Category Archives: community

Spring meetup – April 28th

Post event wrap:

Turned out to be a great evening of learning and connecting  in Sechelt for the 35 people who came out.

Owyn Cramer (15) kicked off the evening with a lightning talk on 3D work he is leading with www.getmakered.com – as they head down to OSCON in Texas in late May.

Derek Andersen brought a whole collection of tricks for leading edge deployment of cattle style infrastructure.   Derek is awesome and makes my head spin in new directions every time he generously shares his latest work with the group.

Robin Chauhan w/ www.pathwayi.com wrapped the lightning talks with his early prototype time bank solution.

Then we welcomed Tom Keenoy www.kitestrings.io from the Comox Valley.   Tom shared his story from Brooklyn to Startup life in Courtney.  The “how-to” and what “not to do” moments of being a tech entrepreneur shifting from a service to product venture.

Lots of great connections forming within our community – and coming from this event – connections across the region into the mid/North Island where some pretty interesting tech success stories are emerging.   Check out www.innovationisland.ca for profiles.

What’s next?   Conversation continues on our #Slack forum.  Details for joining up are on the home page.   Hint … it involves a beach.  Fall in-person meetup.  Post event debrief and planning channel is active in #Slack – would be awesome to connect with you there.

 

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Thank you to our community sponsors – who all said “yes” quickly when asked to support our tech community.

 

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HarbourAir Seaplanes Logo

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3 workshops + community meetup April 27/28 in Sechelt

Lots happening in April!

Innovation Island is coming back to the coast on Wed/Thurs April 27/28 to deliver 3 more invaluable workshops for entrepreneurs pursuing innovative ideas (registration links below, and this blog post on the partnership with Innovation Island and the Sunshine Coast).

Then on the Thursday evening we will be having our spring tech community meetup starting at 6pm with tech lightning talks and pizza.  At 7’ish we will welcome our guest speaker Tom Keenoy of Medium Rare Interactive, makers of Kitestrings.

All the events are all happening at the Seaside Center in Sechelt – thanks to the support of the District of Sechelt.

Thanks to our community meetup supporters:

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Our tech community announcements are now being handled via our #Slack forum.   Lots of discussion from design to linux to edtech happening in the channels.  Send a note to connect <> sctechhub <> ca to get an invite.  Just mention your favourite Sunshine Coast beach to let us know you are not a bot.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

@SCtechhub heading to #Slack

New year, new ways.  We have moved our discussion and announcements from old school email/mailchimp to #Slack.   Come join us.  Send an email to connect  < > sctechhub  <> ca.  In the email just tell us your favourite Sunshine Coast (BC) beach to verify you are not a ‘bot.  Then you will get an invite to the sctechhub.slack.com  community.

Innovation Island on the coast – wrapup of roundtable. workshop 1/2.

On November 23/24 2015 Innovation Island came over to the Sunshine Coast to begin offering workshops and services under the District of Sechelt funded partnership agreement for the lower Sunshine Coast.

Graham Truax, Executive in Residence, kicked off the visit with a roundtable session looking at how Innovation Island can support and complement activity already happening on our community.

Thanks to the following people for being part of the roundtable:

Graham Truax, EiR Innovation Island

Beverly Ehlbeck, IT, District of Sechelt

Connie Jordison, Communications Manager, District of Sechelt

Eduardu Catucci, Rapid Edge Technologies

Yvonne Paulson, Rachelle Wirth, Coast Reporter

Richard Hoath, @SCtechhub facilitator

Jim Tivy, BlueStream

Robin Ranjit Singh Chauhan, ipathway

Jason Hall, open source tech for non-profits

Kim Darwin, Sechelt Chamber of Commerce

Dave Jephcott, Community Futures

After the round-table I invited attendees to share in a collaborative set of notes from the session as a record of our conversation useful for sharing with the wider community via www.sctechhub.ca and any other channels, and as a marker to check back on progress.

a) what you heard from around the table

b) links you mentioned (barcamp, startup weekend, Coast reporter app, coast makers, sctechhub, hackathon, …)

c) your takeaways

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From Graham Truax, www.innovationisland.ca

On behalf of the Innovation Island Technology Association (IITA) I would like to thank everyone for attending the roundtable gathering.  A big shout out to Connie, Richard and Darnelda for planting seeds and putting things together!  I truly enjoyed the opportunity meeting with you all and taking in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast!

For sake of keeping this response as “open source” as possible I will provide some basic comments and references from the discussion (see slides from the presentation attached).

