Category Archives: Industry

Hydromantis releases latest build of flagship product GPS-X

Editor’s note: Missed this last Fall, but better late than never!

Hamilton, ON Canada – November 19, 2013 – Hydromantis Environmental Software Solutions, Inc., (Hydromantis), the leading global provider of water and wastewater simulation software and professional modelling services, announced today the latest release of their flagship product GPS-X ™, Version 6.3.

“We remain committed to ensuring GPS-X ™ users enjoy the fastest and most efficient modelling experience available”, said Dr. Spencer Snowling, VP of Product & Business Development at Hydromantis. “Adding the new continuous flow sequencing reactor model and the simplified BAF model make it easier for users to set up and simulate systems with complex aeration controls.”

Other significant new features in this latest version of GPS-X ™ include a high-rate treatment model for wet weather treatment applications, plant-wide output graphs, a statistical analysis tool for model assessment, and exciting new updates to the advanced Mantis2 model.

GPSX

“Our state of the art Mantis2 model is the best in the industry” said Dr. Rajeev Goel, VP of Technology at Hydromantis. “The addition of new features such as pH inhibition, simultaneous nitrification denitrification, the use of NOx-N as a nutrient, and degradation of inert organics to better model long SRT systems, all ensure we maintain that leadership position.”

GPS-X ™, introduced in 1992, was the first commercially available wastewater simulation technology and continues to be the industry’s tool of choice for the mathematical modelling, simulation, optimization and management of wastewater treatment plants.

About Hydromantis

Hydromantis Environmental Software Solutions, Inc. traces its roots back over 25 years as the global pioneer in the development of water and wastewater simulation technology. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Hydromantis offers expert professional services for treatment plant modelling, design and optimization and is the developer and owner of the industry’s most advanced modelling and simulation software solutions including: GPS-X™, SimuWorks™, Toxchem™, CapdetWorks™ and WatPro™.

For more information please contact:

Darren Richarz, VP Sales and Marketing, richarz@hydromantis.com (905) 522-0012

The great directory update

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Since launching 3 years ago now Software Hamilton has contained a directory of local firms. The directory gets updated annually, along with sporadic tweaks and updates during the year. This latest update brought the total number of firms to 154, see below:


1stWave Studioshttp://www.1stwave.net

Design, programming, SEO.

166 Mountain Park Ave Hamilton, Ontario L9A 1A1


2Genhttp://www.2Gen.net

Providing web solutions since 1996.

21 King St West, Suite 1501 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4W7


77 Robotshttp://www.77robots.com

Web development, customer development and business development.

175 Longwood Rd South, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 0A1


Albanese Brandinghttp://www.albanesebranding.com

Strategy, marketing and design.

435 York Boulevard Hamilton, Ontario L8R 3K3


AlboDigitalhttp://www.albodigital.com

AlboDigital is technology oriented web development company focused on custom web design utilizing a Content Management System to achieve first-rate Search Engine Optimized and graphically sophisticated web sites.

4 Glen Court Dundas, Ontario, L9H 3X8


Allegrahttp://www.allegrahamilton.com

Web design, SEO, marketing, graphic design.

255 York Boulevard Hamilton, Ontario L8R 1Y7


Anita’s Web Designhttp://www.anitaswebdesign.com

Web design, logos, brochures, database, e-commerce and more.

257 Margaret Avenue Stoney Creek, Ontario L8E 2J1


Apptuihttp://www.apptui.com

Adaptive remotes that instantly control the apps and websites you love.

46 Ferguson Avenue South Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2M5


Arbelos Interactivehttp://www.arbelosinteractive.com

Video game development company.

Hamilton, Ontario


Asgard Systems Inc.http://www.asgardsystems.com

Since 1983 Asgard Systems Inc has been providing computer services to a wide variety of customers. Asgard’s services range from organizational system reviews to software design and development. Their speciality is their ability to guide customers through the process of building information systems.

19 Spruceside Ave Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 3Y2


Ashley and Malonehttp://www.ashleyandmalone.com

Branding and web design for creative professionals.

Hamilton, Ontario


Athelinkhttp://www.athelink.com

Organized sports social network which has a number of features which allows Conveners to manage their leagues, Coaches to manage their teams, and players to manage their careers.

Hamilton, Ontario


Audcomphttp://www.audcomp.com

Established in 1986, Audcomp is one of the largest IT solutions providers in Ontario. Audcomp provides consulting, training, implementation and technical support to a wide variety of businesses and institutions including: municipalities, universities, colleges, school boards, hospitals, manufacturers, and small/medium sized businesses.

611 Tradewind Drive Suite 100 Ancaster, Ontario L9G 4V5


Autumnfirehttp://www.autumnfire.com

Web hosting, websites, SEO, online marketing, mobile apps.

218 Valridge Drive Ancaster, Ontario L9G 5C5


Bandwave.fmhttp://www.bandwave.fm/

Let music fans be music industry professionals and make real vinyl records for the bands they love.

Hamilton, Ontario


Battlegoat Studioshttp://www.battlegoat.com

BattleGoat Studios is a Canadian Software Developer committed to developing leading edge “Intelligent Strategy Games” for the PC. Founded by George Geczy (Lead Programmer) and David Thompson (Lead Designer), the team firmly believes that Strategy Gamers are looking for more sophisticated games that also remain fun to play.

Ancaster, Ontario


Bay Area Research Logisticshttp://www.barl.ca

At Bay Area Research Logistics (BARL) offers global clinical trial services that focus on helping the healthcare industry successfully develop new medications and treatments. Partnering with investigators and organizations, BARL aids in the logistical design and successful execution of their clinical pharmaceutical trials.

293 Wellington Street North, Unit 128, Hamilton Ontario L8L 8E7


B2B Connex Inc.http://www.b2bconnex.com

B2B Connex provides mid to large-sized companies with innovative and affordable B2B software solutions.

7 Innovation Drive Flamborough, Ontario, L9H 7H9


Binatech System Solutions Inc.http://www.binatech.com

Binatech provides comprehensive IT Solutions, designed and implemented around IT Best Practices, in and around Buffalo, New York and Hamilton, Ontario.

1 Hughson Street North Suite 203 Hamilton, Ontario, L8R 3L5


Bionex Multimediahttp://www.bionex.ca

Veterinarian websites.

7 Innovation Drive, Suite 150, Flamborough, Ontario L9H 7H9


BraveNewCode Inc.http://www.bravenewcode.com

BraveNewCode has worked with large and small companies, individuals, artists, musicians and authors creating websites, web applications and mobile solutions. BraveNewCode has created wordpress plug-ins WPtouch and WordTwit, and the web app Piggy.

Hamilton, Ontario


Break Left Mediahttp://www.breakleftmedia.com

Website design, branding, advertising, logo design.

Hamilton, Ontario


Calidryas Systemshttp://www.calidryas.org

Easy. Accessible. Cost-effective. Fundraising solutions for charities, schools, sports teams – and everyone in between.

520-9300 Airport Road Mount Hope, Ontario L0R 1W0


CAH Productionshttp://www.cahproductionz.com

Graphic and web design services.

Hamilton, Ontario


Canadian Information Systems On-Site Inc.http://www.canadianis.com

Canadian Information Systems is dedicated to providing their valued customers with the highest quality products and services available through a team of talented and trusted individuals focused on continuous improvement and committed to excellence.

