All posts by Bob Dumouchel

SMV Tech Brew – Jeff Barnes

Last night about 25 people came together for a presentation from Jeff Barnes. The presentation started with a trip down memory lane talking about the evolution of CafeFX in Santa Maria. This was capped off with the demo roll that included many of the feature films that CafeFX during its 18 years in Santa Maria.

As always Jeff was a good storyteller and he made the presentation fun to listen to. The second half of the presentation was on Lytro camera technology and it is a real game changer. The data depth was amazing and the file sizes involved are just crazy but so are the abilities to edit after shooting. While Jeff went well over my head several times the parts I understood were amazing and the others probably was too. Jeff intended to get to the application for VR for this technology but we ran out of time. We are currently discussing with Jeff a possible second Tech Brew so we can finish our look at this subject.

On a personal note my son Ryan attended with his son Zeplen so here is a picture of three generations at a Softec meeting. For those that have been with Softec for a long time you might remember that my mother used to do guest check-in during the late 90’s so this makes it 4 generations of Softec in our family.

Call for Speakers 

Softec would like to hear from businesses or individuals that would be interested in speaking at Softec Events. Please reply to this email and include complete contact information, speaker bio, and topic description. Send this to events@softec.org
  • Softec holds Tech Brews in San Luis and Santa Maria each month and the presentation are approximately 20 minutes in length.
  • Softec holds Dinners that draw large crowds. Common format is a panel of experts talking on hot topics in tech.
  • Softec Open Houses are held in partnership with local businesses that are willing to give Softec an inside peek at cool tech things.
The first evaluation in giving someone a speaking slot is the WOW factor of the topic and speaker. Our mission in the community is to connect people, resources, and ideas to create a vibrant tech industry here on the central coast. We do this by creating fun events that attract smart people so they can meet other smart people. Over the last twenty plus years we have found that smart people talking about cool tech ideas create Softec moments.
Softec Moments are when people, ideas, and resources come together to create business formation or growth opportunities in our community. Many of the leading tech businesses in the region have one or more Softec moments in their history.

VR Demo @ Santa Maria Tech Brew

Well after a few problems with scheduling caused by storm related power outages we got our sneak peek at an innovation in VR being developed by Trevor Orrick. This was the first time the device has been seen outside of the development team so it really was an exclusive sneak peak and the tech is very cool.

Their innovation is the control mat that you stand on to control the action within the VR environment. 

During the demo the group could see on the monitor what the person wearing the headset was seeing and the quality of the images was remarkable. The headset was another company’s product supplemented by the mat control developed by Trevor’s team.

After a short talk the group got to try the device and here is Tim Williams CEO from Digital West giving it a try.  I tried this for the first time and it was disorientating but I am sure with some time that I would get better.

It was a great event with about 20 people attending.

 

Software Developer, LAMP/Laravel

BizWatt LLC in San Luis Obispo is looking for experienced PhP (will train if you know ‘C’ and Java), MySQL, HTML, Javascript, developers utilizing Laravel framework and Bootstrap. Atlassian products JIRA and BitBucket for development tracking. Experience with commercial web application release and support is desired.

This is part-time, contract work with a minimum commitment of 15-hours per week. Once we get in a groove there is plenty of work to be done. Office is in SLO. Work can be done remotely but there needs to be face-to-face sessions to get started and ramp up on dev tools and processes. Applicant must reside in San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara Counties.

BizWatt is developing a suite of financial technology applications building off of General Ledger applications (QuickBooks, Xero, Sage) that provide business process and data management tools for business owners and employees. The first product is Qfactor. . ..https://bizwatt.com

We are looking for fast starters, quick study’s, innovators, and outgoing personalities. Healthy, positive lifestyle, outlook – living the SLO life. Please respond with your LinkedIn profile and one reference.

Compensation: $25-$45 per hour depending on experience and production…..again, remote work but need to be local for face-to-face meetings……

Reply to jobs@bizwatt.com

Technical Account Manager –Job opening – San Luis Obispo 6/17

A technical account manager at StreamGuys is responsible for managing all the technical aspects of a company’s relationship with specific clients. Whilst providing top-quality technical service, a technical account manager will assist in strengthening customer relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction.

A technical account manager will work closely with the business and sales account management team to win new business and increase sales. They analyze prospects’ technical and business requirements, as well as developing solutions that meet those needs. They may work with the product development teams to customize products for large sales or for individual customers. They might also demonstrate products to customers and explain how such product meets customers’ needs.

