WPTouch acquired by SureSwift Capital


WPTouch has been acquired by Canadian software company SureSwift Capital!

WPTouch is a household name in the WordPress community, appearing on many “must-have” plugin lists, and 8 years after its creation it still ranks among the top WordPress plugins by number of active installs at 300,000+. WPTouch comes in both a free and paid pro version. WPTouch is based out of Hamilton, co-founded by Dale Mugford and Duane Storey.

The founders explained the decision to be acquired in a recent news update:

Some people might not realize, but we’ve been working on WPtouch for over 8 years. We realized early on that, as WPtouch continued to grow, it would eventually outgrow our comfort levels in terms of scale. Don’t get us wrong, this is a great problem to have! But it led us to begin a casual search several years ago for a partner or owner who would be willing to take on WPtouch and continue our work.


Only now have we found the right fit. In SureSwift, we found a great partner and excellent steward for WPtouch. SureSwift’s focus is on acquiring mature, profitable businesses, and their expertise and vision promises to carry WPtouch forward in a way that we can be proud of. We are excited that WPtouch has a bright future.


Hamilton Agile Meetup


When: Thursday January 26th 2017 at 6:00pm

Where: The Pheasant Plucker at 20 Augusta Street, Hamilton, Ontario

Organizer: Hamilton Agile Meetup (@marceloagile)

Register: meetup.com/Hamilton-Agile-Project-Management-Meetup/events/236715666


Join us on our first 2017 meetup!! Come and meet other Agile people, scrum masters, product owners, project managers, developers and more in and around Hamilton area!

Let’s share some time exchanging topics, experiences, doubts, methodologies, questions and all around this amazing Agile journey!!!

Parking beside the pub

PS: Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or doubts about this meetup!!


Tech lessons for non-tech entrepreneurs


When: Tuesday January 24th 2017 from 11:30am – 1:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park (Conference rooms 1ABCD) at 175 Longwood Road South

Organizer: Innovation Factory (@itbeginswithIF)

Cost: $10 general admission, $5 student or IF client

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/tech-lessons-for-non-tech-entrepreneurs-lunch-n-learn-tickets-30293938987


Please join us on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 for a Lunch ‘n Learn on Tech Lessons for Non-technical Entrepreneurs presented by our own Executive Director here at Innovation Factory, David Carter!

Technology is now so accessible that it’s easy to come up with an idea for an innovation and simply hire developers to execute your vision. As a result, non-tech founders are starting tech companies more than ever, and within corporations, department managers are upping their tech game by launching apps and cloud software to offer to their customers.

Of course you can recruit a technical co-founder, you can outsource, and you can hire a staff of developers. The problem arises in how you communicate that vision to them.

In this session, David will talk about how to document your product in a way that removes ambiguity for your tech team and sets the proper milestones and testing procedures. With that, both sides can agree on what needs to be accomplished and when a feature is deemed “done”. He’ll discuss how to iterate on your application design before you pay to have a single line of code written, and about how to mock up your vision and gain the support of your future customers and even pre-sell your product.


11:30am-noon – Lunch & Networking
Noon-1pm – Factory 5 (TBA) and Keynote Presentation (David Carter)
1pm – 2pm – Dessert & Networking (at iF’s Innovation Destination)

About David Carter

David Carter is the Executive Director of the Innovation Factory (iF). iF is Hamilton’s Regional Innovation Centre with the mandate to be a catalyst for innovation in Hamilton. Appropriately, David’s career has been working in innovation since he joined the workforce. It started as a consultant in the burgeoning personal computer industry and then as an International Markets Analyst Toronto Stock Exchange in the late 80’s. At Microsoft he worked through the revolution in desktop computing and the internet in the 90s. In 2001, after 11 years at Microsoft he decided to start his own company. From 2001 until 2012 he and his partner took their start-up from a small office in Burlington, to a Boston based firm raising $20 million in venture capital. Carter is thrilled to support today’s entrepreneurs in Hamilton and to be a part of the larger Hamilton ecosystem.

GameDevDrinks with Melissa Davidson

When: Wednesday January 25th 2017 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Where: The Pheasant Plucker at 20 Augusta Street, Hamilton, Ontario

Organizer: @GameDevDrinks

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/gamedevdrinks-melissa-davidson-tickets-31165457723


Happy New Year fellow GDDers,

After a long and much needed holiday break, GameDevDrinks is back and ready to kick off the new year in style!
As such, we invite all of you within or curious about our game development community to come and join us at the Pheasant Plucker on Wednesday, January 25 for a night of good times and good cheer. This month our guest speaker is Melissa Davidson (@tremblinglight) game design architect at Lofty Sky, a local studio based out of Toronto.