From my vantage point there were three big “C” words that captured both the needs and opportunities facing the community; Communication, Collaboration and Consolidation.  These are common difficulties within our region; arguably “challenges” that we all need to get better at and are working on.

Regarding IITA Services and Program Costs:

Our complimentary Business Advisory service works in conjunction with the NRC-IRAP concierge service (a very powerful and wide ranging portal).  While IITA does have a primary focus on technology and innovation we can provide assistance to a range of businesses that fit our basic application form.  I have worked with over 100 individuals/companies under this program over the past two years; from innovative non-profit social ventures to $50M+ hi-tech firms.

The Venture Acceleration Program (VAP) is primarily designed for early-stage technology Startups.  The program has a $200/mth. cost and a fairly demanding intake/interview process; however, the core curriculum is available free of charge, see http://innovationisland.thinkific.com/.

In addition to the above IITA offers a variety of regional workshops and events; with industry speakers and partners.  The 2016 schedule is in planning stages now; we will distribute ASAP.  Our community partnering agreements allow us to deliver workshops such as the RETHINK series (outline attached) that we just started; remaining sessions for 2016 are being worked on now.  These workshops develop based knowledge, relationships and introductions that can be further supported by our primary programs; and/or allow us to redirect participants to other Government or industry resources.  As mentioned, IITA is a non-profit industry association; we do not fund companies nor take equity or other formalized positions with our clients.

Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.

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From Robin Chauhan www.pathwayi.com

Another great way to meet geeks on the coast, including computer tech but broader:  http://www.coastmakers.com/main/summary , its also good for young people usually.

In terms of events to draw geeks:  I would be interested in giving short presentations on different topics, in a barcamp or lightening talk format.  Topics could include linux, data science, programming, tech education, security, bitcoin, internet, web, databases, AI, analytics.

But Im not one to organize an event, Im way too busy.  If someone can organize something, ping me.  Also Id be much more interested in events with multiple speakers.  Nothing too formal.

If non technical people want to help things along on the coast, I think you can help by playing a supportive role.  Technical people are not usually event planners, its a different mindset.  Support might include things like:

  • Promotions.  Getting the word out for the event
  • Booking speakers
  • Obtaining the space, video projector, wifi, pizza and coffee/juice

If someone took care of the above, it would be like magic, and I would be there to provide great content (and Im sure others would too).

Does anyone else agree this type of support could help make things happen?  There is just no way I could plan an event with what I have going on.

That type of event, or series of events, I believe would be very fertile ground for promoting the type of networking that leads to things happening.  Over time.

You want things real alpha geeks would enjoy, because they are interesting.  They will not show up to meetings.  Most geeks hate meetings.

=R

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From Yvonne Paulson, Rachelle Wirth   www.coastreporter.net

It was nice to be a part of the group yesterday and hear the concerns everyone has and the opportunities to move the SCTech forward.

  1.  I heard that people are frustrated with not knowing who’s doing what, who has what to offer and how to get more techies involved on the coast.
  1.  We have a great app that’s useful for tourists and locals.  It’s a new app that came out in June of this year.  We are constantly updating and changing the app for the end users and advertisers.  There are a few different  opportunities to advertise on the app or have an app within an app.  This can be quite cost effective.  I see the app within an app application being very beneficial and attractive to the local municipalities.  We have the ability to send out push notifications.  This can be useful for water restrictions, breaking news, school closings and other announcements.

Free download from:  iTunes store or Google Play or launch the app store on your devise and search for “Sunshine Coast BC or www.coastreporterapp.net.

My takeaway is there are many agendas at the table and it would be good for these agendas to be streamlined as I believe there are some synergies here.  I agree with Dave regarding one message for the entire Sunshine Coast and not segregated as it appears to be a good percentage of the time.

It would have been nice to have Innovation Island explain the services they provide does have a cost associated with it.  It was introduced as offering all this assistance by a non-profit group.  (according to the website there’s a cost to tapping into the expertise.  Albeit a low cost in comparison to hiring a consultant) Just my perception.  I believe Innovation Island brings to the table a great deal of expertise that would ordinarily cost considerably more. They are a great resource for any new tech start up.

