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Providence Geeks – June 17, 2015

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, June 17th, 5:30 – 8pm
180 George Street, Providence, RI 02906

Note: Because we’re at Brown this month, things will be a little different. There won’t be any dinner to be bought, but there will be free soft drinks and snacks, plus a cash bar.

RSVP at Facebook

geeks-roundWe’ve got a particularly awesome Providence Geeks this month.

Brown University’s Center for Computing and Visualization and its CS Department have generously invited us to come experience their brand new, one-of-a-kind virtual reality environment. They call it YURT — Yurt Ultimate Reality Theater — and it’s amazing. (For those of you that having been following Brown’s VR efforts, please note that YURT is an entirely separate project from the University’s older CAVE environment.)

geeks

YURT isn’t just a set you strap onto your head. No, it’s room-sized, 100 million-pixel stereo display that completely surrounds you. With head and body-tracking, this immersive environment fully engages your visual senses for exploration and discovery in areas as diverse as planetary geology, mathematics, visual art, digital literature, and biology.

YURT Principal Investigator David Laidlaw and Project Manager Tom Sgouros will give an overview of YURT, and lead demos of this incredible system.

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Providence Geeks – April 15, 2015

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, April 15th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

From Providence Geeks:


Spring is finally here! Let’s celebrate its arrival with a terrific presenter.

batchbookSince its founding in 2006, Providence-based Batchbook has helped thousands of small businesses track their contacts, win deals, and grow their businesses. Along the way, Batchbook has played a key role in pioneering “social CRM,” and founding the popular trade association, the Small Business Web.

At the April Geek Dinner on Wednesday the 15th, Batchbook Founder & CEO Pamela O’Hara and Founding Member & VP of Strategy Keri Calhoun, will give an overview of Batchbook today. She’ll also share some of the hard-won wisdom they’ve gained running a popular B2B SaaS service for almost a decade, and give a sneak peek at where Batchbook is headed next.

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MacRumors: ‘Citymapper’ and ‘Transit App’ Offer In-Depth Looks at Transit Experiences on Apple Watch

transit-app-apple-watch

The RIPTA on your wrist!

As a few popular iPhone apps begin rolling out updates for their built-in Apple Watch apps ahead of the April 24 launch, a pair of transit-focused services have posted on Medium to share detailed looks into exactly what kind of experience users can expect from Citymapper and Transit App on the Apple Watch next month.


The Transit App provides schedule based bus information for RIPTA and also MBTA commuter rail, subways, and buses. So, I can tell it to give me a route from my current location in Providence to a location in Boston, and it will give me all the information I need. It also generally tells me what buses are near my current location and when they leave and where they go.

It is like living in the future.

Image from Transit App via Medium.com

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Providence Geeks – January 21, 2015

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 – 5:30–8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

geeks-roundSince its founding in 2008, the community engineering and fabrication studio AS220 Labs has become a cornerstone of Providence’s innovation scene. Inside its walls, hundreds of makers and artists of all ages have learnt and expressed themselves with technologies ranging from 3d printing to folk electronics. And it’s about to get even better.

In 2015 AS220 Labs will double its successful Fab Academy class, a “distributed education” program in digital fabrication directed by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. In addition, its sister organization — AS220 Media Arts — will build out a highly complementary state-of-the-art media lab right across the hall.

On Wednesday the 21st, Director of AS220 Industries Shawn Wallace will give an update on all of the activity and art coming out of Labs, as well as a sneak peek at the goodness that the next few years have in store.

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Providence Geeks – December 10, 2014

Providence Geeks Providence Geeks
Wednesday, December 10th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Providence Geeks:

achievery_logo-colorWe’ve got an awesome evening planned for the last Geek Dinner of 2014.

How do you know what people can really do? How can you prove your own skills even without a traditional diploma?

Over the past few years, digital credentials have emerged as a compelling solution to these questions. Digital credentials are evidence-backed, data-rich tokens of achievement that are transforming education and HR around the world.

Working alongside giants like Mozilla, Pearson Education, and the Gates Foundation, Providence-based Achievery has established itself as the most active company in defining and supporting the leading digital credential standard — Open Badges.

In addition to supporting the community effort, Achiopen-badges-logoevery has built its own robust web application and API for enabling organizations to create, award and track their own trusted digital credentials. Their users include Oxfam, Open edX and the Model United Nations.

On Wednesday the 10th, Co-Founders, CEO Damian Ewens and CTO Kerri Lemoie, will tell the Achievery story, demo their impressive platform, and give a sneak peek at where they are headed next.

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Providence Geeks – September 17, 2014

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, September 17th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Welcome back, everyone! Hope you had an awesome August. Providence Geeks goes back to school next week with an excellent September presenter.

