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]


CareerLaunch partners with Magnet

Guest post by Jeffrey Doucet (@jeffrey_doucet), originally posted on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to see a live demo of Magnet at DemoCamp21 on June 24th!



Just under a year ago, Tristan and I set out to help students transition from post-secondary education to employment with our company QuickHire. The premise behind QuickHire was that there were not enough recruiting resources dedicated to entry-level employment, and that by building a resource designed for entry-level recruiting, we would be able to improve and expedite the recruiting process for new students & recent grads.

After spending months building & operating a recruiting resource, we reflected on what we had learned from our users. We realized that instead of addressing the students’ problem, we were just building another resource for employers.

So, we took everything we had learned about our product and began building a completely different application that we now license to universities and colleges, called CareerLaunch.

CareerLaunch incorporates all of the insight we gained about the job search, built into one easy-to-use application that allows any student to effectively manage their job search. We know that if a student follows the proper steps — preparation, organization, employer engagement — they will find a job in no time. We have built software that will equip any student to find their dream job.

Our new software places an emphasis on empowering students to manage and execute a productive job search by:

  • Enabling students to track each job they apply to regardless of what platform or job board they use
  • Allowing students to manage all of their job applications and follow-up with customized notifications
  • Provide learning materials to help students become better job candidates through partnership with employers and institutions

A Province-wide Partnership

While growing our business here in Ontario, we were fortunate enough to develop a partnership with Magnet, a new network co-founded by Ryerson University and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Magnet, which launched in September 2014, uses powerful job-matching technology to connect job seekers and employers based on skills, preferences, and needs.

Once a candidate builds a profile, the system provides them with job opportunities that match their skills and experience. Qualified job candidates are automatically informed any time an employer adds a new posting, and a person’s identity is shielded until they decide to communicate with the potential employer. Magnet’s software bears strong similarities to our original recruiting platform, so naturally it was a perfect fit.

By partnering with Magnet, our software will be used by a growing network of over 60,000 students and recent graduates and 25 post-secondary institutions here in Ontario. We are excited to get our product in the hands of students and continue to help them transition from education to gainful employment.

In our next blog post, we will break down one of our new major features — our application tracking system — that is compatible with over 20 job boards here in Canada. The software allows students to manage their job search, stay on top of all of their applications, and walk into each interview prepared and confident.

Right here you can check out what we are working on with Magnet. Stay tuned for more product updates! 


Hack-a-thons negatively correlated with job performance

Guest post by Kemal Ahmed (@carpetfortwo) of Communote (@communotey) [original article]




[P]rogramming contest winners are used to cranking solutions out fast and that you performed better at the job if you were more reflective and went slowly and made sure things were right.

I’m a huge advocate of hack-a-thons. Not enough students actively try to apply the knowledge that they’re learning and as a result, they forget it. They don’t know what it is useful for and they don’t enjoy it. When they try to practice what they’re learning, it makes more sense.Hack-a-thons are a really fun way of doing that. They have more experience working in teams and become more acquainted with the coding community. Before I continue, I want to make sure you know what a hack-a-thon is.

Hack-a-thon: (Noun) an event where people compete to build the coolest prototype of a product within 12-48 hours. They are judged by originality, completion, and quality of presentation. Often, there are bonus prizes for using technology by event sponsors. Sponsors also sometimes cover the cost of prizes, food, accommodations, transportation, and registration, making them a fun event for everyone. Most of the time, hack-a-thons are programming competitions.

Many feel like hack-a-thons take too much time out of school, but I think side-projects are part of education. They allow you to avoid the drama of scheduling multiple meetings to work on projects where either only half the group shows up or the group decides to have fewer meetings, so that everyone can attend every meeting. They also incentivize group projects which people don’t do enough of.

However, too many people see hack-a-thons as their only source of practical programming knowledge; their only side projects are at hack-a-thons. As a result, they don’t spend enough time practicing version control, unit testing, continuous integration, build automation, and code planning. There is so little time that developers rush to complete the project without thinking about how to build it sustainably. As a result, being good at programming competitions is said to be negatively correlated with being good on the job.

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



Angel One Founders and Funders Celebration 2015



When: Thursday June 18th 2015 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Where: DeGroote School of Business: Ron Joyce Centre @ 4350 South Service Rd Burlington, Ontario

Organizer: Angel One

Register: events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eazxw2hla4b16d8c&llr=xjd8ylpab


Please join Angel One Network for its third annual Founders and Funders Celebration. The evening is an opportunity to meet with and learn more about Angel One’s members and their investee companies. Come out and help us celebrate the winners of the Pauli Awards for Founder of the Year, Funder of the Year and Contributor of the Year!

As Angel One’s only event open to the public, we hope you will join us for this celebration of partnership and entrepreneurial spirit.

Our program includes:

7:00pm: The Great Hall Opens for Registration and Networking

8:00pm: Auditorium: Formal Program and Pauli Awards Ceremony

9:00pm: The Great Hall: Networking and Investee Showcase

10:00pm: Thank you for joining us and safe drive home!

We look forward to seeing you at this event! To attend, you must register below.

