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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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ProvPlan’s new Community Profiles

prov-plan

I spent some time playing with this new tool from ProvPlan yesterday and it is sure to be something that many of us are going to spend a lot of time with.

Web App Provides New Perspective on Rhode Island Communities

PROVIDENCE – A new web app released today will provide Rhode Islanders with easy access to in-depth data on their neighborhoods. Created and released by the nonprofit The Providence Plan (ProvPlan), Rhode Island Community Profiles (http://profiles.provplan.org) provides fast access to comprehensive, mappable information about communities across the state including data on race, age, income, employment, poverty, housing, health, education, transportation and more. Visitors can create and share maps that compare their neighborhoods with surrounding areas, or reveal changes in their own communities over time.

Rhode Island Community Profiles is the latest in a suite of online tools created by ProvPlan. “These tools democratize data by putting information into the hands of community members,” explained Patrick McGuigan, ProvPlan Executive Director. “We hope that this site will empower our residents, nonprofits, businesses and government to identify local needs, prioritize investments, and advocate for the kinds of community change they want to see.”

Continue Reading →

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ProJo: City commission urges accountability via Web

The group’s report, recently received by the City Council, proposes the following: an online tracking tool for council member votes; interactive budget information for the previous 10 years; and streaming important meetings live on the city’s website, providenceri.com.

“It is no secret that Providence city government has not always been a beacon of accountability and transparency to city residents,” the report’s conclusion read.

“And while City Hall has come incredibly far,” the commission says Providence officials have to continue developing a government that is “fully accountable” to its residents.

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Providence Geeks – January 16, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

We’re kicking 2013 off with another awesome Geek Dinner!

Care ThreadWe hear near daily about the frustrations (nightmares?) patients face in navigating our convoluted healthcare system. What we don’t hear about are the challenges that healthcare providers – the doctors, nurses, and other clinicians – face in providing better patient care. The pain is especially acute around how providers communicate and collaborate with one another.

That’s where Providence-based startup Care Thread comes in.

Care Thread has built an innovative set of real-time mobile tools to empower providers to better collaborate, resulting in better care for their patients.

At next week’s January Geek Dinner, fresh off their announcement of Slater’s $250K investment into Care Thread, CEO & MD Scott Guelich and CTO (and healthcare IT industry veteran) Andrew Shearer (@ashearer) will share the challenges healthcare providers face every day, and show how Care Thread’s mobile & web apps improve both provider and patient experiences.

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Providence Geeks – December 12, 2012

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

Providence Geeks returns this coming Wednesday, the auspicious date of 12/12/12! And we’ve got a great evening planned starring Providence-based startup VCharge.

VCharge is innovating at the intersection of the information technology and energy industries. They are solving the problem of integrating renewable energy sources like wind and solar into the electric grid using a market-based approach. Their software and hardware controls enable distributed generation, storage, and load like electric cars, thermal storage heaters, and commercial refrigeration to respond dynamically to grid conditions and improve overall system efficiency.

The commercial rollout of its SmartBricks product is underway, and VCharge is controlling residential heating systems using the homes’ existing broadband connection to lower monthly heating costs and balance the grid. The company has installations in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maine, and they’re just getting started, eyeing projects in Ireland and Germany as well as right here in RI.

At Wednesday’s Geek Dinner VCharge CTO (and MIT PhD) Jessica Millar CEO (and Harvard B-School prof) George Baker will tell the VCharge story, demo the SmartBricks control technology, and give a sneak peek at where this exciting startup is headed next.

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MBTA introduces mTicket, but not for us (yet)

Update 11/27: An update of the App was just pushed out on iOS which now includes the south side stations, including Providence.
Apparently, Wickford Junction is not yet included. MBTA says it will be added in the next update.

The MBTA’s new mobile Commuter Rail ticketing app, mTicket, launched today, but only on Commuter Rail lines out of North Station.

We can expect the mTicket system to be available for trips on the Providence line starting later this month, and monthly passes for December will also be able to be purchased using mTicket. The MBTA has an FAQ to answer any questions about the system.

mTicket is available to download for free for the iPhone through iTunes and for Android devices through the Google Play store.

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I spent all night playing “Fart Cat!”

News arrived yesterday of the release of Fart Cat!; a new iPhone game by Summer Camp Studios, a group of programmers that formed out of the ashes of the 38 Studios debacle. So, I’m not into cats, and I’m not into games, and I guess I’m not really into farting either, but I decided to drop 99¢ in the App Store to see what it was all about.

Then I played it all night, stopping only long enough to update my bewildered iPhone friends on my progress (I’ve made it to level 15 in case you were wondering).

The game is amazingly simple and stupidly fun, you feed the cat what it wants to eat and try to make it full before its annoying owner pets it. You then tap the cat’s belly and it farts. What is not to love? The devlopers describe it:

Our debut title, Fart Cat!, began as a thought exercise and quickly evolved into a fun game through our newly adopted iterative development process. In order to transition out of the mindset of massive, 200 person projects to the (comparatively) light and fluffy land of iOS development, we needed a simple game concept that would not only teach us how to deliver on a completely new platform, but also show us how we wanted to work as a team! Fart Cat! fit the bill beautifully. It’s a fun, simple arcade game that game be enjoyed by all ages, and has plenty of room for expansion if the crowd demands it.

Seriously, download this thing!

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Providence Geeks – September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012, 5:30 – 8pm
AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)
RSVP at Facebook

faniumWelcome back everybody! After taking August off, it’s time to get our Geek Dinner on again.

In a small office on North Main Street in Providence, a young team of six developers and designers works long hours in their quest to shake up fantasy sports world.

Founded in 2011, Fanium has already launched a Yahoo! Fantasy Football companion for iPhone and Android. With over 1,500 NFL expert Twitter accounts aggregated, the app filters out unnecessary information, and only displays news that they need to know regarding their fantasy teams in real time.

Fanium’s Fantasy Football app serves as a perfect complementary “second screen” to a given NFL game, while always monitoring your fantasy football team.

At Wednesday’s Geek Dinner, 22-year old Brown senior and CEO Grant Gurtin will tell the Fanium story, demo their impressive app, and give a sneak peek into where this promising startup is headed.

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