- Small Business Forum 2010
Are you ready for Toronto’s entrepreneurial event of the year?
Join Chris O’Neill of Google Canada, Austin Hill of Brudder Ventures, Leila Boujnane of Idée Inc., Nancy Peterson of Homestars, Darren Anderson of Vive Nano, Erin Bury of Sprouter, Mike McDerment of Freshbooks and many, many others at the Small Business Forum – Toronto’s entrepreneurial event of the year!
On October 19th, more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners will attend Enterprise Toronto’s 10th annual Small Business Forum. This year’s theme – finding and retaining customers!
When: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front St W, Toronto, ON, Canada
- HackTO2: It is a wrap! Until next time.
Another successful HackTO has come and gone; we hope you had as much fun attending as we did hosting! There was so much talent packed into the ideeplex, I’m surprised zombies couldn’t smell the steaming brains from miles away.
Many of you have put your completed HackTO projects online, and I have included links to those projects here to share with the rest of the HackTO gang. If your project is missing from this post, please drop us a line and we’ll add it.
Nom Nom Nom Rank (Winner: First Place)
Using: Yellow Pages API, Google Weather API, and the Foursquare API
Description: Most work places in dense urban areas are surrounded by plenty of restaurants. With too many options, lunch decision paralysis is a very real problem. With “Nom Nom Nom Rank“, we rank the restaurants and determine your best choice based on predefined metrics such as weather, popularity and how busy the location is.
Note: Their domain was just registered, so the link may not work right away. Follow Nom Nom Nom Rank on Twitter
Fun Thing (Winner: Second Place)
By: Logan Aube
Using: Cadmus API
Description: Fun Thing is a Small Platformer that uses the Cadmus API to turn HackTO’s Twitter feed into a cool level of a game!
Note: After you click play you’ll probably need to click the screen again to get the controls working! Left, Right and Space to Jump. Catch the icons of your friends to invert the screen’s colours but also to gain points! If you stay on a tweet for too long it will start to fall.
wp-instapaywall (Winner: Third Place)
By: Mo Jangda
Using: Freshbooks API
Description: Mo has written up an awesome post about his project on his blog! In its simplest form, the plugin lets you paywall your blog posts and make money by charging readers for full access to them.
Jira (Honourable Mention)
Using: PixMatch API and ISBNdb API
Description: Jira is an iPhone application that allows you to upload a photo of a book cover and using the PixMatch API, return the ISBN and book cover of the book. Then by using the ISBNdb API, it returns the book title, author, publisher, and stores with prices. You can then select one of the stores and go directly to the website for purchase.
Note: Visit this project using your iPhone — requires the Quickpic application
Using: OANDA/FxTrade API
Description: Cash $oup! WTF? uses the HTML5 canvas and the Processing.js framework to draw floating organisms in a Primordial soup where each organism represents a currency exchange rate. The organisms grow and shrink in real time to reflect real time foreign exchange rates pulled from OANDA’s FxTrade API.
Note: The demo points to the development server so the rates being used are not current. The github repo is here.
Using: OANDA/FxTrade API
Description: currency_bot is a twitter bot announcing the value of one Canadian dollar in other currencies.
Description: 4square for media – check in for books, movies, music, etc.
By Brian Smith
Using: OANDA/FxTrade API and Freshbooks API
Description: Multi-currency time tracker is a tool which tracks time for billing in multiple currencies, then
submits it to Freshbooks.
Note: The Freshbooks functionality no longer works, but Brian will leave the OANDA stuff up as long as their API stays the same.
Using: OANDA/FxTrade API
Description: Trend-Blaster 3000 plots a currency’s value over the course of a year on a graph. By zooming in on sections of the graph and clicking on data points, New York Times articles for that time period are listed below. Using this information, it is possible to draw conclusions regarding the fluctuations in the currency.
Using: OANDA/FxTrade API, Yellw Pages API and Google Maps API
Description: Tyke Tycoon is a children’s game prototype for mobile touch screen devices. It lets kids track the money they find or receive (how much and where), shows them where the nearest bank is, and shows them how much their money is worth in various international currencies.
Note: The currency conversion has been removed from this project as it no longer connects to OANDA
Thanks to all the folks who submitted project information for this post. Once again, if we are missing your project info, please let us know!
We hope you enjoyed HackTO2, and keep on hackin’!
- HackTO: Second Edition
We have been busy planning the next HackTO. HackTO is a developer event, in Toronto, where we get to play with a variety of APIs and build applications we can brag about! The next HackTO is on Saturday September 25th and is almost sold out. If you don’t have a ticket, this is your last chance. We will be announcing the HackTO prizes for best built application next week so be sure to keep an ear open!
Many of you may be wondering what the API lineup is going to look like for this round. Well wonder no more; we’ve got six fabuloso APIs here to dirty your hands and spark your imagination. And we are very excited about the line up: freebase + image recognition anyone? ;-)
Each of the following APIs will be supported by a genuine, bona fide, electrified “rep” to answer any questions you may have and support your development efforts during HackTO.
