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Founder of Nix Sensor Ltd. named Ontario’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year



Editor’s note: hey folks, see Nix Sensor demo live + Q&A at DemoCamp on Dec. 8th!


HAMILTON, ON – November 26, 2015 –Matthew Sheridan, inventor of the Nix Colour Sensor and President and CEO of Nix Sensor Ltd., was named Ontario’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Ontario Business Achievement Awards on the evening of November 25. The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, presented by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, is awarded to a young Ontario entrepreneur who has successfully built a unique and game-changing venture.

“It’s very exciting to be named Ontario’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year,” said Mr. Sheridan. “I’m proud to be able to bring this award home to Hamilton, as our success could not be possible without the most passionate employees, the best mentors, and most of all, Hamilton, the most startup friendly city in Canada.”

Nix Sensor Ltd. designs and manufactures high-precision colour-sensing technology. Their flagship device, the Nix Colour Sensor, is a handheld device that can measure the colour of any surface and provide that information to the user’s smartphone. Unlike current solutions, like colour fan decks and smartphone apps, the Nix Colour Sensor’s patented design blocks out all ambient light and provides a calibrated light source to provide an industry-leading level of accuracy.

The Nix Colour Sensor was launched as one of the first official Canadian Kickstarter projects, where it raised $70,000 – double its original goal. Since then, Nix has quickly found traction as a low-cost, high-quality colour measurement solution provider in the Paint, Food & Agriculture, Printing, and Textiles sectors.


“Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Ontario’s economic future,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Because of Nix Sensor’s game changing technology, jobs have been created in Hamilton and design professionals now have access to a cutting edge tool that allows them to succeed in their respective workplaces.”

Nix Sensor Ltd. is based in Hamilton’s McMaster Innovation Park, and is a member of several Regional Innovation Centres and industry networks, including Innovation Factory (Hamilton) and the Ontario Centres of Excellence. All of Nix’s sensors are assembled and calibrated at their facilities in Hamilton.

“Nix has built a global reputation among colour experts as an industry leader and problem solver. The early successes Matt and his team have achieved are helping to inspire the many young, ambitious professionals that symbolize the “New” Hamilton,” said Keanin Loomis, President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “One of the main drivers of our economy remains advanced manufacturing and we’re extremely proud to be able to say that every Nix Colour Sensor is made here in Hamilton!”

Mr. Sheridan was also recognized as one of Canada’s top young innovators with the Ernest C. Manning Award of Distinction, which was presented on October 2, 2015 at an awards gala in Saskatoon.

In February 2015, Nix released the second version of their hardware, the Nix Pro, which features completely redesigned hardware and software. In addition to their success in developing custom solutions for professionals such as interior designers, paint contractors, and paint retailers, Nix has made consumer versions of the Nix Pro available for order at

Zachary Strong
Director of Business Development, Nix Sensor Ltd.
P: 905-581-6363


Hacking Health Hamilton Cafe #4: Voices of Health



When: Thursday September 24th 2015 from 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Where: CoMotion on King @ 115 King St East, Hamilton, Ontario




We are very excited to expand hamilton’s healthcare ecosystem with “Voices of Health” on Thursday Sept 24. We start at 6:30pm.

“Voices of Health” features:

John Neary is the Chief Medical Information Officer and practices general internal medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. He also works as a consultant in internal medicine for the Shelter Health Network in downtown Hamilton. John Neary lives in Beasley Neighbourhood and is actively interested in the urban environment and community building.

John will share his experiences and insights with software systems in healthcare, and the possibilities for innovation.

Syd Fletcher is President, and co-founder of MultiVoice (2014) Inc. A school principal for many years he has been involved with computers since they first came into general use back in the late 1980’s. Using Hypercard on the Mac he developed communication programs for non-speaking but cognitive users (e.g. with ALS) that garnered four national awards such as the Marshal McLuhan medal for innovative technology. MultiVoice applications are geared toward non-English speaking patients who find themselves in an emergency situation. Using MultiVoice apps nurses are able to use 50 different questions or requests of their patients in 20 different languages. This new concept is referred to as ‘specific situation translation’.

CoMotion on King:

CoMotion on King is new coworking initiative and Hamilton’s largest coworking space in the heart of downtown Hamilton at 115 King Street E. Moving towards better ways of working CoMotion on Kin has a 10,000 square foot coworking space with 39 glass window offices, 26 dedicated and shared desks, 3 meeting rooms, mailbox services, a kitchen space, lounge areas, large event space, rooftop patio, and a multitude of other little nooks, crannies, and decor features meant to inspire collaboration, productivity, and creativity.

