Category: Events

HackLab.To Pi Day Partay!

Pi Day is happening on March 14 and to celebrate in ultimate geekiness, the HackLab in Toronto is having a pie party! Well it is a pie contest really disgusied as a pie party!

Entrance to the party is a $10 donation (which will go towards lab expenses), or bring a pie.  Homemade pies only!  Quiche and other savory things made in round dishes count as pie.

Things will start up at 7pm at 170a Baldwin Street. Join us!

WineCamp – Toronto version

WineCamp is tomorrow and I am looking forward to some wine learning. I am a wine snob – read does not drink Ontario wines, but not because I don’t think they could be great, oh no, simply because my knowledge of Ontario wine is limited. Sandy Ward is going to fix that tomorrow! After being in Canada for so long, it is about time I learned something about its wines! I am afraid France will always have my heart and my cheese plate!

Research in action at University of Toronto on March 24

And it is happening again. Research in action presented by the department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto is taking place on March 24, 2009 from 1 PM to 6 PM. And of course as all previous years, the website describing what is usually an awesome get together and demonstrations by awesome group researchers and projects is pathetic.

I have been saying for 3 years now that if you want industry relations and collaborations you are gonna have to do a little bit better than this:

The department hopes “Research in Action” will provide a catalyst for new partnerships- and play a role in building the City of Toronto as a leader in high technology.

Bla bla bla. Please give me the following:

  • A description and links for each project that is in the showcase. I want to read the project description not google it from the description provided in your advertising postcard
  • A link to the teams working on the various project. I mean how can I develop relationships with folks I don’t know? Can I please get to know you? Links, profiles, videos, anything?
  • Linkable descriptions for the projects: If you want to spread the word, than I need links to forward to colleagues who may be interested in some of the projects you will be showing. I know my colleagues, I also know what they are interested in. I can get them to you but only if I have what I need. Links = getting the word out = participation = building a community. It is  not complicated.
  • Stop sending out postcards. And no, I don’t need a description of last year’s projects on this year’s website. I need this year’s descriptions.

Ok, folks, please get to it. Pronto. Please help me help you. Oui?

Now that my rant is out of the way, here are the details for attending (and yes, you will meet some great folks!): Tuesday March 24, 2009; 1 PM to 6 PM at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology; 40 St George Street, Room 3200. Registration and further *limited* details here.

DemoCamp Toronto: DC19 March 3, 2009 – Sold out!

I know I missed DemoCamp and I am sure you have too since we get constant inquiries about the next DemoCamp. We are back in the planning bandwagon and will be able to set up a whole series of DemoCamps in Toronto in the coming months. So stay tuned for details.

The next DemoCamp TO is happening March 3, 2009.

There are two sets of tickets, the demo tickets and the networking only tickets. Everyone attending will need a ticket (your registration receipt from Eventbrite is your ticket). The demo tickets allow the ticket holders to view the demos on the second floor of the pub; the networking tickets are limited to the ground floor and will allow ticket holders to networking with attendees.

Since this event is sold out I am not going to bore you with the details of how to register! I am sorry that we are limited by the venue size as it would be awesome to see many of you – we don’t have enough face time in our industry! If you are aware of a large free space downtown that we could use for the next democamp, please get in touch. I can be reached at lboujnane (@) We are always looking for free space and this is a limitation in organizing DemoCamps.

We are of course looking for awesome presentations – as always. This is an opportunity for you to show your peers what you have been working on, get some feedback and impress!

How to present?

All presentations are 5 minutes. There are 2 types of presentations:

  • Demos – 2 slides, if necessary to describe the problem or market, then functioning software that can be demo-ed
  • Ignites – 20 slides x 15 seconds/slide, slides advance automatically every 15 seconds

As a presenter, you get 5 minutes to tell us your story and demo your application. To submit your presentation please drop David Crow and email at david (@)  or simply use the forms at Strutta. If you have any questions, please drop me a line lboujnane (@)

David has all the DemoCamp details including prizes!

We have a wonderful group of sponsors who stepped up to support DemoCamp Toronto: Hyndman Law, RedFlagDeals, Sun Start Up Essentials, MeshU, AshleyIT Services and Microsoft BizPark.

