It has been so long since our last DemoCamp – number eighteen took place way back in March! A lot has happened in the interim, most notably that Startup Edmonton has completely moved into the Mercer Warehouse and it has definitely become the home of startups in our city. It’s really great to see the energy and momentum continually building! Even with all of that activity however, DemoCamp remains an important part of the ecosystem. It’s a great opportunity to see what local entrepreneurs are building and to connect with lots of people in the community.
Tonight’s event was back at the Telus Centre on the University of Alberta campus, and featured five demos (in order of appearance):
- Patrick Pilarski from the Alberta Innovates Centre for Machine Learning (AICML) kicked things off with a very cool demo that involved a robot! He leads the organization’s Adaptive Prosthetics Project, which is focused on creating intelligent artificial limbs for amputees. In the demo he used sensors on his own arm to control the arms of a small robot, but also to train the algorithm. This video probably explains it better than I can – it’s so great that we have stuff like this happening in Edmonton:
- Tim Tuxworth was up next to show us Go-Taxi. This was the first demo that I can remember to feature a live Skype video call as Tim called a taxi driver to help with the demo! Unfortunately he ran into some technical issues, but I think everyone got the idea. The app helps taxi companies manage requests, and helps clients book a taxi and see its current location on a map. It’s a neat idea!
- Next up we had Brandon Webber and Tim Fletcher who demoed Monogram. Essentially it provides a public profile on the web for Instagram users, but that’s just the start. Eventually Monogram will support other services like Vimeo, SoundCloud, and Etsy. It’s a very beautifully designed tool! With Instagram working on a web presence though, they’ll need to get some other services supported quickly.
- Our penultimate demo was by Rakesh Soni who showed us LoginRadius. It’s a suite of products that help businesses integrate “social infrastructure” such as login, analytics, and sharing. The idea is that LoginRadius is easier to integrate than all of the various social networking APIs, so you as the developer only have to learn one thing. I was happy to hear it was built with .NET and runs on Azure!
- The duo of Sean Solbak and Shawn Sidoruk had the final demo of the evening, DibsIn. It’s a mobile app that allows shoppers to view a list of deals in the area. So if you’re downtown, you might see a deal at That Hat. When you redeem a deal, you get to spin a virtual “Price is Right” wheel to determine the exact amount of the discount. It’s pretty slick, and they have over 20 local merchants participating already!
I’m a fan of diving straight into the demo, so I could have done without some of the preamble and intro video stuff that went on tonight, but I think the demos went pretty well for the most part. Kudos to the audience for asking some great questions tonight! I also want to give props to Monogram and DibsIn because both feature “Made in Edmonton” on their websites!
There were a bunch of announcements throughout the evening about some cool stuff coming up:
- Startup Edmonton has a number of courses coming up. Everybody Can Code runs on Monday evenings throughout October, for instance. Check out the full list here.
- Edmonton Girl Geek Dinners will have another event coming up soon – stay tuned to their Twitter feed for details!
- The fall session of Preflight for Tech Startups begins on October 1st.
- TEDxEdmonton Education takes place on October 13 at the Winspear Centre. It’s going to be an amazing day full of discussion about how learning is impacting our schools, workplaces and industries.
- Registration is now open for WordCamp Edmonton 2012! This year’s event runs November 16-17.
- It seems like there’s always something interesting happening in the Startup Edmonton space. Check the calendar for more events!
See you at DemoCamp Edmonton 20!