DemoCampHamilton4 line-up announced

The DemoCampHamilton4 line-up has been finalized, check out a preview of what we’ll be seeing on Monday night below:

Jeff Reid (@NewsONca), Hamilton-based developer of News-ON websites and i-ON applications will demo the new i-ON News Reader App for iPad. The Android OS version of this App is now available in the marketplace here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.newsreaders.

Brian Hogg (@brianhogg), Senior Developer at WeeverApps will demo a new feature which allows people to walk around, take photos, add posts, etc. from wherever they are for an automatic mobile map-as-you-go.

Holly Smith and Duncan Bays, Co-Founders of Electric Courage (@ElectricCourage) will demo their mobile application which helps its users to introduce themselves and flirt with others in their location. Holly Smith is a first year McMaster University medical student and both Holly and Duncan are alumni of the Next 36 entrepreneurship program that gives university students seed funding and support to start their own mobile venture.

Mac Holyoke, Partner at Pipeline Studios will demo the Banzai asset management tool he created to help communicate organize, schedule, review and coordinate the elaborate process of computer animation.

Lorne Lantz (@Lornestar), Founder of Groupstore will demo the mobile POS which allows you to accept credit card payments from your mobile phone.

Open Hamilton (@OpenHamilton) will demo the software that comes out of the Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon taking place this weekend.

 

DemoCampHamilton4 is just around the corner!

 

DemoCampHamilton4 is happening on Monday December 5th at 6:30pm in The Arnie Pub at Mohawk College! We’ll have a keynote by Canadian New Media Award winner, Dan Zen, who will share his secret creativity techniques using new types of iPhone, Android and Blackberry mobile games as examples. Dan Zen will start by connecting everyone in attendance in a physical manner and use this as a starting point for completely new ideas in communication! Do not miss this animated speaker as he addresses his home town audience.

This will be followed by a software demo line-up that includes Hamilton startup companies and the #Hack4HamOnt. Get your free tickets here: http://democamphamilton4.eventbrite.com.

 

 

Making money on Twitter with Ad.ly

Financial analysts (and regular people too) have been wondering how to make money on Twitter ever since its launch a few years back. Well finally a profitable business model has risen from the social media quagmire. Let me introduce you to www.Ad.ly which has exploded onto the Twittersphere in the last few months.

This Beverly Hills technology start-up has ramped up in a big way since it started to focus on celebrities. The most famous one to sign up in recent months has been Charlie Sheen. The “Two and a half men” TV star went from a drug-induced stupor, to publicly cavorting with his goddesses, to getting fired from his top rated sitcom, to making several thousand dollars every time he clicks “enter” on his keyboard. That’s a “winning” business strategy.

Ad.ly’s financial model is simple and elegant. First step, a celebrity with at least one million followers signs up on their network. Then, a company seeking exposure is matched with the appropriate celebrity. Then, the celebrity tweets a custom-made advertisement on their Twitter account to their adoring fans. Fans, in turn, click on the specially designed URL in order to find out what their favourite celebrity is talking about. Finally, the fan buys the product the celebrity has just endorsed.

Sounds simple enough. But that last step is where the rubber hits the road. Does this type of promotion actually lead to increased revenues? Let’s take the model above and provide a simple example. Cristiano Ronaldo (the famous Real Madrid footballer) has about 2.7 million Twitter followers. Through Ad.ly, he gets approached to endorse Magic Water (I just made this up). Ronaldo then sends a tweet to all his followers stating that Magic Water was the reason he scored that spectacular bicycle kick against Toronto FC last night and that we should all drink Magic Water because it’s awesome, etc. etc. Ronaldo also provides a URL that he encourages us to click on for more information.

That’s when the cash register starts to ring. Ad.ly gets paid by Magic Water for every single click-through to their website. With 2.7 million followers, even if only one percent were to bite, that’s a lot of cha-ching in Ad.ly’s and Ronaldo’s pockets. In some cases, click-throughs are valued at one dollar each making this a nice twenty-seven thousand dollar pay day. I mean pay tweet.

