The inagural Silicon Halton event was held 4 weeks to the day after Chris Herbert and Rick Stomphorst agreed to kick off a hi tech group, November 10, 2009.
Gerry Cockburnof Williams Coffee Pub (Dundas & Trafalgar) graciously welcomed us to use their establishment. Preceding the event, Chris and I (Rick) spread the word via social media and connections. Scheduled to start at 7pm, we still sat alone at 6:55pm. Then people started to arrive. Having no agenda other than getting to know each other, we winged-it. Briefly, Chris and I described our observations and subsequent conclusion that the area needed a vibrant hi-tech group to connect the numerous hi-tech companies, entrepreneurs and professionals in the area.
We discussed the importance of "place" and that we wanted that "place" to be Halton. We even spoke of how the name Silicon Halton came about and that we'd decide to use, when ever possible, free SaaS based tools to collaborate on, and run Silicon Halton. Rick described the inaugural Silicon Halton hash cloud / logo. It was to represent the numerous hi-tech companies surrounding Silicon Halton. It was a bold statement, but as one of Rick's bosses used to say "go big or go home". Just over twenty people attended the first meetup.
After Rick and Chris' opening remarks, immediate feedback concurred with the Silicon Halton vision. The Program Having no agenda, someone (perhaps @ClickRyan?) suggested we all introduce ourselves, our expertise and our company. We had hi tech CEO's and entrepreneurs in our presence. One memorable duo was from www.mycellphonemyterms.com - why that was memorable was because their partners had the previous week successfully pitched their product on CBC's DragonsDen. The www.mycellphonemyterms.com software solution was developed in Oakville. Clips of behind the scenes is here. These guys even have a YouTube channel.
Pictures of this 1st event were snapped from by friend-of-Silicon-Halton, Vicky Pehar, and can be found here. That evening I also learned from a member how IBM designs their laptops - he had been part of the team that designed the Thinkpads. The inaugural event proved yet again to Chris and I that there is a ton of hi tech expertise in our community, but that the expertise wasn't known. Part of our job would be to gain recognition for the hi tech firms and expertise in the region. A second event? We didn't have a Meetup #2 scheduled, but asked everyone who hadn't already, to join the LinkedIn group and follow-us on Twitter for the announcement of the next meetup. There would be a next meetup! We're on our way.