In summary I believe the SC Tech hub has a lot to offer the Sunshine Coast.  The challenge is to get all the techies together and find a way to get the word out.  Unfortunately you can’t achieve all of this for free.  Just like Innovation Island, they are offering a tremendous support to new up and coming tech companies.  This is one of the avenues to get a new tech start up.  There is a lot more to be done.  Becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce would be one avenue that shouldn’t be ignored.  I heard that techies don’t like to do “traditional” networking or advertising.   I believe that some of the traditional methods along with new methods needs to be incorporated to be successful.  As you know most things move forward as a result of someone knowing someone etc.  Networking is one of the ways to do this.  The Chamber is more than just networking.  If there’s an issue that requires legislation or assistance the Chamber is your place to go to get action.  They truly work on behalf of the members!

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From Richard Hoath, @SCtechhub  www.sctechhub.ca

Thanks and kudos go to the District of Sechelt for stepping up to the plate and funding the 1st year partnership agreement with Innovation Island on behalf of the lower Sunshine Coast.

Graham has provided a helpful details of the Innovation Island programs and services.  Really useful network of ideas, learning, and connections that entrepreneurs who fit their program can slot into.

Robin asks great questions about the support needed to pull together events.  @SCtechhub has seen this kind of support over the past 2 years.  Local orgs including Community Futures, District of Sechelt, Gibsons Chamber of Commerce, Sunshine Coast Community Foundation, and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union have stepped up with in-kind support and real dollars to sponsor and support our tech community events.  Summaries of many of these activities are up at www.sctechhub.ca.   While techs in general do not like “meetings” or traditional networking – my experience has been that engaging with our community can bring new creativity, energy, and opportunities to us individually and the wider community (a.k.a coast karma!).  Might be opportunities to learn from other chambers where there has been success in connecting with businesses working in the new economy.

Yvonne and Rachelle talk about coordination and simply knowing what is happening even in our small community.  Eduardo at the meeting felt that only a small fraction of people working in tech on the coast know about @SCtechhub.

The reality is that @SCtechhub events and learning opportunities happen when individuals decide to act in small ways (we have $0 budget, deliberately!).  Dave Jephcott makes time to spread information within his network, even when events like these have some overlap with Community Futures.   @SCtechhub members like Laurie McConnell who contributes her time and space on www.bigpacific.com to write about these events.

So the opportunity comes back down to each of us to seek ways to connect, collaborate, and communicate.  We know that people are seeking the kind of lifestyle and deep community connections possible on the Sunshine Coast – but still want to remain connected to the new economy and their professional networks.  What do newcomers to the Sunshine Coast see when they look at our community?   What are the topics of conversation online and in the printed media?

Here are the links to the presentation material from Innovation Island workshops #1 and #2 presented in Sechelt November 24.

2016 Innovation Island Calendar of Events coming soon.

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An open monthly design/dev meetup is now happening at www.fuseworkhub.ca in lower Gibsons (last Thursday of the month, 6-9pm).  Lightening talks, hands-on work, pizza, etc are all on the menu.

@SCtechhub general tech community meetups happen 2-3 times per year.  The last event was on game-changers.  Event wrap blog posts are here and Disruptors and Innovators all over the Sunshine Coast (bigpacific.com).

Fall 2015 meeting wrap – “game changers”

On October 29 we had our Fall 2015 tech community meetup at the  Fuse Work Hub in lower Gibsons.    Paul Adams led an engaging conversation on technology, society, community – today and future looking.

[gview file=”http://sctechhub.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/SCTechHub-2015Oct-GameChangers-web.pdf”]

Then we had a chance to catch up on events within our community.  Here are a few links that we talked about.

PaulScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 8.42.05 AM (technical trainer) and Liz (information architect) have just moved to the coast from Vancouver.   One of Paul’s earliest game changers was the “shipstone” from the 1982 Sci Fi novel Friday.

Robin suggested this speculative AI story after our conversation on ethics and self-driving cars.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.16.14 AMAfter 20 years of developing software Mark Cameron is set to publish his debut novel Goodnight Sunshine.    “Goodnight Sunshine is the story of a disenchanted middle-aged family man who finds an intriguing message about a potentially world-changing invention, leading him to the jungles of Ecuador to seek its existence.”   Book launch is set for December 5, 2pm, at the Gibsons Public Library.

Alan Rawkins  (Rawkins Games) gave us a preview of his new 4 player ipad game built with Monkey framework which the compiler translates to native source code for most platforms.

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Monthly coding/ design meetups are happening on the last Thursday of each month at Fuse Work Hub from 6-9pm.  Dave Arthur is coordinating these meetups.  Bring your projects for hands on evening.

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Innovation Island is coming back to the Coast!