But did anyone actually buy any water? After all, Magic Water needs to recover its advertising expenses at minimum. Well the answer may not be as clear cut, but the momentum of companies wanting to participate points to a resounding success so far. Since Ad.ly’s launch, they have made over 24,000 endorsement deals with a 1,000 celebrities including Kim Kardashian (7.3 million), 50 cent (4.5 million), Mariah Carey (4.3 million) and Paris Hilton (3.8 million).

I am now left with two main questions. First, how can I trust what 50 cent tells me in a tweet when I know that he is getting paid to lie? Wait a second, hasn’t Michael Jordan been doing that for years on TV with Hanes underwear? My second worry is a bit more personal. I only have 1,200 Twitter followers so far. How long will it take for me to reach a million? Well, there’s no better time to start than the present, please follow me on Twitter @NickBontis.

More Hamilton web\mobile\eBusiness companies…

The following Hamilton-area web\mobile\eBusiness companies have been added to the directory:

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.

FPM Marketing http://fpm3.com
Web Design, Social Media, Online Ads, Blogs & Social Media , Mobile Marketing

Groupstorehttp://www.thegroupstore.com
Event ticket sales solution for web and mobile.

Indiecredhttp://www.indiecred.net
Specializing in responsive Drupal development.

Lea Tea Designshttp://www.leateadesigns.com
Web design, graphic design, social media.

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

Swapopolishttp://www.swapopolis.com
Gift card matchmaker – swap gift cards online.

Valleytown Mediahttp://www.valleytownmedia.ca/
Multimedia company that specializes in Video Production, Photography, Web and Graphic Design.

 

Ryan Barichello – 2011 Mohawk Alumni of Distinction Recipient

Originally posted on mohawkcollege.ca/alumni

Ryan Barichello – Enterprise Business, 2004 / Computer Systems Technology-Web Applications, 2006

2011 Entrepreneur Recipient

Graduating from both the Enterprise Business program in 2004 and the Computer Systems Technology-Web Applications Program in 2006 Ryan set out to start his own business. By 2009, at the age of 25, Ryan had a successful business with 3 employees and over 100 clients including the Ontario College of Health and Technology, the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, and XPolice Traffic Services. At LinxSmart he has implemented a process that allows businesses to directly access their own website at all times using “LiveTools” a LinxSmart created program that, “allows anyone regardless of their technical knowledge or web design skills, to have any degree of control over their website.”

According to Ryan, “since I studied business first, and then computers, it helped me grasp both ends of the business much better.” It was his education that gave him the well rounded knowledge and the practical skills needed to ensure success. Along with technical skills, Mohawk also provided him with knowledgeable mentors. He is thankful for the overwhelming support of the faculty at Mohawk both inside and outside the classroom, “They were always there to help with questions which were beyond the scope of the program. Note that especially Duane Bender who has gone beyond his expectations and provided us with help beyond the classroom with tips, suppliers and contacts.” LinxSmart has now been in operation for 6 years offering their clients a wide range of web development services. His business philosophy centers around “making web development simple and enjoyable,” by understanding that the development process can be difficult. Ryan has used his business to help non-for-profit organizations by creating websites for them. In 2009, Ryan was nominated in the Young Entrepreneur category for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan has also returned to Mohawk to speak to current students sharing with them his experiences with how to conduct a successful web development company and what they should take away from their time at Mohawk. Ryan thinks that, “as a graduate of Mohawk College in both the E-Business Program and Computer Science – Web Applications Program, it is important to share (his) achievements and experiences with the new students.”

Support Ryan at the 2011 Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner

 

Startup Weekend Hamilton alumni startups are hiring!

The startup alumni of the inaugural Startup Weekend Hamilton are now hiring!

Top prize winners Sochi are building a solution to rank mobile apps based on social buzz. They are looking to bring a developer on to the team, see the job posting here.

