Tag Archives: democamp

WTF is Idea Camp?

You’ll never become a success if you execute a stupid idea  (except for the slapchop/shamwow guy … though he got arrested for punching a prostitute who bit his tongue and wouldn’t let go so perhaps success is debatable. I could make a "like my nuts?" joke, but I won’t)

Ideas are important and frankly I’m sick of hearing people deride them. You need good ideas to build  successful companies.

So with that, I have an  idea for you. If you were at the last democamp, you know I pitched the concept of idea camp.

We all have a pile of ideas locked away don’t we? I bet there’s gold in them hills and it is time to let others pan the river of ideas.

Ideas launch other ideas and amazing things can happen . Sad to lock them away, especially if it could spark something in another individual who is actually in a position to execute your idea.

I have no time. I just don’t. Between running favequest, isfan solutions and some music and art side projects, work with charities + three busy kids, I’m doing everything I can. Got no more to give.

My Vision for Idea Camp

My vision for this different from democamp or teamcamp. It consists of sessions where people pitch their ideas and keep a record of them on a site for anyone to check out. No NDA, no frieNDAs … Just free, no strings attached sharing. Any visitor or community member can visit, comment and run with any idea. He or she may choose to indicate that they are going to build a prototype and invite others to join. Perhaps people could vote ideas up and down digg style. Maybe it eventually includes a funding mechanism like kickstarter. Who knows.

Who is going to Step Up? Maybe you!

I’m giving this idea away and hoping some eager soul will pick it up and run with it.  Perhaps someone that is looking to make a difference and a name for himself or herself pick.

Why would you take this on? First, imagine if this spawned some amazing new companies. How cool would it be that you made that happen! It will allow your own reputation, experience and network to grow beyond what you can imagine. What if you crack the formula and it gets mimicked around the world and you get the cred.

Anything is possible. The key is to start. I’m happy to do consult and brainstorm but that’s it. This your baby.

So, who is going to lead the charge. Ping me at Allan.isfan@gmail or attend the next demo camp and we can chat.

By Allan Isfan

DemoCampOttawa on Februrary 2nd


It’s time for another DemoCamp – for Ottawa web startup entrepreneurs to show their peers their latest project and get some great feedback and support.

This month we’re going to try something different (why not?) and let you decide which projects you’d like to see on display.  In the past it has been a “first come, first present” based on signups and I had several companies contact me three days after we posted the event vying for the chance to present.  We considered some different ideas on how to be more “fair”, or at least another way of selecting startups, and I came to the conclusion that there’s no “right way” of selecting.

After a lot of thought, it was decided that DemoCamp isn’t actually about the presenters, or the products, or even the entrepreneurs (though its an awesome experience if you haven’t had the chance to present before!) – it’s about the community – all of us.  So why not get everyone involved in the selection process?

So… if you’re interested in presenting your project, I urge you to signup on the DemoCamp website.  Next week I’ll send out a poll and ask everyone who’s signed up (and StartupOttawa readers) to select which startups you’d like to see present.

If you’ve never attended a DemoCamp, I highly encourage you to come out and see the presentations and meet some awesome local entrepreneurs.  Check out the details below.

When: Wednesday, February 2nd, 6pm
Where: Mercury Grove HQ (738A Bank St, Suite 205)
Info (or to present): DemoCamp Website
Signup: Here

By Scott Annan

A whole lot of awesomeness at DemoCamp Ottawa

Last night marked the first Ottawa DemoCamp of the season and by all accounts, was a “smashing success”.  Below is a list of the presentations with my short description of each of the services.  If you live in Ottawa, have heard of Ottawa, or have ever used the internet (you’re reading this post right now) you should take 30 minutes to signup for every one of the apps below for three reasons:

  1. This is Innovation (capital I).  These are really great applications that are amazing from a design, usability, and application standpoint
  2. These apps could change the way you work and live and inspire you on whatever project you’re working on
  3. These are people in your community who are going to change the world, and they need your support and feedback.

