Driven Accelerator Cohort Starts August 27

Driven is a mentorship program focused accelerator designed to provide advanced training, one-on-one mentoring and access to capital to tech start-ups led by women and people of colour.

The 12-week program provides start-up founders with an advanced curriculum facilitated by Toronto’s most recognized and respected entrepreneurs. Driven’s program will help you raise outside capital, build relationships with companies to help accelerate their business, and create traction by learning from proven mentors. Including, yours truly, Kevin.

Early deadline for applications is August 6, 2012. Program starts August 27, 2012 

VPN vs. Cloud: It’s a question of control

You know a bit about VPN. You know a bit about Cloud. But you’re still trying to understand the key debate between the choice of one over the other. Never fear! #DevTO’s Nael El Shawwa has come to your rescue:

There is a big debate in the mobile storage world between Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Cloud services – and it revolves mainly around the issue of control.

A tool commonly provided by – but not exclusive to – larger corporations for their mobile employees, VPNs offer a secure access tunnel to an organization’s infrastructure, servers and data. Some people/organizations want, prefer or need that.

At the same time, that control can often be seen as a disadvantage: You have to keep your servers up to date and patched up; and the VPN’s owner administrators are responsible for dealing with security threats, viruses or other issues as they arise.

There are legal compliances that need be taken into account when considering a VPN. For example, where is data stored? An organization may be legally and/or legislatively restricted to where data must be stored. For example, certain Canadian public organizations must store their data on networks within Canada, where the government has jurisdiction. A VPN located in Canada would comply with this.

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As for cloud storage and networks, one of the biggest and most obvious advantages is ease of setup. Just a few clicks on Amazon or any other cloud service will give you server access somewhere in the world and off you go. Before this, it may have taken you anywhere from a week to a month to adequately set up, and then you’d have to personally maintain, monitor, etc.

Cost is another factor for cloud. Typically, it starts out cheaper to use – but as your needs increase, there’s a point where the cost balance tips; with growth, eventually it becomes cheaper to build and deploy your own servers.

I still think the cloud is – for the most part – more reliable, more secure and more convenient. Issues like the recent Amazon power outages and periodic downtimes could also happen to the private data centre from which you’re hosting a network.

The real question remains whether or not a VPN is more secure. As any corporate network administrator will tell you, if an employee with network access is truly disgruntled havoc can still be wrought. Security is never 100% airtight.

As the saying goes: “Build a 12ft wall and someone will eventually build a 13ft ladder”. With VPN you need to always make sure your wall is higher than any other ladder out there. A cloud solution like Amazon or Google or others takes the wall building out of your hands so you can focus on what is more important – building your product, service or business and keeping your customers happy.

#DevTo is Toronto’s developer community for all of Toronto’s developers; a place for all to collaborate on the problems faced while developing applications. You may not be a developer, but even if you have written a bit of HTML you should come out. (@devto)

Mixpanel Office Hours in Toronto

Hey folks!  Mixpanel is hosting a free office hours at Uniiverse HQ in Toronto this coming Thursday!

Mixpanel engineer Neil Rahilly will be hosting office hours on Thursday, July 5th from 6 – 8pm. The good folks at Uniiverse have generously offered to host this event at their office, so come to:

111 Jarvis St, Toronto, ON M5C 2T9

Come with questions about how to use Mixpanel. If you don’t have questions, just come for the Pizza and Beer.

#DevTO 15 – July 30

July is shaping up to be a busy #DevTO month! After another fantastic event in June, we are excited to have a couple of great speakers, excellent giveaways and we can all get excited for the upcoming #DevTOBBQ!

Mailing list

Have you joined yet? Remember you get access to tickets a whole day before everybody else. It’s free and it’s the fastest way to get #DevTO tickets delivered to your inbox!
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One more #DevTO in the back pocket – learn about last month’s speakers here. See you out there on July 31st folks!
Get your tickets

Julian Lam – Client Side Rendering: The Good Kind of Outsourcing

Following on the heels of Dmytro Yashkir’s presentation last month, Julian will be leading a primer on client-side rendering as implemented by web app developers on the LAMP stack. We will step through a high-level overview of traditional content rendering paradigms, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of rendering on the client side. Additional topics touched upon include scalability, security concerns, and real world implementations.

Julian is a Toronto-based Web Application Developer and System Administrator. He has worked in the startup arena for close to three years, and has experience in the social game industry, developing such hit games as Lionsgate’s Dirty Dancing Facebook game, and social action platforms such as IGAPI. He is currently spearheading development on FeedSeed, a next-generation business-to-consumer relevancy engine, soon to enter open beta.