Other important stuff:

Hack4Health Hackathon in Waterloo: Want to do a hackathon and don’t want to wait for our first Hacking Health Weekend in February 2016? Then go to Kitchener Waterloo for Hack4Health, on the weekend of Sept 26-27. Brought to you by the University of Waterloo, it’s all about creating apps to help people people living with MS or Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Hacking Health Waterloo: There’s something in the water in KW — the first Hacking Health Waterloo is Thu Oct 22. Check it out on their meetup page.

Our schedule: And finally, if you can’t make this #HHHamOnt meetup, our upcoming schedule is:

• November 19 – Meetup

• January 21 – Meetup

• February 2016 – HACKATHON!

A big thanks to our sponsors Hamilton Economic Development, MedStack, and CoMotion on King.

See you all Thursday!

Simon & Team

Regular updates will resume next Monday



I’ve updated this blog with the latest happenings on a regular Monday-Friday basis for years now, but the last couple weeks have been dreadful for updates. If you’re a long time reader, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to finish up my PhD at McMaster. Right now I’m in the process of writing the draft of the final paper + thesis introduction and conclusion, which means it’s been tough to update regularly the last couple weeks, and will likely stay that way this week. Expect regular updates to resume next Monday!


Riipen and OneBase at DemoCamp

Art Gallery of Hamilton


More demos for DemoCampHamilton21 have been announced!


Demo 6
Riipen helps companies pick the best graduating talent. Through our platform students are able to demonstrate the specific skills that companies are always looking for, and companies are able to easily identify top talent earlier to fuel their future success.



Demo 7
OneBase is a web platform that allows teams to effectively and efficiently onboard their members. OneBase lets you track the effectiveness of your initiatives, engage your new team members, and offers a one-stop-shop that is accessible anywhere – desktop or mobile.



Don’t miss an amazing line-up of locally built technology demos + community Q&A at DemoCampHamilton21!


When: Wednesday June 24th 2015 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Where: The Art Gallery of Hamilton – Joey and Toby Tanebaum Pavilion – 123 King Street West Hamilton, Ontario



#JerkTech: Is ReservationHop a Disruptor or Not?

Originally posted on


res-2A couple of terms here to explain I’d imagine before you even get the thrust of this post would be in order…. #JerkTech is a phrase that is fairly new, and refers to what TechCrunch labels as “…emblematic of a compassionless new wave of self-serving startups that exploit small businesses and public infrastructure to make a buck and aid the wealthy. Let’s call these parasites #JerkTech. It’s one thing to outcompete a big, stagnant company with new technology. It’s another to screw over the little guys just because you can sell what’s usually free…”

So….#JerkTech (also a real live Twitter handle!) is something not so good, right? Wrong in my world…because I’ve always been a “let the market decide” type of guy.

From the days that I first ran our own ThePhonies company back in the start of the 80′s where we offered up those brand new home telephone answering tapes so that you could buy John Wayne (or a great impersonation of same) answering your home line to just last year when we helped get a brand new biz card company off the ground using a transparent media that is eco-friendly….we know startups and disrupting is the bestest way to go! </chest pounding with pride>

That all said, what’s ReservationHop? Not the first (in fact not in the first ten either, see Table8 or Zurvu or KillerRezzy etc) to come up with the idea that the marketplace (you and I) might pay for a reservation to a great restaurant that’s always fully booked. A reservation that is normally free….but you go to their site, pick out a restaurant they have a valid reservation for, pay them (current prices range from $5 to $12) and after they debit your creditcard, you get the name under which that reservation was made by ReservationHop.

res-3Simple, cheap and yes, if you’re travelling to a new city, what a great way to get “into” a restaurant that you should have called weeks ago to have dinner in!

That’s disruptive? Bulls**t I claim…that’s a whole in the marketplace that this founder, Brian Mayer came up with a week ago or so.

But that’s only my own thoughts on same, and yes…there’s a ton of the anti-JerkTech style writings on this already….

There will undoubtedly be more fallout on this…

I’ve already seen comments on many of the sites I just listed threatening boycotts, asking to merge with someone who runs the same scheme to sell ‘spots’ in women’s washroom lines at concerts to someone who wants to franchise same for Minnesota…

You? What do you think? Is this just another #JerkTech example or a valid way for a startup founder to fill a whole in the marketplace? Challenge

The AppsForHealth2011 event is a student competition sponsored by NSERC that will bring together cross functional teams from Colleges and Universities in Canada. Teams will include health care and technology students working together. Each team will compete to offer technological solutions to real-world challenges sponsored by health care organizations for a chance to win cash and prizes.

Each Challenge Sponsor will document and post a problem to which they believe a technological solution may be of value. Challenge Sponsors will provide access to relevant clinical material and be available to answer questions as they arise.

Details can be found at Register now to receive updates as prizes and challenges are added!