630 Main Street East, Hamilton, Ontario, L8M 1J7


Carbonated Interactivehttp://www.carbonatedinc.com

Carbonated is a full service web design and digital branding solutions creator servicing businesses across North America and closer to home, the greater Hamilton area.

114 Wilson Street West Ancaster Ontario, L9G 1N3


CareGohttp://www.carego.com

CareGo creates automated systems, material handling devices and software applications to reduce costs and boost efficiency.

400 Longwood Road South Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Z3


Classic Game Publishershttp://www.classicgamepublishers.com

Publisher of games created by Elektronite.

720 Rennie St. Hamilton, Ontario L8H 3R2


CLD Support Systemshttp://www.cldssinc.com

Water treatment and analytics solutions.

1321 Kirk Road Binbrook, Ontario L0R 1C0


Clearcable Networkshttp://www.clearcable.ca

Clearcable Networks is a boutique consulting practice founded in 2004 and focused on highend niche consulting for cable service providers who are establishing advanced IP and voice network services.

735 South Service Road Suite 203 Stoney Creek, Ontario, L8E 5Z2


Clinical DataFax Systems Inc.http://www.datafax.com

Clinical DataFax Systems Inc. has provided researchers with the software tools and support needed to manage large international clinical trials since 1991.

25 Main Street West, Suite 500 Hamilton, Ontario L8P 1H1


Cloud I.T. Canadahttp://www.clouditcanada.com

Cloud I.T. Canada builds and manages high-performance private Clouds delivering traditional Cloud benefits, plus seamless and secure integration with other platforms.

175 Longwood Rd South, Suite 305A, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1


Concrescence Designhttp://www.concrescence.ca

Concrescence Design Inc. provides professional graphic and web design services to businesses, non-profits and institutional clients.

135 Homewood Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8P 2M6


ConnectMVhttp://www.connectmv.com

ConnectMV was incorporated in 2008 to provide software, services and courses related to data analysis, particularly multivariate data. ConnectMV provides integrated solutions mainly in the metals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and foods industries, however their technology is generic and can be applied to other industries.

1063 King Street West, Suite 165, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4S3


Creo Mediahttp://www.creomediacompany.com

Graphic design, web design, logo design, motion graphics.

Hamilton, Ontario


Daffron & Associates, Inc. (Canada Office)http://www.daffron.com

Daffron & Associates, Inc. has offered comprehensive application software and services for the utility industry since 1976, serving electric, water and gas utilities in 32 states; Ontario; Canada, Anguilla; West Indies, Western Samoa; and Zimbabwe.

55 John Street N., 2nd Floor Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3E4


Democravisehttp://democravise.com

Democravise is an organizational decision making tool that crowdsources from customers, employees, partners, and suppliers, relevant questions for any decision.

Hamilton, Ontario


Design by DDChttp://www.designbyddc.com

Web & interactive programming, design & print, CD & DVD replication.

Unit 5 – 70 Unsworth Drive Hamilton, Ontario L8W 3K4


Design + awesomehttp://www.designplusawesome.com

Web, print, SEO, social media, marketing.

380 Charlton Ave W Hamilton, Ontario L8P 2E7


EB Media Solutionshttp://ebmediasolutions.com

Web design, marketing, graphic design.

Hamilton, Ontario


Elektronite http://www.elektronite.com

Elektronite acts as an Intellivision publisher, collaborating with several programmers and classic game companies from around the world.

Hamilton, Ontario


Eventityhttp://www.eventity.ca

Event aggregation web app.

Hamilton, Ontario


factor[e] design initiative http://factore.ca

factor[e] design initiative is a Canadian design, web, print and multimedia studio that believes in creative freedom, open collaboration and uncompromising quality.

162 Locke St. South Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4A9


Fig.P Software Incorporatedhttp://www.figpsoft.com

Fig.P Software designs and provides excellent data-driven solutions for clinicians and for scientific researchers that unlock and deliver the remarkable pragmatic benefits of daily “professionally smart” data integration, management and presentation.

One James South, Suite 1000 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4R5


FloatPoint Media Inchttp://www.floatpoint.com

FloatPoint Media uses three key areas of technology to provide custom solutions for clients that work with their existing business models to drive increases to the bottom line. Web Technology, Mobile Applications, and Physical Kiosk Units when combined leverage the success of traditional physical presence, provide expandability and flexibility, and create new efficiency.

1100 Main Street West, Suite 208 Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 1B3


Fluid Media Inc.http://www.fluidmedia.com

Create software products with agility and aplomb for people who use devices that connect to the Internet.

20 Hughson Street South Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 2A1


Forward Thinking Web Solutionshttp://forwardthinkingwebsolutions.com

Web design and online marketing.

29 Houndtrail Drive Waterdown, Ontario L0R 2H3


FPM Marketing http://fpm3.com

Web Design, Social Media, Online Ads, Blogs & Social Media , Mobile Marketing

Suite 213, One Duke Street, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 1W9


Full of Designhttp://www.fullofdesign.ca

Web firm that specializes in design, eCommerce, Content Management (CMS), Site Architecture, Workflow Automation, Usability & Accessibility Analysis, Search Optimization (SEO) Measurement & Analytics, Branding & Identity, Flash Development, Logos, Print Collateral, and Photography.

62 Florence Street Hamilton, Ontario L8R 1W6


FunWithDesignhttp://www.funwithdesign.com

Identity and branding, website design & development, Facebook application design, print design and print management, and mobile application design.

Hamilton, Ontario


Geotrail (Recreational Geomatics)http://geotrail.ca

Geotrail is a web service that promotes hiking and outdoor education through interactive online tools that help users plan their recreational experience.

1063 King St. West Suite 102 Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4S3


Graphic Sourcehttp://www.graphicsource.ca

Website design, video and animation, logo design.

Hamilton, Ontario


Graphixflohttp://www.graphixflo.com

Full service web design and print company.

Hamilton, Ontario


Green Pixelhttp://www.greenpixel.ca

Maker of pixel-art based games.

Hamilton, Ontario


Groupnoteshttp://www.groupnotes.ca

Web app for creating shared sticky notes that let you talk and share right on top of any website in private groups.

Hamilton, Ontario


Hard Circlehttp://www.hardcircle.com

Established in 2008, Hard-Circle Inc. (Hard Circle, HC) is a small, casual video game company located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In addition to doing work on their own titles and projects, they are also active members of the flash community, collaborating with different studios by providing graphical and programming assets on other titles and joint projects. Hard Circle also offer and provide these services for any party seeking contract or other work done on separate projects outside of the flash community.

18 Mohawk Rd E #603 Hamilton, Ontario L9A 2G6


Healix Computinghttp://www.healixcomputing.com

Healix Computing provides a wide range of services related to computing and information technology, including: systems administration and maintenance, internet programming and backend design, hardware and software procurement, application implementation and deployment, and IP solutions including web hosting, spam and virus protection, instant messaging, and Voice over IP.

3-623 Upper Wellington St. Hamilton, Ontario L9A 3R2


Hello Freebirdhttp://www.freebirdesign.com

Layout and editorial design, print and pre-press, web design, logos and branding, and business cards and invitations.

Hamilton, Ontario


Hero Technical Solutionshttp://www.yourcrmhero.com

Tech, Consulting, Sales and Marketing.

302 Cumberland Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8M 2A1


HiFyrehttp://www.hifyre.com

Mobile, web, print, branding.

10 Cannon Street East Hamilton, Ontario L8L 1Z5


Honest Web Design Solutionshttp://www.gethonest.ca

Web design.

