28th Annual Business Excellence Awards Recipients

Photo by Mike Kovaliv Photography | Snapd Windsor

The recipients of the 28th Annual Business Excellence Awards presented by the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and Windsor Star were announced at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts on Wednesday night. This premier business event of year recognizes professional individuals and companies who have set standards and demonstrated achievements that have contributed to the prosperity and business development in Windsor and Essex County.

2018 Business Excellence Award Recipients

Mid-Size Company of the Year Award – Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank
Baron Championship Rings

New Business of the Year Award – Sponsored by EPICentre, University of Windsor
Wolfhead Distillery Inc.

Believe Windsor Essex Award – Sponsored by WFCU Credit Union
Michael Schlater, CEO, Domino’s Pizza of Canada

Innovation Award – Sponsored by Union Gas
Inspire HUB Technologies Inc.

Small Company of the Year Award – Sponsored by Families First
Forest Glade Tecumseh Veterinary Professional Corporation

Pillars of our Community Award – Sponsored by Motor City Community Credit Union
Transition to Betterness

Young Professional of the Year Award – Sponsored by Libro Credit Union
Dr. Abby Jakob, Optometrist/Owner, EYES Optometry

ATHENA Award – Sponsored by BELL
Pat Soulliere, President, Soulliere Financial Group

Tourism & Hospitality Award – Sponsored by Caesars Windsor and OLG
The Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast

Professional of the Year Award – Sponsored by TD Bank Group
Dan Gemus, Owner/Broker of Record, Dan Gemus Real Estate Team

Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Sponsored by St. Clair College
Vince Schiller, Owner/President, Southwestern Manufacturing

Large Company of the Year Award – Sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal

Congratulations to all finalists and award winners!
2018 Business Excellence Award Finalists Videos

Click here to watch the Finalists videos, courtesy of Media Street Productions!

Makers, Crafters & Performers wanted for first annual Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire on February 24, 2018

Makers, Crafters & Performers wanted for first annual Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire
on February 24, 2018

Call for Entries Open through January 31, 2018

Windsor, ON — The Maker Faire is coming to Windsor! The first annual Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire is scheduled for Saturday February 24, 2018 at St. Clair College.

The Call for Makers, Performers and Crafters is open now through January 31, 2018.  Entries can be submitted by individuals or by groups, such as hobbyist clubs and schools. The Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire particularly encourages exhibits that are interactive and that highlight the process of making things. Any groups or individuals interested in participating in this inaugural event must complete an application at https://windsoressex.makerfaire.com/call-for-makers/ by the end of January.

The Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire takes after other large Maker Faire events such as Maker Faire Detroit. The Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire will be a smaller, community-focused event, but will follow the Maker Faire model of celebrating do-it-yourself creativity and tinkering.

Featuring both established and emerging local “makers,” the inaugural Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly celebration featuring student projects, robotics, DIY science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, unique hand-made crafts, and interactive art projects.

Everyone in the community is welcome. Attendance is free. Pre-registration is required.  Visit windsoressex.makerfaire.com for more information. Maker Faire Windsor-Essex is independently produced by The University of Windsor EPICentre, in partnership with the St. Clair College Genesis Centre, and in collaboration with Maker Media. 

About EPICentre

The Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) at the University of Windsor is a campus-wide initiative that encourages entrepreneurship on campus, and supports students and graduates interested in launching their own businesses.  The St. Clair College EPIC Genesis Centre is a unique partnership between the University of Windsor – the lead agency – and St. Clair College, giving entrepreneurs access to the cutting-edge expertise of both institutions.

About Maker Faire

Maker Faire, the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth, is a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, and celebration of the Maker Movement. Maker Faire was born in 2005 out of the launch of Make: magazine as an opportunity for makers of all skills, interests, and ages to connect face-to-face and share their projects, insights, and excitement about making. Read more about the history of the Maker Movement and Maker Faire here.

