Author Archives: kevinbrowne

DemoCamp reboot survey + mHealth, Edmonton, Hamilton

In case you haven’t seen it, David is seeking feedback about rebooting DemoCamp.

The first ever mHealthDemoCamp (@mHealthDemoCamp) took place December 13th at MarsDD, the event was hosted by Monolith Interactive and a summary of the event has been posted here.

There are also upcoming milestone-number DemoCamps in Edmonton and Hamilton next month:

DemoCamp Edmonton 20

When: Tuesday January 8th 2013 @ 6:45pm-9:00pm
Where: TELUS Centre 150, University of Alberta

Drinks and networking to follow at Original Joe’s on campus!

DemoCamp Hamilton 10

When: Monday January 28th 2013 @ 6:30pm-9:00pm
Where: The Arnie pub @ Mohawk College

jannacameronThe keynote will be done by Janna Cameron, Usability / Accessibility Specialist @ Desire2Learn. A champion for accessible design in technology, Janna Cameron’s work has been focused on extending the reach of technology to a portion of the population that has been inadvertently sidelined. By working closely with developers, designers and engineers to develop a fuller understanding of how people with disabilities use the web, Janna has parlayed a passion for user research into a career that has helped remove barriers to education. She brings a sense of humor and optimism to her work, encouraging others to join her in making the web accessible to all.

Anybody in Ontario that’s interested is welcome to attend. There’s been a nice surge in student startups in Hamilton (e.g. TurnChannel, Groupnotes), expect to see others like OverAir demoed at this event.

November DemoCamps: Hamilton, Guelph and Niagara

DemoCamp Hamilton 9

When: Tuesday November 20th 2012 @ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Twelve Eighty pub @ McMaster University

Keynote by Carol Leaman (@CarolLeaman) CEO of Axonify (@Axonify). Axonify combines principles of behavioral science with the best qualities of gamified and social software to result in a new approach to e-learning and employee awareness—one that empowers organizations to train faster, retain information effectively and perform better. Carol brings more than 20 years of leadership and technology executive experience to the company as she has a history of building start-ups into multi-million dollar successes.

DemoCamp Guelph 20

When: Tuesday November 27th 2012 @ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: The EBar

DemoCamp Niagara 2

When: Wednesday November 28th 2012 @ 6:00pm-9:00pm
Where: Red Hot Chili Pepper

Dr. Kevin Kee of Brock University’s Centre for Digital Humanities will present a keynote: The Future of the Past, or Why Historians Need to Work with Digital Media Developers.

Halifax, Hamilton and Niagara in September

DemoCamp Halifax 2012

When: Tuesday September 23rd 2012 @ 5:30pm-9:00pm
Where: Dalhousie CS Building Auditorium

There is a great line-up of speakers and an after party. The event is free for students and $20 for professionals (proceeds spent on catering, with the remainder going to charity).

DemoCamp Hamilton 8

When: Monday September 24th 2012 @ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: The Arnie pub @ Mohawk College

We’ll have a keynote by Mabel’s Labels at this DemoCamp. Mabel’s Labels is a wonderful Hamilton success story, over the last 10 years the company has grown from 4 founders operating out of a basement to 40+ employees in a 14,000 sqaure foot location.

DemoCamp Niagara 1

When: Wednesday September 19th 2012 @ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: On the Front Cafe & Eatery

The Niagara region’s first ever DemoCamp! The Front Cafe & Eatery in Thorold is conveniently located just a few minutes from Brock University and the Pen Centre shopping mall. The event is free and you do not need to demo to attend.

Upcoming DemoCampHamilton events


When: Thursday February 9th 2012 @ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: The Arnie pub @ Mohawk College

Keynote: Ryan McGreal – Services-First: A Better Way to Build a Web Application

Ryan (@RyanMcgreal) will discuss design principles behind web service APIs and the possible value that can be unlocked when designing your web application in terms of web service APIs.

This will be followed by demos from FluidMedia, Nik Garkusha (@Nik_G), Mike Trpcic (@mtrpcic), Orbital (@GetOrbital), IdeaWorks, and Avaya web.alive (@joerigby1339).


When: Tuesday March 20th 2012 @ 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Twelve Eighty pub @ McMaster University

Keynote: Joel Augé – Building a great gaming company

Joel (@joelauge) is the CEO and Co-Founder of HitGrab Inc, a leader in social gaming. In March of 2008, HitGrab created MouseHunt, which is now one of the most successful (in terms of user engagement) games on Facebook. HitGrab has also created LevynLight, a ‘light’ fantasy RPG that’s focused on simplicity, allowing you to jump in at anytime and have quick bursts of fun throughout the day!

The demo line-up has yet to be finalized, but expect to see at least one of the student startups that are starting to come out of McMaster (such as DormBooth). Normally DemoCampHamilton events are scheduled 2-4 months apart… but after seeing firsthand during instruction of a UI design course how skilled and passionate some McMaster students are about game development, and after Joel agreed to keynote the event, an exception had to be made!