From 7:00-10:00 p.m., GameDevDrinks is the place for you to hang out and to hear Melissa Davidson speak about her 11 years trials and tribulations as a freelance artist and game designer. Afterwards you can network with Melissa, share your game concepts and ideas, tell and trade stories, show off game demos or just network and hang out because at GDD our goal is to create a casual and creative social environment for anyone – student, hobbyist, enthusiast and professional alike – who shares the common interest of game development of any kind.

We look forward to seeing you on the 25th!


Freelancer meetup – kicking off 2017


When: Wednesday January 18th 2017 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Where: The Pheasant Plucker at 20 Augusta Street, Hamilton, Ontario

Organizer: Hamilton Freelancer Association (@hamontfreelance)

Register: meetup.com/Freelancers-Group/events/235918486


We’ll be upstairs!


6:30pm-7:00pm – Registration and mingling
7:00pm-7:30pm – Goals for 2017
7:30pm-8:30pm – More getting to know others!


There is plenty of parking in the IMPARK parking lot next to the venue. Entrance to the parking lot is accessible off James Street S. as well as off Augusta Street beside The Pheasant Plucker (20 Augusta). It is $4 for the evening.


Freelancer Meetups are monthly events run by the Hamilton Freelancers Association. They are free, and open to all professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers in the Hamilton area, whether you’re just starting a freelancing consulting business, or you’re running a consulting business full time.

We bring in some of the best and brightest to give talks on ways to help you build and grow your entrepreneurial venture, along with networking.

The Hamilton Freelancers Association is free to join to become a member and is open to freelancers of all skills and specialties, including designers, developers, marketers, videographers, photographers, writers, and everyone in between.


Mariner Endosurgery receives funding


HAMILTON, ON–(Marketwired – January 12, 2017) – Mariner Endosurgery, an innovative Canadian medical device company announced today the recent completion of an investment round led by several prominent medical device investors and leading laparoscopic surgeons from the Toronto – Hamilton area. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased with the strategic investors now on board with Mariner Endosurgery,” said Mitch Wilson, President & COO of Mariner Endosurgery. “Surgeons are excited about our innovative product pipeline, and today’s funding represents a significant step towards commercialization of our LaparoGuard technology. Mariner’s computer-assisted platform provides augmented visualization for surgeons during minimally invasive general, gynecological and urological surgical procedures.”

About Mariner Endosurgery Inc.

Founded in 2016, Mariner Endosurgery Inc. http://marinerendosurgery.com develops and commercializes innovative computer assisted medical devices for future-facing laparoscopic surgeries. Their platform LaparoGuard is a novel soft-tissue surgical navigation platform that augments visualization during laparoscopic surgeries, enhancing the safety profile of laparoscopic surgery to assist surgeons in delivering a superior quality of care to their patients.

Mitch Wilson


Editor’s note: The Forge is hosting a “startup story” talk by Mariner Endosurgery COO Mitch Wilson on Thurs. Jan. 26th.


WordPress for beginners workshop later this month


When: Saturday January 28th 2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Where: CoMotion On King at 115 King Street East (3rd Floor) Hamilton, Ontario

Organizer: Ladies Learning Code – Hamilton Chapter

Cost: $55

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/hamilton-wordpress-for-beginners-create-your-own-wordpress-theme-on-january-28th-tickets-30586413787


Whether you want to start your own blog, or your company website is run on it, WordPress allows you to update and create content easily, while allowing for your own style and customization. In this workshop, we will show you how to install WordPress, what it all means, and of course, how to edit a theme to make it your own.

This workshop has been designed for beginners who are interested in customizing and coding a WordPress theme from scratch. If you are familiar with working with pre-built WordPress themes or templates but want an introduction on how to customize an existing theme or building a theme yourself, you’ve come to the right place!

This workshop is designed for learners with some experience using WordPress.com (or have taken our Blogging for Beginners with WordPress workshop) and some very basic HTML & CSS.

See the registration link for full details!


Intro to Internet of Things with Particle Photon


When: Saturday January 21st 2017 from 9:30am – 4:00pm

Where: CoMotion On King at 115 King Street East (3rd floor), Hamilton, Ontario

Organizer: Hamilton Internet of Things Meetup (@hamontiot)

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/introduction-to-internet-of-things-iot-using-the-particle-photon-tickets-30093376098

Cost: $25


Interested in microntrollers? Internet of Things? Electronics? Then this workshop is for you. Participants will learn what microntrollers are. Some very simple electronics. How microntrollers/electronics can be used to send sensor data to the internet. How to use the data from and control an internet connected device remotely using different web services.