Follow the development of the Windsor-Essex Mini Maker Faire:

Web:                     https://windsoressex.makerfaire.com/

Twitter                  https://twitter.com/EPICGMakerFaire

Instagram            https://www.instagram.com/epicgenemakerfaire/

Facebook             https://www.facebook.com/events/102986507166981/


Tecumseh Vista students will be plugging into 3 brand new Solar Powered Outdoor Classrooms

Beginning this Wednesday Tecumseh Vista Academy students will be plugging into desks located at 3 brand new Solar Powered Outdoor Classrooms, each situated along a paved pathway spanning the school’s 35-acre property linking the Town of Tecumseh’s existing pathways connecting the school to the community and nearby McAuliffe Park.

The Solar Powered Outdoor Classrooms are part of Tecumseh Vista Academy’s Pathway to Progress project for which the school was awarded $100,000 from Aviva Insurance for their winning idea which integrates the school, environment and community in a multi-platform concept.

The Solar Powered Classrooms were designed manufactured, and will be installed by Tecumseh based Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies Inc.

Last December Tecumseh Vista Academy was announced as one of the national winners in the annual Aviva Community Fund contest.

‘I believe these solar powered classrooms are the first of their kind anywhere….. my hats off to the Tecumseh Vista Parent Council, staff and students for their tremendous vision in conceptualizing these classrooms, we are proud to help make this vision a reality. We were even able to get some co op students involved in the design and build process, so it really was a win win for everyone involved”

Brave Control Solutions Ranks No.86 on the 2017 PROFIT 500

Windsor, Ontario (September 14th, 2017) – Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Brave Control Solutions No.86 on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest- Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

Brave Control Solutions made the 2017 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 847%

“It is never easy to earn a spot on the PROFIT 500, but this year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” says Deborah Aarts, PROFIT 500 program manager. “This year’s winners demonstrate the resilience, innovation and sheer management smarts it takes to build a thriving business today. Canada—and the world—needs more entrepreneurial success stories like these.”

“Brave is extremely proud to be able to rank on the PROFIT 500 list for our 4th consecutive year.” says, Owner & President, Brent McPhail. “It takes a truly talented, driven and dedicated team to be able to achieve the growth necessary to earn a spot on this list in any given year. To have a team that is able to keep up that level of intensity and hard work over 4 years is simply incredible.”

“I’ve had the great fortune and privilege to watch the entire team at Brave grow along with the business. It is their dedication, perseverance, commitment and loyalty to the company that has allowed us to achieve all that we have in the last 4 years.”

“Brave has been just one of many successfully growing companies to emerge in Windsor & Essex county. The growth I’ve witnessed across the entire Windsor/Essex region has been truly inspiring. We are incredibly proud to be based where we are, and even more fortunate to be surrounded by so many great companies that are committed to coming together to showcase the great amount of growth potential that exists here in our community.”

About the PROFIT 500

For 29 years, the PROFIT 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Developed by PROFIT and now published in Maclean’s magazine and at CanadianBusiness.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth. For more information on the ranking visit PROFIT500.com or CanadianBusiness.com.

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.

About Brave Control Solutions Inc.

Brave Control Solutions Inc. is a solutions company that uses technology to automate processes. Our specialty is retrofitting existing mechanical machines with state of the art control systems that improve productivity. Founded in 2008, Brave has been consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada.
Visit us online at bravecs.com.

Print for Healthcare

EPICentre’s inaugural PRINT FOR HEALTHCARE competition will see post-secondary students, and the community at large, develop innovative 3D-printed healthcare devices that meet the needs of local healthcare providers. We have officially partnered with Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and have support from several local healthcare providers, educational institutions, and 3D printing businesses.

READ MORE http://www.epicentreuwindsor.ca/print-for-healthcare/ 

To participate in this competition as a team mentor or to register your team, please visit our website or contact Michelle Nevett at nevettm@uwindsor.ca OR 519-253-3000 ext. 6615.

Windsor’s Fibre Network Gets Free Speed Boost

MNSi Telecom is tired of seeing prices getting raised without any actual benefits going to the customer, so effective immediately, Windsor’s local Internet company will be upgrading its minimum speed for Fibre Internet accounts from 10 Mbps to 15 Mbps – with no additional charges being passed on to customers.

