Jacqui Murphy to present on tech marketing for startups

For November we’re getting back into the startup groove with Jacqui Murphy from Auvik Networks. Marketing may not seem like hardcore geekery, but you might be surprised how much data and tech it involves now. And, hey, you try becoming the next Google without it…

We’ll be meeting up at Ren@41 for this one, 6pm as usual, on Wednesday, November 26th. (The Wednesday thing isn’t a permanent change for us; it just happens to be when several of our speakers were available.)

Get your tickets now.

Jacqui is a veteran of the local tech scene, currently serving as VP, Marketing at Auvik Networks. Prior to that she was VP, Marketing at Fongo, Manager of Marketing Operations at PixStream, and later Director of Marketing once it was acquired by Cisco. She was also a partner at Tech Capital Partners, founded Art Allies, and is on the board for Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region. Jacqui knows her way around the local tech scene.

She has also received the Michael R. Follett Community Leader of the Year award, the Communitech Tech Impact Award, and has been recognized as one of Waterloo Region’s Top 40 Under 40.

Jacqui will be talking to us about a variety of things, like how you define explain to people what you do, to figuring out who you want your customers to be, to how to build your communications. She can also help us better understand how you tell if your efforts are working, or what should be tweaked. And there’s the age old dilemma of how to do cool things and get the world aware of who you are when you don’t exactly have millions to spend.

Tickets are available now, so get yours now and join us to learn about the unique challenges of marketing startups and tech.

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Ed Barsalou and Mike Kelly to present on the Internet of Things

The Internet of All the Things!!!

This Dinner topic is both something I’ve been really interested in myself (particularly working for a domains/DNS company) and it’s been specifically requested. Conveniently, having gadget-centric friends makes it easy to plan. This is going to be a serious geeking out opportunity. :)

For our October Dinner, we’ll be congregating at McCabe’s in downtown Kitchener. We’ll be in the back, so when you arrive you can just let them know you’re there for the Girl Geek Dinner. They’ll be providing us with a limited menu to order from, and folks will be paying for their own dinners this time around.

We’ll be kicking things off at 6pm as usual on Wednesday, October 22nd. Tickets are available now!

Our speakers this time around will be Ed Barsalou and Mike Kelly, who will be tag-teaming to tell us about the Internet of Things: what it is, what it’s made up of, what it might include in the future, its potential, its risks, etc. (Apple Watches and Nest thermostats are just the tip of the iceberg…)

Ed is currently an instructor at University of Waterloo and Conestoga College, and an engineer by trade and background. He’s also an inveterate tinkerer, fixer, and lover of tech, from vintage British cars to Arduinos. He can also make steel mills run. Mike is an entrepreneur running his own company doing system administration and software development. Also a lover of tech gadgets and doodads, he can think of 100 things to do with LED strips and BeagleBones, and is constantly challenged to come up with geeky entertainment for his five-year-old twin girls. He has an impressive collection of archaic hardware.

This is going to be a popular topic, so get your tickets ASAP. Can’t wait for this one, and I bet the Q&A is going to be fantastic.

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Danielle Malik to present on data’s role in design

Welcome back! Wasn’t the hottest of summers, but hopefully you got some fresh air and sunshine, and are raring to go for September. We’re back and, per tradition, are borrowing one of the Fluxible conference’s fantastic speakers for our September Dinner. (We also highly recommend checking out Fluxible and the related events they’ll have going on.)

We’ll be kicking things off at the Communitech Hub at 6pm on Thursday, September 11th. Note that this is a) soon, and b) NOT a Tuesday – to accommodate our speaker’s schedule.

Tickets are available now. Join us and get your learn on!

This year we’re welcoming Facebook’s Dani(elle) Malik, where she fights the good fight as a Product Design Manager. She’ll be joining us to talk about data (Data?) and its influence (earned or otherwise), how it can help us answer questions or lead us astray, and how it can be intelligently used in conjunction with good design principles to best benefit users.

Data, especially the Big variety, is big news and big sexy these days, so we’re pretty jazzed to be getting the inside scoop and some perspective from the real world.

To blatantly rip off Danielle’s bio that the Fluxible folks kindly assembled:

After nearly 15 years in the industry, watching (and sometimes shaping) the Great Design Revolution, Danielle has learned a few lessons. And she has a few stories to tell.

