#YQG 2017 Make Your Pitch Contest Entries Need Your Votes

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch. High School Students: Pitch Us Your Business Idea! Submissions are now closed. Check out the videos and vote for your favourite! #makeyourpitch

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch, is an Ontario high school entrepreneurship competition. Every year, WEtech Alliance along with other Ontario Network of Entrepreneur local partners, work with local high schools teachers and students to submit their “Pitch”.

This year we are pleased to share three (3) local submissions. Your support in voting and social media sharing is greatly appreciated.

We need to ensure we have local winner this year at OCE Discovery, May 15-16 in Toronto. Since the inception of this competition, Windsor-Essex students have done very well in winning top prizes.

Please click on each video below and click on “vote” in the top right hand side of the screen (you must create a log-in or connect through Facebook).

Online voting period ends April 20th. You can vote for each of the finalists once per day.

1. LITLYTE – Custom Spoon Lamps – Hon W.C Kennedy Collegiate Institute

2. Printable Canada – Assumption College Catholic High School

3. Pushing for Knowledge – Assumption College Catholic High School

April at Hackforge

Project Management MeetUp
Wednesday, April 19: 7:00PM
​This group is for all professionals from any industry, and business owners to come together and exchange ideas and good practices ​in Project Management, Agile Product Development and Process Improvement, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Facebook Event

Software Guild: BDD and Gherkin + Lightening Talks
Wednesday, April 26: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Add some new tools to your testing toolbelt with this beginner friendly introduction to behavior driven development and the Gherkin scripting language. This talk provides an overview of how BDD connects user goals to human readable test scenarios. It also demonstrates how BDD can simplify test maintenance effort when requirements change frequently.

This talk will be followed by Lightening Talks. Got something to share? Sign up in the Facebook event to present a short (5 mins or less) talk.
Facebook Event

Open Coding Night
Monday, April 10: 7:00 – 9:00PM
Have a project you’re working on? Need to bounce ideas off other programmers? Want to try out a tutorial for new programming language? From beginners to pros, Open Coding Night is designated time for you to hone your craft. Bring your laptop and get coding!
Facebook Events

Repair the World! Climate Change & Technology
Tuesday, April 18: 7:00 PM
Repair the World is a monthly meet-up of those who want to learn more about the technologies and policies we can employ in Windsor-Essex to lead us towards a carbon-neutral future and to help our community cope with the effects of global warming. For our first meeting we are going to use Bret Victor’s What can a technologist do about climate change as our starting point.
Facebook Event

3D Printer Show and Tell
Saturday, April 8: 1:00 PM
Are you interested in building a 3D printer? Please join us for an informal and beginner friendly meet and greet. Attendees will share photos and stories about 3D printers that they have built, want to build or are currently building. Feel free to bring your own photos and stories! We look forward to planning future events for 3D printer builders and want to gauge interest.
Facebook Event

FastFingers Commodore 64 Demo
Wednesday, April 12: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Dan Laskowski demonstrates his 1984 lead synth software/ hardware for the C64 and Mattel Intellivision Piano Keyboard 27 years later! It is called Fastfingers.
Facebook Event
Book Club: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (1992)
Tuesday, April 25: 7:00 PM
When a virulent computer virus (or is it a drug? or a religion?) called Snow Crash gets loose and somehow starts infecting humans, Hiro teams up with a sassy skateboard messenger to save both the real world and cyberspace.

Join us for a casual conversation on Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk classic ‘Snow Crash’.
Facebook Event



 Intro to Javascript
Saturday, April 22: 1:00 – 3:00 PM
$15 General / $10 Student / FREE for Hackforge Members
Excuse me, but everyone is a tech person! Want to learn to code? You can do it! JavaScript is a practical, easy to learn language.
This two hour class will show you the basics of JavaScript and get you writing some code.
Bring your laptop and let’s get coding! This class is designed for beginners.
All proceeds from this event go to support Hackforge’s community programming and physical space.
Sign up here!
Border City Data: Using City of Windsor Open Data 
Monday, April 24: 7:00PM
Border City Data welcomes Bob Price, Technical Support Analyst at City of Windsor to talk about the City of Windsor’s open data. We will then give a talk about the practical uses for businesses and not-for-profits. Beginner friendly!


