DemoCamp Edmonton 13

Sick of hibernating inside because of all the snow and cold weather? Join us on Wednesday evening for Edmonton’s next DemoCamp – lucky number 13! If you’ve never been to DemoCamp before, it’s time to stop missing out. There is no better opportunity to connect with Edmonton’s technology and startup community. Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: Telus Centre 150, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Freesign up
See the event on ShareEdmonton or on Facebook.

The rules for DemoCamp are simple: ten minutes to demo real, working software, followed by a few minutes for questions. No slides allowed. You can read my recap of our last DemoCamp here (the archive of recaps is here).

If you can’t make it on Wednesday, follow along online using the #democampyeg hashtag. Stay tuned to Startup Edmonton for more technology and startup events.

See you Wednesday evening!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton9

I feel like a broken record, but I really think tonight was our largest crowd ever for DemoCamp! It’s just amazing to see so many people who care about the technology industry and local entrepreneurs come out to show their support, learn something, and connect with one another. Kudos to everyone who continues to help make DemoCamp the fantastic event it has become by showing up and spreading the word! Special shout out tonight to NAIT’s Digital and Interactive Media Design (DIMD) group – I understand there were a couple dozen students in attendance!

As usual, we had six demos:

  • Victor Rubba from CrazedCoders got things started by demoing a side project – an iPhone game called Pik’s Revenge. It’ll appear in the App Store soon for $1.99, and is the first in a series of roughly four chapters. It includes 4 movies, 8 comics, and 2-5 hours of gameplay. I loved Victor’s demo because there was no talking for the first half, just gameplay being demoed.
  • Next up was Reg Cheramy and Scott Montgomerie who demoed their new Facebook app called Book That Bet. Built simply to “scratch an itch”, the app lets you track wagers with your friends, making use of the social graph on Facebook. It’s written in Ruby on Rails and is intentionally simple to start. Reg and Scott had a good demo, but actually received more love for their other app, OneClap.
  • Third tonight was Logan Foster who demoed a Kongregate game called Team Battle. It’s a Flash-based, real-time fighting game with some interesting graphics creation (3D models to 2D sprites). The intent is not to create a World of Warcraft competitor, but rather a game to play in your spare time.
  • Next up was Andrew Czarnietzki from 3D Interactive Inc. or 3DI. He demoed a really interesting simulation built for Caterpillar. Powered by the Unreal engine, Andrew described the simulator as a “serious game” – basically they bring game technology to the business world. The level of detail in the simulator was just incredible. Andrew did a good job of balancing the demo part with the talking part.
  • Fifth tonight was Colin Bramm who demoed SelfChecker, an online quiz authoring tool. The idea is to make it easy for teachers to create questions that can be shared with students via a simple link. Students take the test and see feedback immediately.
  • Last but not least was Ken Bautista who demoed his 2009 Venture Prize award winning solution called CIE: See Your Own Proof. An online community for kids, CIE hosts missions and other activities, and includes a whole social networking element as well. Interestingly, CIE combines the online and offline world with “field missions” in which kids visit real museums to learn and explore. The beta starts next week!

Most of the demos tonight were for projects that have been in the works for quite some time. I think it’s safe to say that the game demos did not go as well as expected. It turns out that demoing a game is harder than it sounds, particularly because you only get ten minutes! I think it was Graham who said something like “if you can’t play the game, then it had better be entertaining to watch with explosions or something!” I think I agree – the game demos just weren’t as exciting as everyone hoped. The fact that we had multiple game demos probably didn’t help.

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Photos taken as folks were still coming in. It filled up even more!

I think Ken’s demo was definitely a favorite, as people seemed really excited about CIE. The demo of the night has to go to Andrew though, for offering us a peek at some really awesome technology and for keeping the demo entertaining, informative, and on time.

There were a few announcements made this evening:

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. Thanks also to Eric and the Free-Wifi project for getting everyone connected.

See you at DemoCampEdmonton10!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton8

I almost can’t believe our last DemoCamp was so long ago! I think it’s safe to say that DemoCampEdmonton8 was worth the wait, however. We had probably our largest crowd ever – the entire room at ETLC was packed. I’m not sure the pictures do it justice! We also had a great set of demos – well done to all the presenters this evening, everyone really brought their ‘A’ game.

