department from a good friend of mine; we had previously worked together at Mainframe Entertainment in TV and film production.


Why did you move to Hamilton and start White Flag?

I was born in Hamilton and after living all over Canada for tens years I wanted to move closer to family. Hamilton has opportunities that I felt would be beneficial to a gaming company. The tech industry is growing here and schools are starting gaming specific programs. The community here is very supportive and wants to be engaged and be a part of the change we see happening in this city.


What is Flippin’ Doo Doo?

Flippin’ Doo-Doo is much like Flappy Bird or Jet pack Joy Ride. You launch your doo-doo from a cow, in hopes of reaching Farmer Al’s Throne… a toilet! You must pass through obstacles of hay, collecting toilet paper along the way, to out “doo” your friends. The game is silly but fun and addictive and we’re constantly building new features to improve the user experience.




What tools were used to build Flippin’ Doo Doo?

We used many tools and plugins. Most notably Unity (the free version), Photoshop, Sourcetree and Dropbox, along with various tablets and phones for testing.


How has Flippin’ Doo Doo been received so far?

The game has been received quite well. The ratings are fantastic with 4.4 stars and over 4,500 users so far. We believe there is room for us to compete in the market. We must keep optimizing, however, to maximize the potential revenue and continue user engagement.


How is Flippin’ Doo Doo monetized?

The game uses various in-game ad services and in-app purchases to drive monetization. Our economy needs to be rebalanced at present. These new changes should increase sales to hit our revenue target.




How are you marketing Flippin’ Doo Doo?

We use every channel available to bring awareness to the game. We’re still optimizing the game so marketing is low at the moment but getting the numbers right is important before the masses play your game. All social media needs to be used and sharing your experience is important for small independent company to grow our fan base. In app ads are one of the fastest ways to acquire users. Press reviews, bloggers and Youtubers are a huge part in getting the word out to the world. They are instrumental in the success of aps rising to the top of the charts.


How has the experience been building a game and company in Hamilton?

The experience has been fantastic! There has been a lot of support from the community. I’ve met some great people with a lot of talent here and I think we can make something happen!


Any advice to students looking at breaking into the video game industry?

I find you’re always trying to break into the gaming industry! Even after working in the business for over ten years you’re constantly proving yourself. Working hard and having good knowledge is key, but one of the most important things I feel is applying everywhere you can and networking until someone gives you a shot! Sometimes it’s just timing and who you know.




Any advice to others looking at starting an indie video game company?

Having a solid team is probably the biggest point. Understanding the industry is something that people tend to overlook; making the game is the easy part but it’s all the rest that makes it so hard to compete. You must understand this before you jump into the business. Look for funding wherever you can because you will always need more time and money than you think. Learn to handle problems in your production with a smile; as you strive to make the best games you can, passionate disputes with your team-mates can lead to problems in production and may lead to its demise. This is a tough business and you have to really want it to make it happen!


Financial tool workshop at Innovation Factory

IFlogoWhen: Wednesday February 18th 2015 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Where: Innovation Factory @ 175 Longwood Road South



Dear entrepreneur:

We all know that sound financial planning is key for new business success.

Innovation Factory, other entrepreneurship organizations of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), and Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, are committed to working together to help new and future business owners like you to navigate early financial planning.

We’re building an online tool to be shared by new business owners & entrepreneurship organizations across our network, to be used and improved by all of us.

We want to hear from YOU about what YOU need.

Come to our Tool Co-Creation Workshop!

Join staff from our centre, the entrepreneurship network and Meridian in a small group session with other new business owners to give your opinion on the help that you need when it comes to your financial understanding and planning: What topics do you want to learn about? What resources would be helpful? What shape could these tools take?

You will be directly contributing to the development of a new resource to help yourself in running the finances of your business and thousands of new business owners just like you.

You’ll also have the chance to meet and network with other business owners to discuss issues facing your businesses.

We will also be providing free food and refreshments for all attendees.

Registration is limited to just 20 people, so register quickly to have your voice heard!

For more information, please email:

More background:

Innovation Factory, member organizations of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, are working together to develop an exciting new tool for new business owners to use to navigate many of the financial planning issues we all face in the first few years of running a new business.

Last year, we conducted a study on emerging and experienced business owner financial literacy in partnership with regional innovation centres across our network and Futurpreneur, and learned that a business owner’s understanding of financial topics is a key indicator of the business’ long-term success. We also learned that new business owners are lacking in several crucial areas of financial understanding.

To help address this issue, Innovation Factory, the network and Meridian are currently developing an online tool to help new business owners in these areas, and will be making it available for all of Ontario’s entrepreneurship organizations to use and share with new and future business owners.

To make this tool as relevant as possible to new and future business owners in our community, we are hosting several co-creation workshops to get their direct input into the content and design of the tool. We appreciate your support in this aspect and look forward to developing a tool that is based on the feedback that your clients provide.


CoderCamp was born from the spirit of BarCamp, and has evolved into a monthly mini-conference. CoderCamp is for local software developers to learn tools, techniques, and technologies from one another in a casual and friendly setting. We meet to talk about coding, software development, and technology to learn from each other and get better at what we do in the process.

We have a projector and screen set up for people to give presentations. We try to have a few speakers lined up in advance to give the event structure, but there is usually room for “open mic” presentations or discussions if you’re interested in sharing. We welcome you to come, talk, discuss, share, or just sit quietly and listen.

Where: The Pheasant Plucker @ 20 Augusta Street (2nd floor)
Date: February 18, 2015

Rough Agenda:
6:30pm – 7:00pm – meetup, grab a drink, talk shop
7:00pm – 9:30pm – series of 5-20 min. talks

Scheduled Talks:

Tom Sweeney will be giving a talk entitled “The Seven Sins of Software”.

Phil is going to teach us a thing or two about how modern facial recognition algorithms work. Bring your asymmetrical haircuts, and trust no one.

Jared Both ( is going to demo the PureData / odroid effects pedal he built and programmed.

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