“This is our way of saying thank you for being a loyal Fibre customer,” said Clayton Zekelman, President and Owner of MNSi. “We’re increasing the minimum speed to 15 Mbps – that’s actually 50% more speed than before. We know not every customer has a need for blistering fast speeds of up to 1Gbps, but they do want their connection to be stable, reliable and able to handle everyday tasks. Now those everyday tasks will be a little bit quicker.”

MNSi Telecom is currently in the midst of the city’s largest Fibre build. The gradual roll-out of upgrades throughout Windsor, with an expected investment of $35 million, will be the fastest Internet service offered in the city, with speeds of up to 1 Gbps. While other companies are currently passing the costs of infrastructure upgrades to customers with hefty price increases, MNSi has actually lowered prices earlier this year with a drop of up to $50 per month on certain accounts.

While fibre services begin as low as $59.95 per month for homes, power users can now experience the 1 Gbps package at only $125 per month. All connections give subscribers unlimited data, allowing them to take full advantage of the speed of fibre optics without worrying about data caps. Fibre service will support download speeds of up to 940 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

The fibre roll-out is the company’s single largest infrastructure buildout since it began in 1995 and provides customers with a direct link to the fibre source. Unlike a cable company’s “hybrid fibre”, which still uses copper coaxial cable technology, or a phone company’s “fibre to the node” service, which still uses old and limited copper phone lines, MNSi’s advanced network brings fibre optic technology with direct fibre lines right to the home and business.

MNSi is a local Windsor based company that has been providing Internet services to Windsor and the surrounding areas since 1995. Technical support and customer service teams are based in Windsor, with no offshore or outsourced call centres.

Photo and PDF/Word versions of this press release are available at:


Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics Grads Score Bursaries

Windsor, Ontario (June 27, 2017) – Five high school graduates will receive $1000 towards their post-secondary education from bursaries established by Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics – the local organizing arm for FIRST Robotics Canada.

The annual bursaries are made possible through a generous contribution from the South Western Ontario Industry Education Council (SWOIEC).

“These bursaries will help empower our young people to build their future and in turn build the future prosperity of our communities,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance – a Regional Innovation Centre that has spearheaded the growth of FIRST Robotics in Windsor-Essex.

Five bursaries are named in honour of James Broom and Spencer James – a student and mentor of FIRST Robotics teams at Maranatha Christian Academy and Belle River High School respectively – who recently passed away.

“Both James and Spencer inspired the people around them, and we established this bursary to honour that legacy,” says Larry Koscielski, VP of Process and Technology Development at CenterLine and Chair of Windsor Essex FIRST Robotics.

The following students from the following high schools received bursaries to attend the following post-secondary institutions:

  1. Hunter Thorne, Westview Freedom Academy (Team 6202), University of Windsor, BA Combined Honours History and Greek and Roman Studies
  2. Christopher Nardone, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School (Team 5885), University of Windsor, Electrical Engineering
  3. Hannah Iacobelli, Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School (Team 4932), Ryerson University, Biomedical Engineering
  4. Andrew Drury, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School (Team 5885). University of Waterloo, Mechatronics Engineering
  5. Zahra Mouhammad, Hon. W. C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute (Team 4508), Trent/Swansea, Law and Arts Dual Degree

FIRST Robotics is an international high-school robotics program wherein teams of twenty to thirty students work alongside professional mentors to dream up, design and build 120 pound robots that compete in an arena.

Four years ago there was only one high school robotics team and one FIRST Lego League team operating at the grade school level.

Today, there are 18 high school and over 60 grade school robotics teams competing in Windsor-Essex and Kent Counties.  Over 1,000 students were involved in FIRST in our area this year.

Windsor is also home to the Windsor Essex Great Lakes District Event – which each year draws 1500 high school students from across North America.

Fun Fact: Detroit will host the FIRST Robotics Global Championship in 2018.