The hardware we willbe using is called the Photon from Particle and we will also use the Particle Cloud IoT platform to connect the Photon to the Internet. Thanks to our sponsor Netquity, every participant will get to take the Photon kit home after the event.

No experience is required. Just some enthusiasm and interest in learning about this emerging technology called Internet of Things. But, if you have some experience with Arduino then you will feel right at home using the Photon programming environment.

All you need to bring is a laptop. Light refreshments will be supplied.


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Students welcome, but minumum age for attendance is 16.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

CoMotion is located in downtown Hamilton so getting here by public transit is easy. During the wekend there’s lots of parking within a few blocks.

What should I bring into the event?

You will need a laptop running either windows (Win7 or newer), Linux, or MacOS.

What’s the refund policy?

Tickets may be refunded until 1 week before the event. After that contact the organizer to transfer your ticket to someone else.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?



Bronwyn Mondoux talks building a brand by storytelling


When: Tuesday January 10th 2017 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Where: McMaster University (Room ETB 535) 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton

Organizer: The Forge (@theforgehamont)

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/build-and-brand-how-to-leverage-the-value-of-storytelling-tickets-30588177061


The Forge@MAC presents Build and Brand: How to leverage the value of storytelling with Bronwyn Mondoux, Creative Director and Owner, Cinnamon Toast. Bronwyn will go through the do’s and dont’s of building your brand including defining your business or product’s unique personality, finding your target audience, becoming a stronger storyteller, and utilizing the perks of digital marketing to build your brand.

Bronwyn Mondoux founded Cinnamon Toast, (CT) in 2006, an innovative design agency specializing in creating brand identities and updating visual marketing presence through the web, print and other media. Bronwyn’s unique creative vision, modern, imaginative take on design and outstanding leadership and project management skills have made CT an award-winning success and a recognized leader in their field. Bronwyn’s focus and entrepreneurial spirit has led to the success and expansion of CT. Since its inception, Cinnamon Toast has expanded its expertise to provide full branding, marketing, design and development services. CT has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of local and international businesses and have had their work recognized by the Ottawa Business Achievement Awards, winning Gold Professional Services of the Year in 2011, and features in DesignBeep, Ottawainsight, Design Shack. HOW Magazine and Advantage Magazine. Bronwyn was personally recognized by the Ottawa Business Journal as a recipient of a 2012 40 Under 40 award for demonstrated success and strong leadership. CT has also been recognized by the Better Business Bureau and The International Steve Awards.


deltaHacks returns for third edition

Using a Myo armband


If you haven’t heard of it before, deltaHacks is an amazing 500-person hackathon that takes place at McMaster University each year. The next deltaHacks will be taking place this January 28th-29th on McMaster University campus.

What makes deltaHacks special is the focus: “We hope to inspire students to hack for positive changes that align with their passions – whether it’s environment, health, inequality, education, etc. And hence the name “delta” – as “Δ” stands for change.”

Compared to some other hackathons where you might see the 500th “order a beer from your smartphone app” (which is admittedly kinda neat in its own right), at deltaHacks you see people working on projects to help people by solving real-world problems. On top of that, the technical depth of the solutions tends to be a little better than most hackathons too.

So for example the winner of last year’s deltaHacks was a team that built an app that uses x-ray images to diagnose femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). That project got turned into Deltanostix, a company now being incubated in The Forge.



First-place winners (FAI diagnosis app); photo by Jin Lee


In addition to attendees, this year’s deltaHacks is looking for 1) volunteers to help them run the event, 2) mentors to help teams workthrough challenges and provide advice, 3) sponsors. If you’re a tech company in Hamilton looking to get early access at an amazing pool of young, up-and-coming, motivated talent, this is a great event to get involved with in some capacity!

deltaHacks is organized by student group PhaseOne (formally know as HackItMac), easily the most engaged student group I’ve ever seen (and having been on school campuses my entire adult life, I’ve seen a lot). You’ve gotta love their mission statement:

“We are a vast team of students who share a similar dream: to make McMaster and the Hamilton area one of the biggest tech communities in Canada. We want to foster an environment that is constantly generating great ideas, startups or just talent. We want to help companies realize their full potential by providing the creative & technical talent and resources they need. We are PhaseOne of something bigger than all of us.”