Hamilton, Ontario


Hydromantis Environmental Software Solutions Inc.http://www.hydromantis.com

Hydromantis Environmental Software Solutions, Inc. is the global leader in water and wastewater treatment simulation technology and modelling services and the developer of the most popular software solutions for the industry including: GPS-X™, SimuWorks™, Toxchem™, CapdetWorks™, WatPro™ and ODM™.

1 James Street South Suite 1601 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4R5


i2b Global, Inc.http://www.i2bglobal.com

Build customized Web Sites to suite every business and every budget.

210 Hess Street South Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 3P2


ICOR Group Ltd and ICOR Technical Inc.http://www.icor.com

Advanced technology services and complete networking solutions.

75 Lancing Dr Unit 1a Hamilton, Ontario L8W 2Z9


iDesignhttp://www.idesignonline.ca

iDesign is a design, invitation, web & print company.

747 Greenhill Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8K 5G2


Impulse Studioshttp://www.impulsestudios.ca

Web design firm that specializes in Website Design, Custom Application Development, & eCommerce Websites.

66 Bay Street South, Suite 201, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Z6


Inchroma Digital Media, Inc.http://www.inchroma.com

Inchroma Digital Media, Inc. is a media development company specializing in leading-edge website design & development, film/video editing and CD/DVD-Rom authoring.

37 Beulah Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4H2


inContact Inc.http://www.incontact.ca

inContact Inc. is a software tools company with a collection of software and platform based tools that focus on leveraging a business’s greatest assets and data. inContact, originally started business in 1999, in the Canadian Financial industry and has branched out from there.

80 King Street East Suite 201 Stoney Creek, Ontario, L8G 1K2


InfoTransechttp://www.infotransec.com

InfoTransec offers the following but not limited categories of specialties and services: Information Security Solutions Incident Response and Computer Forensics, Consulting and IT Project Management,Corporate Training and Specialize Course Development and Delivery, Data Mining and Data Warehousing,ERP Solutions Aligning with your Specific Operation Objectives, Software Quality Assurance and Security Testing.

123 King St W Hamilton, Ontario L8P 1A6


Ingress Designhttp://www.ingressdesign.ca

Ingress Design is a boutique web design web development studio specializing in creating a graphically rich, highly interactive web experience.

535 James St N Hamilton, Ontario L8L 1J5‎


Intellefits Consultinghttp://www.intellefits.com

Web development.

Hamilton, Ontario


Imagination Plushttp://www.imaginationplus.com

Imagination Plus (IP) is an award winning premium service internet consulting company specializing in long term customer support.

44 Hughson Street South Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 2A7


INDEV.MEDIAhttp://www.indev-media.com

INDEV.MEDIA consists of a group of highly skilled and dedicated individuals all specialized in web design, web development, and graphic / print design.

2 King Street West Hamilton, Ontario, L9C 6K7


Indiecredhttp://www.indiecred.net

Specializing in responsive Drupal development.

Hamilton, Ontario


Interlock Technical Development and Consulting Corporation and Intertrain Incorporatedhttp://www.interlocksystems.com

Interlock Technical Development and Consulting Corporation and Intertrain Incorporated are brother companies whose main focus is on the student transportation industry. Their products are diverse within this sector, encompassing software and safety programs.

1527 Upper Ottawa Street, Unit 16, Hamilton, Ontario, L8W 3J4


Isis Healthcarehttp://www.isisdigital.com

Mobile data collection to help clients and partners make discoveries that instigate change. Over 16 years experience and over 1400 custom projects, ISIS works with leading healthcare experts in almost every therapeutic area, partners with reputable associations and collaborates with Canada’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Waterdown, Ontario


Juch-Techhttp://www.juch-tech.com

Internet Distribution, turnaround Services, video streaming and broadcasting, iDirect and LinkStar VSAT, communications (Ku and C Band), Voice over IP (VoIP), disaster restoral recovery, carrier to carrier peering services, hub hosting.

50 Green Mountain Rd. West Hamilton, Ontario L8J 2V5


Kallergis Consultinghttp://www.kallergisconsulting.com

App development, developers of iOS Application Server.

Hamilton, Ontario


KayZee Solutionshttp://www.kayzeesolutions.com

KayZee Solutions is a software development company focused on iPhone and iPod Touch Applications, but can also fulfill custom Mac OS-X and Microsoft Windows Application, Database, or Web Site needs.

Hamilton, Ontario


Khamis Designhttp://www.khamisdesign.com

Web design and development, graphic design, marketing.

130 St. Joseph’s Drive Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2E8


Kindi Datahttp://www.kindidata.com

Analyzes your customers’ social footprint to tell you more about how you should target them.

Hamilton, Ontario


Kitestringhttp://www.kitestring.ca

Creative branding studio including marketing, design, strategic communication, social media, advertising, web development and more.

65 Walnut Street South Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2L1


KKT Interactivehttp://www.kkti.com

KKT Interactive is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Development web developer that has built dozens and dozens of websites for a host of clients both here in Canada and around the world. KKT Interactive’s mission is to support small businesses, home-based businesses, and private organizations that are moving to the Internet for the first time — especially here in the Golden Horseshoe area.

P.O. Box 1392 Waterdown, Ontario L0R 2H0


Kubes Media Designhttp://kubesmediadesign.com

Kubes Media Design currently designs websites using the latest content management systems like Drupal 7 and WordPress. Kubes Media Design offers responsive design, search engine optimization (SEO), HD videography, branding, print and graphic design services as well as social media strategies.

Hamilton, Ontario


Lea Tea Designshttp://www.leateadesigns.com

Web design, graphic design, social media.

235 Locke St. S. Suite 2 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4B8


LinxSmart Inc.http://www.linxsmart.com

Website management with LiveTools, mobile web design, web hosting, search engine marketing and design services.

1727 Shaver Road Ancaster, Ontario L9G 3L1


Mabel’s Labelshttp://www.mabel.ca

eBusiness offering sticky labels and clothing labels that are dishwasher, microwave and laundry safe, and customized with a child’s name, choice of colours and icon.

Hamilton, Ontario


MedTel Software Ltd.http://www.medtel.on.ca

MedTel Software Ltd. is committed to providing efficient, cost saving billing and medical software solutions at a reasonable price.

7 Innovation Drive, Suite 150, Flamborough, Ontario L9H 7H9


Mindspin Studioshttp://www.mindspinstudio.com

Web, branding, design, advertising, marketing.

Hamilton, Ontario


MobileTechhttp://www.pcmobiletech.ca

Business services, security and maintenance, IT outsourcing, wiring and networking.

35 Goderich Road Hamilton, Ontario L8E 4P2


Modern Media Workshophttp://www.modernmediaworkshop.com

Web design, graphic design, multimedia.

302 Cumberland Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8M 2A1


Moonray Studios Inc.http://moonraystudios.com

Interactive multimedia, production & development.

Hamilton, Ontario


MRXhttp://www.mrx.ca

MRX is a digital media solutions company focused on the sports industry.

Hamilton, Ontario


Net6http://net6.ca/

Installing call center solutions, managing and monitoring call centers, ensuring network planning & connectivity that is world class.

21 King St West, Suite 1400 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4W7


NetAccesshttp://netaccess.ca/

NetAccess provides a complete range of Internet services including: Connectivity, Hosting, Specialized ISP services and NetPro collaborative partnerships.

21 King St West, Suite 1500 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 1A2


New Mottohttp://www.newmotto.ca/

Web design, video and social media.