Whenever customers agree to purchase a product, the technical account manager would identify and provide the training, support and services such customers will need to make productive and effective use of the products. The account manager would need to monitor the progress of the service provisioning process to ensure that it is successful.

A technical account manager is responsible for managing ongoing support to customers to confirm that the customers continue to make effective use of the company’s products. They will monitor support requests made by customers to identify any recurring issues and recommend changes to products.

Technical account managers hold regular review meetings with customers for discussions on any problems and issues and report to other members of the account team. They will analyze customers’ support needs and identify areas where the company can reduce support costs and offer improved service.

By monitoring associated support needs and product performance, this manager will identify opportunities to modify or upgrade products so that they effectively meet customers’ needs. They report to the development team on product performance and advise customers on upgrades or new products that may be suitable for their business.

Technical Account Manager Job Duties

  • Provide business, technical, and product knowledge in support of post sales activities to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Address product related questions and technical challenges
  • Educate clients on how existing and new product features and functionality work, and how it can contribute to their business growth
  • Frequently conduct and coordinate tactical operations reviews with client teams
  • Act as the middle-man to support organization to ensure client escalations are resolved in due time
  • Accurately replicate, identify, and document software defects with appropriate tracking system
  • Perform quarterly Business reviews and assist in product trainings needed

Knowledge, Skills, and Requirements for the Technical Account Manager Position

Below is a list of knowledge, skills, and requirements, which technical account managers should possess to excel on the job.

  • BS or MS in Computer Science, or any quantitative and analytical discipline
  • More than two years’ experience in customer service
  • Ability to match client’s business requirements with product capabilities
  • Ability to make right decisions based on strong analytical reasoning skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that build positive relationships with other team members
  • Strong ability to organize work schedule and time to ensure deadlines are always met

The ability to be trained remotely, and willingness to travel to company main Headquarters in Northern California a plus. This job is open, branch office to open in SLO by June, 2017.

Visit www.streamguys.com for more information, please submit resume to jobs@streamguys.com

EVC Job Posting – Senior Project Director

EVC Senior Project Director

POSITION AVAILABLE: SENIOR PROJECT DIRECTOR
Organization: Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC)
Location: San Luis Obispo, California
Position Type: Permanent, full‐time
Application Deadline: End of business day Jan. 16, 2017
Start Date: Immediate
Compensation: Commensurate with experience.
Benefits: Health Insurance, 401K Retirement Plan (employer matches up to 4%)
About the EVC
Established in 1994, the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC) is the only economic development organization that serves all of San Luis Obispo County. A 501(c)(3) non-profit and public/private partnership, the EVC mission is to create jobs, foster investments, and promote business on California’s Central Coast. This highly respected organization works directly with business and government leaders on key issues to support the regional economy.

Position Description

The EVC Senior Project Director will provide strategic leadership and management oversight to new and ongoing projects and economic development initiatives; steward and administer grants and other funding sources; conduct industry research; monitor and track EVC projects and initiatives; build and foster relationships with government officials and business leaders as well as with local businesses and entrepreneurs; manage groups of volunteer business leaders; organize and facilitate meetings; and communicate via written reports and public presentations with government officials, boards of directors, business leaders, and community members.  The Senior Project Director coordinates closely with the EVC President/CEO and its Board of Directors.  This is a highly public role within the community.

Responsibilities

  • Provide project management leadership for new and ongoing projects and initiatives within the EVC with full accountability for deliverables, timetables, budgets, and consultative processes;
  • Manage implementation of economic development projects involving local government and industry stakeholders;
  • Assess business community needs and coordinate resources to enhance existing programs;
  • Consult with business and government leadership to develop and foster public policy and industry solutions to retain and create jobs within the County;
  • Partner with economic development partners in/and neighboring counties to foster economic progress and a positive business climate throughout the state;
  • Participate in fundraising efforts, including grant writing, to develop new funding sources;
  • Serve as an EVC advocate when working externally with public policy makers and key business and community leaders;
  • Serve as a primary point of contact for EVC relationships on behalf of the CEO as needed;
  • Organize, facilitate, and occasionally lead meetings with industry and community partners;
  • Prepare and deliver various communications on behalf of EVC, including press releases and presentations, to elected officials and appointed governing bodies;
  • Formulate and implement communication and social media strategies, including public affairs campaigns, with industry and local government to support the EVC mission;
  • Develop, maintain, and manage business and professional relationships with individuals and groups who may hold opposing or conflicting viewpoints;
  • Work collaboratively with the internal team and with government and business partners;
  • Assist in managing staff.
Required Qualifications and Specialized Skills
Experience managing complex projects with multiple stakeholder interests; strong interpersonal and intercultural communication skills; an advanced level of writing proficiency; effective presentation skills to reach a variety of audiences; demonstrated excellence in time management and organization; high levels of proficiency in computer software programs such as Microsoft Office; knowledge of principles for performing in a customer‐oriented and service‐centered manner; flexibility and responsiveness to client and organizational needs; critical thinking and problem-solving skills; ability to work independently to develop specific goals, organize work, and prioritize tasks to accomplish objectives; keen attention to detail; capacity to work well under pressure; high levels of personal and professional integrity.Preferred Qualifications
An earned bachelor’s degree; at least five years of relevant experience fostering business relationships; a clear understanding of the local political landscape and regional economy; experience overseeing business or government projects; evidence of participation in the drafting and submitting of grants or other formal reports; demonstrated ability to present information effectively in one‐to‐one and small-group settings with co‐workers, clients, the public, and the press.

