Come see Built-in-Hamilton Tech at DemoCampHamilton8

There are several demos in the line-up at this DemoCampHamilton that might be of particular interest to the Raise the Hammer community, related to event aggregation in Hamilton, promoting downtown businesses and sustainability.

By Kevin Browne
Published September 20, 2012

DemoCampHamilton8 will be happening Monday September 24th from 6:30pm - 9:00pm in The Arnie pub at Mohawk College.

DemoCampHamilton events are a grassroots technology event that I've been organizing over the last year and a half to help build a stronger technology community in Hamilton. We start off with a keynote on a startup or technology related topic - Raise the Hammer editor Ryan McGreal actually gave the keynote at DemoCampHamilton5 - and we follow this up with a series of five or six technology demos, each five minutes long and followed by five minutes of Q&A with the community.

We generally get about 100-200 people out to these events, and anyone interested in technology in Hamilton is welcome to attend.

The events have taken place in venues downtown like Slainte and The Art Gallery of Hamilton, as well as Mohawk College and McMaster University. They have been sponsored and supported by the Innovation Factory, Hamilton Economic Development, Mohawk College and McMaster University, as well as local industry like Factor[e], KPMG, Gowlings and FluidMedia.

There are several demos in the line-up at this DemoCampHamilton that might be of particular interest to the Raise the Hammer community, related to event aggregation in Hamilton, promoting downtown businesses and sustainability.

Keynote: Mabel's Labels Story

The keynote will be done by Hamilton success story Mabel's Labels (@mabelhood), which famously grew from four co-founders in a basement to 40+ employees in a 14,000 square foot location over the last ten years.

Mabel's Labels co-founder Julie Cole (@juliecole) will talk about the history of Mabel's Labels, how they got started, who they are, what they do, what has worked, and what challenges they have faced.

Mabel's Labels IT Manager Anand Sinha will then discuss why the company built software for image manipulation, why they have built their own website with their own tools, how they've created an end-to-end system, why their software works better than many commercially available products, what they've done to improve production through automation, as well as challenges the company continues to face and how Mabel's Labels is solving these challenges.


I think that e-commerce is a potential area of strength for Hamilton, so in addition to the keynote one of the demos I'm most excited about seeing is the sustainability-focused startup REfficient (@REfficient).

REfficient is an online reuse marketplace for businesses, allowing you to go shopping in another companies' surplus inventory. By optimizing reuse, companies save money on equipment purchases and keep product out of landfills.

REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty (@REstephmcl) moved the business from the GTA to Hamilton and has spoken very positively about her experience in Hamilton thus far.

Event Aggregation

There will be two demos which are taking different approaches to the problem of pooling together the different event calendars in Hamilton: (@EventityCa) is a web app designed by Steve Veerman (@veerman) to help discover what people are planning, doing, and recommending across the city. It provides a centralized way to search for events from sources such as Facebook, Tourism Hamilton, Tourism Burlington, View Magazine, SNAP Hamilton, Hamilton News, and Kijiji.

Hamilton Times is a collaborative open-data repository of public events for the city of Hamilton. A centralized pool of accessible data allows sites, individuals, researchers, and developers to make use of only what they require, while novel ingest methods aim to lower the technological barriers to participation.

With the initial stages of the project complete, and several community stakeholders already involved, it seeks to further expand with additional developer support. Demo by Dwayne Ali (@interestica) and John Fink (@adr).

MyHamilton App

We'll also see the MyHamilton app, the result of a partnership between The City of Hamilton, McMaster University, Columbia International College, Mohawk College and Weever Apps.

Weever Apps (@WeeverApps) will demo the MyHamilton app that will highlight jobs, events, accommodations and transportation in downtown Hamilton.


Another cool tech demo that we'll see is a HAZMAT robot designed by Roboteurs (@roboteurs) to assess an environment in real time to assure its safety before personnel enter the area, which uses a simple interface that allows anyone who has played a video game to drive it.



Finally, last but certainly not least, a demo by Hamilton startup Apptui - The Remote Control For Your Online Life. Apptui lets you watch, play, and surf everything on a big screen, using your smartphone as the mouse, touchpad, keyboard, custom interface or game controller.

Other apps may let you do very specific things with your PC and connected TV, and nothing else. Apptui lets you do everything, from one app, using nothing more than your phone's browser.

Everyone is Welcome

You don't have to be a computer programmer or in the startup world to attend DemoCampHamilton events. Everyone is welcome, so if you're interested in Hamilton-built technology I encourage you to sign-up free to attend.

The Weever Apps startup demoed at the first DemoCampHamilton and went on to win Lion's Lair and grow like gangbusters. Hopefully, we'll see the next success story on Monday night!

Kevin Browne organizes events to connect and help grow Hamilton's technology community such as DemoCampHamilton and StartupDrinks. He is currently a PhD Candidate in computer science at McMaster University researching user interface design for educational tablet software.


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