Purple Forge is a Finalist for 2011 OCRI and Exploriem Bootstrap Awards

Purple Forge is a proud finalist for the following 2011 OCRI Awards:

  • Most Promising Startup
  • Next Generation Executive  – John Craig, VP Sales and Marketing

Purple Forge is also a proud finalist for the following Exploriem Bootstrap Awards:

  • Most Innovative Source Bootstrap Capital
  • Fastest Growing Startup (Last Three Years)

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UI/UX Design Patterns

Came across these links to UI/UX design patterns in a LinkedIn discussion thread – some good references for others that are interested in this sort of stuff:

 

Mind Mapping Tools and iPad – A Perfect Fit

I am a big fan of mind mapping tools.   My favorite tool has traditionally been Freemind, a free tool that works across Windows and Mac.   I recently changed over to using XMind and have been exploring mind mapping tools on the iPad.

Mind mapping is one application that seems to be exceptionally well matched to the “touch” environment of the iPad.  Adding nodes, moving around relationships, arranging the mind map graph display … are all much easier to do using “touch” then the mouse.   Two mind mapping applications currently available on the iPad are:

The most promising of the two is iToughts HD.   The features that set it apart from Mindnode include:

  • Dropbox saving/importing for mind map files
  • Ability to collapse child nodes
  • Version recovery
  • Ability to assign icons to nodes

Found another “touch” mind mapping tool?  Let me know!

GUI Mockup Tools Part 2

Two new mockup/wireframe design apps are now available for the iPad that are worth taking a look at:

My initial impression is that iMockups is the better of the two at the moment… but since I just started to play with them I will reserve judgement for a few weeks.

In general I find that doing a wireframe mockup on the iPad is a more fluid experience then using computer-based tools… it is going to be interesting to see how apps like this develop over time.

What Good is OCRI?

I had an interesting discussion last week regarding OCRI with a few local entrepreneurs.   The general issue being “What good is OCRI?” for entrepreneurs in Ottawa.

There was a lot of negativity about the lack of relevance and the fact that OCRI has increasingly become something of a joke around town due to its public fights with politicians (“The City does not own OCRI!”), lack of transparency and general lack of  results.  OCRI has serious issues, there is little debate on that point.

However, it is worth noting that OCRI does/has run some programs that, in the past, I have personally found of value and which are worth highlighting:

  • OCRI Awards – The annual award program is a great help to local companies from a marketing perspective.  It raises awareness of local companies in the region, and for the winners offers ongoing value for marketing as well as during fund-raising and talent recruiting.
  • Market Research – It is not generally well-known, but OCRI can offer free market research reports (covering competition, market sizes, market trends) from major research firms.  These research reports typically cost thousands of dollars per report and are out of reach for most entrepreneurs at the early stages.   The OCRI membership fee alone is worth the value of the marketing reports that OCRI can offer for free.
  • Trade Shows –  In the past OCRI has co-ordinated international trade show participation where they have provided shared booth space at discounted prices for local companies.   For an early stage company this sort of assistance is very valuable as trade show participation is generally costly to plan, execute and fund.   In the case I was personally involved in, we were also able to receive partial re-reimbursement for our travel expenses from another government program OCRI was co-ordinating with.
  • Venture Capital Forum – I have participated in two forums over the years.  I found the preparation for the events and pre-screening coaching provided by OCRI to be constructive and valuable.  While no financing came out of the events, there was value to the networking and experience in presenting.   The resulting improvements to my pitch were helpful in subsequent VC pitches I gave.
  • Entrepreneurship Center – Early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I used the online resources of this program extensively.  The material was well-organized and practical… and saved me a ton of time.
  • Events – In the past, OCRI has co-ordinated some very relevant, inexpensive and useful networking and educational events.   In particular, the Bill Gates events were world-class.
  • Job Board – In the past, I have posted jobs to the OCRI job board.  Having a job board that is regionally oriented and which doesn’t have outrageous fees associated with it can be very useful to an early stage company when recruiting.

Mobile App Companies in the Ottawa Region

UPDATED: go here https://purplejunction.com/2012/08/25/updated-mobile-companies-in-ottawa/

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There has been a lot of interest in the mobile app development cluster in Ottawa.  I recently took an  inventory of companies in Ottawa who were developing mobile apps or mobile related software.  The current list of companies I found is below:

If anyone has others to add please drop me a note at brian@purpleforge.com, or add to the comment thread for this posting.  I will keep this list up-to-date.

Looking for a job at a great mobile app company?  Send your resume to careers@purpleforge.com.

Older versions of this post:

https://purplejunction.com/2010/07/17/mobile-app-companies-in-the-ottawa-region/

Go West! To Waterloo…

Waterloo companies are looking for tech workers –

WATERLOO REGION, ON, April 13 /CNW/ – Some of Canada’s hottest tech companies will head to the nation’s capital to look for talent when Communitech, the organization representing 700 tech companies in Waterloo Region, holds a ‘Get a Life in Waterloo Region’ recruitment effort there on April 21. Waterloo Region companies continue to hire at a rapid pace, and the recruitment event will profile some of the outstanding 2,000 current tech job openings available in the Region.

“Waterloo Region continues to be a hot-spot for tech and despite economic challenges in other sectors, there are still many opportunities for skilled tech talent,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech. “The range of opportunity covers most technology areas from software and hardware to wireless and digital media.”

Klugman said Ottawa is a prime recruiting site because of the established reputation of the Ottawa tech community and the concentration of talented scientists, engineers and computer science professionals. Like Ottawa, Waterloo Region offers the best of both worlds: the opportunity to work for world-class companies in a community that’s a great place to live and raise a family, he added.

Companies participating in the recruiting event include big names like Research In Motion and Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., as well as exciting up-and-comers such as social media analytics company PostRank. It will also feature some leading medical imaging firms including Agfa HealthCare, which is breaking new ground for its new building and has announced plans to increase its Ontario workforce by 140 new employees.

“PostRank and Agfa HealthCare are representative of the companies in Waterloo Region — innovative, passionate and ahead of the curve, and looking for the best and brightest talent. Availability of knowledge workers continues to be a key factor in the growth and competitiveness of tech firms in Waterloo Region,” Klugman said.

Communitech and a sampling of the Region’s hottest technology companies will be at the Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Drive, Ottawa on Wednesday, April 21 from 5-7:30 p.m. to meet with tech professionals one-on-one. The full roster of companies participating in ‘Get a Life in Waterloo Region’ includes: PostRank; Agfa HealthCare; Christie Digital Systems Canada, Inc.; Research In Motion; Covarity; Sandvine; DALSA; and Nuvation. Visit www.waterlootechjobs.com for further information or to register.