Milan Gokhale – 10 lessons learned from starting a tech business

Originally presented to first-year engineering students at Western, this talk will discuss 10 lessons learned from building a digital development studio in Toronto – and why now is the best time for every software developer to build products for themselves.

Milan Gokhale is a developer-turned-entrepreneur who spends most of his first conversations explaining why his first name is pronounced mill’uh-n (rhymes with villain) and not mi-lan, like the city in Italy. Milan is a partner at People & Code, a digital development studio based in Toronto. Before leaping into the startup world, Milan worked for six years in the Microsoft enterprise space, including a stint in Redmond for Microsoft. Milan holds a software engineering degree from Western University, and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.


Headstart Solutions  is a social recruiting and career development agency. We specialize in social media recruiting on-demand and outsourcing solutions, using the latest social media tools and methodologies to engage, recruit, and stay in touch with the best talent.
You probaly have met Marc or Sue at some point in the past year, remember they spoke about personal branding and how to give awesome presentations? Marc and Sue are here to provide our community with personal branding tips,career advice, and exciting new job opportunities for FREE! Get in touch with us at for a FREE career coaching session!

Silver Sponsors

Thinkwrap is a team of outstanding software developers, engineers, architects, strategists, and designers whose ability to create responsive web environments serving 100,000 users doesn’t stop them from architecting for millions as if they were one.Our strong community of purpose is built on our clients’ lasting business success.

Mercatus Technologies enables retailers and advertisers to achieve competitive advantage, boost brand equity, and improve financial performance. Leveraging Mercatus’ smart shopping technology on a cross-channel marketing level, achieve the ultimate one-to-one relationship with shoppers throughout their buying cycle—from intent to influence to purchase.

Bronze Sponsors

Rypple is a social performance platform built for teams to share goals, recognize great work, and help each other improve. With Rypple, performance management becomes painless and effective.

Extreme Startups
is the epicenter of innovation in Toronto and is dedicated to providing everything it takes to see its startups succeed!

In Kind Sponsors

ThirdOcean is a social media marketing and community management company. Our communications are delivered by and hosted on social mediums.

FITC produces design and technology focused conferences and seminars worldwide which inspire, educate and challenge attendees.

The best skins on the planet! GelaSkins are removable covers for protecting and customizing your portable devices. They feature stunning, photo-quality graphics ranging from fine art prints to contemporary urban images designed by our growing family of artists from around the globe. Stand out in the crowd with personalized protection from GelaSkins.

Delicious, all-natural, healthier. that’s popchips. when they said it couldn’t be done, we raised the snack bar.

Toronto’s oldest craft brewery!

July 21st – 1st Annual #DevTOBBQ Party

#DevTOBBQ Tickets

Remember we celebrated our 1st birthday in April 2012? Well here is the BBQ party we have been talking about.

Buy your tickets

Where: 1395 Lake Shore Blvd West (Lakeshore & Jameson) - The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #344
When: July 21st 2012, 1pm – 5pm
Price: $23 (includes HST)
What is included?

  • 2 drink tickets
  • 1 food ticket
  • Home made cupcakes by Lat Leger

Additional tickets can be purchased for $4 each.


Lat has graciously offered to provide cupcakes for our attendees. These are home-made  Cookies N Cream / Red Velvet cupcakes for us to enjoy. Check out Lat’s blog “The Experimental Cupcake


Charity Support

. $8 off your ticket price goes to the charities the Legion supports as well as all other proceeds from drink purchases. Some of these charities are:

Mailing list

Have you joined yet? Remember you get access to tickets a whole day before everybody else. It’s free and it’s the fastest way to get #DevTO tickets delivered to your inbox!
Join our mailing list!


Of course we will be giving stuff away as always! A huge thank you to the following companies for supporting us with awesome gift cards and giveaways!

100 $10 gift cards for their black car service in Toronto

10 WordPress themes valued at around $40 each

10 gift cards valued at $20 each

20 gift cards for their souvenir tour of the brewery

One ticket to attend Screens 2012 valued at $200.

One $100 gift card to enjoy at their award winning restaurant.

More gift cards and gift baskets provided by these awesome Toronto restaurants!

Want to sponsor too? Please get in touch with us at

Here’s what the patio looks like at the Legion, great secluded spot by the lake! We hope to see you there folks!


#DevTOBBQ Tickets

Grab a ticket and come out and party with us on the Toronto Lakeshore! Can’t make it? There is a donation only ticket to support local charities!
Buy your tickets