Board Game Night
Wednesday, April 5: 7:00 – 10:00 PM
Join us for a night of board games and card games from 7-10PM. If you’re new to board games, we encourage you to come by as we will have trusty Hackforgers there to help get you started. Bring your favourite game (that can be played in less than four hours)!
Facebook Event

The Great Canadian Game Project April Meetup
Sunday, April 23: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
The game jam is on from February 1 to July 1! Participants have 150 days to conceive and create a game that is proudly Canadian!
Drop by the monthly meetup to discuss your ideas, ask questions, watch tutorials from mentors to help you get started, find existing projects to join, see progress of other developers and more!
More information to be updated at http://canada150game.ca/
Facebook Event


Windsor Hosts Fourth Robotics Event

Windsor, ON – Thirty teams representing 1000 high school students from across North America invade the St. Denis Centre with their robots on the weekend of March 31st to April 1st for the 4th Annual Windsor Essex Great Lakes Event FIRST Robotics Competition.
They are part of the FIRST Robotics Competition that partners students with professional engineers, programmers, skilled workers and entrepreneurs over a six week period to design and build 120 pound robots that compete in an arena.  In the past, these robots shot basketballs and Frisbees 200 feet into scoring baskets and climbed 10-foot steel pyramids.  This year’s challenge is called Steamworks.
The public is encouraged to attend Friday and Saturday at the St. Denis Centre from 8:30-4:30pm – admission is FREE.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is supported by 4000 companies worldwide including over half of all FORTUNE 500 companies such as Boeing, Bombardier, Chrysler and Google.
Dozens of local companies are supporting the tournament and supporting local teams as a way to bridge the skills mismatch that is hampering industry and also fueling regional youth unemployment.
Students who participate in FIRST are twice as likely to attend university and college and twice as likely to major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
WEtech Alliance – a Regional Innovation Centre – spearheaded the growth of FIRST Robotics in Windsor and Essex and led the bid to host the Robotics Regional. “The success of our regional industry depends upon our ability to cultivate the next generation of skilled workers, innovators and technology entrepreneurs,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance.
“FIRST Robotics partners industry, the university and college with schools to better prepare our young people for a 21st century knowledge economy,” says Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, Director of Partnerships at WEtech Alliance. “Each robotics team is run like a tech startup with future programmers and engineers working alongside future graphic designers, business and public relations graduates”.

“FIRST believes in enabling young people to grow up to solve the world’s most pressing problems, be strong citizens, and build a brighter future for themselves and their community.  A new video from FIRST proclaims “this isn’t a robot, it’s a lesson in humility, hard work and collaboration. It’s cross fit – for the brain. It’s the sport that will help us win tomorrow.  It’s software to program ourselves to cure cancer, to build a clean engine or to set foot on Mars. FIRST is a machine to build the people that will change the world. Bold statement yes, but in my opinion not an exaggeration at all,” says Larry Koscielski, Chair of Windsor Essex FIRST Robotics.

For more information please contact:
WHEN: March 31 – April 1, 2017 starting 8:30am
WHERE: St. Denis Centre @ the University of Windsor
WHO: 1000 high school students on 30 teams and 2500 spectators each day
  • Tournament pumps up to $1 million into local economy
  • Star Power: tournament involves over 20 Regional Judges who are executives and senior professionals from major companies and organizations
Follow the conversation with hashtag #WEGLR
About WEtech Alliance
WEtech Alliance is Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent’s Technology Accelerator; an industry-led non-profit organization focused on driving the growth and success of technology centric companies and entrepreneurs through leadership, connections and promotion. WEtech strives to identify, find solutions and foster the development of the technology industry in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent by engaging companies in the technology and innovation sector, as well as companies who utilize technology.


For further information or to set up an interview, please contact:
Irek Kusmierczyk, PhD
Director of Partnerships, WEtech Alliance

University of Windsor and St. Clair College formalize entrepreneurial agreement

(Windsor, Ontario, March 29, 2017) – Beginning April 1, the University of Windsor’s Entrepreneurship, Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) will extend its entrepreneurial outreach to St. Clair College.   The St. Clair Genesis Centre’s team will merge with EPICentre, creating a new location called EPIC Genesis.   This collaboration will build on synergies and expand the services available to college and university students in Windsor-Essex.   It will create opportunities to mix and connect the varying skill sets of these post-secondary students and graduates, and potentially enable highly innovative venture teams.

