Passwords – You’re Doing it Wrong!
Turns out many startups and major companies are storing their passwords in a terrible terrible way – plaintext, SHA1, MD5, SHA1+salt, etc are common and BAD. DB leaks can and do happen. This fast talk gives an intuition about why these approaches are bad, why you’re company is a target for hackers, and what the right approach is (hint: bcrypt or similar). I give you a path to fixing all of your passwords overnight. Afterward, email your CTO!
Your slow app is killing you: what you don’t know about web performance can be fatal
We all instinctively know that faster web sites are better. But, there’s a lot that goes into having fast websites, including what “fast” means and how to measure it. In this session, we’ll discuss why you should care about the performance along with easy ways to get a feel for the performance of your site. We’ll also talk about all the things you’re probably doing wrong and how you can start fixing them. You don’t need to be techy to attend, but you’ll definitely leave with enough to be dangerous!
Pivots are overrated: how small changes can unlock markets
In business, the grass is always greener elsewhere. It’s tempting to pivot, rather than leveraging your strengths and carefully tweaking the business model. In this talk, Laura Baldwin draws on her experience at Chronicle Books, O’Reilly Media, and elsewhere to show how even the tiniest shift in how a company operates can have far-reaching impacts and reveal entirely new products and markets.
Onavo: from grandma’s pick to Facebook’s pick
In the 2011 Startup Festival, Onavo was selected as grandma’s pick after showing off the company’s first product, an app that helps people who use data roaming save money. From that initial concept, the company evolved more products, discovered and built a business – and last October was acquired by Facebook. Guy Rosen, Onavo’s co-founder & CEO who today leads product management for the Internet.org initiative at Facebook, will share his notes from the startup journey. Join Guy and Startupfest’s Alistair Croll for a candid conversation on what it takes to go from an idea to a nine-figure deal.
Why Dungeons & Dragons (not Science Fiction) Predicts Our Future
As the Internet of Things becomes the Internet of Everything, we’re entering a world where every object becomes an enchanted object. With the advent of essentially free computation, memory, and wireless technology, Internet connectivity will be woven into everything valuable enough to be bought, sold, or stolen. People who write code are the sorcerers of tomorrow.
Humanity’s future as a spacefaring species isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Fundamental physical constraints are held back by advances in energy technology that increase at only 3-5% per year, versus the 18-month doubling in electronics due to Moore’s Law. Together with advances in biotechnology, and virtual reality headsets that (literally) make your head spin, our future technology of the next 100 years is going to follow a virtual and literal path of Dungeons and Dragons, not spaceflight.
A world of enchanted objects is already arriving – thermostats that program themselves, phones that retrieve and display information based on voice commands, cars and planes that drive themselves – all of these things impact every part of our lives. As an experienced early stage investor in successful Internet of Things companies like Nest and Mocana, Rob plans to share his views about what’s highly predictable about this trend, and how entrepreneurs can capitalize on it.
Startups: The Heart of A City
“Entrepreneurs don’t start out to create vibrant cities. They just want to build successful businesses. But as an inevitable side effect of creating great companies, they become an essential catalyst of healthy growing cities.
Peter has been active in Silicon Valley for more than 40 years. He has seen entrepreneurial energy transform the Santa Clara Valley from the Prune Capital of America to an engine of growth and change for the entire world.
In this session, he’ll share insights on the technology that works—and actually matters—versus the technology that’s just eye candy.”
Cities are one of humankind’s greatest inventions. More than four thousands years ago, we began the process of separating ourselves from the forces of natural Darwinism. By concentrating large numbers of people with wide ranges of interests, beliefs, and skills into high density living, we created the framework for driving forward our civilization. In the 21st century we will come close to completing our evolution into a species of city dwellers. Since 2008 more than 50% of us live in urban areas and by 2050 predictions suggest reaching 80%. To achieve this the world will build in the 21st century as much new urban infrastructure as existed at the end of the 20th century. We are entering the Age of Cities.
However, architects, urban planners, public administrators, agency leaders and many other stakeholders in urban living struggle to understand the impact that Information Technology will have on cities. Their thinking is naturally rooted in the permanence and immutability of concrete and steel and in 19th century organizational methods. But we live now in the Age of Intelligent Systems, which we expect to have characteristics such as awareness, responsiveness, adaptation, personalization, and so forth. In the smart cities movement the Internet of Things is instrumenting a myriad flows of information in cities. How can we leverage the new visibility of these flows to help cities evolve into intelligent systems? How can we re-invent how we live together in cities?
In this talk Distinguished Engineer Emeritus and inventor of IBM’s Smarter Cities architecture, Dr Colin Harrison, will share observations of these trends and offer suggestions for a wide range of start up opportunities based on viewing cities as intelligent systems that touch all of our lives.
Bits to atoms
After fifteen years of scaling startups and web infrastructure at companies like Amazon, and creating tools to manage large-scale systems automation at Chef, Jesse Robbins founded a hardware company called OnBeep. A year in, the team has learned a lot about what it takes to build physical, real-world components. In this session, Jesse and OnBeep Product Engineer Sylvia Wu share what they’ve learned, and offer recommendations for anyone who wants to make the leap from bits to atoms.
Tech isn’t magic
While it seems like you can launch a startup out of thin air, there’s actually a. Lot of hard-core engineering under the covers. Ignore it at your peril. Prepare for it when your competitors haven’t, and you’ll win.
Join Harper Reed for an unfiltered look at the infrastructure it takes to win a market, an attack, or an election. Using examples from Threadless, Obama for America, and elsewhere, he’ll peel back the layers of the disaster onion, showing you why you can’t sit on the shoulders of giants without also looking them squarely in the eyes.
Future of Food: Fresh, Local & Responsible
When Mohamed Hage pitched his idea to developers seven years ago, they said it couldn’t be done. But technical advances, automation, and the marriage of urban integration and business savvy have proven them wrong.
Today, with two commercial rooftop greenhouses completed and another in the works for the greater Montreal area, Lufa founder Mohamed Hage is pioneering a new kind of high-tech urban agriculture that brings green approaches, automation, sensors, and hyper-local logistics to the downtown core.
Join Mo for a first-hand look at the latest in greenhouse tech: Lufa Farms’ 43,000-square-foot farm in Laval, where 22 varieties of heirloom and gourmet tomatoes thrive. Using a live video hookup to Greenhouse Director and Founding Member, Lauren Rathmell, we’ll look at how plants grow and how they thrive in a high-tech environment free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
The Accelerator Smack-down
Accelerators, incubators, launchpads—all of them promise funding, contacts, and priceless wisdom from proven mentors. But who’s got what it takes? What are the soaring Unicorns and the total flameouts? In this no-holds-barred VC panel, we’ll look at the good, the bad, and the ugly, from the best ideas that failed to the worst ideas that took off. Come decide for yourself which accelerators are breaking clear of the pack.