Special Conditions
This position requires reliable transportation for work‐related matters with mileage reimbursement.  A background check is required.

To apply

Send a cover letter and resume via email to info@sloevc.org

CCNTH Hackathon

Softec sponsors lots of technology related events and we are especially fond of those that serve the kids in our community. These take several forms but one of them is the Hackathon a competition designed to exposure kids to coding. So over the weekend with support from Softec and several other sponsors the kids ranging from middle to high school age put their coding skills to the test.

Hackathon-2016--Coding-Table

Coding group making magic.

Hackathon-2016-This-might-not-be-a-software-problem

Okay this might not be a software problem.  Clues included the need to use tools. Mentors noted that if it requires pliers to fix it then it might be a hardware problem.

Hackathon-2016---Group

What a group of really smart people looks like.

Softec looks forward to next year’s event.

 

Startup Weekend 2016

   Friday-NightTucked away in a building next to the library on Cal Poly’s campus, 107 brilliant minds came together to pitch ideas, build teams, and launch ideas to change the world. This is the essence of a startup weekend and it is an experience that I recommend you put on your bucket list.

Keynote-Speaker

To kick off the evening was a local success story of a business that formed out of Cal Poly by Jesse Dundon, the CEO of Hathway .  He told his story of transformation that began with carpet cleaning and evolved into a local 50+ person mobile web design firm.  One point that he made is that the pivot greatly improved his dating outlook as girls thought web development was cooler than rug cleaner 😉 It was a great talk and really helped set the stage for the transformations that most teams would go through over the weekend. Granted, nobody pivoted their concept this far over the weekend, but to be fair Jesse had a few years to do that pivot.  What was clear from the story is that not everything happens in a clean and orderly fashion. The story was great and the presentation was excellent.

Chaos to Calm

The Startup Weekend process is a cycle from chaos to calm. The chaos begins within the first hour thanks to a crowd mixer game of Rock, Paper, Scissors (but with a twist); Every time a person wins they accumulate their losing competitor and also whatever followers they had accumulated. In the end we are left with two competitors and their cheer team of accumulated followers. In other words, the room is divided into two teams rooting for their victor! This gets not only the energy up but also the volume.

pitches

Within 20 minutes the noise level is down as one speaker at a time gives a 60 second pitch on the product or application they want to launch this weekend. Of course, some people are more animated than others but somehow calmness takes over the room. This does not last long as it results in about 60 ideas up on the walls for the chaos of the vote. Chaos is actually too mild of a term for what happens next as people are pulled between voting for different ideas or representing their own.

The crowd swirls and flows through the room as vote stickers are placed on pitch idea posters and people ask qualifying questions of the pitch presenters. Once the voting is closed, calmness returns and everybody sits in anxious silence as the event leaders take all the idea posters and count the votes. When done, the top 12 ideas get an additional 30 seconds before the pure chaos of team formation begin.

Team Formation

In the business world team formations for startups take years to evolve yet so do businesses. In this event businesses are created over a weekend and 107 people divide into 12 business teams in only 10 MINUTES!

When the event leadership asked if anyone was without a team after the formation process, only one person was left. Once this individual stated that they were a developer a bidding war erupted in the room as groups warmly invited the orphan to their team. Afterwards, each team went out into the wilderness to stake their claim in one of the two buildings designated for this event. Our team picked a spot on the second floor of the Bonderson Engineering Projects Laboratory while others remained in the Advanced Technologies Laboratory. Now things started to happen as computing devices of every form emerged from backpacks and power cords reached out to walls full of plugs.