Honoring the Internet’s Best: The Webby Awards

I have been indicted inducted 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, Stephen Colbert, Michel Gondry, Lorne Michaels and Tim & Eric.

Looking forward to an exiciting evening with you all.

It is personal

That would be the user generated content conference in February 2009 in California. I will be speaking at the conference and I am looking forward to it. I am surrounded by user generated content: open source software in the software space, wikipedia, flickr and creative commons, ThinkBig,  just to name a few. I am looking forward to meeting some of the other speakers and putting together a kick ass presentation.

I am obsessed these days with search, particularly searching user generated content. You can’t use what you can’t find. I know that everyone else is more concerned about trust and accuracy: like in can you trust what you are reading and is it accurate. Search will find the accuracies and inaccuracies all the same! Searching photographs is particularly painful since we typically rely on keywords to be associated with images to find them. It is a starting point but it is limiting. Large scale image searching on the web is still in its infancy. We have seen a lot of development in the search space this year, with the introductions of visual search features, colour searching, keywords + geotags but we still have a ways to go. What I have been thinking a lot about is the creation of a world visual repository: imagine (soon) being able to take a photograph of anything and getting back (useful) information about what you photographed, via mobile devices preferrably.

How far are we from this dream? I say: not very far. Not very far. Start work on stealth project now!

Queen’s Entrepreneurs Competition 2009

I am looking forward to being one of the judges for QEC 2009 (Queen’s Entrepreneurs Competition). Although their website needs major help (!), the event promises to be awesome. Previous years account for that already! For the 21st year in a row, Queen’s University is putting on the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition (QEC). The QEC is a business plan competition that brings students from top schools around the world to Kingston to compete for over $25,000 worth of investment grants. There will be 16 finalists which is going to make for some exciting judging…

Besides the competition, meeting the other judges and speakers, I am looking forward to meeting like-minded entrepreneurs and hearing some of their stories and of course offering any help I can.

Mo’ money Mo’ fun at hohoTO

If you have not hear about hohoTO then you must be living under a rock!

A group of us have been working very hard in the past week to get Toronto’s Geek Event of the year under way. And I have to say that I am totally blown away by what we have accomplished in a matter of 72 hours: scheduled the party (it is now for Monday December 15, 2008); booked the venue, sold tickets, got sponsors and in total fund raised over $10,000 from our generous sponsors and ticket buyers all to go to the Toronto Daily Food Bank. But I want more. I am a demanding person I know. I want every single one of you out there who has not bought a ticket to buy one immediately. Why? Because our ticket price is going to increase on Tuesday and it will increase by $5 everyday until December 15. So buy your ticket now, or allow me to part you with more of your money on the day of the event because… you know… you will want to attend and tickets at the door will be prohibitive!

All the event details that are fit to blog follow:

Location: The Mod Club

Date and Time: starting at 19:00 on Monday December 15, 2008

There will be incredible geeks to meet, chat to, drink and dance with. There will be awesome food. A great charity to support and an awesome way to end the year. Planning this event has brought back fond memories of my early years fundraising for the Food Bank, the Toronto Humane Society and Aids Action Now: things get done before people care! A great thank you to the entire Toronto technology community who has been incredibly supportive in the planning and fundraising for this event. A great thank you to all the folks who rolled up their sleeves without asking questions and got working, working, working to get things done. We are at the half way mark (the event is in a week) and I still wish we could fund raise double the amount of money we currently fundraised, why you ask? Because these are difficult times for a lot of people, you have seen the scary headline…

Please give generously. Please buy a ticket for yourself or someone whose company you enjoy! Please help us make a difference for The Toronto Food Bank. And if you can’t attend the event, well, please consider buying a ticket anyway, your donation will go straight to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Only positive thoughts forward.

(Photograph copyright Tim)



ProductCamp is coming to Toronto! That’s exciting. I never attended the Toronto Product Management Association meetings. I never found them to be very relevant to our high tech product management worlds (we are a strange bunch at the ideeplex) so I am very interested to see how the ProductCamp unconference will shape up. All the details fit to blog are here. This is just a drive by blog post as I don’t want to forget about getting involved. Congrats to Chris Herbert’s for the launch and Chris Gurney whose post pointed me in the right directions.