Hamilton, Ontario


Nortecom Software Corporationhttp://www.nortecom.com

Specialists in the field of digital imaging. Suppliers of software and hardware for: image capture, edit, correction & conversion, storage, retrieval, catalogs and linking.

1063 King Street West, Suite 192 Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4S3


Office Activatehttp://www.officeactivate.com

Office Activate specializes in software, database and web development services through-out Canada and the United States.

140 King Street East Unit 2 Suite 306 Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 1B2


Optimal Computational Algorithms Inc.http://www.ocalgorithms.com

Enable customers to achieve peak performance on their scientific applications, through: development of hardware-specific libraries for novel architectures, development of Application Specific Libraries to accelerate customer code, mathematical modeling with performance in mind, and selection and implementation of tuned optimization algorithms.

107 Little John Road Dundas, Ontario L9H 4H2


Orbis Communicationshttps://www.orbiscommunications.com

Orbis Communications Inc. develops new and creative ways for educational institutions to communicate online through imaginative software products and solutions.

104 King Street West 3rd Flr Dundas, Ontario L9H 0B4


Orbital Studioshttps://www.orbital.ca

Create beautiful, accessible websites & mobile apps that enhance your brand & engage your users.

22 Wilson Street 3rd Floor Hamilton, Ontario L8R 1C5


Orr Creativehttp://www.orrcreative.com

Creative content, iOS app developer.

Hamilton, Ontario


OverAirhttp://www.overair.ca

NFC solutions developer.

175 Longwood Rd South, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1


Pairwise Affinityhttp://www.pairwiseaffinity.com

Provide expert computer consulting services and custom software solutions for all aspects of scientific computing, web applications, and more.

20 Parkview Row, Dundas, Ontario, L9H 2R9


PC Web Softhttp://www.pcwebsoft.com

PC Web Soft is a Website Services Company offering a full array of solutions for all your Website and Internet Marketing needs.

Hamilton, Ontario


Peregrine VFXhttp://www.peregrinevisualstorytelling.com

A small, creative and technically innovative high end VFX production unit for moving pictures.

Dundas, Ontario


Phorm Studiohttp://www.phormstudio.com

Graphic design and custom website design.

302 Cumberland Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8M 2A1


Postmediahttp://www.postmedia.com

Postmedia Network Inc., the largest publisher by circulation of paid English-language daily newspapers in Canada, representing some of the country’s oldest and best known media brands.

Ancaster, Ontario


Powerassist Technologies Inc.http://www.power-assist.com

PowerAssist Technologies designs and implements technology solutions based on a proven successful methodology to drive revenue and reduce risk.

22 Royaledge Way, Suite 200 Waterdown, Ontario, L0R 2H5


Powernet Corporate Network Solutionshttp://www.powernetcns.com

Powernet is a professional services firm that applies consulting, information and technology in innovative and productive ways to enable clients to improve their overall performance extends their enterprise ahead of the competition and better serves their customers.

360 James Street North Hamilton, Ontario, L8L 1H5


Precusor Gameshttp://www.precursorgames.com

Video game development company.

Hamilton, Ontario


ProSensushttp://www.ProSensus.ca

Help manufacturers develop new products faster and improve product quality by mining valuable insights from data they’ve already collected.

1425 Cormorant Road Ancaster, Ontario L9G 4V5


Provoke Creativehttp://www.provokecreative.ca

Branding, Logo & Identity Design, Advertising, Website Design.

Hamilton, Ontario


PS Computinghttp://www.pscomputing.ca

Web Design, Computer Repair and troubleshooting, Computer Assembly and Software Install.

Hamilton, Ontario


PV Labshttp://www.pv-labs.com

PV Labs is a world leader in the development and provision of intelligent imaging technologies – creating unique solutions for some of the most demanding and challenging applications imaginable.

175 Longwood Rd South, Suite 400A Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1


Quickeehttp://www.quickee.com

App for pizza order delivery straight from your cell phone.

Hamilton, Ontario


Redeckedhttp://www.redecked.com

SEO, SEM, Web Analytics and Local Search.

Hamilton, Ontario


REfficient Inc.http://www.refficient.com

REfficient Inc. is a leading expert in the area of asset recovery and reverse logistics, focusing on nationwide surplus technology management and sustainability reporting.

450 Sherman Avenue North Hamilton, Ontario L8L 8J6


Reg Mediahttp://www.regmedia.ca

Web design and development.

Hamilton, Ontario


Rincon Technologies Inc.http://www.rincon.ca

Rincon Technologies Inc. (“Rincon” or the “Company”) develops, markets and supports advanced interactive internet applications used for Health Resource Management in the health care sector. Rincon’s principal products include a Central Bed Registry, Emergency Referral Database and a Perinatal Resource Registry.

Suite 181 – 1063 King St. West. Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4S3


RMT Roboticshttp://www.rmtrobotics.com

Global company that manufactures and integrates turnkey robotic gantry-based order fulfillment and tire handling solutions designed to reduce operating costs and streamline operations.

Hamilton, Ontario


Roboteurshttp://roboteurs.com

Robot kits, tutorials, videos, images, and news about the latest in robot technology.

Hamilton, Ontario


Rodrigues Designhttp://www.dionrodrigues.com

Logo and brand/graphic design, web development, web and email hosting.

Hamilton, Ontario


Serious Monkeyhttp://www.seriousmonkey.ca

Web design, branding, app development.

Hamilton, Ontario


Sleek Designhttp://www.sleekdesign.ca

Web design, custom graphics, SEO marketing, photography.

Hamilton, Ontario


Snakehead Gameshttp://www.snakeheadgames.com

Snakehead Games (SHG) develops and manages free, highly social, casual mobile and browser based games.

Hamilton, Ontario


Snap-payhttp://www.snap-pay.com

Mobile app payment solution.

Hamilton, Ontario


SOAP Vaulthttp://www.soapvault.com

SOAP Vault is specific web based software for charting and documenting clinical SOAP notes electronically using the format of subjective, objective, analysis (assessment) and plan. SOAP Vault allows the massage therapist, physiotherapist or chiropractor to chart SOAP notes anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Hamilton, Ontario


Softfocushttp://softfocus.com

Brand development, graphic design, web design.

151 James Street South Hamilton, Ontario L8P 2Z5


Source Cablehttp://www.sourcecable.ca

Cable, phone, internet & security services.

1090 Upper Wellington Street Hamilton, Ontario L9A 3S6


Startup Rocket Launcherhttp://www.startuprocketlauncher.com

Daily motivational and inspirational startup stories delivered to your inbox.

175 Longwood Rd South, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1


Studio Ourshttp://www.studio-ours.com

Creative direction, art direction, marketing and strategy, brand development/direction, graphic design, illustration, pattern design, apparel and outerwear design, web design, and project management.

Dundas, Ontario


Superpositionhttp://www.superposition-displays.com

Automated camera-based calibration, curved/irregular screen displays, multi-projector systems, real-time GPU-driven rendering.

Hamilton, Ontario


SynergyProhttp://www.synergyprosolutions.com

Web design, SEO, Internet marketing.

1945 King Street East Hamilton, Ontario L8K 1W2


TA3 Website Designershttp://www.ta3.ca

Website design and development, SEO, social media.

Hamilton, Ontario


Teckelworkshttp://www.teckelworks.com

Photography, large format printing, domain names and web hosting.