Team Evolution  

teams

Our team quickly evolved as did the two other groups in our area as the challenges were discussed and people were assigned to take on each of these tasks. Leadership evolved in our group based on the role of each person. Milad, a 3rd year finance major, became the business lead in partnership with Charles Hu. Grant Terris and Kevin Vincent were the technical horsepower. Grant took the backend work with the server side development and the portal and Kevin did the iOS app development. With specs still in flux they started putting the framework together so that the rest of the team would have things to react to.

Pivot & Repeat

Startup weekends are nothing if not flexible and fluid and this time was no different than the prior five teams I have been on. As people talked and ideas changed the concept evolved over most of Saturday. Our team went through three major pivots as the idea evolved and unlike in a business world where every change is debated on its merits this team just took the changes in stride and kept moving forward. After all you only have 54 hours so there is no time for people to become vested in the idea so the pros and cons are less personal. Other teams went through the same process in different ways but every idea evolved radically over the weekend. Names were changed, missions evolved, concepts crashed, and the process went on.

Fueling Innovation

TeaThroughout the event  meals are provided and if you look at the $50 event cost and the meals provided it is the best deal in town. While the meals were varied and great quality the one vendor that really deserves a huge shout out is Guayaki. Jose from Guayaki was at the event providing Yerba Mate for all three days. I had the opportunity to talk to him and was surprised to learn that a local company from a Cal Poly senior project in the local business community for 20 years is not an authorized vendor on campus. Even more surprising was to discover this is at least partially because of a vendor contract restriction from Coke . I think we can all agree that Coke, with $10 billion in sales, does not need contract protection from Guayaki in SLO. It is also distressing that a contract is stopping Cal Poly from doing business with a local business. So much for the fair shake for the little guy.  
yerbamate-teayerbamate-tea

Read More about this

http://mustangnews.net/guayaki-yerba-mate-returning-to-cal-poly/

https://youtu.be/zwUy9TVA1pQ?rel=0

Other local firms that provided food to the event include:

A Day of Focus

While Saturday was a day of pivots and debate Sunday is about focus. There is nothing like staring down at a deadline to make a team focus on the delivery. On Sunday, we started in the  morning at the Library across street discussing the big idea that we had settled on and the business model that would get our team to the innovation finish line. As you walk around the event you can feel the change in the force (think Star Wars) as groups move closer to the immovable presentation at 5pm. The afternoon is refining and practicing the pitch and getting the technical types to shift from creating to fixing so the presentation works. Our team was pretty good about this with software changes down to just fixes by about 2pm. That is followed by a tech check, a deep breath and the final presentation.

Reflecting on the results

On our team (CheckMate) we got the mobile app working for iOS and the backend partner portal running. As a full disclosure not everything was perfect but it worked. I think the technical team can be rightfully proud of the result because in a normal business setting this would have taken several weeks to get done. The prototype demo went without any problems other than the projector in the room that jammed up several teams.

As I watched the other teams I was impressed by all of them. They had gone from a wild concept on Friday night to a presentation in just 54 hours. There were some stumbles but not a single on-stage failure – I have to wonder what the odds of that are! One thing I will probably never forget is Katie White on the Lettuce Team who lost her voice during the event. During the Q&A Katie wanted to answer the question so badly that she ran up up to the judges and whispered the answer and everyone listened. It was an amazing example of turning a liability into an asset. It demonstrates just how dedicated to these teams are and that it is not how loud you talk but what you have to say.   

Team Summary – In presentation order

  1. Unlimited – Financial Training for Kids
  2. Extra Lettuce – Saving app for students – saving plan with auto deduction
  3. Project Take out – Home chefs to home delivery app
  4. Hitch – Long Distance Ride Sharing
  5. Spottr – Fitness Matching App
  6. Moola – Employee Recruiting Expense reimbursement and finance
  7. Head Count – School Field Trip Management
  8. Quinch – Smart Water Bottle
  9. PC Kit – Build your PC for Gamers – specs based on Game & Performance
  10. The APIARY – Bee Hive Monitor
  11. Virtual Realty – 3D Real Estate Marketing
  12. CheckMate – Consumer Driven Coupon Delivery App

Team Photos for those that provided them to me – as the ace reporter on the scene I should have gotten photos from all 12 teams but in the end these are all the photos that I could get my paws on.

HeadCount-TeamTeam: Head Count

From left to right: Kevin Mckinnis, Rebecca Krieger, Kaitlyn Henry, Kristen Henry, Mike Hurdelbrink, and Daniel Williams.

