Last night with the 18th DemoCamp in Toronto, I think I’ve been to about 11 since my first DemoCamp around #5. The venue was at the SuperMarket restaurant/bar on Augusta. The venue was way too small for the event, even though the SuperMarket does have awesome food. The Supermarket even ran out of beer glasses with so many people enjoying the night.
The Demo’s for the nite were:
As a partner in Refresh it was a good opportunity for us to demo our Facebook Analytics tool and showcase some of the new social influencer metrics we’ve added for applications. I think Roy did a good job of covering the product and I think most people quickly understood our focus with. I was little surprised that nobody asked about the business model.
2/BluePrints by Chris Gurney
Blueprints is a product to help business capture requirements more effectively. Its combines a the components of a product requirements document with the ability to mockup a user interface. The tool can then export the requirements as a requirements document, ULM and other formats. Apparently it will also export test cases too. I liked the demo and I think its a great product for product managers ( which I’ve been in the past ) but the price point is pretty crazy. I also wasn’t too excited about using a desk top java based application, I think it would have been better to see this as a web app and maybe a SasS model to lower the cost of entry.
Ali and the Well.ca team presented a tool they developed for Well.ca to allow customers to chat with a CSR through a web interface. It was a pretty slick demo with the ability to keep the chat open as user browsed web sites and pass URLs to the user. I think the most innovative aspect was the integration with Jabber clients so that different chat clients could be supported for the CSR. I think this was most important aspect for Well.ca but there are a variety of cheap alternatives. At Autotrader.ca we purchased a solution for $500 that provided almost the same solution but required that the CSR keep a web chat window open.
Many open source projects are using IRC as form of communication between developers and sometimes users. The IRC integration project aims to integrate these conversations into the project development process. The first component was the ability to access ticket information via the IRC channel. This was handled through an IRC bot. The 2nd component was the ability to tag conversations as part of a ticket and integrate the chat history into DrProjec. It was a good demo and I can see the practical applications for larger projects.
This was the first demo/ignite after the break and I missed most of it socializing. From what I saw it provides a tool to quickly create small comic strips that can be embedded into websites. I grew up loving comics but I think the medium has probably passed. I don’t think comics have the same appeal in a digital format, especially when we can get videocasts, postcast or even games that are more engaging.
I had seem some PR around the SpreedNews reader around the iPhone launch. I had watched their video online and their demo was very similar to the video. I was hoping to see more of the application in action as I’m a little skeptical that its that much faster to read news. I’m looking forward to see it and I know it won’t be long in a limited beta.
I think its no secret that venture capital in Canada has declined and its in pretty bad shape. Jevon’s presentation highlighted this but encouraged entrepeneurs to look past this problem. I think he’s right in that there alot of Canadian startups that are succeeding without venture capital. In some cases they are making business decisions to grow in a different way that doesn’t require huge capital ( keeping their day job, or financing with a service business ). I think it will be interesting to see how this effects Canadian startups. From what I’ve seen when I visit US based startups is that we’re generally more efficient with capital and we’re getting more done with less. I think this might be the lasting impact of the lack of Canadian VC situation.
I think it was a great event despite the ridiculusly crammed venue. The popularity of DemoCamp is going to continue to cause problems for revenues.