Hamilton, Ontario


Terrapin Graphicshttp://www.terrapingraphics.ca

Terrapin Graphics has been supporting small business in Hamilton by providing websites and graphic design and logos at an affordable price since 1991.

Hamilton, Ontario


The Createch Grouphttp://www.groupecreatech.com

SAP solutions, Microsoft solutions, ORACLE solutions, asset management.

21 King St West, Suite 900 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4W7


Trend Trunkhttp://www.trendtrunk.com

Social community and the leading fashion marketplace in Canada.

24 Eugene Street Hamilton, Ontario L8H 2R3


TripCentral.cahttp://www.tripcentral.ca

Photography, large format printing, domain names and web hosting.

77 James Street North, Unit 230, Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2K3


Valli Ostrowskihttp://www.valliostrowski.com

Web design and development.

Dundas, Ontario


Veltionoptimum Automationshttp://www.veltion.com

VELTIONoptimum has developed software and automation solutions which exclusively operate in Logistics IT Systems.

1425 Osprey Drive, Suite 204, Ancaster, Ontario L9G 4V9


VitaSoundhttp://www.vitasound.com

VitaSound Audio is an audio-enhancement technology company which develops and brings to market advanced audio solutions that enhance the quality of life for the boomer generation.

175 Longwood Rd South, Suite 400A Hamilton, Ontario L8P 0A1


VivosWebhttp://www.vivosweb.com

Full service Internet design, development and marketing agency.

21 King St West, Suite 1600 Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4W7


VIZIYAhttp://www.viziya.com

ERP asset management solutions.

50 Dundas Street East, Suite 201, Hamilton, Ontario L9H 7K6


Volunteer²http://www.volunteer2.com

Volunteer Squared specializes in software to help you engage volunteers effectively and efficiently.

Hamilton, Ontario


Walkbughttp://www.walkbug.com

Walkbug lets you create and share curated walking tours, allowing travellers to experience any city as the locals do and letting locals unearth hidden gems in their neighbourhood.

302 Cumberland Avenue Hamilton, Ontario L8M 2A1


Weever Appshttp://www.weeverapps.com

Weever Apps helps companies create impressive mobile experiences for customers and stakeholders.

175 Longwood Rd South, Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 0A1


Westwood Village Consultinghttp://www.danlynes.com

VOIP security.

Hamilton, Ontario


Wide Eyed Communicationhttp://www.wideeyedcommunications.com

Branding, web & mobile, social media, experiential marketing, merchandising and packaging.

30 Hatt Street Hamilton, Ontario L9H 2E8


Wilson Businesshttp://www.wilsonbusiness.ca

Branding, graphic design, web design, digital media.

1931 King Street East Hamilton, Ontario L8K 1V9


Wise & Hammerhttp://www.wiseandhammer.com

Digital strategy and insight, experience design, development and integration, social media, communications design, and program service and support.

98 Vine Street Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2A9


Woofhttp://www.woof.co

Dog walk tracking, analytics, photo sharing, and nearby dog parks with amenities.

Hamilton, Ontario


Zinger Web Designhttp://www.zingerwebdesign.com

Custom Website Design, SEO & Marketing, Graphic Design & Print, CMS Implementation, Social Media Integration, Landing Page, Content Writing, WordPress.

235 King Street West Dundas, Ontario L9H 1V8

 

CareGo wins Communication Technology award

caregoCareGo took home the prize in the Communications Technology category at this week’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards, hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

“Winning this award in Communications Technology is very exciting for us,” says president and CEO Demetrius Tsafaridis. “In the late 1990s I started my steel warehousing company, known as SteelCare; today our focus is on creating software that allows innovative ways for steel and other goods to be stored and managed. We are marketing this patent-pending software all over the world from our home base in Hamilton, Ontario.”

“We use our own products in our warehouses every day and that helps differentiate us from competitors,” Tsafaridis added.

An awards gala was held March 25, 2013 where the winners were announced. Watch a live demonstration of the CareGo software in the video below:

 

 

Connecting McMaster students to Hamilton jobs

Last night Software Hamilton (@hamiltonsw) and Hamilton Economic Development (@hamiltonecdev) hosted the inaugural Jobs Night at McMaster University. A big part of the motivation for me to organize Software Hamilton events is the frustration I’ve experienced watching the brian drain occur out of McMaster. Year after year an amazingly talented bunch of people graduate from McMaster University and generally leave Hamilton. I’m told this happens in “University towns” everywhere, but I’m fairly certain it’s worse in Hamilton. An obvious example would be RIM (now Blackberry), which has been great for retaining University of Waterloo graduates in their city. We can’t capture all of the McMaster graduates or even most of them at this point, but with Hamilton software firms now hiring in greater numbers than ever before we should be able to start retaining at least some of them.

McMaster has formal channels for connecting students to jobs that work great; my own experience with the co-op program during my undergraduate years was fantastic. I obviously forward any job opportunities I’m aware of to the right contacts internally (McMaster is my employer, and I’m a graduate student there currently).

But in past years I’ve also run more unofficial informal “networking events” for undergraduate students where I’ve had alumni come in and pitch what their company does and what types of jobs they will be looking to fill over the next 6 months. It ends up being educational for the students if nothing else, they get to see what types of career paths exist and what companies out there are looking for in terms of skills and experience. But a cool thing happened where every time I ran one of these events companies would fill positions with students they interacted with that night. I’ve always wanted to do one of these event focusing on companies from Hamilton specifically, but it wasn’t until the software startup and job surge over the last few years that doing so was really possible.

 

 

At Job Night last evening we had Mabel’s Labels, Weever Apps, REfficient, ProSensus, HiFyre and others from the Hamilton-area come in and talk about what positions they’ll be looking to fill over the short term to about 60 students in attendance. I know at least a few of these companies will be conducting interviews with students that they met at the event, and they spoke highly of the McMaster students that they have hired thus far. A representative from the Small Business Enterprise Centre was also there to explain the Summer Company program. Several students indicated they would be using the program to help launch their own software development shops over the summer. There’s a huge opportunity for them there… I get a lot of requests for help with short-term software development projects from companies that are overburdened with work but not yet at a level that they can justify hiring a new employee.

A single event like this isn’t going to stop the brain drain or build a better funnel from McMaster in to Hamilton. In some sectors like healthcare the talent already flows freely and in large numbers from McMaster in to Hamilton. But in others the talent doesn’t flow in to Hamilton, it just flows right out, and the lack of local opportunities can lead to a perception that McMaster is a bit of a wall within Hamilton. Based on feedback from participating companies and students, I suspect Job Night helped put a nice little crack in that wall, with many more to come.

 

Grow your software startup at Platform 302

Last week I attended the Platform 302 opening and came away really impressed. Platform 302 (@Platform302) is a new workspace located at 302 Cumberland Avenue that offers a range of different spaces to rent for companies 10 years or younger that are focusing on revenue generation.

I really loved the space. It just had the right feel. Scruffy hardwood floors, exposed wooden beams, brick walls, and glass doors connecting rooms to a larger open space on the 2nd floor. I also really loved the ping pong table in the basement, along with the kitchen and a TV/couch area. It really felt like somebody listened to their customers and delivered a great product – this is exactly the kind of space that appeals to me personally.

