Recap: DemoCampEdmonton2

Tonight was Edmonton’s second DemoCamp – an opportunity for local startups and entrepreneurs to show the community what they’ve been working on. The venue and overall vibe of the event tonight was a bit different than the first DemoCamp, but I think it’s safe to say that DemoCampEdmonton2 was a success.

Again, we had six demos:

  1. Boris Djordjevic from Frontier Solutions
  2. Jack Newton from Clio
  3. Bruce Johnson and Scott Montgomerie from Zigtag
  4. Scott Winder from Boreal Systems
  5. Toby Spendiff from nForm
  6. Patrick Lor showed us a.viary.com

Frontier makes a product called SiteGears that helps companies bring products to market by integrating with businesses at all levels of the product lifecycle. Clio is a practice management service targeted at small law firms. Zigtag is in the social bookmarking space, and see themselves as the “future of search” in the long-run. Boreal Systems make an operations management application for companies in the energy industry. nForm makes a SharePoint add-on called Midori that helps small teams manage projects. And last but not least, a.viary is bringing the power of Photoshop to the web.

DemoCampEdmonton2

My “demo of the night” goes to Clio, with honorable mentions to both Boreal Systems and nForm. Clio’s app is very slick looking, and you can tell they’ve done their homework. They’re focusing on lawyers right now (Jack said that roughly half of the 1.2 million law firms in North America need something like Clio) but it’s easy to see how the app could be applied to other types of practices (like accounting). What I liked about Boreal was that although their app didn’t feel very modern at all, they had good reasons for doing everything they did (such as keeping the concept of a whiteboard schedule). And finally, nForm actually changed data live. They showed Midori actually working…that rocked!

Here’s more on DemoCampEdmonton2 and the participating companies:

  • My initial headcount was 61, but I suspect the final number was closer to 75 as people continued to trickle in all evening long.
  • Two demos used Windows XP, two used Windows Vista, and two used Mac OS X.
  • Clio, Zigtag, and a.viary are all hosted/SaaS solutions. Boreal Systems and Midori are both traditional host-it-yourself solutions. SiteGears is a combination of both.
  • SiteGears is primarily Java, Clio is Ruby on Rails, Zigtag is primarily Java, Boreal is almost finished migrating from PHP to Ruby, Midori is ASP.NET, and a.viary is Flash and Flex.
  • Again, we had a very diverse crowd. John Bristowe and Patrick Lor made it up from Calgary. James Matsuba, who won the Student Business Plan competition at this year’s VenturePrize, was in the crowd. Investors included Spencer Ord and Ken Gordon. Was great to see lots of new and familiar faces alike!

As I mentioned, the vibe was a bit different than the first DemoCamp which was held at the U of A. Choosing a bar as the venue makes for a more comfortable evening (with food and drinks) but it was a little harder to hear the presenters and questions. Another downside was the lack of free wifi, which kept me from liveblogging the event on Twitter.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Patrick Lor got up to present. Cam shared with everyone that Patrick was the driving force behind DemoCamp in both Calgary and Edmonton, so it was good for him to receive a round of applause as thanks from the Edmonton crowd.

Speaking of Calgary, Patrick mentioned that BarCampCalgary is happening on June 14th, so mark your calendars!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight – see you at DemoCampEdmonton3! You can see some more photos of the event here. This post also appears at Techvibes.

UPDATE: For a more descriptive recap of the demos, check out Eric’s post.

DemoCampEdmonton2

democamp The second DemoCamp in Edmonton now has a date! It will be held at the Billiard Club on Tuesday, May 20th, at 6:30pm. So far there are going to be demos from Coolite and nForm. If you’d like to demo or attend, sign up at the wiki!

I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Billiard Club; here’s a brief intro from their website:

The Billiard Club is located on the second floor of Old Strathcona’s historic
Post Office building. The Billiard Club is a landmark in an area rich in heritage, culture and diversity. After more than ten years of business in this location, The Billiard Club has established itself as an institution on Whyte Ave.

Sounds interesting! Here’s the Google Local map/entry for it.

You can read my recap of DemoCampEdmonton1 here. Hope to see you at #2!

DemoCampEdmonton1

democampedmonton I meant to blog about this earlier and simply forgot. Tomorrow evening I’ll be attending the first ever DemoCamp here in Edmonton. Wondering what a DemoCamp is? It’s a kind of BarCamp:

DemoCamp is a variation of the un-conference style of event, started by the TorCamp group as an excuse to have more regular meetings.

Essentially a bunch of people get together and a few of them demo something they are working on. The only rules are that you can’t use PowerPoint or slideshows (you need to have something to demo) and that you’re limited to 10 minutes.

You can read more about DemoCamp here, and about BarCamp at Wikipedia.

If you’d like to come to tomorrow night’s event, here are the details:

Date: Wednesday March 26, 2008
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Location: University of Alberta School of Business B-9
All are welcome! & It is free to attend.

The event is also listed at Upcoming and on Facebook.

If you can’t make it, check out this page for future camps, and the BarCampEdmonton blog.