You are more than welcome to bring guests. We would ask that they register separately so please share this invitation with them.

If you know of anyone else that would be interested, please share with them too!

Parking is free! Carpooling is always a great idea!


Making Games with HTML 5 Canvas – a Master Class by Dan Zen



Specialized Artistry + Technical Skills

“Making Games with HTML 5 Canvas”
Hands-On learning for All Ages.

Learn the basics of programming a game you can make with any text editor and run on any Browser. Inventor Dan Zen teaches Interactive Media at Sheridan and has helped thousands of people to start coding. His work can be seen at the Dan Zen Museum: www.danzen.com.

PART 1 (50 Minutes + 10 Minute break)
1A. Intro to games on the Browser and the HTML 5 Canvas
1B. Intro to programming and programming environment

PART 2 (50 Minutes + 10 Minute break)
2A. Displaying assets with code — shapes, pictures & sounds
2B. Programming basics: variables, functions, conditionals and events

PART 3 (60 Minutes)
3. Making a game together such as catching falling objects

$10 Per Class or $30 for the Week.
FREE for FMC Members & TAKE 1,2,3 Students

For information on MASTER CLASS WEEK and the participating Media Professionals visit www.factorymediacentre.ca.

15 ventures selected to compete in 2015 LiON’S LAIR


Hamilton, ON (June 11, 2015) – Fifteen companies have been selected as finalists for LiON’S LAIR, a competition that offers finalists the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of industry judges—the “Lions”—and solicit over $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources.

Hopeful participants submitted their business plans in April and each plan was evaluated based on the company’s product and commercial viability, ability to execute, and other factors by a panel of independent judges. The judge’s scores were tallied and this year’s fifteen finalists are: 12 Squared Diagnostics, Blue Orchid Care, BuckItLife, Chipsetter, ExVivo Labs, NanoSpin, OneBase, Peytec, Qidni Labs, QReserve, Sniper Skin, Tribute Tree, Virtual Possibilities, WeMesh and xocial.

“This year marks the fifth annual LiON’S LAIR competition and we’re delighted to see the diverse, high-potential businesses that have been selected as finalists,” stated Keanin Loomis, President and CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

This year, a new component has been added to the competition. Fifteen ventures have been selected and all fifteen will go through training over the summer months, but in July, five companies will be eliminated during a round of preliminary pitching. The remaining ten will move on to face the Lions with the goal of winning a portion of the over $100,000 in prizing.

“This elimination stages adds another exciting element to the competition,” said David Carter, Executive Director, Innovation Factory. ”It also allows us to offer more entrepreneurs the invaluable workshop sessions to help them refine their business plan, their pitch, and ultimately accelerate their business.”

This years’ “Lions” are: Mario Paron (KPMG), Tonia Jahshan (Steeped Tea), George McCarter (Pearson Dunn), Cheri Chevalier (Microsoft Canada), and Michael Macaluso (CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc).

Each finalist will participate in a pitch session with the Lions which will include the entrepreneur’s pitch followed by a question period. The Lions ultimately decide which companies receive cash and in-kind service investments from participating sponsors.

The pitch sessions will be filmed at Cable 14 and will be shown at the LiON’S LAIR gala on September 30, 2015 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre. The Lions’ investment decisions will be revealed live on stage at the gala.

LiONʼS LAIR gala tickets will go on sale in early July at www.lionslair.ca.


More about this year’s finalists:

12 Squared Diagnostics has developed a diagnostic test for the new oral anticoagulants. It uses a drop of blood from a finger-prick at point-of-care, giving result in 30 minutes.

Blue Orchid Care has designed the ORCHIDlift, a compact and portable sit-to-stand lift which allows the caregiver to lift and transfer 3x their weight limit and eliminates the forward bending motion and twisting of the spine that can cause back injury.

BuckItLife is an online adventure tourism hub that connects consumers to service providers who can fulfill the activities on consumers’ bucket lists.

Chipsetter is developing a low­-cost pick-­and­-place machine for the printed circuit board (PCB) assembly process that is 10 times more cost­-effective, easier to use, and quicker to setup than existing entry­-level machines.

ExVivo Labs is developing skin patch technologies to make allergy testing less invasive and more accurate. Our technology provides an alternative allergy testing method to the commonly used skin prick test, and gives results that are safe, simple and certain.

NanoSpin presents a patent-pending cooling technology for computer servers. The result of a decade of research, this technology can reduce energy consumption of a data center by up to 50%, and reduce its real-estate footprint to a fifth.

OneBase has created 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.

Peytec is an award winning company, offers real-time location tracking and sensing solutions. Peytec mainly helps agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and logistics industries to better manage their inventory and product quality through utilization of Peytec’s scalable sensors and location chips.

Qidni Labs is working on an implantable renal replacement therapy (artificial kidney) for nearly three million patients with End Stage Renal Disease.

QReserve is a matchmaking service for researchers, students and businesses. Their platform connects people who need research equipment, services or expertise, building collaborative research partnerships. The QReserve platform is a publicly searchable database of research resources, which spans labs across Canada in universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions.