It’s great to see startup spaces like this popping up all over the city. If you want to be plugged into the innovation hub at the McMaster Innovation Park there is the Factory Floor. If you want direct access to Mohawk students there is iDeaWORKS (@MohawkIdeaWorks). If you want to be downtown in the heart of the creative sector you’ve got the Cobalt Connects (@CobaltConnects) Hotel Hamilton space on the corner of Mulberry and James. For those of the maker / hacker ethos there is Hamilton’s hackerspace ThinkHaus (@ThinkHausOrg). Each space serves a different purpose by providing value in different ways, and in the process they build a market for future spaces. It’s not a zero-sum game, the pie just gets bigger.

I like the location of Platform 302 as well, it’s very close to Gage Park and the future stadium district. It’s important to see downtown Hamilton succeed because it’s the heart of the city, but seeing economic growth spread more broadly across the lower city is great too. Hot desk space starts at just $75, with a range of options beyond this. I’m told that 50% of companies currently at Platform 302 are tech, with the remaining 50% mostly in real estate.

I hope that more tech companies move into Platform 302. Collaborative space can be a huge thing for growing young companies as they can share talents, pool their knowledge and help each other out. Like a Startup Weekend that just keeps going. I hate to make yet another Hamilton-to-Toronto comparison, but when I’ve visited colleagues in Toronto working at tech startups there I’ve often been jealous of the cool space they’re working in and wondered why we don’t have something similar in Hamilton. Now we do.

Check out video of Platform 302 from Hamilton Economic Development and some pictures I took below:

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Successfully leading software teams

Software Developers are a unique breed of people. We combine the discipline of science, the design of engineering, the creativity of an artist, to turn abstract ideas into reality. We live for the challenge of taking wild and crazy suggestions and making them work. The harder the problem is to solve, the bigger the rush when we solve it!

Over the length of my career at RIM and Mabel’s Labels I have had the honour to lead some extraordinary development teams. Every team has performed incredible tasks; made many an astounding invention, changed lives, broke barriers that were deemed impossible to break, and changed perceptions of what was possible. Most importantly of all – we had fun doing it. Every day I wake up I am eager to go to work and have more fun. I hear from many of my former teammates who passionately recall the days we were together. Many attribute to me that as their leader I set the tone, the environment, and the enthusiasm and spirit.

One of the most important characteristics about being a leader of any kind is to be true to who you are. Recognize and acknowledge your strengths, the things you do really well. Be aware of your weaknesses, the things you do not like to do. Understand the way you solve problems.

Building a team is about constructing an organization that works together. They must all be active and willing participants in sharing your vision. Whatever the goals are; if they are shared and everyone plays a role in bringing the goals to fruition, then everyone pulls together.

At RIM when we were developing the very first two-way interactive devices (the RIM 800 and 900) a team of four of us were working on the radio protocol, connection management and battery management software for the 800. This device was for use on the DataTAC network in USA and Canada. One of our goals was to improve battery life and still maintain the high responsiveness of our product. We put a proposal together and submitted to the carrier in the USA. This proposal was sent on to Motorola, who built the network and the “best” devices on the network at the time. They said there was no way that the new algorithm would work as we outlined. Talk about waving a red flag in front of a bull! We pulled together, solved some extraordinarily tough problems, and made it work – In just under 2 weeks! When we proved that the algorithm worked as we expected, the major consumers at the time dropped Motorola and bought our product. The team was dismissed en masse from Motorola. I was asked about hiring some of these folks – I said no. Their attitude did not fit the culture of our team – “nothing is impossible, we can do anything”. We proved it time and time again.

The team members must have skills of course. They must be able to do the technical work and possess problem solving skills and a “can-do” attitude to crack those tough problems. The members of the team have to be able to support each others weaknesses through complimentary skills. Your job as the leader is to allow them to develop their skills, to learn from each other, and to showcase their abilities. Each member of the team has value, their contributions may not be the same, but they must feel as though their work and their effort are as important to the overall success as everyone else on the team. This starts with you; your attitude, and your enthusiasm for all aspects of everyone’s work is infectious. The rest of the team will pick up on the values you place on each member and hold their colleagues equally high.

My leadership style is based on Hersey-Blanchard’s Situational Leadership theories. The basic theory is that you lead according to task and motivation level. If a person has high skill and motivation for a task, a leader needs to set the task, set goals, deadlines, and clear obstacles. Then let the person do what they do best. If that same person has low skill or low motivation for the task, then I am there to coach, motivate, and organize the person, to help them succeed. The less skilled and motivated the person for that task, the more structure and coaching is required.

At Mabel’s Labels the IT/IS team has grown from 3 to 8 over the past 2 years, with growth continuing as the company grows. By delivering excellent service to IT’s customers (production, marketing, sales, finance, customer service) we have become an integral part of every project. The six developers have strong coding skills and are highly motivated to produce software that wows IT’s customers. We both are confident that the job will get done well, and if issues arise, we will discuss in a mature manner. On the other hand, putting together a presentation to describe a piece of technology they find interesting for the rest of the company, is a task that they are less confident about. Some are motivated to expand their skills, others – not so much. This task requires much more coaching on my part, motivational, structural (how to perform the task), and how to have fun doing it. As the individual gains experience (but not necessarily motivation) to make presentations, the coaching style changes.

Another key aspect to leading Mabel’s IT/IS team is to understand the right amount of “software development process” to put in place; how to introduce and gain acceptance – and to make it fun. Last year we began adopting an agile methodology for development. We have introduced the concept slowly, with a fun angle at all times. Our daily scrums are fifteen minutes long, if someone is late there is a fine ($1). If I am late, the fine is $10. If our VP is late, the fine is $20. The fine money collected is used for a barbeque lunch, during which we invite other departments for team building. During the scrum we encourage free speech; all of us (including myself and our VP) are treated as peers. No judgement is passed; we all can share our difficulties and new discoveries and look to each other for help. Our sprints are three weeks long; the final Friday afternoon is free time to work on fun projects. Hand-writing out the stories for a sprint is painful, so various people have taken it upon themselves to automate this task. We have gone from manual calligraphy to using a touch screen. Over time we have added a page of documentation required to help with end of year reports. Cake is a reward for on-time submissions.

When you lead a team, understand and support the differences in everyone. Learn who they are, what each one is passionate about, what they are motivated by, what frightens them – share who you are with them. Be open, be honest. Listen. With your ears and your heart. Share your experiences, share your spirit; embrace their passions. Have fun and encourage fun. Let each person know how important they are to you and that their success is more important than anything else. Respect them. Understand that respect is earned not bestowed by a title. Earn their respect, trust them, and they will trust you back. Show them and tell them that you believe in them. Hold them up, and they will fly to unexpected heights.

 

Blais foresees broadband access as ‘basic service’

NEWS | NICHOLAS KYONKA, THE WIRE REPORT
PUBLISHED: SATURDAY, 12/01/2012 11:24 AM EST
LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, 12/03/2012 2:55 PM EST

OTTAWA—CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais said he expects universal access to broadband Internet to one day be defined and regulated a “basic service,” as home telephone services are now.

“The commission’s mandate and overarching goal is to make sure all Canadians, including vulnerable populations, have access to essential communication services. No debate about that,” Blais said Friday in a speech at a dinner hosted by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).

“Deciding exactly what constitutes a basic service is open to interpretation, of course. Years ago, it meant having a basic telephone line. In light of the growing importance of broadband to all aspects of Canadians’ lives, I can foresee the day when universal access to broadband will form part of the definition.”

Telecommunications services classified as “basic” by the CRTC can involve price and access regulations. The Telecommunications Act says the CRTC can establish a fund to support services it defines as basic to ensure Canadians have access to it at affordable rates.

