Networking & Collaboration Among Intel® Software Innovators

The Intel® Software Developer Black Belt and Intel® Software Innovator communities are just that – communities. While the developers have their own skills, specialties, and interests there are a lot of commonalities among them as well. And when you get them in a room together they are quick to start chatting up the technology they are working with, projects they are working on, challenges they are working through, and throw in a hackathon or a challenge and the brainstorming really starts happening.

Simply running into each other and having a conversation at SxSW, hosting a booth together at GDC or SIGGRAPH, or attending the Innovator Summit or IDF can spark an idea that leads to something more. The Innovator Facebook group is a private group for our innovators to interact as well and they often will share things like the events they are attending in hopes of a meetup, or reach out with a problem they are having to see if anyone can help to solve it, or ask for someone with specific experience in a certain technology to assist in their project.

Oftentimes these interactions turn into collaboration opportunities or actual partnerships outside the event. These demonstrations of ingenuity, experimentation, and progressive thinking inspires the greater developer community and strengthens the group as a whole. This is something we encourage and below you will find a few personal stories of networking and collaborating that our innovators have experienced.

Gregory Menvielle

I met Silviu-Tudor Serban at the European Innovators' Summit in Dublin in 2016 where we started working on the LocalSense project together.  Other team members came and went but Silviu and I got a proof of concept going and wrote articles about it. Silviu is now helping us with his computer vision expertise on a new project that we are working on; we're going to tackle a $108B/yr problem and hopefully get a few other innovators involved in the process. This partnership came about because we met in person and started talking and found a way to use our different skills to work together on a solution.

Frida Dwi Iswantoro

Before joining the Intel® Software Innovator Program, a couple of my game developer friends and I had already build a local game developer community called GameLAN. Our Communities have been active with weekly meetings and sharing. We commonly do open class and seminars, as well as game jams.

There are a few events that we created, sponsored by Intel Indonesia  - Global Game Jam and the Indonesia Indie Game Festival InGame Fest. These events give me the opportunity to meet and get to know more of the Intel® Innovators. The existence of the Intel® Software Innovator Program really does help us in our community, as we are able to learn a lot of information about new technology that is useful for our industry.

Indonesia is a big country, and with that reason, inviting a speaker or going to another city is rather hard. The accommodation and traveling costs are often a barrier because many organizations and communities don’t have the money available to either send someone to an event or to invite someone to their community to speak. This is especially true outside of Java Island, where many cities are only reachable by plane or boat. Therefore, Intel® Software Innovator Program has been instrumental in helping us to spread information as they able to support us in travel costs. We are trying to achieve the dream of having no area in Indonesia experiencing a lag in information.

Together Adam Ardisasmita and I joined the Innovator Program in 2016 as game developers, and we also joined Game Developer Indonesia or known as GameDevId’s forum. We’re active in our own cities, and sharing the information through both cities is now seamless and fast received which is a benefit for the people in our community. Our ways of sharing the information can vary, online or offline, sometimes we stream and sometimes we travel to each other’s city.

One of the best ways we are able to contribute is us to deliver information via Dicoding Academy. Many of my fellow innovators share their knowledge in Dicoding Academy and I personally often use my knowledge to share and review tasks in Dicoding Academy. Dicoding and Bekraf (The Indonesian Ministry of economy creative industry) have a monthly program called Bekraf Developer Day (BDD) which is held at various cities throughout Indonesia.

I always enjoy going to BDD; meeting new developers brings me new experiences, since there’s always a specific problem developers are having in each city. Also, BDD’s not only held in big cities, there also several times that it is held in remote areas that rarely have an event like this.

Also, several of the innovators in the program are part of a chat group which has allowed us to become close to one another. Since we are spread over different cities and areas, the preparation for events is often done through the group chat and then a meetup the day prior to the event. We all have different skills and our collaboration benefits the community as we our ability to share information becomes wide and deep. Our intention is to have lots of developers join our events, and then take the information back home to spread it through their local communities and generate new ideas.  

Omar Barlas

On an Innovator’s call a few months ago, Dr. Gordon from Gumstix presented during the call. Fast forward a few months, we started making our Orbii prototype and were required to make custom Printed Circuit Board (PCB) with the Intel® Edison Module, so I reached out to Dr. Gordon, and he walked me through their online PCB designing tool. I decided to place an order with them and they delivered PCBAs within 3 weeks allowing us to start making our prototype. We are in the process of testing that prototype, and once tests are complete in the next few weeks we will place an order for a second batch of PCBs. Orbii was demoed at SxSW, and is going to be demoed in Seoul, South Kora at SECON 2017, and pre-orders for the professional version of Orbii are being taken in South Korea at HDS-Securities. Being a part of the Innovator Program allowed me to meet Dr. Gordon and have access to other experts that have helped me to further my ideas and bring them to market. Learn more about our Orbii project.

Kamaljit Chahal

I participated in a Hacking Health II pitch in Windsor, ON which turned into an opportunity to join DTX Launch Detroit with additional collaborators. I didn’t have a project going in to the pitch and ended up on a team with Emily Baughman, also an Intel® Software Innovator, who had the idea to tackle high infant mortality in Detroit. Working together throughout the 3-day event allowed us to get to know each other’s work and skills better and I was asked me to continue the project with her for DTX Launch Detroit. DTX Launch Detroit is a summer accelerator program for college students and recent graduates aspiring to launch a technology startup. We’ve taken Emily’s idea from the hackathon, continued our collaboration, and now a prototype is getting developed.

