Meet CBC Montreal's hackathon partners

CBC Montreal has partnered with some of Quebec's most forward-thinking tech minds for our hackathon, which is happening the weekend of March 13, 2015.
Noah Redler helped create Notman House, which is intended to be a hub for tech entrepreneurs to come together. (Noah Redler)

CBC Montreal has partnered with some of Quebec's most forward-thinking tech minds for our hackathon, which happened the weekend of March 13, 2015.

Take a moment to read more about our partners.

The Notman House project: A community initiative

Back in 2009, a group of early leaders in the Montreal start-up movement got together to ask a single question: what does Montreal need to develop a true tech ecosystem and establish a strong start-up community?

That question spurred the birth of the Notman House project, a hub where people interested in learning about tech and entrepreneurship could come together.

"The worst thing an entrepreneur can do is work alone," said Noah Redler, campus director of Notman House.

Redler says the Montreal start-up community is growing.

"I see more open innovation practices, incorporating tech into more industries, and I think we’ll see a huge push towards the Internet and intelligent hardware being developed in Montreal in the coming years."

Q&A with Noah Redler

What's the best advice you've ever received?

“Absolute truths have been proven false far too often in history. Question everything. Be open to different ideas. Decide for yourself. Accept that change takes time.”

What do you think we need at the CBC in terms of apps and innovation?

I think the most interesting thing the CBC, or any news agency for that matter, can do now is to work to democratize the news by making news research more crowdsourced by the public. There are a lot of ways people can contribute to news content; it should be simple, accessible and anonymous when necessary.

OpenNorth: using data to grow democracy

OpenNorth was the brainchild of James McKinney in 2010. He, along with Jean-Noé Landry, advocate for open-source data as a means inform an electorate, helping grow democracies. OpenNorth, along with Landry’s Montréal Ouvert, helped inform Montreal’s open data policy.

Jean-Noé Landry says we can grow our democracy by making data more open. (Jean-Noé Landry)

"Other Canadian cities were moving ahead with open data, but without its own open data policy, Montreal was falling behind," said Landry.

One of the biggest challenges they face is convincing city management to open up public data, said Landry.

"Greater access to public data in open format makes it easier to question public decisions."

He said releasing that data makes some decision-makers uneasy.

Q&A with Jean-Noé Landry

What is the craziest or most surprising idea you have heard that became a success?

Outside the box ideas are exactly what hackathons and other collaborative spaces are meant to initiate. It’s important to nurture a space where new ideas can emerge. If a group of people work on a project based on a seemingly surprising idea, there might be a demand for it. Not every idea will succeed, of course, but experimentation is essential.

What do you think we need at the CBC in terms of apps and innovation?

Let’s see what comes up as a result of #HackingCBCMTL! My hope is that this event is motivating the CBC to look beyond a single event. There’s only so much that you can accomplish in a 24 hour period no matter how caffeinated you are. Media organizations clearly need to modernize and adopt open data strategies. Hopefully the CBC will regard this experience positively and increase its open journalism capacity like other media organization such as The Guardian in the UK. I think people want fact-based journalism more than ever.

International Startup Festival

Since 2011, the International Startup Festival has been putting a new spin on entrepreneurship. Each year, over 2,000 founders, developers, investors and analysts converge on Montreal, from more than a dozen countries, to partake in Startupfest’s unique blend of deep content, inspiring stories, unbeatable networking, and unmistakable festival vibe. Philippe Telio started the event as a way to promote entrepreneurship in Montreal and to promote Montreal internationally. 
Philippe Telio started International Startup Festival as a way to promote entrepreneurship. (LinkedIn)

Q&A with Philippe Telio

What was one of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

Funding is always a challenge. But the biggest obstacle was convincing others we weren't crazy. There have been many nay-sayers along our journey. If I stopped to listen to them, or worse, been influenced by them, I would never have built the event we have today.

What do you think we need at the CBC in terms of apps and innovation?

He said CBC needs to develop a better app to distribute content, as well as create new ways for the audience to participate in the creation of that content. He said CBC needs to find a way to allow people to easily propose and feed the editorial teams with content.


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