DC Demos & Drinks: DataRPM, Streamup, EventKloud and Vouched

Last fall, members of the Tech in Motion community from around the Washington, DC metropolitan area attended the DC chapter’s Demos & Drinks meetup event at the Advisory Board Company. Emphasizing a relaxed atmosphere, Tech in Motion’s demos events are styled similarly to a job fair; attendees can circulate freely from one company’s table to the next while enjoying drinks and good company.

Interested in speaking or being a demo company at Tech in Motion? Contact us.

The demos event took place at the Advisory Board Company, a modern-style office located in the heart of Washington. Members of Tech in Motion DC’s community, including entrepreneurs, developers, product and project managers, systems and network engineers, designers, and marketers all began arriving at 6:00 pm; attendees began filing into the board room suite that allowed the demo companies to set up their presentations and interact with the 100+ engaged attendees comfortably. Refreshments flowed abundantly at a bar located in the back of the room.

The demo companies, DataRPM, Streamup, EventKloud, and Vouched, received an extremely enthusiastic response from the DC tech community and shed light on their respective products’ impact on their industry.

DataRPM is an award-winning, industry pioneer in Smart Machine Analytics for Big Data. DataRPM’s demo showed how their product enables Automatic Data Modeling from disparate data sources using cognitive algorithms.

Streamup is a live video community, whose product allows viewers to watch thousands of real-time channels and talk to other viewers or create their own channel and broadcast from there. Their demo detailed how users can establish their own streaming channel as well as discover new channels of interest to subscribe to.

Pipevine’s Vouched app geared their demo towards professionals who are business development oriented. This tool allows users to crowdsource their strongest professional traits, using existing LinkedIn connections.

As an event marketing software, EventKloud’s demo was interesting to those who are business analytics oriented and find themselves in the marketing and sales space. This customizable software provides personalized content, encourages engagement & utilizes data-driven audience intelligence to improve the marketing for event campaigns.

“It was a really awesome, engaging event,” one DC techie remarked.

To attend a Tech in Motion event near you, check out the list of events here.

Thinking Big: The Evolution of Tech Ed

For the “Thinking Big” event in 2014, San Francisco techies gathered at Geekdom to discuss the evolution of tech education. They filed through the entryway and grabbed name tags as the networking hour began before the talk. People of all ages and from all different fields mingled over beer, wine and sandwiches. Discussion was flying and talks of startups, new tech and dev bootcamps filled the air.

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After an hour of networking, the tech talk was ready to begin. A representative from Geekdom pulled the audience into the presentation room, the speakers were introduced and the night was off to a great start.

Network at a Tech in Motion event – check out this listing of upcoming events.

The first speaker was Vivek Ravisankar, the CEO and co-founder of HackerRank. HackerRank is a platform where developers solve challenges for games and jobs. Ravisankar discussed how when he worked at Amazon he felt that the hiring process was flawed. He realized the problem with hiring was that it was not geared enough towards skill when it came to programmers – and so HackerRank was born.

“The only thing that should matter is your skill when connecting people with companies,” said Ravisankar.  He left his job at Amazon and began his mission to change the hiring process forever. Ravisankar left the audience with a new perspective on hiring tech talent based on skills alone by the time his presentation was through.

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Next up was Shaan Shah, co-founder of MakerSquare, a highly selective program that creates software developers by teaching software engineering fundamentals. Shah opened his keynote with a joke and captivated the audience captivated from the start. He dove into how education programs are changing the way the hiring process works and why he believes MakerSquare is a valuable program for aspiring tech talent. He explained that with the plethora of programs available these days, it is important to look into them with the same seriousness you would a university.

“There are so many schools you need to dig in deep,” he advised the audience. “Do your research.” Shah explained to the room that the market is growing so quickly, he has decided to take a leave of absence just to catch up on the newest technologies. It demonstrated to the audience just how important it is to stay current in this fast-paced market.

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The final presenter of the evening was Duncan Logan, the founder and CEO of RocketSpace. RocketSpace started its bootcamp, RocketU a year ago and Logan was excited to speak about it to the Tech in Motion members about the reason why. He enthusiastically highlighted the growing importance of coding in today’s world.

“If your parents can type and you can’t code, you are taking your family backward,” stated Logan, to illustrate that knowing how to code is becoming a necessary skill to have. Comparing the evolution of coding to the growth of excel in the work place, he explained that excel used to be a skill that was taught specially in the workplace; now knowledge of excel is considered a requirement for almost all jobs.

According to Logan, this is what coding will evolve to be in the upcoming years. Eventually knowledge of code will be an absolute requirement to keep up in the workforce.

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Upon the completion of Logan’s talk, the Q&A session began. Tech in Motion members fired questions left and right with passion and curiosity. One of the most heated debates was sparked by the question of how dev bootcamps compare to having a Computer Science degree. The speakers all agreed that while a CS degree is important and impressive, the unique aspect of a bootcamp is that it is state of the art and can keep up with the fast pace of the coding world.