Danielle is a Product Design Manager at Facebook where she leads projects in the Commerce group. Prior to that, she led the UX team at the fabulous but now sadly closed Hot Studio, a design consultancy in San Francisco. Over her career she has found inspiration in collaboration, helping companies large and small embrace new technologies, define product strategies, and craft approaches to great user experiences.

Danielle is chronically active in the UX community, planning and organizing professional events and conferences. She founded the IxDA San Francisco chapter in 2008, which today features nearly 4000 members, and now she currently sits on the Board of Directors for IxDA.

Danielle also raises children and chickens, with varying degrees of success.

Tickets will go fast. Join us and bring a friend!

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Kristin Johnson-Perlock to present on KPL and the geek potential of libraries

It’s our final Dinner of the season already! We’ve had a slew of fantastic and brilliant speakers, and we’re going out with a bang. As you may know, Central Library (formerly Kitchener Public Library) has recently re-opened after a four year phased renovation. So we’re not only going to learn about what an awesome resource they are: we’re going to have our Dinner there. And West of Seoul will be catering!

Get your tickets now!

Joining us will be Librarian and Pub Lit organizer Kristin Johnson-Perlock. Her co-host will be Barb Janicek, who is Children’s Librarian and outreach mastermind at Central Library.

A bit more about these ladies:

Barb is a graduate of Trent University (B.A. Hons.), Queen’s University (B.Ed.), and received her Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to becoming a Librarian, she spent nearly a decade working with both the Summer Camp and Outdoor Centre programs at Camp Wenonah. Barb worked on behalf of Wenonah at the Shikoku Canadian Global Camp (Takamatsu, Japan) for two years, spending seven months living in Japan. After retiring from camp and completing her Masters, she was a Children’s Librarian in Kingston, Saskatoon, and Cambridge, before finally returning to her K-W roots. Barb is currently the Children’s Librarian at Kitchener Public Library. When she is not advocating for early literacy on local committees, or volunteering with the Canadian Library Association to choose the winner of the Young Adult Book Award (5 years) she spends her time at the YMCA trying to get fit and blogging about it.

Kristin is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (B.A.) and received her Masters of Library and Information Science, with a specialization in Digital Content Management, from Wayne State University. During her Masters studies, she held a metadata internship with the Society of Architectural Historians and was Marketing and Events Chairperson for the first ever student chapter of National Digital Stewardship Alliance. She currently is a Librarian in the Information Services department at Kitchener Public Library where she co-facilitates Pub Lit, a book discussion group in the pub. Outside of the library, she enjoys film and digital photography, cycling, and running.

Kristin and Barb are going to give us the run-down on what’s new and different at the Central Library (besides the name and logo), and take us on a tour of the kinds of resources libraries really offer these days (books are just the beginning). Instead of just sitting and listening, we’ll be talking and walking, which should be a nice, interactive change of pace. The card catalogue (remember those?) is a thing of the past, and libraries are a vibrant and important resource for technology and community.

We’re working on some super-duper deliciousness for our dining pleasure (those of you into the local food truck scene might find the fare familiar…), and we’ll be kicking things off at 6pm as usual. If you haven’t been to the Library, it’s at 85 Queen St. N. in Kitchener, and there’s underground parking on-site.

Registration is now open. Join us!

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Claudia de Rham to present on dark matter and dark energy

With Perimeter Institute right here in town, it’s taken far too long to arrange a physics-centric Dinner. The time has come, however!

Join us on Tuesday, May 27th to hear Dr. Claudia de Rham, Visiting Fellow at PI, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University, who will be joining us to talk about cosmology, and more specifically dark matter and dark energy – not yet well understood (or seen), but seeming to make up a large part of our universe.

This presentation will be science-centric, but interesting to all geeks with an interest in space – no PhDs necessary.

We’ll be back at Centre in the Square in the Members’ Lounge. As usual, we’ll be kicking things off at 6pm, with catering by one of their excellent purveyors.

Get your ticket now – and why not bring a friend?

For those who haven’t been to the Members’ Lounge at Centre in the Square, here are instructions on how to get down there:

Parking is available in the Centre in the Square’s private lot on Ellen Street (at the back of the building).

Turn onto Ellen Street from Queen Street, drive past Centre In The Square and just before the street turns into a one-way you will see the private lot on your right. Parking arm will be raised (map shows entrance to the parking lot on the right).

Walk back around to the Stage Door entrance which is located just past the loading dock (map shows loading dock on left, entrance on right).

We’ll have signage to get you down to the Members’ Lounge, too. Hope we’ll see you then!