HeadCount is a mobile application that simplifies field trips for teachers, chaperones, and students. It empowers field trip leaders to work collaboratively and stay organized, so they can focus more on learning and less on the little things.

Spottr-TeamTeam: Spottr

Front Row left to right: Michael Hbib, Danica Liang,  Emily Cai, Nikki Duffy, Tiffany Lam

Back Row left to right: Neda Sales, Matthew Eng, Shain Lafazan, Anthony Fontes, Tyler Chen

The Tinder for Fitness buddies! Swipe right if you find a buddy that matches your fitness interests, level, and availability.

CheckMate-TeamTeam: CheckMate

Left to right: Charles Hu, Kevin Vincent, Milad Hassibi, Bob Dumouchel, Grant Terris

CheckMate is a mobile app that delivers coupons to consumers based on their preferences rather than the advertisers distribution plan. System pulls from available coupon inventory based on personal settings rather than having them pushed by the advertisers.

Team:MoolaTeam: Moola

Employee Recruiting Expense reimbursement and finance

We apologize, we were unable to get the team member names!

If you are one of the other 8 teams and would like to be included, just send to bob@smsrd.com a photo, your team members names and a description of your app and we will be sure to add it to the article!

Judging

The judging panel included:  

Aaron Steed, CEO and founder of Meathead Movers. https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronsteed

Charmaine Ann Farber, who worked as a ux/ui designer, illustrator, graphic designer, animator and educator, both nationally and internationally, for CIVCO International, MacArthur Foundation, Congressman Loebsack of Iowa, Stamats, Lipman Hearne, SMC Marketing Hong Kong, and Benson & Hepkar Design Group, and have spoke at events everywhere from Yale University to Chiba, Japan of Directors of AIGA and also served on the Pittsburgh board of Directors of AIGA.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/charmaine-farber-8181b723

Greg Gibson, Entrepreneur in Residence at CIE. Entrepreneur and senior executive with experience on the founding teams of companies in consumer internet, SMB ecommerce, online advertising, and social media spaces. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ggibson

Judging

Each group got 5 minutes to present and 3 minutes for QA from the judges. Because presentations are so unpredictable and nerve wrecking It truly is amazing that all 12 groups did so well. 

Presentations
And the WINNERS are:  

  1. Project Takeout
  2. The Apiary
  3. Virtual Reality

Honorable Mention from the Judges:

  • Quinch
  • PC Kit
  • Moola

Judging something like this is difficult and as I watched I ranked each of the groups on how they did on the presentation and the questions and answers. I came up with some of the same names but my top list was very different from the judges with Project Takeout being the only common name. This is not to take anything away from anyone but it does show that reasonable people can disagree, especially when you have so many really great teams. What is amazing is that all the teams could be a viable business if they can keep the team alive. I would bet that locally we will soundly beat the 12% continues after the event average of the Startup Weekend Program.  

A true story from the Event

From Nick Sinai Event Coordinator:

I was sitting with Joe from virtual realty when he sees someone walk by with his wife and kids and tells me, hey that’s Tim Cook! So of course I’m surprised and like no way, “Joe you wanna go talk to him??” And he says no because he’s already met him and I’m like well I haven’t! So I grab Tim Elkana the main organizer and tell him “Dude! Joe says Tim Cook just walked by!” So Tim is freaking out and like “Heck yeah I want to go talk to him! Let me grab my camera!” So we run down the campus to where Tim Cook is walking with his wife and kids, and as we get closer we say ” Hey! Are you Tim Cook?” This man laughs and say “Nope!” And walks off. Tim and I walk back disappointed to find Joe laughing hysterically and then we realize Tim Cook would never be walking around Cal Poly with his wife and kids because Tim Cook is gay.

Shout out to the Event Leaders

Startup Weekends cannot happen without the inspiration and perspiration of the event leaders and the team this year did a great job. Here is the team that made the magic possible:

  • Tim Elkana
  • Luke Bayard
  • Jim  
  • Nicholas Sinai
  • Katie White

Tech Brew Recap – Oct 2015

If you missed last night’s Tech Brew you missed a great networking event. With an estimated 70+ attending some of us heard about wireless technology but Softec has some logistics to get straight for the new location. In the back of the room it was impossible to hear the presentation but we will figure that out for future meetings.

softec-tech-brew

The new location is great and the crowd was overflowing into the other parts of the restaurant. If you missed this one you missed a good one.