Tonight was the grand opening of ENTS, the Edmonton New Technology Society. Located just a short walk from downtown at 10575 114 Street, ENTS is “a group of people from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada sharing a collaborative space in Edmonton to teach, learn and work on projects together.” Don’t be confused – ENTS is both a society and a physical space. It’s a place for members of the local tech community (by members of the local tech community) to go to work, socialize, and learn.
The space has come a long way since I last saw it over the summer! Vice-President Rob Davy was our host for the evening. He started in “the middle space” by thanking everyone for coming (over 40 people were there at 7pm, with more coming and going throughout the evening) and gave a brief introduction to ENTS. He then led us to “the orange space” for a virtual ribbon cutting using the Microsoft Surface! The ribbon app was developed by ENTS member Grant Bowering.
Bruce, the landlord of the building, cooked free hotdogs for everyone downstairs. I chatted with him a bit, and asked what the most interesting part of the journey with ENTS had been thus far. His reply? “The stuff they bring in…there’s always something else interesting coming in!” Tonight was no exception – about a dozen ENTS members helped move a giant (and very heavy) rack server enclosure up to the space. It was a good team building experience! There was also a “punch-bag revolution”, Rock Band, a sound board, various robots, a Roomba with a netbook strapped to it, and lots of other cool stuff on hand.
The rack server and all of its components came from local social networking company Nexopia. What is ENTS going to do with it? No one is really sure. Like the rest of the tech stuff they have acquired, it’s there for members to learn about and use, if they are creative enough to come up with something. “Think about the potential, and let’s make it happen” is what Rob told everyone.
Congrats to ENTS for a great event and on making the vision a reality! I know there is still work to be done, but they’re now ready for regular use by members (you can become one here). It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.