Second place winners Caltrakr are building a mobile application that allows users to systematically manager their nutrition intake and desired exercise schedules in order to achieve their desired health and fitness goals. They are looking for a mobile smartphone application developer, see the job posting here.

 

Flash and HCJ (HTML, CSS and JavaScript)

Originally posted on danzen.wordpress.com

In this post, I will compare Adobe Flash and HCJ (a handy acronym for HTML, CSS and JavaScript).

QUICK CREDENTIAL CHECK

I have built hundreds of features and sites in Flash and HCJ over 15 years of creation at http://danzen.com for which I received the Canadian New Media Awards Programmer of the Year. I coordinate the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Post Grad Program http://imm.sheridanc.on.ca for which I received the Canadian New Media Educator of the Year. I also explore the philosophical side of coding at http://nodism.org.

PURPOSE OF POST

The purpose of this post is to help clarify what these technologies do to better guide our direction. In a more specific context, there are a lot of people bashing Flash and I would like to put this in perspective.

HCJ SUMMARY

HTML, CSS and JavaScript is an open source system to display Web pages and mobile Web apps

  • – HTML is a tagging language (XHTML is a subset of XML which is a subset of SGML) that defines the elements of the page.
  • – CSS defines styles that can be applied to the elements of the page.
  • – JavaScript is a programming language based on ECMA Script (latest Object Oriented) that can work with HTML elements and styles.

FLASH SUMMARY

Flash is an application to make features that run in a browser plugin or in the AIR environment for desktop and mobile Apps

  • – The application has tools to build visual assets like vector illustrations, animations, text, images, sound and video.
  • – Flash has the ActionScript programming language which is based on ECMA Script (latest Object Oriented).
  • – Flash also supports CSS for styling.

NOTE:
Both systems access server side scripting just fine to store and retrieve data or to accomplish asynchronous loading like AJAX. This was a hallmark of Flash ten years ago. Flash also has Flash Builder and the Flex framework which is a tag based approach that publishes a Flash file. The Flash compile code is open source as is the Flash code that people make if they choose. For instance, my http://flashfeathers.com series of advanced interfaces is open source. Regardless, open source should not kill closed source.

COMPARISON

Both systems have the same potential. The main difference is in culture and in tooling.

Over the last ten plus years, creators of Flash and creators using Flash have been in a symbiotic relationship to hone the tooling of Flash specifically for making enhanced interactive features (see INTERACTIVITY SCALE post). This means that there are hundreds of media specific classes (code) with thousands of properties, methods and events tailored to interacting with the media. Everything we need has been carefully catered to (or filtered out), organized, tested and applied.

HCJ, on the other hand, has been used primarily for display and collection of information. So culturally, there is a ten year gap – even in basic functionality like rotation, let alone the culture of dragging, collision, keyboard commands, bitmap control, sound and video manipulation, filters, 3D, etc. I say culturally, because some of these things were possible, just not really sought after. There might be hundreds of hit tests done in HCJ and millions done in Flash.

Culturally, over the last few years (and particularly since the iOS no-Flash-in-Browser “NFIB” situation) there have been steps to move HCJ in the direction of enhanced interactive features. As mentioned, the potential is there. People are building libraries – a famous one being JQuery, and media is getting tag support with HTML 5, etc.

Tools are being built – even by Adobe, especially by Adobe, to support enhanced interactive features in the HCJ system. Tool makers have the benefit of seeing Flash grow and will no doubt catch up to where Flash is now in a few years. Of course, in a few years, Flash will have continued to progress as it is doing in the direction of 3D.

ANALYSIS

We are again at a time where Consumption and Creation have been separated. In the 90′s we consumed online and created on our desktop. In the 00′s, we did both on the Web although the creation pattern has always lagged far behind the consumption pattern. In the 10′s, with the arrival of mobile devices and in particular the success and arrangement of the iOS devices, we have the Web for consuming stuff and the Apps for creating stuff. Communication sits between or can be done on both sides.

