Category Archives: Community

New downtown entrepreneur spaces open

It would be hard to believe even 5 years ago, let alone 10-15 years ago, but this week saw the launch of two new downtown spaces aimed at catalyzing and fostering entrepreneurship. Both spaces notably have heavy representation from the local tech sector.

CoMotion on King (@comotiononking), the newest and largest co-working space in Hamilton formally opened its doors at 115 King Street East in the old Hamilton Spectator building. It’s a really cool space offering a myriad of options (shared desk, dedicated desk, private office), great amenities (e.g. 24/7 free coffee and “beer Fridays”) and atmosphere (exposed brick walls, natural lighting, beautiful downtown views). Check out this interview article from earlier this year for all the details.

The Forge Downtown opened on James North, a campus-led accelerator that partners McMaster University, Mohawk College and Innovation Factory have created to foster startup company growth. James North is a nexus of Hamilton revitalization, and placing the accelerator at the heart of that revitalization is a great opportunity.

I know this is kinda boosterism, but you know what? This is just plain awesome to see. I would reiterate that the idea of multiple cool entrepreneurial spaces opening up in the core would’ve been unthinkable not long ago. If you get a chance, check out the spaces!


CoMotion on King











The Forge Downtown







Salary guide for technology professionals released

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 11.46.00 PM


Recently Robert Half Technology released the 2015 salary guide for American and Canadian tech professionals. It’s a pretty good breakdown that drills into different specific job descriptions.

On a related note, there’s an interesting thread in /r/hamilton right now discussing developer opportunities and salaries in Hamilton. It’s too bad that several of the commenters are re-confirming what many developers have said in the past: local salaries and opportunities for career development aren’t competitive enough with Toronto/K-W. There are some really great opportunities locally (both pay and career development), but obviously Toronto/K-W are behemoth global tech players that offer tons of great gigs.

For whatever it’s worth, the best I can tell from surveys and informal hearsay is that the local average developer salary is $50k, but with a huge range from $34k – $120k depending on the type of work, experience, specific firms vs. freelancer, etc.


Hamilton Heat Alert app released

Jeremy Casey has created a Hamilton Heat Alert app, available now on the Google Play Store:

Details taken from Google Play Store

Check and receive heat warning alerts if you’re living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

This application reads from this feed:

Note: Make sure you run the application at least once to receive automatic heat notifications.






Social Bicycles route data



Local software developer Ryan McGreal (@RyanMcGreal) of fame has built a Python module to download your Social Bicycle data. Check it out:

Details taken from the github page…



Download your Social Bicycles (SoBi) route data and save it locally in various formats.


The sobidata module allows you to download your Social Bicycles (SoBi) route data via the applications web API and save it locally in a variety of file formats.

The module uses the requests library to download collections of routes from the SoBi HTTP REST API using HTTP Basic Authentication, as outlined in the SoBi API documentation.

The route data is paginated, and the method that downloads the data calls itself recursively, incrementing the page with each request until there is no more data.

For each route, the module makes a follow-up request to the API to look up the bike name, origin hub address and destination hub address. However, it also stores the results of those requests locally so that a subsequent search for the same bike name or hub address retrieves the result from the local cache rather than making a duplicate API request.

As a result, the data includes three datasets: a list of routes, a list of hubs and a list of bikes. The module also makes a list of totals, calculating the total distance in miles, total distance in km, total duration in seconds, total duration in minutes, total duration in hours, total number of distinct bikes, and total number of distinct hubs.

Once the data is downloaded, you can save it locally in a variety of formats: JSON, XML, Excel 2007 or CSV format. Note that the JSON, XML and Excel 2007 formats save all four datasets, but the CSV format only saves the routes dataset.

Local tech firms walking a mile in her shoes



Some local tech firms are participating in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign by the YWCA:

On Thursday, June 18th at noon, help YWCA Hamilton take a step toward ending women’s poverty, homelessness and violence by participating in the 6th annual, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, to help support YWCA Hamilton’s Transitional Living Program.

At Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, concerned men, women and families step into high heels and step up for women. By strutting and stumbling through Gore Park, you’ll be raising awareness, raising eyebrows and educating Hamiltonians about issues affecting women in our community.

Maybe you’d like to donate and help them raise funds for this important cause.


Orbital – [campaign]

factor[e] – [campaign]

EB Media Solutions – [campaign]


Hacking Health Hamilton re-launches

Last week Hacking Health Hamilton hosted its first Café event.

Over 40 healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, developers, and others gathered at McMaster Innovation Park to listen, learn, network and discuss their ideas for improving healthcare in Hamilton.

The event featured three very informative guests.

Debbie Schmidt, a Clinical Informatics Specialist, and Registered Nurse at St Josephs Hamilton. With over 20 years of healthcare and technology experience Debbie gave insight about the upcoming trends for technology in healthcare and what some of the specific needs across the continuum are.


Giancarlo De Lio, the founder and CIO of VitalHub showed us his incredible intuitive interface that makes patient information available anywhere it is needed on multiple clinical systems thus allowing the clinicians to focus on the patient and not on the computer.


Sina Afshani from Blue Orchid Care Inc demonstrated his assistive device. The revolutionary product is light, unobtrusive and more affordable than existing lifts.

The drive and innovation demonstrated by all above showed us the benefits and importance of technology merging with healthcare which lead into brainstorming conversations amongst the attendees.


The Hacking Health Hamilton team are excited to connect more members of the community to continue discussions and start collaborations and are working on planning their next Cafe in late spring.

To learn more visit, follow @HHHamOnt and/or e-mail


Make your business Data work for you



When: Tuesday April 7th 2015 from 9:00am to 1:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South



You are cordially invited to join us on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 for a seminar on “Make your Business Data work for you” presented by ORACLE and followed by a complimentary lunch.

Cloud Business Intelligence (BI) is the hottest buzzword talked about in every industry vertical and considered to offer a unique advantage to organizations of all sizes. It is an indisputable fact that information is the key for organizations to gain a competitive advantage. Business Intelligence can help decision makers get answers to business questions that enable them to increase sales, enhance business effectiveness, improve profits and safeguard the organizations survival.

The seminar will help you understand how Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service can enable your organization to access data, streamline analysis, drive collaboration, and go mobile – all without any infrastructure setup or capital costs.



09.00 am to 9.30 am Reception & Networking
9.30 am to 10.00 am What is Business Intelligence??
10.00 am to 11.00 am Introduction to Oracle BI Cloud Service
11.00 am to 11.15 am Break & Networking Opportunity
11.00 am to 11.30 am Live Demonstration
11.30 am to 12.00 am Q & A – Closing Remarks
12.00 am to 1.00 pm Lunch


Parking Information

Parking is available for a cost of $0.50/hour at McMaster Innovation Park Special Events and Conference Parking.


About Oracle

With more than 380,000 customers – including 100 of the Fortune 100 – and with deployments across a wide variety of industries in more than 145 countries around the globe, Oracle offers an optimized and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems. Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center – from servers and storage, to database and middleware, through applications.

As the #1 vendor in business analytics with the industry’s most complete and integrated range of enterprise-class business intelligence (BI) solutions, Oracle leads the way in helping organizations gain more insight, across more data, and drive better outcomes in every aspect of their business.

Note : Your registration for this event constitutes implied consent to be photographed and to have those photos published.

Oracle Gold Partner


Bitcoin Chat on Friday March 20th

When: Friday March 20th 6:00pm

Where: Westdale neighbourhood (register to see location)


Friday March 20th we’re going to mix it up with Bitcoin discussion! We’ll have a micro-panel featuring John Gerryts and Derek Braid who will taking questions from myself and attendees in regards to bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general. Bring your curiosity and your questions.

Derek Braid is an ex-financial advisor turned JavaScript developer and Data Visualization Expert. He’s a BitMaker Labs graduate and specializes in data visualization and cryptocurrencies. He also maintains angular.js and meteor.js projects. Derek founded the Burlington Bitcoin Meetup Group.

