Recap: DemoCamp Edmonton 16

democampTonight was our sixteenth DemoCamp here in Edmonton. Held at the Telus Centre on the University of Alberta campus, DemoCamp is still going strong in our city! Tonight’s event continued the new format adopted at the last DemoCamp in September: 7 minutes for demos, 3 minutes for questions, and announcements interspersed throughout the evening.

DemoCamp Edmonton 16
Reg has been the official DemoCamp Edmonton timekeeper since the beginning!

We had seven demos tonight, in order of appearance:

  • TinderizerDaniel demoed his bookmarklet app that lets you send articles from around the web to your Kindle with the click of a button. There are similar services available now (like Readability) but Daniel has continued improving his offering since first releasing it a year ago.
  • Transit Heat Map – Next up was an interesting web app that helps you visualize how many stops you can reach within a certain amount of time. After you pick a starting stop, you can quickly discover which parts of the city are accessible within 15 minutes, and which parts might take an hour. Reminded me a bit of Mapnificent.
  • Browser HordeKevin demoed a web-based platform for solving complex problems. Similarly to SETI@Home and other distributed computing systems, complicated problems are broken down and solved using computing resources from volunteers. The difference is that Browser Horde runs entirely in the browser.
  • Darkhorse Analytics – Daniel ran us through the web-based analytics app that Darkhorse has been building for the Emergency Services industry. The app consumes data that EMS agencies already collect, such as trip times, wait times, etc., and provides an easy-to-use dashboard to make sense of that information.
  • Solvers Market – Alex demoed his question and answer site, billed as “an intelligence exchange platform.” Similar to StackExchange and other sites you can post a question for others to answer, but the site also incorporates money, so you can earn money for solving questions.
  • Fluik EntertainmentVictor showed the very successful Office Jerk game and its successors, Office Zombie and a new Christmas-themed version of the game. Office Jerk reached #1 on the iOS app charts.
  • Willstream – Joel demoed the mobile payments solution that is currently focused on the market in Senegal. The idea is to build a service that supports the three-party interaction that is common in developing markets (funds owner, spender, and merchant).

DemoCamp Edmonton 16 DemoCamp Edmonton 16 DemoCamp Edmonton 16 DemoCamp Edmonton 16 DemoCamp Edmonton 16 DemoCamp Edmonton 16 DemoCamp Edmonton 16

I’m not sure there was a clear favorite this evening – all of the demos were great! I love seeing projects like Tinderizer and the Transit Heat Map, built to solve a specific problem without requiring big plans for commercialization. Browser Horde is perhaps a bit technical, but seems suited to some specific problem domains and if they can find enough volunteers, could be quite successful. Darkhorse Analytics certainly seems like it could be a big, big winner. The research and effort that Daniel and his team have put into the product really shows, and I think a lot of folks in the audience were really impressed with the demo. Solvers Market demoed a couple weeks ago at PanEx, and while interesting, still needs to find a clear differentiator in a crowded market. Willstream’s demo unfortunately didn’t go very well (they had some issues with data being deleted today) but I think the concept has promise. I hope they can make it work.

Fluik has become a great Edmonton success story, and seems poised to continue producing hits and to keep growing (they’re already at 20 people and are hiring). Office Jerk was released on April 28, 2011 and immediately found success. Growth has continued ever since, with the game being downloaded more than six million times in just its first month. Keep an eye on Fluik!

There were a number of event and other announcements this evening:

  • The YEG Founders Club is getting started. The group aims to provide a place for entrepreneurs to connect with one another. Follow @yegfounders on Twitter and watch for more information.
  • The next Founders & Funders event will take place on December 5. The invite-only event is an opportunity for founders of technology startups to connect with investors.
  • MediaCamp Edmonton is scheduled to take place on February 4, 2012.
  • Grant MacEwan University is launching a usability lab, and would like to open it up to community. You can contact Sharon Bratt for more information.
  • The next Startup Weekend is scheduled for January 27, 2012 and will coincide with Global Game Jam.

Stay tuned to Startup Edmonton for additional events and announcements!

Tonight’s after-party at Original Joe’s Varsity didn’t seem as packed as some in the past, but it was still a great opportunity to connect with the demoers and others in the community. Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. See you at DemoCamp Edmonton 17!