This time there are two 1/2 day courses for tech driven entrepreneurs – Tuesday November 24 in Sechelt –  register for Refresh Your Minimum Viable Product  (morning) and  Customer Discovery  (afternoon).  These courses are being led by Graham Truax with Innovation Island. (his course back in February at the Gibsons Public Market sold out and was a great day of really practical learning).   Kudos to the District of Sechelt for funding a Sunshine Coast regional support agreement with Innovation Island (our regional partner for BC Innovation Council programming).   Courses are free.

 

next meetup – Tuesday April 28 in Davis bay

Hosts: Breakwater Designs Ltd & Sunshine Coast Credit Union
www.sharevision.ca
www.breakwaterdesigns.com
www.sunshineccu.com

Refreshments – Gibsons Family Network
www.gibsonsfamilynetwork.ca

 

SharePoint is a web application designed to help companies collaborate.  SharePoint allows companies to do many different things, or the same thing in different ways.  It is this flexibility that attracts many to it.

Mathew Newton from Sunshine Coast Credit Union will give a primer on SharePoint ABCs.  What it is and what it does.

Ben Tripp, lead developer with Breakwater Designs, will talk about how we leveraged the technology within SharePoint to build a management solution called ShareVision.

Building on top of SharePoint has advantages and drawbacks.  Ben will describe some of the challenges we faced, how we met them and where we go when we are looking for solutions.

Please plan to come to the Tech Hub meeting on April 28. Ben and Mathew will be on hand to answer questions, as will other members of the ShareVision team. Gibson Family Network will be providing some savoury snacks.

Register here so we know #’s coming along.

making the right things happen on the Sunshine Coast

At the end of February a group of business founders met over lunch at the new Basted Baker cafe in Sechelt.

Lots of conversation on how people are tackling problems and delivering innovative solutions that work for the Sunshine Coast.

One of these stories is the Sunshine Coast Car Co-op.  Johan Stroman shared the story of the car co-op and how it has grown from an idea to over 100 members and 4 cars in its first year.  With plans to expand geographic coverage to Sechelt in 2015.  Very cool.

From a tech perspective, the co-op is the only rural carshare in Canada operating on a fully-webenabled smartphone App based booking system.

And the value proposition for members (and new members!) “We provide easy, affordable and convenient smartphone enabled vehicle access (realtime booking and vehicle secured by fob), when you need it for an hour, a day or a week.  We can save you thousands on transportation whether you need a second vehicle part-time or you don’t have a car but want to choose among a diverse fleet to meet your needs.  With 4 on the coast in Gibsons and Roberts Creek – and expansion of 3 more to Sechelt in 2015 your membership gets you access to 500 more in BC and thousands across 19 carshares in Canada.”

Great story.  Are you looking to save money on transport, or need a flexible vehicle option to take in life here on the coast?  Get in contact with Johan from here.  Another one of those people who are making the right things happen here on the coast.

Follow the car coop on Twitter @coastcarcoop, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/coastcarcoop

future of tech and innovation on the coast – Feb 20 & 21 – you are invited!

On February 20 and 21 Community Futures and the Sunshine Coast tech community will be hosting 2 days of events as we welcome Innovation Island to the coast.

For many years Innovation Island has been supporting scientific and technical innovation on Vancouver Island.  So, we are really pleased that Paris Gaudet (Executive Director) and Graham Truax (Executive in Residence) along with Ean Jackson have agreed to spend 2 days on the coast to meet with our community and share their experience doing and supporting technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


On Friday afternoon (Feb 20) from 3-5 pm at the Seaside Center in Sechelt we are inviting the wider community to join the tech community to hear Paris and Graham talk about what they have learned from their years of experience fostering regional innovation.   Please register here.


On Friday evening (Feb 20) from 7-10’ish will be a tech community meetup at Perspephone tasting room in Gibsons – a chance to meet our guests and share some fine local brew and pizza.  Let us know if you are coming here.


On Saturday (Feb 21) there will be a Startup 101 course (see below) set to be led by Graham Truax and Ean Jackson from 9-5 at the Gibsons Public Market.  We are very fortunate to have Innovation Island bring to the coast 2 people with such deep experience and connections in the tech and innovation scene in BC. 

This 1 day course is for founders of early-­stage ventures (or those who want to be) who need straight-­shooting insight on what’s required to turn IDEAS into COMPANIES.  Anyone curious if this is fit for them should read through the testimonials on the registration page to get a sense of the amazing resources and advice they can expect for the nominal fee of just $20.  We are encouraging people to register soon here as we expect this one to fill up quickly.