For further information, please contact:

Larry F. Koscielski

Chair, Windsor Essex FIRST Robotics

lfk@cntrline.com 519-816-3265

Project Release: Workforce WindsorEssex Skills Matrix


Workforce WindsorEssex is excited to announce the launch of our Skills Matrix! 

To develop this resource we identified the top 50 in-demand jobs using information gathered from job postings, employer consultations, and employer responses to our quarterly surveys. These jobs are organized by skill level A,B,C,D  and details on required experience, median wage, and alternate job titles are provided. Community definitions for foundational, soft, and technical skills are also included.

This resource will be useful in identifying strengths and skill sets that align with in-demand careers in our region.  We encourage you to use this document as you help clients and students in their job search, as you review the skill sets of your current employees or as you pursue new career opportunities.

Support Hackforge, Windsor’s Tech Hub!

Windsor Hackforge has launched a crowdfunding campaign! All proceeds raised will support their downtown space and programming to promote and teach about technology with the goal of keeping the majority of their events free and open to the public.

When you donate to Hackforge, you’re supporting the space and programming, plus getting some sweet sweet swag. T-shirts, stickers, 3D printed keychains, and more!

Located in the heart of downtown Windsor at 255 Ouellette, Hackforge is a registered non-profit focused in technology. A member-driven organization, they host events and programming for beginners, professionals, and hobbyists. Hackforge operates as an event space, community workshop, and co-working space.

All proceeds raised will support their downtown space and programming to promote and teach about technology. They want to keep the majority of our events free and open to the public but we need your help.

The campaign is open now and runs until their Anniversary Party on May 27th. You can pick up the donation swag then and any time after that at Hackforge.

The Ultimate 519 Day Giveaway!

To many – the number 519 is synonymous with home.

On May 19th – it’s an opportunity to celebrate the City we love.

The annual 519 Day is an opportunity to give our city a big community-wide hug around those things that make Windsor great – as we invite residents to share their favourite photos and memories of Windsor on social media using the #519Day hashtag.

There are many ways residents and visitors can celebrate #519Day including enjoying all-day Toasty’s Grilled Cheese and Salad Bar’s Original Grilled Cheese for only $5.19 or treating yourself to some Pushers Co. YQG gear at 30% off. Music fan? Elite Piano Studios will host a special #519Day free concert from 7:30 – 8:30 with confirmed performances by Brendan Friel. Art lover? Check out Part Art Part Party Pt.11 – 5/19 Day happening in the amazing art alley behind Five Ten starting at 5:19PM.

Want more? Join WindsorEats for their Friday Night Lights Free Bike Ride. Riders will meet up at 7:30pm at Willistead Park and depart at 8:00pm visiting The Rondo, Walkerville Eatery and Craft Heads Brewing Company for a unique pub and grub crawl on two wheels throughout the city of Windsor.

And it’s not just 519 celebrating. Our 313 neighbors in Detroit are joining in too. The HandleBar, Detroit’s first and only 16 person, pedal-powered pub on wheels, wants to give 519 a special 313 experience. In partnership with WEtech Alliance and BB Branded, HandleBar is giving away a chance for a #519er to cruise the streets of Detroit with 15 of their closest friends. Even better, the Winner (and friends) will win some BB Branded popular 519er swag to cruise the streets of Detroit in local fashion.

“My brother and I have always been big fans of the 519, particularly from the ages of 19 and 20, but just because we operate HandleBar tours in the central part of downtown doesn’t mean we don’t still have love for “South Detroit”.  Happy 519 day guys!” said Brian Lindsay, co-owner of the HandleBar.

The Ultimate 519 Day Giveaway will run May 17th until May 19th at 5PM. The winner will be announced at exactly 5:19PM on May 19th.


You can enter our contest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Enter on all 3 to increase your chances of winning!

Facebook – like, comment or share our promo post

Twitter – RT our promo tweet

Instagram – like our promo tweet

Good luck!