John Gerryts is the Founder/Organizer of the Niagara Bitcoin Meetup, and has recently volunteered as the interim Organizer for the Hamilton/Ancaster/Stoney Creek Bitcoin Meetup. John is a Certified Bitcoin Professional, CBP and an active bitcoin/altcoin miner since 2013. John is also a Founding member of Airlock, an based Bitcoin 2.0 project which was a top 3 winner at the Toronto Bitcoin Expo’s “In Crypto We Trust” Hackathon. Lastly John operates and is a Network Administrator by trade.

deltaHacks signals big change



deltaHacks (@deltaHacks) organized by HackItMac (@HackItMac) took place this weekend on McMaster campus. The event brought in 200+ students, not just from the McMaster community, but from around Southern Ontario – University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, University of Guelph, Mohawk College and others. The students formed teams and worked on building real-world applications for social change in a 24-hour time period.

I was a judge on the Sunday portion of the event and was able to walk around and check out the different projects. The projects ranged from web apps, to mobile apps to wearables. The nature of the event meant that many if not most projects were either medical or educational in nature. However there were a bunch of really cool non-profit and ‘social good’ ideas – for example applications to help foodbanks tell prospective donors what types of food exactly they are running short on, or applications to help people find items they have lost.




The teams were filtered down to 5 finalists on the Sunday who gave presentations before the top 3 winners were selected. The top prize went to Project Julius, an app that detects and blocks seizure inducing content, and included a flight/hotel to a hackathon taking place in South Korea!

The fact that the hackathon included students from outside the McMaster community was excellent. Making it more than a McMaster event builds awareness and brings connections to McMaster. Some of the better projects were done by students from outside McMaster and that’s OK too – that’s inspiration and education for everyone. A lot of the teams seemed to include students from a mixture of institutions. A hackathon is taking place at Western soon. It’s great for the broader region to see this happening.




deltaHacks really does signal a big change on McMaster campus. I’ve been at McMaster in one form or another since 2002. After the 2000 dotcom crash enrolment in computing programs plummeted for the early to mid 2000s. In terms of community activities, I think we had a bowling night or something, maybe a meet the profs night and a 40-person ‘programming challenge’ night? It was great fun, but nothing at this scale.

Around 2009 regular enrolment increases began (as did higher entrance averages). A hackathon at a scale like this would have been completely unthinkable 10 years ago… even 5 years ago. It was surreal walking around the student centre seeing table after table of students working on cool projects. Those enrolment increases have continued through to today and are, last I saw, expected to continue into the future.

deltaHacks signals a critical mass of talent has arrived on McMaster campus. A critical mass that could do some very great things in the years ahead. This was an amazing start.

Check out the top 5 finalists present at deltaHacks below:


Project Julius – 1st place


Android sWear – 2nd place


Chameleon – 3rd place


Intuit (honourable mention)


MyoBlinds (honourable mention)


#HamOntForever Digital Literacy Panel Discussion


The #HamOntForever campaign is organizing a panel discussion, see the details below:

When technology moves faster than society, it’s either keep-up, or risk going the way of the floppy disk. Presented in partnership by Hamilton Community Foundation and KITESTRING, join us for a panel on Digital Literacy, our city and how a growing digital divide must be addressed.

The discussion will be moderated by Chris Farias (VP – Creative Development, KITESTRING) with panel participants Mark Chamberlain (President & CEO PV Labs), Terry Cooke (President & CEO Hamilton Community Foundation), Joey Coleman (Journalist and Crowdfunding Pioneer), and Paul Takala (Chief Librarian Hamilton Public Library).

When: January 28th, 2015 from 5–7pm, with the one-hour panel beginning at 5:30pm.

Where: First floor at The Seedworks Building, 126 Catharine Street North, Hamilton.


Online: Streaming at or join the chat on the KITESTRING Facebook Page


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