Here are the six demos we had tonight:

  • First up was Dub5, demoing an application they built for the Student Health Initiative for the Needs of Edmonton (SHINE). Essentially it is a scheduling application that solves the common problem of assigning volunteer shifts and dealing with cancellations and other issues. Very slick interface, which was a trend for the evening.
  • Next up was Skeptographers, a project of the Edmonton Skeptics. The application is best described as a collaborative podcast. Anyone can submit a segment for inclusion in the next podcast, and the community can comment and vote on each segment. Really cool stuff.
  • Third was an iPhone app called MyStops. While Google Maps is great at giving you transit directions from one point to another, it sucks at repeat routes. MyStops lets you save your usual routes, so that you have easy access to bus and LRT schedules. The cool thing about it is that it uses the ETS Google Transit data that was released back in May. The app will work with both iPhones and iPods.
  • Fourth was Yardstick Software. The product they demoed is called Yardstick Measure and is an online tool that enables anyone to quickly generate a professional testing site. Very slick UI and focused feature set, whereas its sister products (ProTraining & ProExams) are much more complex and feature-rich.
  • Fifth was Digital Media Jobs, a job board for individuals and organizations in the digital media space. Unlike other job boards, the goal with DMJ is to help the local community get connected with one another. Again, DMJ featured a very clean UI.
  • Last but not least was one of the most interesting demos we’ve ever had at DemoCamp in Edmonton: ReJoyCE from Rehabtronics. It’s a combination software-hardware solution to help rehabilitate people suffering from neurological impairments. They’ve successfully gone through a number of clinical trials and are looking to commercialize. Patients play a number of “games” that were designed with the help of therapists. Truly amazing stuff.

All of the demos were so great, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I think ReJoyCE is fascinating because of the impact it will have on the lives of so many people (and the fact that it is backed up by real medical research). I’m really happy we got to see some homegrown technology from the health sector. My favorite was probably MyStops, however. It’s something I’d use every day, and for 99 cents, I think plenty of other Edmontonians will as well. It’s also a great example of what can be done with open data. The team behind it plan to add support for the other cities that publish Google Transit data as well.

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Fortunately, no one showed us their registration page tonight. I think that contributed to the overall quality of tonight’s demos.

A couple of announcements about upcoming events:

  • Twestival is happening Thursday, September 10th! Come help us support the Youth Emergency Shelter Society!
  • Next Thursday, September 17th, ENTS is holding their grand opening!
  • Edmonton Code Camp is taking place on Saturday, September 19th.
  • FITC Edmonton is taking place on October 17th and 18th.

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. See you at DemoCampEdmonton9!

DemoCampEdmonton8

Unfortunately the leaves have already started changing colors on some of the trees and the mornings are getting progressively cooler. The good news about fall? It means that DemoCamp is back! Join us at the University of Alberta in two weeks to see what local tech entrepreneurs are up to. As usual, we’ll head over to RATT after the demos for Edmonton’s best networking opportunity for tech professionals. Here are the details for #8:

Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: E1 017, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free sign up

The rules for DemoCamp are simple: ten minutes to demo real, working software, followed by a few minutes for questions. No slides allowed. You can learn more here. Our last DemoCamp took place on May 13th – you can read my recap here.

If you’re planning to come out, sign up here!

Help us spread the word – check out the BarCamp Edmonton blog and our Facebook group. Be sure to tag your tweets, posts, photos, and other content with democampyeg.

Hope to see you there!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton7

Another successful DemoCamp is in the books! Tonight was our seventh here in Edmonton. I didn’t actually count the attendance this time, but I’d say it was a bit less than DCE6. Still a strong turnout and some great demos. Tonight we did something new as well – a “hack” demo. The idea is to show one really rough project at each event. Reg and Sean started things off with TwitClipper, a bookmarklet service to tweet highlighted text via Twitter’s OAuth API. Impressively, it was built on the 3-hour drive down to Calgary for their last DemoCamp!

