The first time I attended a hackathon it was in Silicon Valley and I totally fell in love with the idea of getting together with a group of people with limited resources (a laptop, skills and an internet connection), an API and the desire to create an application. Felt pretty similar to what any startup does in its startup days! So when Corey and I talked about a hackathon being held in Toronto, for local developers to work with local APIs, well you know what happened next: HackTO was born.
I am very excited to announce HackTO. The idea behind HackTO is to have a series of APIs made available by local startups. And connect these APIs with local developers to build – in a day – amazing applications.
We are still working out all the details – much planning ahead – but here are the basics:
- DATE: Saturday May 15. This is an all day hackhaton. We will be providing breakfast and lunch.
- LOCATION: TBD. We are still working out the location details. It will be downtown.
- AVAILABLE APIs: Freshbooks, Idée, PostRank, CanPages + more. We will be announcing additions to these APIs in the coming days.
- SIGNUP: Sign up is currently open, there is a $10 fee for registration.
- JUDGING AND PRIZES: We are working on awesome prizes for the best applications developed during the hackhaton. Stay tuned for details.
If you’re with a technology company or startup you think ought to be involved, get in touch lboujnane (at) ideeinc.com or just say hi or ask questions.
- Passion at work
From Mavericks at work
“.. in business, as in basket ball, the smart take from the strong – that the best way to outperform the competition is to outthink the competition.. ” and it’s the “..mavericks do the work that matters most – the work of originality, creativity, and experimentation..” totally driven by passion!
Which makes me really excited about the sold out Refesh event on Monday: where passion meets ignite presentations!
We will start the evening with a passion presentation by Peter Flaschner followed by 6 Ignite presentations and since I am the last one that evening (and it is Monday too!), I will make my TinEye Ignite presentation extra tasty!
StayFresh: 7 PM – 10 PM, Centre for Social Innovation @ 215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 120 (Map)
- Erin Bury, RedWire
- Rachel Azagury, CreatingABuzz
- Saul Colt, Freshbooks
- Kieran Huggins, MyTTC
- Noah Godfrey, GigPark
- Leila Boujnane, Idée Inc.
- Honoring the Internet’s Best: The Webby Awards
I have been indicted into the Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and will be a judge in this year’s annual Webby Awards. For more than a decade, The Webby Awards (hailed as ‘The Oscars of the Internet’ by The New York Times) has been celebrating and discovering the most creative and innovative people and sites online. The Webby Awards recognizes the very best Websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile sites and content created specifically for the Web.
And this year I am looking forward to being one of the judges. I will be in awesome company joining such members as Virgin Founder Richard Branson, musician David Bowie, Flickr Co-Founder Caterina Fake, The Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington and creator of ‘The Simpsons’ Matt Groening. The 13th Annual Webby Awards celebration will be in June 2009 in New York City. Last year’s events were emceed by Seth Myers of Saturday Night Live and Judah Friedlander of 30 Rock, and attended by over 800 industry luminaries and celebrities, including music legends David Byrne and will.i.am, Stephen Colbert, Michel Gondry, Lorne Michaels and Tim & Eric.
Looking forward to an exiciting evening with you all.
- To pose, perchance to sleeveface…
To // Sleeveface // : one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion.
Here’s the official “How to Sleeveface” video:
As we told our friends at the iParty, the best of the sleeveface snapshots will win a prize. Jen Dodd clearly pulled off a winning sleeveface with her Nina Hagen look below, so she’s queued up for a prize for sure.
Who else do you think deserves a little something for their sleevefacing efforts? Leave us your comments with your top two picks from the photos below and we’ll tally up the votes and award two more prizes.
Okay, so those are our contestants for the prizes. But wait! I have a few more snaps for you – here are the idéalists avoiding work on a Friday afternoon by sleevefacing:
Happy sleevefacing friends! If you try it out remember to post a link to your photos in the comments, we’d love to see them.
- They came, they saw, they installed TinEye Music…
Last night we hosted a little event here at the idéeplex to share the latest toy we are working on. We were lucky to have a great group of folks from the Toronto tech community join us to ‘kick the tires’ of our soon-to-be-released beta app for iPhone.
Thanks to everyone who came by and made the night a smashing success. It was really exciting for the team here at Idée to see TinEye Music, the first iPhone application of our visual search technology, out the door for beta testing.
With TinEye Music you use your iPhone to take a photo of any album cover. Almost instantly that snapshot gets compared to our index of over a million album covers and the app sends you right to the iTunes page for that artist where you can preview songs, buy tracks or even purchase the entire album right from your iPhone.
You can learn more about our app by watching our quick little video or reading today’s posts by Mathew Ingram and Adam Schwabe. Jevon from StartupNorth beat all of us all to the punch, however, with his TinEye Music review posted during the party.