Results of the Consolidated Regional Business Survey Highlights Growth and Local Business Priorities

Windsor-Essex County, Ontario, – Wednesday, May 10, 2017– During Economic Development Week – March 27 -31, 2017 a collaborative effort was made by WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC), the regional Economic Development Officers (EDO), Workforce WindsorEssex, WEtech Alliance and the  Ministry of Economic Development and Growth as they met face-to-face with approximately 100 companies and encouraged them to complete the business retention and expansion survey.

The ‘one survey’ concept was developed by participating organizations to prevent ‘survey fatigue’ by the business community as well as to share the aggregated collected data results. Since all participants are using the same survey data they are able to analyze trends which improves the validation of the information. The data collected will help the city, county and region identify specific issues and challenges faced by Windsor-Essex companies and will help promote continued collaboration and teamwork among the partners. The partners were pleased to see that over 200 surveys were completed.

Drew Dilkens, Mayor of the City of Windsor said, “The City of Windsor is booming right now, of the businesses surveyed, we now know almost 60% of these companies are planning to expand within the next 18 months. This is consistent with the Conference Board of Canada’s Outlook report for the Windsor Census Metropolitan Area as the second fastest growing economy in all of Canada for 2017. Data from this collaborative initiative will help the city focus our attention in the right places and help businesses navigate barriers that may be in their way.”

Tom Bain, Warden of Essex County added, “The face-to-face outreach  meetings with businesses within Essex County during Economic Development Week coupled with the valuable feedback we have received from the survey is vital information for the County and the City. It gives us first-hand insight into the needs of our local businesses and our role in helping them stay competitive and successful. The ‘one survey’ concept is an example of like-minded economic development professionals collaborating to make a difference for businesses in the Windsor-Essex region.  Teamwork is essential to the prosperity of every community and teamwork will continue to move the region in the right direction.”

Katie Renaud, Research Associate at Workforce WindsorEssex commented, “Workforce WindsorEssex appreciated the opportunity to work in collaboration with economic development organizations and officers to carry out this survey. We were particularly pleased to see participation from all municipalities and from a diversity of businesses, which has ensured the survey is representative of our region. The results of the survey are encouraging, with participating businesses hiring over 4,500 people in the last year. As “workforce skills shortage” was identified as the top barrier to growth in Windsor-Essex, we will continue to work to improve the availability and stability of the workforce in our region.”

“On behalf of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation we are very pleased with the overall survey results, particularly that 53% of the businesses surveyed reported that the outlook for their industry is growing and over one third indicated that exporting to international markets was of interest to them in the future. WE EDC will study the survey results thoroughly to ensure we respond and understand local business needs and provide the economic development tools needed for businesses in our region to stay, grow and be successful,” added Stephen MacKenzie, CEO, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corp.

The WE EDC is the lead economic development agency in the region working in collaboration with the municipalities of Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington, Pelee Island, Tecumseh and Windsor and assisted by Workforce WindsorEssex, WEtech Alliance, WindsorEssex Small Business Centre and the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.


Media Contacts:

Mathew Johnson, Economic Development Officer for the City of Windsor- 519-255-6100 ext 6608

Katie Renaud, Research Associate at Workforce WindsorEssex- Tel: 226-674-3220 ext 855

Lana Drouillard, Director Marketing/Communications WE EDC- 519 259-9600

Four local high school students among 20 provincial finalists in Make Your Pitch Competition.

Four (4) local high school students among 20 provincial finalists in Make Your Pitch Competition.

Finalists Travel to Toronto: The 20 finalists travel to Toronto for three days to attend OCE’s Discovery conference and pitch their idea live to a judging panel.
Entrepreneurial Boot Camp: The finalists attend a one-day entrepreneurship boot camp at the OneEleven accelerator to prepare for the live pitch at Discovery.
Discovery: The finalists attend Discovery, Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference, hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence.
Live Pitch: Each finalist delivers a three-minute pitch to a live audience and a panel of expert judges. The pitch is followed by a two-minute question-and-answer period.
Awards Ceremony: Six winners are selected and presented with awards during the luncheon at Discovery.

Our four (4) local student finalists are:

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

4. Youth Inspire Canada – Tecumseh Vista Academy


#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