Consumption with browsers and creation with apps is a natural split as indicated by the names – browser and apps. As an application builder, I do not mind the the split because we have a way to get paid for the apps! Try getting paid for a Web app – I have tried for 15 years with little success.

Marketing loves the split too – because they get to show authoritative content to the viewer. Unfortunately, there has been a throw-back to authoritative content and I think they have forgotten the power of user created content – rotating a picture of a car in 3D is not user created content and only scratches at the surface of engagement.

PREDICTION

The split between consumption on the Web and creation with Apps will hang around for a while **. There will be some enhanced interactive sites with the HCJ system but for the most part, people will think that fancy animation is enhanced interactivity and they will be satisfied consuming. The HCJ system will also be used to make apps. Most of these apps will be information apps – as in, “it is on the Web but we wanted a presence in the App store”. Other HCJ apps may rival Flash and Native apps in enhanced interactivity but if the Adobe Flash team and community does its job, Flash will keep ahead of the curve – the curve that they created in enhanced interactivity. Props to Flash.

NOTE:
Flash now uses hardware acceleration to help with issues of slowness on macs, etc. in video playing and 3D and more mobile functionality is available so there has been (and will be) improvements in speed and functionality.

CONCERNS AND CONCLUSION

The Flash community is very open and creative – some have gone on to help HCJ with their experience. What has not been very helpful is calling Flash (or letting Flash be called) taboo because clients can’t get their message on iOS Web. Marketing agencies should offer (or continue to offer) engaging mobile apps as a further opportunity to build brand experience. Right now, for the most part, there is no better and efficient way to create enhanced interactive experiences across the mobile platforms than Flash and Flash Builder – I guarantee it. Adobe is doing a wonderful job with the tools – just perhaps not as good a job as Apple with the hype.

Dan Zen Signature

Dan Zen – 2011

** It is possible that we will sway away from the Web as an all encompassing place for everything. The Web will act like a promotional place for offline and online products. More and more products will access the Internet directly like multiuser game “clients”. This will happen more so if we kill plugin architecture – either that or everyone will have their own browser (Google has already started with Chrome and its custom extensions). If you are thinking of going this way – Adobe AIR allows you to make your own Web browser – similar to Steam for instance.

FINAL NOTE:
There have been generalizations made in this post – to go through all the specifics would have been lengthy.

 

Coral CEA partners with Mohawk College to assist Ontario’s software companies in developing applications for the health care sector

Manager Member Services at Coral CEA – Scott Howard (@HowieSJ)

Press release source: CoralCEA.ca

Toronto, ON – October 21, 2011 – Coral CEA and Mohawk College’s Applied Research Centre have announced a collaboration to create a software ecosystem so Ontario software companies can rapidly develop new healthcare applications that deliver on the promise of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). The partnership’s strategic intent is to create an Ontario-based software ecosystem that can export eHealth expertise and products to global healthcare providers.

Healthcare costs in Ontario now consume more than one half of all tax revenues. Yet patients must still repeat their medical history over and over to different health care providers, creating frustrating and costly inefficiency.

One Coral CEA member company, Cliniconex Inc., has already shown interest in providing applications within the context of the new partnership with Mohawk College. Cliniconex builds software that helps staff in medical offices automate patient notifications, such as appointment reminders. Cliniconex and Mohawk are pursuing development of an “adapter” to handle electronic health information from multiple sources, for example a walk-in medical clinic or a hospital, and have the data accessible throughout the new Ontario eHealth network.

The Mohawk Applied Research Centre has worked on eHealth for five years, building significant knowledge about the key electronic network that will carry medical files. The contract for the first $72 million phase of this network has yet to be awarded. It will serve the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and will link the medical files of:

  • 6.3 million residents of the GTA
  • 700 health services providers
  • 43 hospitals
  • Over 200 senior’s residences
  • The Ontario Laboratory Information Services
  • ER, digital imaging and doctor’s reports

The GTA project is one of four such networks that will provide province wide coverage by 2015. This network is known as the Health Informatics Access Layer (HIAL). “We see this network as something that will provide a significant opportunity for our member companies to add real value to how the network will be used.,” says Coral CEA Executive Director Brian Forbes. He adds, “The task at hand is to develop the technologies that can deliver the promise of eHealth for Ontario. And as we prove ourselves in our home market, Ontario software companies can quickly export their solutions around the world.” 