We had five demos tonight:

  • Chris Olsen showed us LeagueSmart, a recreational sports league management application. It’s unique in that it attempts to get team admins and players involved in addition to the league organizers.
  • James Matsuba showed us IdleTime, a service that aims to help you make money with your spare time. It’s like Monster.com for part-time and one-off jobs. You can both search for and post jobs.
  • Shawn Abbott showed us one of his portfolio companies, Tynt. They have demoed before, but now have a new direction and app called Tracer. It lets you see what people are copying and pasting from your site.
  • Andre Prefontaine showed us MapKat, a map-based service that lets you create a diary and slideshow of your trips and adventures.
  • Sean Healy and Joel Jackson showed us SnackPanda, or tried to. They had a bunch of technical issues, but essentially it’s an online ordering system for restaurants that do delivery.

The general feeling I got from talking to people afterward was that all the demos were fairly impressive. The favorite seemed to be Tynt, probably because of their slick “copy/paste heat map” which shows you the sections of text on your website that were copied the most. I thought IdleTime looked great too, a very polished UI.

Tweet of the night definitely goes to Graham Batty, who said:

Why does everyone always want to show us their signup page? They’re all the same. #democampyeg

So true. Perhaps we’ll have to incorporate that into the unofficial DemoCamp rules!

Two event announcements tonight: TransitCampEdmonton, taking place on May 30th, and BarCampEdmonton2, taking place on June 13th. Stay tuned for details on both of those!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. See you at the next event!

UPDATE: Rob Davy posted some videos of the evening here. Thanks Rob!

DemoCampEdmonton7

Are you ready for another DemoCamp? Our next event here in Edmonton is coming up fast, on May 13th! Join us at the University of Alberta to see what local tech entrepreneurs are up to. As usual, we’ll head over to RATT after the demos for Edmonton’s best networking opportunity for tech professionals. If you’re new to DemoCamp, check out my recap of our last event. Here are the details for #7:

Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: E1 017, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

The rules for DemoCamp are simple: ten minutes to demo real, working software, followed by a few minutes for questions. No slides allowed.

This time we’ve got a fantastic new sign up page for both attendees and anyone interested in demoing at this event or in the future. No more wiki craziness – just enter your name and click Register!

Help us spread the word – check out the BarCamp Edmonton blog and our Facebook group. Be sure to tag your tweets, posts, photos, and other content with democampyeg.

Hope to see you there!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton6

Last night was our sixth DemoCamp here in Edmonton, and I think it was probably our best yet. We had around 140 people in attendance, which isn’t much different than DCE4 but it somehow seemed bigger. Maybe it was all the cameras and video cameras? We had Peter Urban and the Smibs TV team record all the demos – watch for the video there soon. I was also really surprised that so many people had never been to DemoCamp before. We’re definitely reaching new people, and I think that’s great!

We had five demos:

  • I showed the first little bit of ShareEdmonton, and EdmontonTechScene. It wasn’t the best demo in the world, but it wasn’t bad for having just two days 🙂
  • Graham Batty showed us bittablog, an interesting microblogging service that he recently cooked up.
  • Ryan Leland showed his unique take on social networking – you-vs-me. It was a definite crowd pleaser thanks to the humorous topics like Cougar-vs-Bear. You can use the democamp invite code to check it out.
  • Mark Matichuk showed us Clinitrust, a secure messaging platform for medical professionals.
  • Our final demo was Peter Urban and Paul Bellows, who showed us their new joint venture (between Smibs and Yellow Pencil). It’s a tool to help move content from one CMS to another.

The general consensus afterward was that Peter & Paul’s was the demo of the night. Though they did a little too much talking in my opinion, the product is definitely intriguing. It’s not hard to see that there’s a big market for what they are doing. It’ll be a time saver, indeed. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of it soon.

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See what I mean about the tripods and cameras? After the demos almost everyone wandered over to RATT (Room At The Top) in the Students’ Union Building. A little too much drinking and karaoke ensued, but it was a fun time!

Twitter featured more prominently this time at DemoCamp. We had TwitterFall up on the big screen before we got started, and that encouraged lots of people to start tweeting. Soon after the demos started, we broke into the top ten trending topics at Twitter Search, and eventually rose as high as #7. Very cool!

Don’t miss Walter & Alain’s great list, 10 things I liked about DemoCamp Edmonton 6. Brittney also has a funny post of fun facts about DemoCamp Edmonton 6. Also, Cam and I did an interview with The Gateway, who wrote about DemoCamp and IDEAfest today.