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CANCELLATION: Sheila Colla will not be presenting at the April Dinner

Update: This Dinner has been cancelled. We will re-book both Dr. Colla and our startup-themed Dinner for the fall. Stay tuned for the announcement shortly about our May Dinner! We’re heading to space…

Unfortunately, due to a conflict that has arisen, Dr. Colla will not be able to join us for the Dinner on April 22nd. We are currently working with her to re-book her presentation on bumblebee conservation for the fall.

We’re really sorry for the late notice. However! We’ve moved up another speaker/topic in our lineup, and our own co-organizer, Pj, and her husband Dan will be presenting on “Startup 2.0″. Tickets are still available!

Pj and Dan are local startup veterans, having founded tinyHippos, Nom Nom Treats, and bitHound, among other projects, ventures, groups, and mentorship. They’re also instrumental in our own Girl Geek Dinners, MoBeers, Startup Drinks Waterloo, and FIRST LEGO League. In short, they have some serious tech cred.

They’ll be talking the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of startup life, from basically being a couple folks in someone’s basement, to successful acquisition and exit, to “what’s next?”

Date, time, and location for the Dinner will all remain the same: 6pm, April 22nd, Centre in the Square Members’ Lounge. And again, our apologies for the late notice. This one’s gonna be great stuff, too.

For anyone who bought a ticket but can’t make it or isn’t interested in the new topic, feel free to let us know and we’ll refund your ticket. Hope to see you there, though, and in the fall when we do get Dr. Colla to join us!

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Ladies Learning Code is coming to KW April 12th!

This is a guest post from Kelly McGregor, who is spearheading the local LLC chapter.

Ladies Learning Code is coming to Kitchener-Waterloo! We’re thrilled to be launching our latest chapter in Canada’s technology triangle, and personally I’m even more thrilled to be launching a chapter in the hometown of my alma mater. (Register now!)

Having attended the University of Waterloo (many, many years ago!) I’ve watched the KW community transform from a sleepy university town to a bustling technology and entrepreneurship hub. As technology enthusiasts we all know that coding is a valuable life skill and can add value to our professional and personal live. But many women and men don’t have the time and resources required to learn fundamental coding skills, or don’t have access to programming that is welcoming, collaborative, and taught at a pace that they can follow. It’s time to change this approach to learning to code!

That’s what Ladies Learning Code is all about, and why I’m so proud to be a part of this organization. Our open, collaborative workshops encourage men and women to sit on an equal playing field while learning beginner-friendly coding skills. Whether you’ve never seen a line of code before in your life, or you’re interested in brushing up your existing skills, our workshops offer a fun way to learn the fundamentals of running a website, writing a blog, and publishing content to the internet.

Our first event in KW is April 12, and we’ll be learning Introductory HTML and CSS. HTML and CSS are the backbone of the Internet, and learning basic HTML/CSS provides you with a strong foundation to manage a website, or to move on to learning other languages and more advanced techniques. Find out more details and sign up for this workshop.

If you already know how to code, and perhaps are involved with coding on a regular basis, we still hope you’ll join us! We’re also looking for volunteer mentors who are interested in working one-on-one with students to learn these fundamental coding skills. Our standard mentor ratio is 4 students to every 1 mentor, so there’s lots of time for hands-on learning and teaching opportunities. If you’re interested, head over to our registration page and sign up as a mentor.

If you have any questions or comments about our Kitchener-Waterloo chapter you can reach out to me directly at any time. I can be reached at kelly@ladieslearningcode.com.

Thanks, and I hope to see you soon!

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Sheila Colla to present on bumblebee conservation

Update: Dr. Colla will NOT be able to join us for this Dinner. It has been cancelled, and we will do our best to re-book her for the fall.

Perhaps we can’t make it stop snowing, but we can think of spring – with bees and butterflies! We’re moving away from software again for our April Dinner, heading outdoors into the realm of entomology and ecology.

On Tuesday, April 22nd, we’ll be back at Centre in the Square in their fabulous and funky Members’ Lounge. As usual, we’ll be kicking things off at 6pm, and not sure who our caterer will be this time, but have we ever fed you anything that wasn’t delicious? Of course not. :) Tickets are available now! Bet you’ve got a bee in your bonnet already…

Our April speaker is Dr. Sheila Colla, who recently finished her PhD on bumblebee conservation at York University and is now a post doctoral fellow with Wildlife Preservation Canada. She has been studying bee ecology, conservation and behaviour for 10 years. She is the author of The Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide and currently serves on COSEWIC and COSSARO, committees that assess the status of at-risk plants and animals federally and provincially.