“Our partnership with Coral CEA will provide a unique innovation opportunity among companies that want to seize the chance to work in the healthcare field,” says Duane Bender, Principal Investigator, at the Mohawk Applied Research Centre. The Centre has already worked with dozens of private and public sector partners across Canada to test and prototype eHealth applications to ensure they’ll run on the HIAL network.

Coral CEA partners with Ontario software firms and pursues commercialization through Open Innovation – a business model that combines best practices from both Open Source and commercial development to allow developers to share risk and return on the creation of new software. Once they become members, Ontario software companies can both take advantage of and contribute to Coral CEA technology to accelerate development and market entry. Coral CEA is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation with $9.3 million dollars over five years. The private sector also provides in-kind assistance. Coral CEA is currently working with 50 Ontario software companies.

Through its Open Innovation approach, Coral CEA wants to boost the sale of Ontario-made eHealth software products that can be exported around the world in the same way Salesforce.com, Google Inc. and Apple Inc. have created global software ecosystems around their innovations. Global demand exists starting with the United States, the number one market for Ontario software exports. The U.S. healthcare system costs twice as much as any other nation based on percentage of GDP spent on healthcare, yet a Commonwealth Fund report from June of 2010 states the U.S. system delivers lower quality and lower efficiencies. Warren Buffett, the legendary U.S. business investor says the high cost of healthcare puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage.

Canada’s heathcare situation is also ripe for innovation. In June of this year Health Canada provided an update on Canada’s healthcare system. Canadians now spend nearly $200 billion dollars annually for healthcare. Ontario and Quebec already spend over half of provincial revenues on health care, and four more provinces – Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and New Brunswick – will reach that mark by 2017. A Fraser Institute report of April 2011 calls health care funding, “a genuine financial crisis”. 

 

About Coral CEA

Coral CEA is a not-for-profit Open Innovation network composed of member companies and organizations focused on the commercialization of Communications Enabled Applications (CEAs). Coral CEA was founded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), Carleton University, IBM, GENBAND, Eclipse Foundation and ITAC. The mandate is to create sustainable companies and jobs by supporting members in the commercialization process of new products and services. This includes business development, distribution and brokering of alliance and capital relationships

About Mohawk Applied Research Centre (MARC)

MARC is a leader in the application of information technology to healthcare and currently developing eHealth infrastructure and integration solutions. Through a partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Canada Health Infoway, MARC staff are building a prototype of pan-Canadian Electronic Health Record System (EHRS). The Centre’s work is reflective of top-tier software engineering, and the techniques developed are readily transferrable to other parts of Canada and the world.

 

Coral CEA contacts

Brian Forbes
Executive Director 
Phone: 613-317-2118
Email: bforbes@coralcea.ca

Paul Brent 
Senior Communications Strategist
market2world communications inc.
Phone: 613-256-3939
Email: paul@market2world.com

 

Mohawk College Contact

Duane Bender
Principal Investigator
Phone: 905-536-6095
Email: duane.bender@mohawkcollege.ca

 

Simon says: Five things I learned at Startup Weekend Hamilton

Simon Woodside is the CEO of Monolith Interactive

I first started a company in 2004, and over the years, memory has softened those early days of chaos and struggled into a hazy glow. This weekend brought back some key lessons into sharp relief — lessons that I should have remembered better, because they still apply to what I’m doing today.

1. Passion matters

My group had some serious passion going on. Passion is the beating heart of a startup, without it you might as well go home. Investors can detect it and it’s one of the essential tick-boxes on their clipboards. Co-founders feed off it. Potential customers are seduced by it. Passionate people, like Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, Larry Ellison, can at times be difficult, but that’s just a side-effect of their driving desire to succeed. You need that driving passion to get through the chasm between initial idea and successful execution.

