GBTN 2019 Year In Review

2020 proves to be an exciting year for GBTN.  For the first time we welcome sponsors to help offset costs and enhance our offerings.  Sponsors this year are title sponsor Caframo and presenting sponsor 10in6 Inc..  Meeting sponsorships are available and our first event of 2020 GBTN is sponsored by Owen Sound Hub.   I continue to enjoy connecting with all of you and seeing connections being made because of the network.  Let’s make 2020 the best year yet for GBTN.  To do that all you have to do is come on out!

With the 3rd year of Grey Bruce Technology Network in the books let’s take a look at the fun we have in 2019.

GBTN #15 –  Experience Grey Bruce – I must say I love my “I lost my Suzuki in the Storm of 2019” t-shirt. It was so clever I had to ask Mat how he came up with it.  He connected my love of the Attack with the Nick Suzuki trade to the Guelph Storm for my personalized gift.  Like my t-shirt Experience Grey Bruce look to customize your experience in our area around the things you love.  Thanks to Mat and Tim of Experience Grey Bruce for the fun and interactive presentation about their new venture.  I think Experience Grey Bruce is going to enable people to enjoy a lot of the hidden gems in our area while offering some relief to the overcrowding at the most well know attractions.  Michelle and I hosted Mat and partner Kristin as part of Owen Sound’s areyoumost campaign in November 2018.  Mat and his brother Tim started Hi Bruce! after that and now Mat and Kristin are full time residents of Grey Bruce as the owners of Red Bay Lodge.  Quite the success story for the  areyoumost campaign and GBTN.

So creative I didn’t even get it at first

GBTN #16 – Grey Bruce Generator and kp9 update – To start I gave a brief update on my work as the Vice Chair of the new privately funded not for profit business generator to be launched at Grey County’s Sydenham campus.  The goal is to provide opportunities at home by empowering established entrepreneurs with connections, knowledge and space to take their business to the next level.  We are very close to a full launch so stay tuned.  What can you say about kp9? Led by a visionary couple, this homegrown tech company is disrupting the AR space with its printcast and worldcast platform.  April and Wil are true ambassadors of our region with an office in the heart of downtown Owen Sound and a growing contingent of local tech talent, kp9is set to put Silicowen Sound on the map.  kp9’s update drew our largest crowd ever at over 30 people.  A heartfelt thanks for their support of GBTN without their space and contributions GBTN would not be in year 4. 

Record Setting Crowd – 30 people

GBTN #17 – Anthos and Google Cloud – Marc LeBlanc from Arctiq was our presenter for a discussion on Google’s cloud technologies.  Marc recently moved into our area from KW and had started a technology meetup not knowing GBTN existed.  Marc was more than happy to join forces and provide content and join our growing network.  Marc demonstrated how with some quick code a collection of virtual servers in the google cloud environment could be deployed using Kubernetes and along with some other tools could be used to create a container for your app.  The advantages to this deployment being it can scale to meet the demands automatically.  A robust discussion on the advantages to this and other cloud-based topics followed for what proved to be a very informative meeting for all in attendance.

GBTN #18 – Valleykirk Farms – Courtney and Rob hosted us just outside Owen Sound to see a fully automated robotic dairy operation. This has been something I had been keen to see with my background in manufacturing automation.  Feeding, cleaning and milking are all automated and can be controlled from a central control room or remotely from a phone or tablet.  There is even a robot that goes up and down the feed aisle pushing feed that the cows can’t reach closer to them.  Feed type, milk production, calve details are all tracked.  Rob uses this data to monitor health, determine which cows to breed, which feed/cow produces more milk and many other trends. Did you know that teat spacing and orientation is one of the key genetic traits that farmers look for where robotic milking is used?  I didn’t, but it makes sense, the straighter and more equally spaced the better the robot can find the teats. The amount of data they are using to optimize the operation is amazing. Thanks again to Courtney and Rob.


During the summer GBTN members decided to “invade” BlitzTech Collingwood located in Creators Cafe. Thanks to Emma, Dave and Patrick for hosting a wonderful event. What a great space. If you are ever in Collingwood check it out.  They also have meetups as well.

GBTN Invades the Creators Cafe

GBTN #19 – Grey County Sydenham Campus update and an CTRE TV– Steve Furness from Grey County gave us a brief update on the plans for Grey County’s Sydenham Campus.  The Sydenham campus will serve as the home of the Business Enterprise Centre and the Business Generator to start. Hot desks will be available for rent.  There are plans for training areas and labs as requirements and funding become available.  I am confident that this space will become the hub for entrepreneurship in our area. Russ Ellis has been a member of GBTN since one of our first meetings.  Over the years he always brings energy and discussions to our meetings.  Russ and team are doing a number of awesome things but one of their newest products is  CTRE TVCTRE TV allows an organization to place their video content within a secure environment similar to YouTube.  Content is searchable and can also be tailored to the user logged in. As Russ mentioned once you upload your content to YouTube you no longer own it.  With CTRE TV you can contain your content, keep your ownership but still get it out to your users and customers with the same ease as YouTube.

GBTN #20 – Containers 101 – Not your typical Tupperware- My best meeting title to date saw Marc LeBlanc of Arctiq back to continue building on concepts presented in GBTN #17.  This time it was containers, what they are, how they are built and deployed.  A container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.  The big takeaway (if you are in the UK you may enjoy a takeaway container joke here) is containers isolate software from its environment and ensure that it works uniformly despite differences for instance between development and staging.  I really enjoyed this presentation because it introduced me to technology that I had never knew about and has piqued my interest in learning more and following this emerging technology.

GBTN #21 –  cpDESK Launch – Robert Warrilow of Owen Sound-based Commerce Point Software announced the release of a powerful new application: cpDESK. Whether you’re a design company creating fully customized enterprise-level applications or a freelance designer producing simple applications for small local businesses, cpDESK will revolutionize how you run your business and support your clients. Simple enough for novice designers to look professional and powerful enough to run enterprise-level ERP/CRM portals. cpDESK is truly an example of art meets science.  It was great to hear and see about another thriving software company here in Owen Sound.  Robert has been involved in technology in our area for some time starting the first computer club in Owen Sound .

cpDESK launch in our new home at Grey County’s Sydenham Campus

Well if you made it this far I sincerely hope you enjoyed the recap as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Thank you to everyone who has participated in the meetings these past 3 years.  I look forward to a successful 4th year of GBTN. 

Cheers, Mike

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