Startups and Hops 2018 is a Roaring Success!

After planning and preparing for the past couple of months, PinPoint Talent hosted the second Startups and Hops event in Ottawa on April 25th at the 3 Brewers Kanata. The event was one for the books, with over 100 attendees coming out to meet fellow members of the tech community, listen to a panel discussion from some knowledgeable and seasoned members of the tech startup community, and sample lots of different kinds of beer.

These varieties of beer included a special blend of ale that the ZetaTango team brewed prior to the event, with the help of the 3 Brewers brew master. The ale was flavoured with bacon, maple, and blackberry, which they named “Sweet Swine O’mine”. Despite the unorthodox ingredients, the beer was definitely a big hit! PinPoint Talent also brewed their own specialty blend: a light, grapefruit flavoured Radler perfect for spring. Besides these fun samplers, there was also a variety of house blends to try from the 3 Brewers. It was event favourable to malt connoisseurs and tech workers alike!

The panel discussion, which was moderated by Tamimi Ahmed, consisted of a variety of topics, including trending technologies like blockchain, AI, Cloud Infrastructure, and security, as well as some more general discussion about the positive aspects of startup culture and the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Four featured companies attended the event, and a representative from each company sat on the discussion panel to answer some insightful questions from the moderator. At the far right of the panel sat Avinash Chidambaram, CEO of ZetaTango technologies. Before the conception of ZetaTango, Avinash led the launch of Interac Debit on Apple Pay in Canada while growing the Interac e-Transfer business greater than 50% year-over-year. With this knowledge and experience, he then founded ZetaTango Technologies, a financial banking platform that allows organizations to easily integrate financial services to customers. Leveraging machine learning and cloud solutions, the company offers a comprehensive list of RESTful APIs that can expand the financial ecosystem. Avinash had some great insights about cloud technologies and cyber security to bring to the panel.

Next on the panel was Vicki Iverson. Vicki is the co-founder and CTO of Iversoft, a trusted technology  partner specializing in digital experiences. As the brains behind the technical development, she has led the team to design and develop 150+ apps and games for clients worldwide. Since the company’s inception in 2009, Vicki has helped build a strong, collaborative team and a growing, profitable business. Vicki is also a mentor and strong advocate for women in technology and actively encourages youth to  pursue STEM careers. In recognition of her work, Vicki has received the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2016 Forty Under 40 award, the 2017 Women in Communications and Technology Entrepreneur of the  Year, and the J.W. Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation from the University of Waterloo. Her expertise on mentorship and promoting women in the tech industry was a valuable addition to the panel.

Representing Leonovus was the V.P. of engineering, Sean O’Hagan. As Vice President of Engineering, Sean is responsible for product development and deployment across Leonovus‘ portfolio. Prior to joining Leonovus, Sean spent over 20 years developing software and solutions in multiple industries including aerospace, telecommunications, video and cloud software services. He spent 12 years at Nortel, leading a variety of development teams in the voice, wireless, web and video domains. Before rejoining Leonovus in 2017, Sean was Director, Customer Solution Architecture for Espial Group, a global IPTV company headquartered in Ottawa. Leonovous currently has a growing roster of 40+ patents. They specialize in software defined object storage and blockchain technologies to provide petabytes of data storage solutions.

Last, but certainly not least, Tom Murphy represented Distill Mobile on the discussion panel. Tom has always been at the leading edge of what is possible — first, as one of the earliest mobile developers, and now, as the founder of Distill Mobile. His experience spans every aspect of mobile development, from enterprise and consumer solutions, to smartphone and tablet applications. He began his career creating enterprise applications for the first BlackBerry devices, before moving on to lead the development of RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Groupwise. As BlackBerry consumer use grew, Tom led the design, development and deployment of some of RIM’s biggest initiatives, including BlackBerry App World, BBM, and social networking apps for BlackBerry and PlayBook. Distill Mobile has been in the mobile app dev market for nearly 20 years. Their proven formula in the approach of design, development and deployment has helped countless teams overcome challenges/pitfalls that were derailing their efforts.

Together, these accomplished panelists were able to give a range of detailed answers about some challenging questions concerning the direction and evolution of trending technologies, as well as giving some more general insights on the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, creating an ideal company culture, and the importance of business mentorship. With these savvy panelists from innovative Ottawa startups, and such an energetic moderator, it’s no wonder that the panel was a such a success!

Overall, it was a great evening filled with great conversations and great drinks. PinPoint Talent is already looking forward to the next Startups and Hops, and is thrilled to be able to host an event that supports and celebrates local businesses in the tech sector. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to come out and participate.

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Interested in new opportunities but couldn’t make it to the event? Check out our available positions on our careers page.