2. Pivot fast

One of the groups started out with an idea that was technically infeasible, but instead of giving up and going home, they proved their worth as a team by pivoting. Instead of trying to determine the calories in a meal through image recognition, they quickly switched to using iphone’s new voice recognition. The former would have required a team of PhD’s and a budget of millions, the latter could be demonstrated in a weekend.

3. Process matters

When my group first met in our own room, I listened as they talked from topic to topic in a jumble of asides and randomness. I waited for a while and then suggested we set up an agenda — figure out what we needed to do by the end of the day on Sunday. This simple process allowed us to step back and set up a series of stages, like brainstorming, market research, design, development, writing the presentation.

We also used the flipchart heavily. As we filled each sheet with notes, we taped it up on the wall. Pretty soon we were literally surrounded on all sides by ideas, which helped us keep track of what we’d done and were going to do.

4. Know your customer

Four of my group went out to farmer’s markets on saturday to talk to our target market, farmers and shoppers. This provided valuable insight into what they wanted and needed, and their interest gave us our first validation that the concept was sound. That really boosted the group.

I stayed behind but phoned a local organic farmer, a family friend, and interviewed her for about half an hour. What we learned helped us focus on extreme ease-of-use for non-technical farmers, and on specialized buyers who are chasing after a particular kind of apple, a rare imported herb, etc.

If the company continues, it will need to spend an enormous amount of time living with farmers and buyers in order to understand exactly what they will pay for. You can’t sit in a room and guess — you have to go out and ask and listen.

5. Hamilton has a lot of work to do

After the pitches, all of my preferred ideas were eliminated in voting. I was shocked! In my opinion, the voting showed that the participants — at the beginning at least — had poor judgement for the practicality of building a product in a weekend. And, they lacked and understanding of what a viable business opportunity looked like.

Why did that happen? I put it down to the immaturity of the tech startup community in Hamilton. Only a tiny proportion of the participants had ever started up before. It’s a knowledge vacuum that we are filling with events like this one, innovation factory’s programs, DemoCampHamilton, and others.

 

StartUp Weekend Hamilton1: A Resounding Success!

Originally posted on CanuckSEO.com.

Yup, the best weekend I’ve ever spent in #HamOnt is over and I can tell you that it was “best” not only for me, for the 100+ attendants and participants but for the city of Hamilton itself!

Everyone won and the big news is that everyone will continue to win!

First, the sponsors deserve credit for their participation and belief that holding our first ever StartUp Weekend here in Hamilton would be an event that they could take a-hold of and use to promote our city and our new culture of startups! So a big thanks to Innovation Factory, to Intelex, to McMaster Innovation Park, to Inceptive Solutions, Mohawk College, SoftMills and SoftwareHamilton too….their ability, skills and yes cash helped get this event up and running!

Next, I must also thank especially the team at our RIC, the Innovation Factory for their efforts and attention to details that made the registration, running and judging of the contest once again, the best I’ve ever been at hands down! I must mention Stephanie, Tammy, Mike, Keanin, Peter Smith, Robin Hopper and especially Ron Neumann too, who all worked very very hard both behind the scenes and out front too to make exactly the right “feel” happen for our more than a hundred participants and startup founders too!

Beginning last Friday nite, with an open mic call to any entrepreneur in the audience who had an idea, we saw I believe over 25+ such ideas for startups broached and expounded upon by contest participants. They showed their passion and their belief that what they wanted to build in 54 hours over the weekend would be both an attainable goal as well as an actual up-and-running company by Sunday night judging time! And what a wide assortment of ideas we all heard….many for hi-tech apps, new social media ideas, communitys and more!

