Irek - hackWEStar

Windsor has the potential to be an important player in the technology industry.

This past weekend we held a computer coding competition for programming students from the St. Clair College and the University of Windsor that was covered by the Windsor Star.  Click here: article.

The students had 24 hours to design and build web apps and mobile apps using the Government of Ontario’s energy data harvested from residential smart meters.  It’s called the Green Button Initiative.

The students came up with some incredible innovations, things that can be commercialized today!

Here’s the really cool thing.  We invited the Owners and Executives of four local tech companies to serve as judges from successful companies like Red Piston, Next Dimension, AlphaKOR and iDream Interactive.  Our purpose was to connect student programmers with potential employers who could also serve as mentors to help them launch their own tech startups in Windsor and Essex and create jobs in our city. All the participants will be taken out to dinner by the executives of these companies to further establish the kinds of personal relationships that lead to employment or leads to starting their own tech companies here in our region.

The winning team gets to showcase their innovative product at next week’s Windsor Essex Tech Show which will feature tech companies from around the area plus giants like Google, Blackberry and others. Finally, WEtech and local tech companies like Parallel42 and others will be working with the students to polish up their apps and submit them to the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge in January which has $50,000 in prize money.

Like I said in the Windsor Star article, I want nothing more than to see our Windsor students outcompete teams from Toronto, Waterloo and London and claim the Top Prize.

That would send a signal that Windsor’s growing tech industry is ready to make a splash.