Hello! Welcome to version 2 of WTF Steven: 2Steven 2WTF!! I survived the cold snap, and have been gleefully riding my bicycle to all the cool tech events in balmy late January.

I had some great responses to last month’s letter, so keep them coming. If I keep this up, I think people in the community may actually start to recognize me (uhoh!). At Energy Beers Night last week, they even gave me the mic for a minute! Don’t worry, they soon realized their error.

Let me gush about 3 fabulous events I attended this month, and then we’ll get on to the schedule for early February. I hope you’re all almost recovered from Christmas, and thawed out from our 1 week of real winter.

CivicTechYYC, feat. PEDESTING - Pedesting is a NEW WORD! Watch out OED, Nabeel Ramji and his cofounders are coming for you. Pedesting is a word for getting around, whatever the means, and that’s what the app helps you do - the team has used LIDAR to scan the cityscape, and then harnessed it to help people with various mobility difficulties get around. How high is that curb? What’s the slope of that ramp? Where can handi-bus safely drop a pedester? These are questions that Pedesting can help with, and needs that are not met by solutions like Waze or Google maps.

A quick word about CivicTech, the meetup itself - it’s made up of a bunch of tech savvy folks using their skills for social good. An inspiring place to be, and a great place to find a cool project to work on. Check them out the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

BioHackYYC, feat. MakeFashion - Let me weave a tale of hyperlinks: Bio Hack YYC is a meetup group, which was hosted at Fuse33 makerspace (Blast something with a laser for only $100 per month!!), where the company MakeFashion presented. Make Fashion has a very Alberta origin story - A farm kid grows up, learns about LED lights, and goes on to start a haute couture company, creating international fashion shows. You know, it’s just what we do in this province :D. We learned about how wearables can help you fly, attain super strength, and even control people’s minds… Biohacking indeed. The Biohack group is also about human performance, productivity, and transcending the human condition in general.

I checked out Thin Air Labs - Building What’s Next on January 16th. This was the most exclusive event I’ve been to, and boy did it make me feel fancy! I’m officially too big for my britches folks. Thin Air Labs is a group of investors, entrepreneurs, and hardcore believers in Calgary who are working on building new, world class businesses in the city. Just a few of the things they’re working on: Thin Air Games, a game incubator and workshop; Thin Air Health, a group taking an entrepreneurial approach to health; and inceptionU, an education and design lab located in Calgary’s Central Library.

Where I’ll be, February 1 to 15

Rainforest’s Power Hour!! - Tuesday, Feb 4, 17:00 to 18:00

The Central Library

If you have a problem that needs solving, or an idea that needs validating, join me and some incredible Rainforesters for an intense hour of small group problem solving!

Rainforest’s Lunch without Lunch - Feb 5, 12, 18, and 26, 11:45 to 13:00

Various and sundry locations

Come to our weekly meetup to touch base with other innovators and tech enthusiasts. This month, we’ll be doing an intro to the Startup Commons tools, touching base with students who are re-skilling for tech, and holding a panel on art and technology!

Crypto Social - Feb 5, 19:00 to 21:00

Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub

What is crypto currency? What is the potential of the blockchain? Can I get rich by giving shady internet people money? (don’t do that) I’ll be checking this event out to learn what the big deal is.

Pixels and Pints - Feb 6, 17:00 to 21:00

Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub

This will be my first time at this long running meetup - come drink some pixels with me! This evening will also feature SAIT grads looking for work, so if you’re looking to hire devs and designers, let me know and I'll snag one for you.

ATB Open Finance Hackathon Saturday, Feb 8, 8:00 to Sunday, Feb 9, 19:00 ($50)

MRU’s Ross Glen Hall

Join me as I attempt to A) understand what open finance is, B) help the talented designers, programers, and finance whizzes build a product or company, and C) try to stay awake for 2 days. If you’d like to join, use promo code ‘abtechcommunity’ for 25% off.

Product Calgary - Wicked Hard Problems, feat. Gibson Biddle - Feb 11, 18:00 to 20:00 ($10)

Shareworks by Morgan Stanley

Product Calgary puts on high quality events, and this one is a doozy - Gibson Biddle is Netflix’s former VP Product. Come on out! I plan to ask him for tips on improving my 'netflix and chill' product.

Events I WISH I could attend, February 1 to 15

Women in Entrepreneurship: Tech & Engineering - Monday, Feb 3rd, 12:00 to 13:30

UCalgary’s Hunter Hub

Super neat event featuring four female entrepreneurs! This event is not just for ladies, as far as I can tell, but I won’t be able to make it despite that. Check it out for me!

U of C Techfest - Thursday, Feb 6, 11:00 - 16:00

Mac Hall @ U of C

If you are a student of any flavour, from any AB post secondary, check out this tech career fair at U of C. Come for the fest, stay for the tech, and get a cool job.

Discover by Platform - Every Wednesday in Feb, 9:00 to 12:00 (Like, $100?)

Platform Beta

Take your business idea to the experts at Platform, and get great advice on finding your first customers and building Minimum Viable Products (MVPs).

Startup Calgary’s BMC 101 - Feb 10, 17:30 to 21:00 ($20)

Work Nicer - Red Mile

I love this workshop, and you will to! Take your business idea, and get taken through a rapid prototyping and validation process by entrepreneurs who have DONE IT. Also, there’s food and beer.

CivicTechYYC feat. UppstArt - Feb 11, 18:30 to 20:30


Civic Tech rocks, and Uppst Art are regulars at Rainforest’s Lunch without Lunch. Come out and support them! Civic Tech also has a number of super cool projects that are just waiting for your help.

Futurepreneur’s Galentines High Tea - Feb 13, 15:30 to 18:30

Work Nicer - Red Mile

This is a ladies only event, featuring female entrepreneurs and women interested in giving entrepreneurship a try. Rainforest's own Kourtney Branagan will be there! There’s also tea, and presumably cake and crustless sandwiches. I’m jealous! Please go, say hi to Kourtney, and help us fix the gender imbalance in tech!

  Posted: Wednesday, January 29th, 1:00pm 21 days ago
Written By: Steven Rutherford