Sniper Skin has created a revolutionary hockey tape alternative. Conventional hockey tape has remained the same for decades – it must be replaced every few games and does not protect the stick. Sniper Skin’s one piece sleeve is heat activated, with a special surface texture that slides over the blade.

Tribute Tree is the only Software as a Service (SaaS) website platform that meets all of the funeral planning, arrangement and digital communications needs of their customers (families) during their time of loss.

Virtual Possibilities has developed a patented, prototype for minimally invasive surgery. Comparable to the classic board game Operation, LaparoGuard tracks and records the delicate movements of laparoscopic tools during surgery, alerting medical teams when instruments approach the boundaries of an established safe zone. The overall effect is to reduce and prevent instrument and tissue collisions that cause injury during surgery.

WeMesh is the world’s first truly synchronous multimedia messenger app, letting users experience their favorite videos in perfect sync with all their friends while messaging through text and voice. WeMesh features simultaneous video playback, a versatile chat engine, high-quality Voice-over-IP, and full contacts and social network integration.

xocial™ (soh-shuhl) is a platform to motivate do-gooders, inspire healthy competition and help organizations engage audiences—all by measuring our positive social impact with the xo score™. The xocial platform helps brands, non-profits, charitable foundations, employers and third-party apps connect with everyday heroes.


About Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Representing over 1,000 businesses and institutions that employ more than 75,000 people in Hamilton, Ontario, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is the city’s 169 year-old voice of business and thought leader in commerce. In addition to helping provide solutions to the day-to-day challenges of its member businesses, the Hamilton Chamber provides leadership on city building initiatives that are designed to stimulate commerce and increase prosperity in the community. www.hamiltonchamber.ca

About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory is the Regional Innovation Centre for Hamilton in the Ontario Network of Excellence, leveraging funding and support from all three levels of government and the city’s top private sector and institutional partners. Our goal is to stimulate economic activity in this city by helping Hamilton businesses embrace the principles of innovation. www.innovationfactory.ca


For more information, contact:
Emily Kinread
Marketing & Communications Manager, Innovation Factory
905.667.2611 x233 | emily.kinread@innovationfactory.ca

Keanin Loomis
President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
905.522.1151 x229 | k.loomis@hamiltonchamber.ca


What about the Success of Blackberry?



With the release of the new RIM/Blackberry tell-all Losing the Signal, the Canadian tech community is abuzz with chatter about the spectacular downfall of the local tech giant.

It seems that the former Research in Motion, now Blackberry, has been a local company that everyone loves to hate. Even when stocks were soaring and Blackberry devices were flying off shelves, the sentiment in the community was often negatively focused on how the giant was unfairly inflating salaries and poaching development talent from underdog start-ups. While the co-CEOs poured hundreds of millions of dollars into establishments like the Perimeter Institute, CiGi and University of Waterloo, we were more likely to read press reports of leadership mistakes or un-Canadian egos. As a nation of under-dogs, we were quick to criticize and view our homegrown success story as ‘the Man’.

And so this continues today, with an “I-told-you-so” attitude, as so many within our tech community reflect on the Blackberry situation and what they would have done differently if only someone had asked.

Enough already.

It would be really refreshing for someone to start talking about the success of Blackberry. Yes, we can certainly learn a lifetime’s worth of lessons through reflection on what caused the decline. But we really need to take a good look at what went right, and how the success of Blackberry has left the Waterloo Region and the Canadian economy much better off.

A group of Canadian innovators built a technology and created a market that changed the world and generated $Billions in economic impact. Wow.

More than 20,000 Canadians were employed at Research in Motion throughout it’s evolution, and are now armed with the experience of having been part of an incredibly successful global tech company. The value of these individuals to our economy is not dampened by the eventual decline of the business. The seeds of innovation and the appetite for big time success that these individuals now carry, is being sprinkled generously across every sector of the economy, and the impact will be profound.

So we should definitely congratulate all of the talented leaders who have been liberated by Blackberry and are now driving innovation and growth within local and global tech companies. But perhaps we should also send a note of thanks to the Research in Motion founders who were just brave and imperfect enough to build a billion dollar tech company in our own backyard.


Guest post by Kristina McDougall (@kmcdougall) of Artemis Canada


Introduction to Arduino redux

When: Wednesday June 17th @ 6:30pm – 9:30pm

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

Organizer: Innovation Factory and Doug Petican

logoDue to overwhelming demand, we’re presenting a second Introduction to Arduino workshop!

The workshop is an introduction to microcontrollers, the “computers” that run our everyday devices, and is suitable for anyone wanting to know more about the Arduino buzz, software developers that are looking to make the leap into embedded programming or entrepreneurs wanting a better understanding of how hardware fits into the product design cycle.

Doug Petican is an electronics technologist, entrepreneur, maker enthusiast, and will be leading the Introduction to Arduino workshop. He has worked in government and industry for over 20 years, and started experimenting with electronics and computers in his teens during the 1980’s. Doug likes experimenting with anything hardware, particularly LEDs.

Please note this is a beginners workshop, advanced Arduino concepts will not be presented. Arduino boards will be shared but feel free to bring your own.

Tickets are limited so register today:


« Older Entries Recent Entries »