What percent of live events sell out? 50%? 20%? Nope… try 2%.

crowdsurfFounded in 2013 by two recent Brown grads, Providence-based Crowdsurf aims to remedy this situation using a combination of geographic and social audience info. Armed with these insights, Crowdsurf’s customers — event venues and promoters — have a much better sense of which acts to book, and how to most effectively promote them.

big-ticketAs the first stage of their rollout this summer, Crowdsurf launched Big Ticket, a mobile app that offers users the chance to reap major discounts on show tickets. The app — currently being piloted in RI, MA, CT and OR — has already enabled Crowdsurf to build one of the largest databases of audience info in the Northeast.

On Wednesday, Co-founders CEO Alex Oberg and CTO Evan Altman will tell the Crowdsurf story, demo their impressive platform, and give a sneak peek at where they’re headed next.

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Providence Geeks – July 16, 2014

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, July 16th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

voltserverHey! Wednesday is the last Geek Dinner of the summer! (Like all self-respecting RI’ers, we take August off.)

Over the past couple of years, Providence Geeks has been fortunate to feature a number of awesome RI startups at the intersection of electric power and info tech.

On Wednesday, we’ll feature perhaps the most ambitious one yet: VoltServer. Using its patented Packet Energy Transfer (PET) technology, this East Greenwich-based startup has figured out how to no-less-than digitize electricity…

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Providence Geeks – June 18, 2014

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, June 18th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

copter

geeks-roundIt was inevitable. On Wednesday the 18th, the Drones invade
Providence Geeks…

Providence-based startup Xact Maps specializes in high-fidelity aerial mapping solutions using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. This is no child’s play — this is the hardcore stuff. Need to map a major bridge in detail? Survey a mountain? Collect data on an “unreachable” spot? Create a 3d copy of downtown for your new driving game? Xact Maps has your back.

Xact Maps’ solutions combine their own custom high-performance aircraft and proprietary software with an array of high-end sensor technology, including LIDAR, Photogrametry, Photo Mosaic, Multi Spectral imaging, and IR imaging. The results speak for themselves.

On the 18th, Xact Maps Founders Andy Trench and Kyla Coburn will tell the Xact Maps story, demo their technology (including a look at their new monster octocopter), and give a sneak peek at where they’re headed next.

You won’t want to miss this — seriously, you won’t. See you there!

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Providence Geeks – April 16, 2014

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, April 16, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

edt-logoProvidence-based EdTrips is helping our nation’s teachers take their classes on better field trips. Their web-based platform empowers teachers to find better (curriculum-aligned) trips, collect permission forms & payments, and facilitate all trip-related communication.

On Wednesday the 16th, the Co-Founders, CEO Jakob Garrow and COO Laura Wallendal, will tell their startup’s story, demo their powerful service, and give us a sneak peek at where they’re headed next.

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Providence Geeks – February 19, 2013

Providence Geeks
Wednesday, February 19, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

teespringFor the February Geek Dinner, we’ve got a doozy lined up for you.

Teespring was born in 2012 of an effort by two Brown students to save a local dive bar — Fish Co, formerly of Fox Point.

The bar didn’t make it, but Teespring has exploded (in the good way).

Today Teespring is the leading crowdfunding platform for custom apparel, with about 70 employees in Providence currently and another 20 in San Francisco. In December, Teespring raised $20 million from arguably the world’s hottest venture capital firm, Silicon Valley-based Andreessen Horowitz.

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Providence Launches ‘Open Meetings Portal’

The City of Providence [on Wednesday] launched its Open Meetings Portal – a single, public access point for public meeting information.

The site fulfills a recommendation of a special commission established to find ways the City can use technology to engage residents, and is the result of several months of collaboration between the City Clerk, City Council, and the administration of Mayor Angel Taveras.

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Providence Geeks – July 17, 2013

Wednesday, July 17th, 5:30pm– 8:00pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Join Providence Geeks Wednesday the 17th for the last Geek Dinner of the summer (like all other RI’ers, Providence Geeks take August off).

shuttercalShutterCal is creating waves in the family photo market. They’ve created THE place for photo-a-day projects, supplying inspiration and making this positive daily habit more accessible to everyone. The Providence-based startup provides its users — everyone from new parents to world travelers — with a beautiful interactive calendar and mobile tools for posting their favorite photo from each day. Shuttercal tops it off with their gorgeous print services — everything from postcards to gallery prints, but most prominently their unique ShoeBox and monthly print service.

On Wednesday, Co-Founder and CEO Scott Harris will tell the ShutterCal story, demonstrate their service, and give a sneak peek of where they’re headed next.

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Providence launches Open Data Portal

open-data-screen

The City of Providence today launched the state’s first municipal Open Data Portal.

The portal, a key recommendation of the 15-member Open Providence Commission enables the public to access and export municipal data sets.