Basic service regulation ensuring access and price ceilings currently applies to incumbent home phone services in some markets where there is not enough competition.

In its “obligation to serve” decision in 2011 (2011-291), the CRTC said the deployment of broadband Internet access “should continue to rely on market forces and targeted government funding, an approach which encourages private and public partnerships.” The commission said “it would not be appropriate at this time to establish a funding mechanism to subsidize the deployment of broadband Internet access services.”

In that decision, the CRTC set a target for all Canadians to have access to Internet speeds of 5 Mbps or faster for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads by 2015.

In February, a CRTC-commissioned report raised the question of whether Internet connectivity is an essential utility, and what that may mean for monthly bandwidth caps or customer disconnections.

“From these complications concerning the rise of cloud computing in a digital culture of bandwidth capping, arise questions about whether internet service providers should be allowed to cut households and small businesses or organizations off from the web because of overuse, or if internet connectivity is an essential utility or service, like water, electricity, or the telephone,” said the report, by Queen’s University professor Sidneyeve Matrix.

Blais said Friday that CRTC requirements for incumbent telecom companies to offer smaller telcos wholesale access to essential services is “vital to competition” in Canada, adding that the commission “refrains from regulating when we are convinced that market forces are sufficient to produce the desired benefits for Canadians.”

nkyonka@thewirereport.ca

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly mixed up the definitions for “basic service” and “essential service.” The two are different regulatory terms, with essential services relating to wholesale and basic services relating to universal access.

 

YWCA Hamilton’s Bridging to Information and Communications Technology program

YWCA Hamilton in partnership with Mohawk College offers the Bridging to Information and Communications Technology program designed to prepare Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) for employment in Canada’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. It offers technical upgrading and sector communications training, including interactive workshops, followed by support in creating pathways to employment opportunities.  The participants of this program are highly qualified individuals with more than 2 years of ICT work experience and a minimum of 3 years post secondary degree obtained outside Canada.

YWCA Hamilton wishes to connect with ICT professionals and ICT companies that would be willing to engage in work exposure opportunities for participants of the Bridging to Information and Communications Technology program.  Here are some opportunities to participate as a representative of the ICT sector:

  • Give a guest speaker lecture about your work in the ICT sector
  • Give an informational interview to a program participant
  • Mentor a newcomer to Canada
  • Enable a newcomer to job shadow you for a day
  • Offer a newcomer a volunteer position with your organization
  • Take on a newcomer for an unpaid work placement

Take this opportunity to host a qualified immigrant with the technical and soft skills to succeed in your organization.  If your organization is interested in providing any of the above opportunities, please contact Jupiter Deveau at jdeveau@ywcahamilton.org to get involved.

 

Innovation Factory launches Factory Floor

The great folks at Innovation Factory in partnership with the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation have got a new initiative called Factory Floor that I think you should know about. Factory Floor is a co-creation space located in The Don Pether Business Incubation Centre, the collaborative space is based on a clubhouse model where Innovation Factory clients can reserve “hot desks” daily, weekly, or just occasionally. Start-up entrepreneurs and business professionals alike are being encouraged to take advantage of the space to work, share, and innovate together. The space joins a growing number of venues in Hamilton with shared working space including Cobalt Spaces, Mohawk College’s iDeaWORKS and Joe Accardi’s Platform 302.

At last weekend’s Startup Weekend Hamilton event in the Mohawk College Collaboratory one thing just about everybody commented on was the “buzz” or the “vibe” in the room. Participants were actively collaborating, not just with themselves, but across teams as well. I saw participants filling out other team’s market research surveys, giving each other’s products “a quick once over” for feedback, discussing strategy, and generally helping each other try to build better startups. I know one local Hamilton entrepreneur who wasn’t actually participating in Startup Weekend but instead volunteering at the event, who ended up staying all night on Saturday just because he found the atmosphere so helpful to getting his own work done! So I’m really glad to see that Hamilton now has a new initiative aimed at creating a collaborative atmosphere for startups to work in every day of the year… it can be a difference maker.

From the website:

Innovation Factory is totally jazzed to introduce a new initiative to Hamilton’s Innovation Community – Factory Floor, a co-creation space for innovators to work, collaborate, and grow together! Beginning May 1st, Factory Floor will be open daily from 8:00am – 4:00pm, with optional 24/7 access for full-time users. It will operate out of McMaster’s Don Pether Business Incubation Centre in collaboration with the Xerox Centre on the third floor at McMaster Innovation Park. Factory Floor offers free coffee, copying and collaborating with 16 unique seats and meeting room availability. Space is limited so make your reservation today!

Pricing details:

HOTDESKS
$60/month
- Entitles you to 8 full days (8am-4pm) throughout the month
- Includes 4 hours free meeting room space
- Seats must be pre-booked and are subject to availability

FULL-TIME
$150/month
- Entitles you to 24/7 accessthroughout the month
- Includes 10 hours freemeeting room space
- Your seat is guaranteed

Tour details:

Clubhouse? Co-creating? Hotdesking? What does it all mean?
Join us Wednesday afternoons throughout May for an OPEN HOUSE at FACTORY FLOOR. Chat with our clubhouse coordinator, Leah, and check out the space! See what Innovation Factory and McMaster Innovation Park might have to offer you and your growing business!
We’re serving treats and bevys between 1pm and 3pm May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 in suite 304. Contact Leah to arrange another time.

 

Interview with one half of Hamilton’s Green Pixel, “Indie” Game Developer: Rich Halliday

If you were at McMaster for DemoCampHamilton6, you would have seen the amazing new game BlockHopper (available on iOS) from Green Pixel (@GreenPixelDev) . Green Pixel demonstrated the core mechanics, level editor, and amazing graphics to the 200 onlookers at the event. They put more than a year into the game, and successfully released it on the App Store with a flash port coming soon. I got the chance to talk to one half of the team, developer Rich Halliday:

 

So can you tell us a little about yourself good sir

My name is Rich Halliday and I work with my artist friend as an indie developer. I hesitate to use the term “indie” at the risk of sounding pretentious, but it just means that we design, build and release our own games. I came to Hamilton in 2006 solely because my girlfriend was a masters student at McMaster. I found a job in Burlington and I was able to live in Hamilton and commute. We continued living here even after I started working in Toronto because Hamilton is more our style.

I was fortunate growing up that my parents always had a decent computer. I remember one day finding a book on the BASIC programming language at my elementary school. I was only copying programs from the book at that time, but it blew my mind that I was able to build something from nothing. To this day I still love the fact that you can go from an empty text file to something you can interact with in a few hours. I love to create things, but I suck at drawing or any sort of physical art so I find programming lets me explore my creative side. I also really enjoy the instant feedback, when you finally get your program working you know it works right away. I always hated waiting a week or so getting a math assignment back. :D

I chose a career in games at first just because they’re my favorite thing to do in my spare time. It wasn’t until I started in the industry that I realized it was a perfect fit as it’s pretty challenging work and if you get bored or stuck doing something, you can usually leave it for later and work on some other area of the game.

 

 

Did you go to school for computer science or game development? What’s your take on that?