The Hamilton tech scene is set to pick up some steam over the next few months. Michael Canton (@valleytownmedia) and Tim Miron (@TJMiron) are producing a web series (#TechTalk4HamOnt) to spotlight the community. Kik Messenger platform evangelist Yuriy Blokhin (@yblokhin) will keynote Leap into Startup Weekend on February 29th – the ticket sale launch party for next April’s Startup Weekend. The city’s Open Data movement is planning The Bay Hackathon for March 2nd to March 4th. The successful eHealth\mHealth focused AppsForHealth conference will repeat in May 2012. StartupDrinks is now occurring every month. At least a couple people at DemoCampHamilton5 are planning to step up to the mic between demos to try to get the ball rolling on Codeacademy meetups and other community activities.

Anyone in the Southern Ontario region interested in our DemoCamp or these other activities is always welcome to come to Hamilton!

DemoCampHamilton2 Recap: So hot we set off the fire alarm!

DemoCampHamilton2 occurred Friday May 27th, 2011 at Mohawk College in conjunction with the AppsForHealth 2011 conference. The event was hosted by Software Hamilton and sponsored and supported by the great folks at Innovation Factory and Mohawk College. The combination of an excellent keynote, demos and audience turned out to be too hot for the fire alarms at Mohawk!

Mic Berman kicked off the event with an excellent keynote focused on sharing her startup expertise. The quality of the discussion the talk generated was one of the highlights of the evening, perhaps given the high level of interest in fostering a startup culture in the Hamilton software community. The talk was described perfectly in a #DCH tweet as “inspiring and grounding at the same time”.

Cristina Calder of FluidMedia started off the demos by showing us Rendering Exchange – a web-based, crowd-sourced platform that connects graphic designers with commercial interior manufacturers, architects and interior designers to provide high-quality, photo-realistic room scene images for use in sales and planning.

DemoCampHamilton audience favourite “mad inventor” Dan Zen took audience interactivity to new heights with his demo of Touchy – a smartphone game where two players, each with mobile devices, try to touch the other player’s screen while protecting their own. When two people play the game it creates a Twister-like physical spectacle that is as fun to watch as it is to play. Dan demoed Touchy by having the entire audience play “Touchy” at once by having us try to touch the business card of the DemoCamp-er sitting next to us while protecting our own!

Adam Caromicoli and Doris Bean of Indellient Inc. were up next to demo Inktronic – a Digital Pen based collaboration tool that simplifies workflow involving graphical content for the architectural, engineering and construction industries.

After a forced break for what was dubbed the “great fire alarm of DemoCampHamilton2″, Joey Coleman of Open Hamilton and Nik Garkusha of Open Halton talked about the Open Data movement occurring across Canada and demoed what software the Open Hamilton branch of the movement has developed thus far.

The final demo was done by two McMaster University computer science students, Gavin Schulz and Zaahir Moolla, who demoed their new service MealDeck which allows restaurants to easily create a cross-platform mobile website. Student entrepreneurism is something we want to see more of in Hamilton and the professionalism and courage these two showed by putting themselves and their service out there for criticism was widely praised – watch out for these guys!

The AppsForHealth 2011 conference itself was a huge success, you can check out the mobile apps that the students devised here. Expect the next DemoCampHamilton at McMaster in September, but in the meantime we will be having the first Software Hamilton Pub Night this June 28th.

Recap: DemoCamp Hamilton 1

The inaugural DemoCampHamilton took place Wednesday March 2nd, 2011 at Slainte Irish Pub in downtown Hamilton. A packed audience consisting mainly of developers, entrepreneurs and students as well as an excellent keynote presentation by Ali Asaria and demos by CartaNova, AlboDigital,, FluidMedia and “mad inventor” Dan Zen made the event a success. Sponsors Fluid Media Inc. and Innovation Factory deserve a special thanks for their support and sponsorship of the event.

The night started off with a great keynote speech by Ali Asaria of which gave the audience insight into life inside the successful online health and beauty store.

This was followed by 5 demos:

Andrew Holden and Rob Porter of CartaNova showed us Weever – an upcoming service that will quickly grab data from a website to generate HTML5 touch-interface “web apps” of said website for mobile devices on Android, iOS, Blackberry.

Magda Lutcher of AlboDigital showed us their Content Management System for end users and graphic designers.

Hannah McKinnon showed us, a new online business to business community that brings overstaffed and understaffed companies together, enabling them to directly lend / borrow / permanently transfer employees without an intermediary.

President of Fluid Media Justin Hogeterp showed us CoffeeTablet – an iPad app for creating and sharing “Coffeetable” books from photos and video.

The “mad inventor” Dan Zen showed us Opartica, an online Op Art tool that lets people create and fly through their op art in 3D.

Thanks again to everyone for coming out, we’ll be doing this again, and the tentative plan is to take this to Mohawk College and McMaster University by the end of the year.