Cadmus is a real-time service that manages your Twitter, FriendFeed and RSS streams. The API lets you sort your Twitter timeline by relevance. You can also see the entire conversation around a tweet, and any related tweets that have been made by your friends. Find top conversations from within your Twitter lists, and see trending topics specifically for lists and friends.
Get documentation for the Cadmus API
Freebase is an open, Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data containing information about 12 million real-world entities including people, places, films, books, events, business, and more. Use the API to access a graph database of about 400 million facts and connections between entities. Google just acquired Freebase so if you are not familiar with Freebase, this is your chance to become familiar before you start seeing this data goodness in your Google search results!
Get documentation for the Freebase API
FreshBooks supplies online billing services, allowing freelancers and small businesses manage their cashflow and get paid faster. The FreshBooks API allows 3rd party developers to expand and build on the FreshBooks platform. Access FreshBooks account data using HTTP and XML to create web and desktop applications that integrate with a FreshBooks account.
Get documentation for the FreshBooks API
OANDA provides Internet-based foreign exchange trading and currency information services. As one of the largest non-bank Futures Commission Merchants, it has access to one of the world’s largest historical, high frequency, filtered currency databases.
PixMatch is an image matching engine that allows you to perform large scale image comparisons – if you have been using TinEye then you are familiar with PixMatch. Identify exact image matches and modifications of a query image. For HackTO, the PixMatch API will be providing access to the Internet Archive’s Open Library collection of book covers. Start thinking image recognition + book covers!
Yellow Pages Group is Canada’s largest directory publisher. The API provides access to a large database of Canadian business content and allows direct streaming of local search content including video, photos, ad thumbs and more. Get geo-localized listings for map overlays and proximity search.
Get documentation for the YPG API
I hope that whets your appetite. Now eat your greens and start thinking about applications! In our next blog post we will point to a few ideas and implementations for the above APIs to get you going.
We are looking forward to welcoming you on Saturday September 25, 2010.
- Attention technophiles and TinEye fans!
Hello, fellow nerds and geeks! If you:
a) looooove technology
b) are a STUDENT (proof required)
c) live in the Greater Toronto Area
Then you’re in luck! Because we’ve got two student tickets to meshU burning a hole in our collective pocket, and they’re up for grabs!
For those out of the loop, meshU is “…a one-day event of focused workshops on design, development and team management given by those who have earned their stripes in the startup game”. You will get to hear from–and hang out with–some pretty cool peeps in the technology arena.
The TinEye team is all about technology love, and the execution of great ideas. So if you’re interested in scoring a ticket for the big day on May 17th, drop us a line and tell us why you want to go. What tools and technologies are you into? What cool projects are you working on? What are your plans for world domination?
The two most interesting responses (as judged by our staff of robots) will each receive one ticket. We will be accepting entries until Wednesday May 5th at midnight, EST. Winners will be announced the following day! Remember, you must be a student to use these tickets, and meshU will ask for identification.
Oh, and this probably goes without saying, but meshU is a small event and tickets sold out… so if you won’t be able to make it to Toronto for the 17th yourself, please be a dear and wait for the next TinEye giveaway. Thanks!
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.
- “Honestly, I still can’t wait to get my pants on in the morning”
Well honestly: neither can I! I discovered the Daily Routines website last week and today Rob Haggart reminded me of it with his post. Daily Routine is an awesome read. The quote above is from Thomas Friedman and that’s how I feel most mornings! Ok then, off to work fellows. Enjoy your day.
- 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!
- Cloud computing
Jinesh (AWS) has a great white paper about cloud computing out. The white paper is broken into two main sections:
Building GrepTheWeb in the Cloud, Part 1: Cloud Architectures
Building GrepTheWeb in the Cloud, Part 2: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
The first section of the paper will help you understand the benefits of building applications in-the-cloud; but if you are already a cloud user, the second section will help you more effectively utilize some of the best practices.
- Help A Reporter Out (and help yourself out too)
Peter Shankman has a good thing going.
His recently launched Help A Reporter Out is a service that connects reporters with sources. HARO started out as a small facebook group with fewer than a thousand members; now it has grown to a very loyal following of more than 16,000.
HARO’s strength is in its simplicity. Each day I receive three emails. Even if Shankman is jet-setting around the world for an interview, rocking out at the George Michael concert, running a marathon or skydiving, the emails still make it to my “things you must read” folder.
Each email has queries from reporters looking for sources on a wide variety of subjects. From the serious (looking for cloud computing users) to the wacky (pet-friendly haunted hotels) the HARO query lists certainly offer something for everyone and folks are getting pretty excited about what Shankman is up to.
There are usually anywhere between 10 and 30 queries per email, organized so you can read all of them in about five seconds. If any work for you, simply scroll down to learn a bit more then email the reporter with your details and why you’re an expert. Done.
Shankman’s tag-line for HARO is “everyone is an expert on something” and he’s right. If you see a query you can answer, you go for it.
It’s that incredibly simple. Like most brilliant things are.
Oh yeah – and it’s all free.