Once that was done, then all of the participants voted for their own choice of what they thought they’d like to see attempted and then once the final 7 company ideas were chosen based on those votes, the participants signed up to “work” on their own choice. This part I watched pretty intently as I saw coders and marketing types, biz development types and sales folks walk from idea to idea and listen to the founding members talk about their idea at great depth – then move on to hear them all. But in about half an hour, the teams were all self-picked and then registered – and work on each of these projects began! And each of the teams picked out their won project names too – Sochi, MoveGroove, GeoFresh, Caltrakr, Accension Labs, Alterative Pollution Cleanup Solutions, and ShoutOutUs as they began to work on their startup ideas. And a phrase that I learned this past weekend, is that this kind of a startup weekend promotes “co-founder dating” which is a plus for all the participants, eh! Talk about passion…these entrepreneurs were poster boys for same, eh!

And that work continued over the next 54 hours too….with some team changes and I believe one drop-out too…but the hardy pushed on and as I watched and went from room to room to see and hear and mentor them all, what I noticed was the great depth and degree of vetting and verification of ideas with great results. I was asked by a couple of the startups to help in depth and offered up same, as did many of the half-dozen or so mentors that were present. We werent’ allowed to code or do any actual hands-on technical skill items, but we were asked to help by offering up advice, counsel and even point the startups at what we know works…and it was so dang pleasant that from my own perspective, that the startup founders were all totally “coachable” – they listened, they asked qualifying queries, they filtered our counsel and then used it! Nothing makes a mentor feel better than to offer up help that is not only accepted but then really used to fine-tune a slide-deck and presentation….and I mean nothing!

Saturday was full of the visits from room to room to room….talking, asking queries on their marketing and projections, asking for details on their marketsize and their customer profiles….and while at first there were some blank stares and honest “don’t know” answers…by the end of Saturday, what I began to hear back was fulfilled research and knowledge. Sure, ideas morphed and varied even from the origianal Friday night offer….but that too is business and founders need to learn that as well…that pivoting can happen for a variety of reasons and that “staying the course” in light of new research can often be fraught with issues. Oh, did I mention the wonderful food? Our Innovation Factory stalwarts, Stephanie and Tammy and Mike worked dang hard to get us great – and I do mean great food! Pizza and Portugese subs and shwarma and muffins and tons of other items including those teensy chocolate bars that just disappear in a mouthful…I must have gained 5 lbs, but it truly was a nice surprise having such great food looked after by same! #bigFoodKudosToo!

And then it was Sunday and more of the same, counsel and queries and then the presi’s themselves….rough at first. Then polished, with some slides disappearing while others were added….with the founders gaining confidence and skill at making their pitches….and listening to solid call-to-actions…..it made me personally proud of what I saw and learned….these are truly our future business leaders….and I know that for a fact!

Sunday night’s presentations of the seven ideas went off without a hitch! All seven of the founding ideas were well presented and all seven made full pitches for their own needs when it came to the judging by the distinguished panel of 5 judges who were — Julie Ellis (Co-Founder of Mabel’s Labels), Peter Smith (Managing Partner at The Meaford Group), Ted Scott (Dean of Applied Research at Mohawk College), and Mark Stewart (Director of Operations at McMaster Innovation Park) and Derek Ho (CEO of Inceptive Solutions) awarded prizes to 3 companies: a business plan pack package from Inceptive Solutions went to MoveGroove. A branding package and website from Inceptive Solutions along with a credit for Amazon Web Services was given to Caltrakr.

And the grand prize of a 6 month incubation package from Mohawk College, a $2000 grant from Inceptive Solutions, and a spot at DemoCampHamilton4 was awarded to Sochi. In addition, Enthuzr awarded a $1000 credit for their services to Sochi, who demonstrated the most popularity online thought their use of social media and has at this point 821 LIKE fans on Facebook too!

And why did I title this post “StartUp Weekend Hamilton1? Because I like every single other person at MIPs over the weekend realized…that we need to do this again…and again….and I hope the planning for #2 begins soon! Got an idea? Want to start a biz in 54 hours? Me too…and when same is announced, it’ll appear right here when I blog about same…so see you all at StartUp Weekend Hamilton2!