Especially #3.  This is your obligation.  Their contribution is building awesome apps to change the world and getting up in front of 90 people to show and tell – warts and all.  My contribution is hosting the event and writing this post.  Yours is to try these apps out, try to apply them to your life, tell people you know, and provide some feedback to help these people achieve their goals.  And they’ll do the same for you when its your turn to take the stage.

OK, enough proselytizing, below are the awesome apps we saw last night:

Ellis Westwood kicked off the night with a presentation on crowdsourcing from Ascentum.  Ellis demo’d a crowdsourcing / community “voting” app that he built for the Canadian government to get feedback on their innovation strategy.  The app was clean, easy to use, and looked like something that would be really engaging for users – which is no small feat for a government / CLF website!

Pat Pichette of Mercury Grove presented webcollaboration.com next, which is a “client expectation management” service targeted at interactive agencies and software development companies.  Pat did a great job demonstrating how agencies and small dev shops can get a competitive advantage over the competition while improving overall communication and client relationships through the app.  Plus, there was some pretty awesome use of “AJAX” that really blew the crowd away!  This app was by far my (completely unbiased) favorite.

Ivan Paramanau followed Pat with a great app called TadaGraph which looked like an awesome way to create an online “co-working” experience for distributed teams.  It’s a great mix of twitter-like comments & responses that use hashtags to self-organize into project tasks, direct messages, group conversations, and location check-in.  Keep an eye out for TadaGraph – the uses for this kind of solution are widespread, and could have an impact in lots of different industries.  Ivan’s company, Itteco, has been working with local startups over the last few years, and I can personally attest to their awesome development skills.

During the break Allan Isfan talked about street lights, interactive quizzes before movies, and generated a lot of interest in a new event he’s planning to launch called IdeaCamp.  Keep an ear out for this event.

After the break Rich Loen from InGenius presented a yet to be named twitter application for the iPad that will change the way you use twitter (honestly).  It’s an “ingenius” (pun super-intended, but accurate) application that helps you track real-time stuff you care about (like tv shows, sports teams…) with learning algorithms that help you see in-context trending topics.  It really is a brilliant use of Twitter and I can hardly wait to get my hands on this app.  There were some complaints that it’s currently only available on the iPad, but mostly just whiny people who don’t have an ipad ;-) .  Awesome presentation!

Finally was a presentation by Jean-Francois Bibeau and Maxime Maltais on their awesome financial management app called wiserwallet.  It’s a great application that makes it easy to manage your budget with imports from all the major Canadian banks and more Ajax than you can shake a stick at.  It’s a very easy to use, simple (for the user, not so much in the implementation, I’m sure) app that could be really useful for managing your day-to-day budget, and planning for big ticket items.  It’s still early stage based on the founders’s ambition, but definitely good enough for you to signup and use.

By Scott Annan

DemoCamp Ottawa 10

Ladies and Gents, we’ve hit double digits! Congrats to Ottawa!

Ian Graham of The Code Factory posted on his blog yesterday that the 10th edition of DemoCamp is being held on Monday, the 29th of this month. Sign Up Here.

DemoCamp is one of the most exciting grass-roots tech events that happens in this city. There will be 6 short presentations from local groups that are presenting new and exciting technology that the’ve been working on.

Here are the presentations:

  1. Sixent – multi-profile social networking platform for sharing your life differently online
  2. FixIt Ottawa – upcoming local problem reporting tool
  3. Thinteknix – Communication / Computing solutions for SMB
  4. GiftMyList – A private gift exchange
  5. Chide.it – Will be showing two products: fluidSurveys.com and ReviewRoom
  6. Gazaro – Find the biggest sales!

Here is the location information:

  • Date: Monday, September 29, 2008 from 6pm to 9pm
  • Location: The Velvet Room 62 1/2 York Street
  • Format for 6 demos: 2 minute introduction, 8 minute demo, 5 minutes for Q&A and discussion

If you’ve been at a DemoCamp before, you know how amazing they are. If you haven’t been to a DemoCamp before, you’re in for a treat! See you there :-)

Here is the sign up link again: DemoCampOttawa10.

By Aydin Mirzaee