“Entrepreneurship often involves the collaboration of specialists, and that is certainly reflected in this development,” said St. Clair College President Patti France. “The opportunity for our students to work with the students and staff of the university – and their students and staff to work with the college’s – means that entrepreneurs will have access to the cutting-edge expertise of both institutions. When both schools share the ultimate goal of providing tools for student success, why duplicate efforts in this field? The university was well positioned to be the lead agency in this particular partnership, and we’ll continue to explore other opportunities to jointly assist the students of both institutions.”

EPICentre is the entrepreneurial hub at the University of Windsor created to encourage entrepreneurship on campus and to support students and graduates interested in launching their own businesses. EPICentre hosts more than 100 programs and activities each year.

“The University of Windsor is looking forwarding to strengthening its collaborative relationship with St. Clair College and furthering opportunities for entrepreneurship in our region,” said University President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Wildeman.

“St. Clair College faculty, students and alumni will add a new dimension to the innovative activities taking place in EPICentre, and expand opportunities to all post-secondary students and graduates in our region.”

EPICentre will now have three physical locations. At the University of Windsor, EPIC Innovation in the Joyce Entrepreneurship Centre provides incubation and co-working space, and the EPIC Industrial Hub in the Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) provides equipment and incubation space for startups and collaboration space for industry.

At St. Clair College, EPIC Genesis will continue to provide part-time co-working and event space.  Facilities and programs offered at any EPICentre location can be accessed by post-secondary students and recent alumni of either institution.  For more information, visit its website on http://www.epicentreuwindsor.ca/.



Wen Teoh

Venture Start Director

Entrepreneurship Practice & Innovation Centre (EPICentre)

University of Windsor

2455 Wyandotte Street West, 2nd Floor

Windsor, ON N9B 0C1

Phone: 519.253.3000 ext. 3913

E-mail: wteoh@uwindsor.ca

City of Windsor Open Data Catalogue

The City of Windsor recently released 33 new open data sets on Public Works and Forestry service request information collected through 311.  The service request data sets include information from 2016, as well as 2017 year to date information with details on the type of request, department responsible to address the request, date and time the request was received, the general location and ward details.

You can check out the new data sets HERE.

NatureFresh™ Farms Technology Strategy Garners National IT Award

Leamington, ON (January 31st, 2017) – As technology seems to evolve at the speed of sound, NatureFresh™ Farms continues to be at the forefront of the greenhouse vegetable industry by applying cutting edge technologies to it’s operations. In doing so, the company was recently named the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) Ingenious Award Winner for Small/Medium Private (Non-ICT) Category for 2016.

“NatureFresh™ Farms is facing tough competition from other countries with much lower costs and much like the rest of the industry, tighter regulations for food safety & increase requirements for food quality”, said Ronan McGrath, Principal, Ronan McGrath & Associates, Selection Committee Member & Past President, ITAC. In order to compete economically, NatureFresh™ Farms invested in a complete rebuild of its information technology structure to be more operationally efficient. In doing so, the company saw an immediate impact across it’s operations.



2017 Futurpreneur Canada & BDC Women’s Campaign

There’s no glass ceiling for an entrepreneur. You find your path and accelerate. And there’s no need to “lean in”. After all, you’re too busy defining success on your own terms. Why not join the many women we’ve already helped launch, buy or grow a business?

Futurpreneur Canada and BDC just launched an exciting new marketing campaign to attract and support more women entrepreneurs. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Follow the campaign on social media and like, comment or share the posts
    • Twitter: @Futurpreneur and @BDC_CA
    • Facebook: /BDC and /Futurpreneur
    • Instagram: /BDC_CA and Futurpreneur
    • LinkedIn: Futurpreneur Canada and BDC
  • Join the Thunderclap campaign to share a special message through your Facebook and/or Twitter account on International Women’s Day (March 8th).
  • Visit the campaign page to start a business or share it with a friend!

Futurpreneur Canada is a non-profit organization helping Canadians become business owners with loan financing, mentoring and business resources. They’re partnering with BDC to help women across the country achieve their dreams of owning a business.

Get started on your dream today!