I can’t wait until DCE7! Thanks to everyone who came out last night. If you’d like to be notified about future DemoCamp and BarCamp events in Edmonton, sign up for the mailing list here.

DemoCampEdmonton6

It’s DemoCamp time again here in Edmonton! In just three short weeks we’ll once again converge at the University of Alberta to see what local tech entrepreneurs are up to. Following the demos we’ll head over to a local pub for Edmonton’s best networking opportunity for tech professionals (we’ll probably be at Hudson’s on Campus this time, instead of The Windsor). You can read about our last DemoCamp here. Here are the details for #6:

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: E1 013, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

The rules for DemoCamp are simple: ten minutes to demo real, working software, followed by a few minutes for questions. No slides allowed. If you’d like to demo, make sure you’ve attended at least one DemoCamp in the past, and add yourself to the signup list.

Please help us spread the word – we’d like to make this the biggest DemoCamp Edmonton yet! Let’s fill the room. Check out the BarCamp Edmonton blog, our Facebook group, the Facebook event, and the wiki page. Be sure to tag your tweets, posts, photos, and other content with democampyeg.

See you in early March!

Recap: DemoCampEdmonton5

Tonight we held our first DemoCamp of 2009, once again in ETLC at the University of Alberta. Despite some cold weather, slick roads, and an Oilers game (featuring the return of Mats Sundin) we still had at least 75 people in attendance tonight at DemoCampEdmonton5. A great way to start the new year!

We had five demos tonight:

  • Randy Troppmann showed us RunningMap.com, an online tool for running enthusiasts to track and share routes. Users can map a route, view elevation, add photos and other points of interest, and more.
  • Mark Donovan from Titan Gaming Inc. showed us Titan Strike, a social networking platform for games. It features team and guild management, a built-in awards system, and tournaments. The idea is to have game publishers use Titan to build an online community around their games.
  • Timo Ewalds of Nexopia fame showed us one of his side projects – artificial intelligence for the game Pentago. It was without a doubt the most technical demo we’ve ever had, but it was fascinating to hear Timo describe everything he had to do to get it working well.
  • Victor Rubba from CrazedCoders showed us the UI they designed for the new Linksys MediaHub, just announced today at CES. It’s a Flash interface unlike anything you’ve ever seen before on a Linksys device.
  • Matt Skopyk showed us his Seizure Violin. It’s hard to describe in text, but essentially he’s using instruments and computers together to manipulate electronic music. Very cool stuff.

Just like last time, all of the demos went very well and looked very slick.

DemoCampEdmonton5DemoCampEdmonton5

I think my “demo of the night” goes to CrazedCoders, with Matt Skopyk very close behind. I’m very impressed that a local company designed the new interface for a mainstream Linksys device (photo here and here), and will be revamping the interface for their line of routers as well. Engadget said in their post about the device, “we’ll see how that interface runs in person later this week.” How cool is it that we got to see the interface directly from the developers tonight here in Edmonton?! More than that, the interface looks amazing. They’ve really done an amazing job. As for Matt’s demo – it was just plain cool. I love seeing the interesting things that people are up to, and the music and lights was definitely a crowd pleaser. You can watch it here (audio is pretty quiet, sorry):

For more on the demos, check out Twitter where I posted live updates from the event. Afterward we again converged at The Windsor Pub to continue chatting, meeting one another, and occasionally watch the hockey game. It was absolutely packed!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight! If you’d like to be notified about future DemoCamp and BarCamp events in Edmonton, sign up for the mailing list here.

DemoCampEdmonton5

democampedmonton We’re not wasting any time in 2009 – our next DemoCamp takes place in less than a week! Join us on Wednesday, January 7th at 6:30pm for another set of great demos followed by Edmonton’s best networking opportunity for tech professionals (and entrepreneurs, investors, etc. – everyone is welcome). You can read about our last DemoCamp here.

Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Time: 6:30pm (and drinks/networking afterward)
Location: E1 003, ETLC, University of Alberta (map)
Cost: Free

Once again, we’d like to ask everyone to help us spread the word. Check out the BarCamp Edmonton blog, our Facebook group, the Facebook event, and of course, the wiki page. Be sure to tag your posts, photos, and other things with the democampyeg tag.

See you next week!