[gview file=”http://sctechhub.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Startup-101-Sunshine-Coast1.pdf”]

 

wrap of meetup #5 – brew & pitch night

Our Brew & Pitch Night at Persephone Brewing was a night of discussion on entrepreneurship and tech.  22 people involved in tech related work on the sunshine coast enjoyed some fine local craft brew (the stout is amazing) while listening to six @SCtechhub members pitch ideas and projects they are pondering or working on.

The Sunshine Coast Credit Union again stepped in support of the sunshine coast digital economy and local enterpreneurship to sponsor the evening.

Sunshine Coast Credit Union

Here are the slides introducing the evening.

Persephone CEO and Communty Futures ED Brian Smith warmed up the audience with a summary of Persephone’s progress since opening last year, which has been spectacular. Brian also welcomed on behalf of CF opportunities to connect with the tech community and tech entrepreneurs.

Each presenter had 10 minutes to pitch their project and field questions. We heard about local business, networking, collaboration, and economic development opportunities. The audience asked questions and provided ideas and challenges to inspire people forward.


 

A technology based Social Enterprise to promote Economic Development on the Sunshine Coast. presented by Banjo Benjamin  banjo {at} sol3 ca

Banjo suggested that data and the power of big data mining are key to economic development on the Sunshine Coast. By strategically analyzing data that is already available, collecting a bit more, and broadcasting what we learn online, we can encourage Coast2Coast B2B that will keep investment and money on the Coast rather than sending it elsewhere.

From Banjo, One of the challenges of forming an Economic Development strategy is access to detailed data of current conditions. This should be the starting point to any Economic Development initiative.

The Sunshine Coast economy is much like an Island economy which provides some advantages when trying to model it. It is small and insular and sourcing and supply can be costly. This project seeks to collect that data and undertake a more interesting and technologically oriented approach to developing the economy using current tools.

Our approach is to collect comprehensive economic data and provide local businesses with tools that will improve their local sourcing and supply chain activities. This approach will indirectly provide an increased level of local economic resilience and activity for the business on the Sunshine Coast that use the tool by reducing the frequency of leakage from our Coast economy. Regardless of the project, the quality of the data that we wish to collect will be invaluable to local governments and business organizations.


 

Dave Hawkins presented a visual calculation app (think Excel but in a diagram map format) that his company designed for a specific industry and is now evolving into a generic calculation app for any flow & process diagrams that involve calculations or variables. The group was impressed with the versatility of the current application and imagined many uses for it. Here is Dave’s presentation to give you some visuals of the engine.


 

Dwayne Dobson on the board of Sechelt Innovations Ltd (SIL) walked us through how SIL is eager to support new technology business development in Sechelt and is wondering if a coast-wide group of technology specialists might be possible to assess and support funded technology proposals and projects.

Here are some reflections from Dwayne after the evening… What did I learn?  I learned that perhaps the best marketing to the tech industry is by example. For example, Dave’s Device Lab has the potential to attract a tech community. Perhaps organizations, like Sechelt Innovations, can contribute to the growth by investing money into an existing or potential start up? Exposure for individuals / small tech groups might be the key, is social media to feature the tech. …Although way over my head in terms of tech capabilities I whole heartedly support this group. I look forward to being an active participant / observer. 


 

Richard Hoath presented stream|vu – a mobile first solution providing staff an easy to use single source to stay current on events as they are occurring across their activity intensive operation. stream|vu aggregrates and filters data from across enterprise data stores in real-time to push personalized and interactive event streams to each user. They are currently holding customer interviews to drive the next version of the prototype. Here is Richard’s presentation.


 

Dave Chisholm presented four seed ideas (some actually counted five) and each one had good prospects and generated discussion.


 

And, finally, Dave Arthur pitched the idea of a mobile device lab for the Sunshine Coast, which was well supported by the audience.

devicelab


 

Big thanks to Ed Penaud, CAO, with the Sunshine Coast Credit Union for stepping up early to sponsor the event with gift certificates for the top 3 pitches. It was a close race for second but Banjo’s pitch was deemed the best of the night.

We thank Persephone Brewing and staff for providing a friendly and relaxed venue for the event.

This event wrapup was pulled together by Barb Kelly. Barb runs Subject Matters Canada, They overhaul site content and functionality to attract and convert customers to your small business.