As the Q&A wrapped up, guests got up from their seats for a final half hour of networking. They met with the speakers and discussed their favorite parts of the presentations. As the beer and wine ran out and the last attendees exited the building, it was clear that the night had left Tech in Motion members with new perspectives on the Tech Ed space.

Find a Tech in Motion chapter near you.

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O data, where art thou?

Written by Zouhair Belkoura, Founder and CEO of KeepSafe

Of course you are in control of your own data … right? Well, not exactly.  With every save, send, upload or terms of usage you agree to, you may be giving away control of your own data without even realizing it.

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Think about the last time you took a picture with your phone. Where is that picture stored? Of course you have it on your phone, but do you know about all the other places it may be?? It’s pretty common to use the automatic upload features your operating system offers you. However, it’s just as common to forget about all the useful apps and services that you granted access to your photos to make your life easier. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Photos and countless other apps can each grab their own copies of every picture you’ve taken because you once gave them permission. Your phone copies and uploads them to your cloud services, often without telling you. With every copy you don’t know about, you have lost control over your own files.

A picture is just one example, because the issue extends to all of your data, including documents, web browsing history, financial and banking details, location sensors, SMS and email messages, and even address book contacts.

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Knowledge is power. Not knowing all the places your data is stored, sent or shared with means losing control. Not knowing makes it very difficult (or nearly impossible) to protect your own digital privacy. Because so often the software, apps and services we all use are not intuitive and transparent, it is hard to have true ownership of your digital belongings.

Keeping your digital belongings private should not be this complicated. Digital privacy should be as simple as the ways you keep your offline belongings private: closing the cabinet drawer you store financial documents in or shutting your closet door where keep your jewelry box.

When you leave your house, you lock the front door, but that would be pretty pointless if you left your windows wide open. In your digital life, you often do exactly that. You don’t know or don’t remember all the windows you left open, let alone know how to close them.

That’s how you end up deleting photos off your phone, thinking they’re gone when in reality they are still stored in multiple places that you auto-uploaded them to. With every copy, true ownership, control and privacy over your stuff becomes less and less intuitive.

The point is not for you to panic. The point is for you to think about where you put your data and what apps can access it. If you want full control, it may be time to turn off all the automatic helper functions. If you don’t want to go that far, find apps that explicitly don’t integrate with everything else, so when you decide you need to be in control, you really know where your data is.

We built KeepSafe to give you back control by creating a safe place for your digital valuables. Our goal is to make digital privacy easy and intuitive. However, removing confusion and ambiguity should be the job of everyone in the tech industry. All your services need to make sure you know what’s happening to your data, always. In the end, only when you know where your data goes, can you truly hold the keys to your privacy.

 About the author:

Zouhair BelkouraZouhair Belkoura started KeepSafe because he realized that we have little control over our digital content. In his own life, he realized the lines between personal and professional were becoming increasingly blurry. He would open up his smartphone to share photos of whiteboards in the office, but as he scrolled through galleries, he would end up accidentally exposing private pictures in the process. At KeepSafe,the goal is to provide everyone with easy access to control over their digital belongings. KeepSafe currently addresses a very specific use case; the Android and iPhone apps provide a vault to hide pictures and videos.

Happy Hour & Tech Talk: Email Privacy, Leaked Photos Take the Stage

Remember, remember the fifth of November, you would if you were a Tech in Motion member…Attendees gathered outside the glass doors of the new Yahoo! building in downtown San Francisco, waiting for doors to open for the “Happy Hour & Tech Talk” event. Featured speakers included Brad Kulick, the Director of Privacy Policy at Yahoo; Zouhair Belkoura, founder and CEO of KeepSafe; John Roberts, Platform Lead at CloudFlare and Dos Dosanjh, Head of Solutions at CipherCloud.

Attend a Tech in Motion event in your city.

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Upon arrival, members were greeted by the Tech in Motion sign in crew. After checking in they made their way up the elevator and into Flickr’s exclusive event space for the networking portion of the night.

The room began buzzing with action as members mingled and grabbed name tags. Long wood tables were lined with over 30 Patxi’s pizzas and salads for the taking, as well as a full bar of microbrews and wines. Members were well fed thanks to Flickr’s generous donation of food. People bonded over the delicious flavors of deep dish pizzas and shared excitement of having vegan and gluten free options. For dessert, special Tech in Motion cookies were donated by Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates!

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As members made their way around the space they were greeted by sponsorship booths. These included career booths by Jobspring and Workbridge as well as a booth from Flickr, the headline sponsor for the evening. Members grabbed Flickr swag and learned all about what the company was working on in their new office.