I have a computer science degree from Acadia University. I think about the value quite often actually! I go back and forth but I think ultimately it was a good choice. A lot of companies won’t even look at you unless you have a CS or math degree, so breaking in as a programmer might be tough. I think it depends on your ultimate career path. If you just want to work for yourself or make games as a hobby, I think the 1 or 2 year college game design course is fine. They usually teach you about working with a specific engine like Unity or Unreal and maybe some scripting with Lua or ActionScript. The problem with that is your knowledge becomes very specific and a lot of the bigger companies will use a modified version of these engines or, more often, their own engine that they constantly refine in-house. I’d say if you intend to work for a BioWare or a Valve, a computer science degree is mandatory as they’ll expect you to know how to optimize your code for different hardware. Basically, if you want to work on any of the main consoles or handhelds or for any of the larger game companies you’ll need a CS degree from a university.

 

 

So what did you do after university?

I worked for Capcom Mobile for 6 months in 2006. It was my first real job after university and they had a great team when I started. The lead programmer at the time would come around every few days to see how things were going. He was really good at pointing out the good things you had done and also areas that could use improvements. I learned an incredible amount during that time. About 3 months in, there was a shakeup and he ended up leaving. The new guy in charge of the programmers didn’t come from a technical background and was really only worried about deadlines and not too interested in improving the talents of the team. So I guess the two bosses I had were the best and worst experience!

I left Capcom Mobile just after Christmas in 2006 with 5 other employees due to “dismissal without cause”. We weren’t really given a reason, but we were all hired by the same lead programmer who ended up quitting since they effectively wanted him to take a demotion. We figured since we were his guys, we also got the boot haha. I was bummed at the time, but from what I heard from the people who stayed, things weren’t much fun there. As of today, everyone I kept in touch with has a better job with a different company. It was pretty much Capcom in name only, they just bought a local mobile developer and acquired the licenses to their current IP.

After going through one company that had to close due to bankruptcy and being part of an unsuccessful start-up, we thought we had seen enough of the development cycle that we could do it ourselves. We worked together at these previous two companies and tend to like the same type of games. We enjoy the SNES/PS1 era and figured the only way to work on these types of games is to do it ourselves. Living on an indie budget is not for everyone, that’s for sure. We’re both fortunate to have our significant others picking up most of the tab. You really have to plan to not have an income for 1 or 2 years as you’re truly starting from scratch. At first no one knows who you are, so unless you happen to make an amazing game that takes the world by storm, the best you can hope for from your first release is attracting some fans. Currently, most of our profits go into things like server costs, outsourcing music and buying any development software we need. We use a lot of free tools and build a lot of our own tools for the more specific needs.

 

 

Your first projects were The Pocalypse and The Pocalypse Defense.

They were the first projects! Joe really does the web comic, The Pocalypse, by himself. ThePocalypse Defense was a starter project to see if we could work together to make a game from start to finish. Since Joe lives in Japan, we haven’t had a face-to-face meeting for about two years now so just finishing and releasing the project was considered success for us.

Joe and I worked together at Silverbirch Studios and Electron Jump. We are friends outside of work which really helps as we like talking about the games we are playing. None of my other friends are into games at all, so maybe it’s good that I save all my news and opinions for the guy I work with.

 

 

Hypothetically speaking, what would you want in a third teammate?

I think the best thing you can bring is passion. I’ve never had to hire anyone before and if that day ever comes, I think I’d need someone who likes messing around with code and game ideas in their spare time. I know the debate on whether games are art or not rages on, but I definitely do it as an art form, so I’d need to work with someone who shares that view rather than a way to make money. I like to work with people rather than manage, so they’d have to be pretty self-reliant and also bring their own ideas and be open to discussion.

 

 

What’s your take on the Flash platform?

It was the first time doing anything in flash for either of us. I liked working with ActionScript and now I use it to prototype all my ideas just because it’s so fast and forgiving. There has been rumblings of Flash is Dead! for a few years now and we’ll move on to something else when it truly does die but right now Newgrounds, Kongregate and Armor Games are all still running flash. From the outset, we wanted to distance ourselves as far as possible from the flash IDE so we wouldn’t get caught in the trap of only knowing how to make flash games. We have our own animation system and we use sprite sheets so everything is modular and easy to port. Flash and iOS will be our two main platforms for now, but I’m thinking of adding PC and Mac as well.

The cost of development is the biggest factor and most of these are free (iOS costs $100 a year developer fee) compared to consoles which can run you from $2000 – $20,000 for dev kits. The main reason for starting in flash and moving to iOS was due to the fact I had never developed for iOS or used Objective-C before even though I have a lot of experience working with C. I thought the new platform and new language might provide enough of their own challenges without developing the side-scrolling platforming logic on top.

 

 

So how would you describe BlockHopper? You said reception was good but there were some issues with the iOS crowd, can you elaborate?

Well, reception has been mostly positive! For the first few weeks, I was active on the TouchArcade forums. A lot of people had good things to say. We got some good reviews and some poor reviews. I think overall, iOS was not the best platform for this game. Most of the negative reviews are from people finding it too hard which is funny because it was originally much harder like Super Meat Boy. A lot of people tell me they haven’t gotten passed level 4 or 5 out of 35, so it’s pretty obvious it’s too hard for the general iOS audience. I think the flash version will be better received as it tends to play much better with the mouse and keyboard and maybe some day we’ll make a PC/Mac version. It was a great experience though, knowing your audience is a good lesson to learn.

We had this discussion the other day whether or not to update BlockHopper with new levels and game play or just forge ahead on the next game. We decided to just go ahead and make something new unless there is some huge bug that needs to be fixed. We had planned on expanding the game play and adding Universal iPad support for the first update, but our sales have dropped off and I think most people have moved on to other things now. I think since we’re only two people, we have to keep moving forward as quickly as possible but if enough people ask for (reasonable) changes, we’re happy to do them!

 

 

BlockHopper is now published in the App Store. You mentioned some tax hurdles in your blog, did you require a lawyer or did you manage to get it all completed on your own?

We didn’t need a lawyer, but our story is not uncommon. If you’re new to iOS, get the tax forms in as soon as possible. Even if you haven’t started your game yet. You fill out the forms on the iTunes portal but they can still take a few months to be processed. Until they are, you can’t sell your game. We made the mistake of filling out the tax forms when we submitted our game to the App Store so it was approved on December 23, but didn’t actually go on sale until the middle of February. If you’re a Canadian dev, you have to fill out a second set of physical forms that you mail off. If you don’t fill these out, you get docked 30% of each sale for GST. The good news is you only have to do these things once!

 

 

You mentioned that the porting was not that difficult. Would you consider offering a ‘flash to iOS’ porting service as part of your companies services?

We might consider this depending on the scope and content of the game! Right now we’re focusing on doing our own thing, but as a fallback it’s not a bad idea. :D

 

 

Where can we see you next and what kinds of projects will we be looking forward to?

I’m putting the final touches on the BlockHopper flash game tomorrow and sending it off to Joe so he can encrypt it and put it up for auction. We submit our flash games to a website called Flash Game License where flash portals can bid on your game. The winner gets the game for a certain period of time and then we’re free to distribute to other sites. It’s Joe’s turn to wear the lead designer hat so we’re going to start on The Pocalypse Defense 2 for iPad initially and maybe PC/Mac. We’re going to try the crowd-sourcing thing and put up a donation page on indiegogo.com. After that, I have two more ideas I’d like to try and finish before the end of the year which are much smaller in scope and will probably be free to play iOS games. In my spare time I’m also working on a JRPG which is kind of my lifelong project.

 

 

Thanks for your time Rich!

No Problem

 

Make sure to grap a copy of BlockHopper, follow (@GreenPixelDev), and support their future games!

- Alex Pineda (@brainyweb)

 

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