The plight of bees, particularly, has been big in the news over the last few years, and we wanted to learn more about just what is going on, how bad things are, and what we as environment-friendly geeks can do. Sheila will be telling us about Wildlife Preservation Canada’s new at-risk pollinator project, which aims to help native pollinators like bumble bees and butterflies on the brink of extinction.

We’ll learn about the status of Canadian bumblebees and what we can do to help wild populations of these important native pollinators. Sheila will also tell us about tools to learn more about local bee biodiversity, and how we can join a new Citizen Science project. And of course we’ll have Q&A for all your questions.

Tickets are available now, so don’t wait! This one’s gonna be popular.

And for those who haven’t been to the Members’ Lounge at Centre in the Square, here are instructions on how to get down there:

  • Parking is available in the Centre in the Square’s private lot on Ellen Street (at the back of the building).
  • Turn onto Ellen Street from Queen Street, drive past Centre In The Square and just before the street turns into a one-way you will see the private lot on your right. Parking arm will be raised (map shows entrance to the parking lot on the right).
  • Walk back around to the Stage Door entrance which is located just past the loading dock (map shows loading dock on left, entrance on right).

We’ll have signage to get you down to the Members’ Lounge, too.

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Would you like to fly – for free? Join the Women in Aviation next week!

Hey, Girl Geeks – next week is Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, and the ladies out at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, along with partners Breslau Flyers/COPA 26, have organized Women Fly in K-W!

On opening day, Monday, March 3rd, they are offering free flights to local Girl Geeks and women in media and tech. There are 36 seats available, and they’ll get snapped up fast. So head over to their website and register now for your flight!

There’s more going on, too. Check out the Women in Aviation Talk Show on Tuesday, March 4th, at 7pm. That’s also out at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre in the main hangar. And there’s Fly Day and the Aviation Expo taking place next Saturday, March 8th.

As mentioned, the flights on Monday are free, as are the Talk Show and Expo. Spread the word, take a friend – head out to the airport, check it out, and soar in the skies! :)

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Jad Saliba to present on on data recovery and digital forensics

Is it spring yet? Getting there… In the mean time, we’ll be keeping our brains humming and warm learning about the secrets contained in that phone or laptop of yours. You may think that we’re a bit obsessed with forensics around here (guilty), but this one will be quite different from our forensic biology and police investigation presentations. Not least because this is about data and we’re showcasing a local startup, which we love doing.

On Tuesday, March 18th, we’re back at the Communitech Hub, kicking things off at 6pm as usual. Our speaker is Jad Saliba, Founder and CTO of Magnet Forensics. And since I think it’s adorable how excited folks get when we tell them about the food, Taco Farm is on deck for dinner again. Get your tickets now!

Magnet Forensics has also very kindly provided sponsorship, for which we are always most grateful and welcoming. Thank you!

So who is this not-quite-masked crusader in our midst? Officially…

Jad Saliba is a former digital forensics investigator who left policing in 2011 to devote all of his time to developing software solutions that dramatically improve the process of recovering and analyzing Internet evidence left behind. He has since dedicated his efforts to building Magnet Forensics and developing Internet Evidence Finder (IEF) into a thorough and easy-to-use software solution that recovers Internet-related artifacts from computers, smartphones and tablets. As Magnet Forensics’ CTO, Jad is focused on researching new methods of recovering and analyzing all types of evidence for digital forensics investigations. His goal remains to create the best Internet forensics tools possible—helping those in the trenches make a difference in their communities.

Jad is a recognized digital forensics speaker at industry events including: CEIC, Crimes Against Children Conference, EuroForensics, F3, HTCIA, ICDDF, SANS, and the Canadian Police College. Jad served as a police officer for the Waterloo Regional Police Service for seven years and holds a Diploma in Computer Science and Network Security from Mohawk College (Hamilton, Canada).

In his presentation he’ll get into:

  • the founding of Magnet Forensics and why
  • what digital forensics is all about
  • why digital forensics is increasingly important to law enforcement
  • what Magnet Forensics specifically does in the space
  • some of the groups and organizations their work supports
  • some examples of what the software does
  • a live demo of the software in action.
    • And of course we’ll have Q&A, which I expect will be rather probing.

      I suspect you’ll never look at your laptop the same way again…

      Tickets are available now. Come on out, bring a friend – we love new faces!

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