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By 7:15 p.m., guests around the room settled in for a tech talk on privacy and sharing in the age of the Internet. Perri Blake Gorman took the stage as the moderator and began the discussion off on the right foot. She introduced the panelists for the evening and got the discussion underway.

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Members were on the edge of their seats as the panelists discussed hot topics including email privacy, Target’s credit card breach and the nude celebrity leaked photos. Questions were flying even before the Q&A began. Everyone had an opinion on what it meant to be secure.

Check out what KeepSafe’s Founder & CEO had to say about security in his guest blog post, “O Data, Where Art Thou?”

As the discussion wound down, Tech in Motion members asked their final questions to the panel and were given the opportunity to mingle with the speakers. They networked over a final slice of pizza and beer. As the last members of the audience filed out, they exited the large, glass doors with new perspectives on how their information is being used, shared and protected. Join Tech in Motion SF to be in on their next event.

Made in Toronto: A Demos and Drinks Event (VIDEO)

Tech in Motion Toronto took over the coolest coworking space on the block, Project: Owl, to showcase some of the best up and coming startups in the city for their “Made in Toronto” event. All the companies featured have been founded, built, and grown right here in the city. After everyone had a chance to grab a beer and a slice of Panago Pizza, the night kicked off with a series of short pitches from all four demo companies – and the excited crowd was not disappointed.

Find a demos & drinks event near you on the Tech in Motion event lineup.

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First up was PUSH, whose wearable arm band collects data to help improve weight training. Used by teams in the NFL, NHL, and NBA, PUSH measures power and velocity to predict athletic performance. CEO Rami Alhamad shared the benefits of using PUSH’s armband with the audience, a device that’s now in the hands of many new users after their Indiegogo campaign closed successfully on November 19th.

blog2The second demo of the night was given by StyleID CEO Sarah Juma, whose company is introducing a revolutionary new tool to discover fashion and brands as seen on the screen (not to confused with As Seen On TV). StyleID lets you search for clothing shown in movies, music videos, award shows, and on TV.

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After StyleID, the next company to present was OnCall, an app that lets you gain access to experts in real-time. OnCall’s features were shown through an on-screen display of accessing translation services in real time. The app lets you send and answer requests for translation with a fee associated, demonstrated at Tech in Motion that evening through a live skit!

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The final demo to take the stage was given by Robert Tu, founder of wearable company MeU. Wearing MeU himself, Robert displayed the innovative wearable LED panels that can be controlled by a smartphone, allowing you to change your display as quickly as you can send a tweet.

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Tech in Motion was proud to share the innovative and creative energy of Toronto with the audience; The city is home to startups that are making big waves in the tech community. From wearables to fashion and fitness, the four companies who gave our audience a deeper look at their products are sure to be on the radar not just of Toronto’s tech enthusiasts but of those across the border as well. For a quick visual of what went on throughout the night, check out our recap video made by NspireTV!

 Interested in getting involved with Tech in Motion? Sponsor an event!

How Secure Is Your Data?

Written By: Phyllis Zimbler Miller, Digital Media Marketer

At a security panel presentation during Tech in Motion LA’s November meetup, speakers Lou Rabon, Information Security Officer of Spokeo, Ron Lin, Ph.D., Co-founder and CTO of Card.com, and Micah Winkelspecht, Founder & CEO of Gem, discussed a range of issues surrounding privacy and security. The panel was moderated by Sasha Horne, LA-based TV personality and digital media entrepreneur.

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First order of business? The panel participants all agreed that the user is responsible for their own security, and it’s important to know what sites or tools you are using.

 

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Winkelspecht discussed SpiderOak – a cloud service that offers end-to-end encryption – as stored data should be encrypted at rest as well as encrypted while in transit.

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Besides the basics of not using a password such as “1234567” or the same password for all your accounts, Lin and Rabon recommended tools to help manage your passwords. Lin mentioned LastPass, which streamlines the browsing process while remembering yoru passwords, and Rabon mentioned KeePass, a free open source password manager.

Besides strong passwords, all the panel participants recommended enabling two-factor identification. Rabon acknowledged that security and convenience have an inverse curve.

Winkelspecht went even further by saying that changing consumer behavior is the hardest thing to change; technology is not the problem.

The main takeaway from this presentation? No matter how much a bank or company assures us that our data is safe, it is up to us to protect our own data.

Click here to attend a Tech in Motion event near you.

 

About the Author:

phyllisPhyllis Zimbler Miller is a social media strategist and influencer experienced in content development, social media channels, media marketing campaigns, email marketing campaigns, social media programs, online communities, media marketing strategy and social media platforms.A frequent guest writer, she also has extensive experience in brand strategy, product management, public relations, corporate communications, online research, newspaper editing and reporting, and traditional marketing. Check Phyllis out (or even hire her) on LinkedIn.