At launch, the Portal is populated with 25 data sets including: salaries and pension payrolls, the CIty budget, roads projects (including the Road Bond), vacant property, PEMA emergency information, union contracts, tree inventory, zoning maps, flood maps, and property assessments. The City plans to populate the Portal with more data sets over time.

The Portal provides this data in searchable and exportable formats, allowing for mapping of data, creation of apps to read data, and merging of different data sets into tables and maps. The portal also allows users to embed data on their own webpages with that embedded data updating as the City adds to it.

By creating a free account with Socrata on the Open Data Portal, users can save visualizations they’ve created and also compare Providence data to other cities’ data in the Socrata system. The system allows the City to upload historical data and future forecasts for comparison as well.

The Portal was created after viewing similar programs in other cities including Boston, Chicago, and Baltimore. An RFP for the the portal was issued last November and awarded to Socrata. The Portal costs the City $30k per year to maintain.

Continue Reading →

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Providence Geeks – June 19, 2013

Wednesday, June 19th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

sendgrid_labs-logoHappy Summer, All! We’ve got a killer June Geek Dinner lined up for you.

It’s well-known that Boulder Colorado-headquartered SendGrid is one of the most successful tech startups of the past decade. The email delivery service helps clients send over 7 billion emails per month.

So far though, few folks realize that SendGrid’s new R&D arm — SendGrid Labs — is based in Providence. Last year, when SendGrid recruited Native RI’er & technology veteran Mike Rowan to build and lead Labs, they told him could locate the team wherever he wanted. To the local tech scene’s delight, Mike choose our fair city.

At the June Geek Dinner, Mike is going to tell the SendGrid Labs story, demo one of its projects, and explain why he thinks Providence has only begun to tap its potential as a technology center.

See you there — you won’t want to miss this!

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Providence Geeks – Tonight

Wednesday, May 15, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

For the May Geek Dinner, we may have the perfect Providence startup story!

healthidWhen his 2-year-old son was diagnosed with diabetes, former jewelry industry executive Angelo Pitassi Jr. started learning about medical alert bracelets. He was unimpressed to say the least. In short order, Angelo partnered with technologist Christopher Melo, and HealthID was born.

Today the Jewelry District-based startup is poised at the intersection of the jewelry business and healthcare technology, and is accepting pre-orders for its first product — HealthID Profile (or “HIP”) Bands. HIP enables first responders to pull up critical, in-depth, current health information from NFC-based bands onto a web/mobile interface. The wearer can also manage all aspects of their personal health scenario while on the go.

On Wednesday, the Co-Founders CEO Angelo Pitassi Jr. and CTO Christopher Melo will tell the HealthID story, demonstrate their HIP product and give a sneak peek of where they’re headed next.

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Providence Geeks – April 17, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Spring is here! Come celebrate its arrival this Wednesday at the April Providence Geeks Dinner!

knowyo2The evening will feature Providence-based startup Knowyo, fresh off their win (“Best Presentation”) at last month’s LAUNCH Conference in San Francisco.

Knowyo will help you to never forget a name again. Their web and mobile-based adaptive learning platform integrates with LinkedIn (and soon corporate social networks like Yammer) to enable you to quickly and enjoyably learn the names and faces of the people you need to know.

At this Wednesday’s Geek Dinner, Co-Founders CEO Elie Schoppik and CTO Andrew Sohn will tell their startup’s story, demo Knowyo, and give a sneak peek of what’s coming next.

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Providence Geeks – March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 13th, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

logoThe March Geek Dinner will feature a particularly exciting, inspiring story of a local teacher turned entrepreneur.

In 2004, elementary school computer teacher, Alan Tortolani, frustrated with the lack of good educational games for kids, started making his own.

Over the past decade Alan has grown Providence-based ABCya.com into an award-winning educational juggernaut with over 175 online games and several best-selling mobile apps. He has bootstrapped ABCya.com to significant profitability with over 1 million app downloads to date and nearly 100 million visits totalling over 1 billion pageviews annually.

At the March Geek Dinner on Wednesday, Alan will tell the ABCya.com story, demo some of its games, and give a sneak peek into where he’s taking this online educational empire next.

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Providence Geeks – February 20, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

cb-logoThe February Geek Dinner will feature Crunchbutton, who may well have the greatest tagline/value proposition ever: Push a Button. Get food.

Started in a Yale dorm room, Crunchbutton was born of the founders’ desire to make ordering their favorite local sandwich – the Wenzel – as simple as possible.

Now headquartered in Providence, Crunchbutton today facilitates ordering from dozens of restaurants in Providence, New Haven, and Washington, DC (yes, there’s a college town theme here), and has big plans for further expansion.

On Wednesday, Co-Founders Judd Rosenblatt, David Klumpp and Devin Smith will tell the Crunchbutton story, demo their service, and talk about where this promising startup is headed next.

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