I was also able to participate in a Startup Drive at Techstars Mobility in Detroit where a pitch turned into an ongoing collaboration for app development. A proposal was drafted for funding from Ford Motor Company but I’m not sure it will move forward. Both of these opportunities though allowed me to work closely with other innovators and find ways to further our ideas and projects once the initial event was over.

Justin Link

The biggest help I’ve gotten through the Innovator Program is meeting peers and partners at different events. The people we’ve met through Innovator sponsored events have turned into project partners (like Justin Lassen), clients, and friends. Overall, the Innovator Program has allowed me to reach beyond just central Florida as a media developer, something that I see others in the area struggling with. I met Justin Lassen at an event we were attending in San Francisco with Intel, but it wasn’t until SIGGRAPH 2016 though that we had a proper introduction and began talking about working together on Shapesong. I haven’t done a lot of collaboration with other innovators, but the events always serve to catch us up with what everyone is working on and who they’re working with. I think for us specifically, the Innovator Program allows us to meet and expose our work to people who are otherwise out of our reach. Hardware seeding is really nice too, but the ability for us to meet with so many others in our industry has allowed us to grow in ways we couldn’t if we were working on our own.

Justin Lassen

Three years ago I was asked to show off some music technology at SxSW and Intel put me up with Intel Software Black Belt Jacob Pennock of Livid Interactive and Intel Software Innovator Ryan Clark of Chronosapien while we did that event together. We all hit it off instantly and I kept seeing Ryan at different events after that. I later partnered again with Jacob on a side scroller platform action game. They also brought me into Helios Interactive to consult with them on projects. On one of my visits to their HQ in San Francisco to check out the Microsoft* HoloLens, Justin Link was there as well also checking out the HoloLens. We knew of each other through reputation and osmosis through Ryan Clark trying to get us to finally meet. At Google I/O last year, Bob Duffy was impressed with another audio demo I was showing off for Intel and he said he had the perfect project for me, a way for me to use my audio tech and skills and work on some VR stuff. He told me about the early alpha demo of Shapesong at the time and suggested we meet! It wasn’t until SIGGRAPH a couple months later that Bob and Josh Bancroft made sure that we got to hang and meet up. I checked out Shapesong’s early demo at the show and having already had great experiences with Ryan Clark, I knew I wanted to work with them! They brought me onboard to work on all new audio for the experiences for the next few shows. We started becoming known as the tilt brush of audio, and I proudly consider Ryan and Justin brothers, even outside of Shapesong. After we started partnering on it, Shapesong started getting more recognition and awards and exposure. We have now branched it off onto its own company, separating it from our other products and projects.

Outside of Livid Interactive and Chronosapien, I’ve befriended and partnered with Tim & Alex Porter of Underminer Studios, another Innovator duo within the program, and I continue to advise and consult with dozens of innovators. I’m always at their service and happy to help in any way that I can.

I’ve always made it a point to befriend, take pics, and hang with new developers no matter what shows I go to. So even if Intel just wants me to do a keynote on stage, in my down time, I always check out other developers in the booths and get to know them and their projects. I think to be a success in this world today, you have to ask people not what they can do for you, but what you can do for them. So I’ve always been friendly and helpful to other developers (even outside the Innovator Program) whether I get something out of it or not, I just want to see people succeed.  I want people to innovate, and not just for a pat on the back but for the act of innovation itself - that is what inspires me, and gives me hope for humankind. We need hope in this world and I find that I get the most hope when I’m surrounded by heartfelt, friendly, motivated, amazing, innovative people from all over the planet. 

Tim & Alex Porter

My husband and I have been Intel Innovators for the better part of a year and this has afforded us so many great connections to major industry events, a collaborative environment with other innovators, a platform for developing cutting edge ideas, outreach to share both our success and others successes in tech as well as being a great talking point in conversations to share how Intel enables developers of many different disciplines to push boundaries and make waves. We own Underminer Studios and have had the access to internal networks and connections with innovators looking for freelance work or to hire for outsourcing so we have been able to work closely with many of our contemporaries.

Our first event with Intel was Austin Game Conference 2016 and we were welcomed to the fold with introductions by Josh Bancroft to many including an award winning VR composer, Justin Lassen, who has become our go-to audio guru for several project including our Virtual Engagements. We have talked many times about working together with several other innovators Ryan Clark, Peter Ma, Alex Schuster, among others for various projects ranging from government contracts to a television show and onward. We hired Sam Warner and Andrew Thompson for a contract on a pharmaceutical VR experience for a client. When we find opportunities to utilize the skills of other Innovators we are grateful for the connection to so many talented folks. By far one of the most lucrative networking opportunities was the Intel® Innovator Summit as we got intros and got to work in small teams with amazing minds from all over the world. Getting to know these people personally is so great for creating rapport and lasting relationships.

Whether it is online forums, contest opportunities, Voice Storm for social media, other industry conferences like GDC; SIGGRAPH; Buzz Workshops; or the many others we attend with the help of the Influencer backing or the motivation to create new and disruptive tech for Early Innovation projects Intel is enabling us to do more. 


Do you have your own story of when an opportunity presented itself for you to work with another innovator and you went on to partner outside of the event? If so, share it in the comments below – we would love to hear about it.

Want to learn more about the Intel® Software Innovator Program?

You can read about our innovator updates, get the full program overview, meet the innovators and learn more about innovator benefits. We also encourage you to check out Developer Mesh to learn more about the various projects that our community of innovators are working on.

Interested in more information? Contact Wendy Boswell on Twitter

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