On top of the great conversations and lots of music searching with our TinEye iPhone app, we also did a little “sleevefacing” last night. If you aren’t familiar with the term “sleeveface“, take a look at some of our guests demonstrating it here and here. Amber MacArthur channelled her inner J.Lo, Libin Pan did his best Steve Jobs pose and Jen Dodd rocked on as Nina Hagen (Jen, you win sleeveface of the night, we’ll send you your prize!). It was a lively night for all.
This photo Rannie took of Jevon performing “the TinEye maneuver” with his iPhone is one of my favourites, followed closely by Alice’s snapshot of the other Beta at the party last night.
Well, the fun might be over but the work is not. This is just the beginning of bringing visual search to the world of mobile technology and we have a lot more in store for you, stay tuned!
** Photo: Jevon strikes a pose – Rannie Turingan
- Lunch 2.0 and HAL 9000
What does HAL have to do with Lunch 2.0?
Well, it turns out that HAL 9000 (“the computer I wished I had”, said Don Millman) was the winning response to the question “My first computer was a…”. This question appeared on each of the Lunch 2.0 name tags at last week’s event.
Lest you think nametags a silly affair, not only did it encourage a lively conversation amongst all the attendees about their childhood computers (the Apple II and Vic-20 were the most popular by far) but there was also a prize for the most inventive answer.
Many thanks to Dan Bowman and Pat McCarten from Codesta who organized and hosted (you can read their post about the event over on Codesta’s blog). The lunch was phenomenal (no end of raves about those chocolate cookies!) and there was plenty of time for chatting and learning about what the other attendees were involved in or just excited to talk about.
Thanks again Dan and Pat and all the others who came by to say hello and grab a bite.
We Idéalists are already looking forward to the next event!
- Toronto AWS Start-Up Tour
The team from Amazon will be in town on September 15th (that’s been changed from the 16th) and our CEO and CTO will be speaking at the half-day meet and learn event showcasing companies and technologies that use AWS services.
Where: MaRS Discovery Centre
Who: Local CEOs, CTOs, founders of start-ups and investors
When: 2pm-5pm, followed by a networking reception
2:00-2:20 Opening Statements by Adam Selipsky, VP, Amazon Web Services
2:20-3:00 AWS Presentation by Mike Culver, Evangelist, Amazon Web Services
Carlos Barrettara, Co-Founder, Polar Mobile
Ilya Grigorik, Co-Founder, AideRSS
Chris Thiessen, Founder, Zoomii
Leila Boujnane, Chief Executive Officer, Idee Inc. (that’s us!)
Farhan Thawar, Chief Software Architect, I Love Rewards
4:35-5:00 Closing Statements by Adam Selipsky, VP, Amazon Web Services
5:00-7:00 Cocktail/Networking Reception
If that doesn’t sound like a slam-dunk of an event for start-ups in the early stages of a project that might benefit from the AWS offerings, I don’t know what would. See you there!
- The AWS Start-Up Tour comes to Toronto
Amazon’s Web Services Start-Up Tour will be stopping in Toronto this month for a half-day meet, greet and learn event. Idée’s CTO Paul Bloore and CEO Leila Boujnane have been tapped to present to entrepreneurs and developers interested in learning more about how local startups have been innovating on the AWS platform.
What does every tech start-up need, besides a great idea? The ability to scale their business and their infrastructure — on demand. Amazon Web Services provides entrepreneurs access to Amazon’s robust infrastructure and technological resources via services such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3.
Amazon Web Services is holding several half-day events, in start-up “hot spots” around the country. Come learn how Amazon Web Services empowers entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainable growth.
The AWS Start-Up Tour is a great opportunity for founders and leaders of start-up/early-stage companies and VCs to find out more about Amazon Web Services through the real-world experiences of others who have developed unique and creative ideas that incorporate the AWS platform (like our recently released image search engine, TinEye).
The event will be held on September 15th from 2-5pm and ends with a cocktail/networking reception from 5-7pm.
- Tastes like Lunch 2.0
The good folks over at Codesta & scanR have graciously offered to host a late summer Lunch 2.0 event right here in lovely Toronto. Jot down their address then swing by at noon on the 10th, we’ll be gathering at 366 Adelaide Street West (Suite 204) for tasty munchies and great conversation.
See you all on September 10th!
- ProductCampToronto gets into gear
We kicked things off with a meet-and-greet Pub Night yesterday at Fionn MacCool’s. The ideas (and beer) were flowing as everyone exchanged their product experiences from tiny start-up companies to large corporations. It was great to meet you all!
PCT planners Chris Herbert and Chris Gurney have had their hands full promoting the event (which will be happening this fall), involving community members and making introductions. A diverse and inspired group of people is just what ProductCamp needs to get on its feet and fill a much-needed space in the product management community here in Toronto.
Here’s hoping for a great success!