Toronto “Ladies Learning Code” Call-To-Action


Oh dear. What have I gotten myself into?

I go to LA. I attend this awesome “Intro to Python” workshop with the PyLadies. I come home and I write a blog post about it, with a teeny-tiny little paragraph at the bottom suggesting that we get something like this going in Toronto, Canada.

Well, it’s a testament to the strength and character of the Python community – the word spread.

Toronto wants a “Ladies Learning Code” group, too!

As of today, I’ve received almost a dozen emails from ladies interested in getting involved (@melissacrnic and @NicoleRashotte were early cheerleaders!) and others interested in helping us get started. People have already offered us space, sponsorship, and help with promotion – plus, I’ve also been contacted by a few people who want to volunteer and share their knowledge!

I think we’ve tapped into an unmet need in the Toronto community.

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So, Who Won Startup Weekend Toronto?


(Yes, I’m going to tell you who won. But I’m not going to let it ruin this post, for those of you who haven’t heard the news yet.)

I wrote another blog post this morning (well, I aimed for morning…it actually came out in the afternoon) about Startup Weekend Toronto and the progress the teams had made by then. Check it out below!

SPOILER ALERT: Want to know who won? Click here to see who came in third place, here for second, and click here to see who won the grand prize!

Check out the post below – if you have a chance, I highly recommend visiting the websites and landing pages of the other teams that competed. Many of them will continue to work together post-Startup Weekend, so you should sign up now for beta access!

Let me know what you think of the post in the comments section below.

PROGRESS UPDATE @ Startup Weekend Toronto

Written by Heather Payne (@heatherpayne)

Hey everyone! It’s about 1 pm on the third and final day of Startup Weekend Toronto – and the energy here is awesome!

Didn’t make it out to Startup Weekend Toronto? Curious about the progress of our teams after reading this post? Or, maybe you’re at Startup Weekend but are drowning in code and haven’t had the time to take a look around and see what everyone else is up to. Not a problem – we’ve compiled a #SWToronto Progress Update! Check it out below.

In no particular order…

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Report from Startup Weekend Toronto


It’s 10:19 pm. I’ve been hanging out in the Burroughes Building (the Startup Weekend Toronto venue) since 9 am. And it’s not like we’ve been taking it easy, either – we’ve been building stuff.

Want to see what I’m working on? Check out Let me know what you think! (Either with a comment below or tweeting me at @heatherpayne.)

We aren’t the only team doing cool stuff this weekend though. This morning, I (co-)wrote a blog post summarizing the 20 ideas that made it through yesterday’s voting process – over 70 ideas were pitched. (Sadly, only 3 of the Top 20 pitches were presented by women…we’ll have to improve that ratio next year!) Although we originally posted the summary on the EpicRise blog, I want to share it with you here. See below!

Startup Weekend Toronto 2011’s 20 Winning Pitches

By Heather Payne and Melissa Crnic

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Review of PyLadies “Intro to Python” Workshop


As those of you who follow me on Twitter may know, I was in LA on a work assignment for most of the past month. It was a busy few weeks, but I took time out on Sunday, May 15th to do something really cool. I attended the PyLadies’ first-ever “Intro to Python” workshop. And it was great.

How I Discovered the “Intro to Python” Workshop

I’m not from LA, and I don’t know anyone in the city. Further, I’m not a part of the tech community (though I’m a definite wannabe) – so how did I even hear about an event like this? Thank goodness for blogs. I added Women 2.0 to my reader a little while ago, and it was their “Community Events”sidebar that alerted me to the Intro to Python workshop in LA – conveniently scheduled for a time I was in town!  After discovering the event, it took me about four days to decide to actually register. First, I wasn’t sure how I would get there (it was in Pasadena, and I was staying in Westwood), and then I had to get over my fear that this was something I wouldn’t be good at.  At one point, it was looking like I might have to take public transportation, so I emailed Audrey Roy (one of the lead organizers) to get her advice. She replied to me with such a wonderfully helpful and caring email that the decision was made – I was going to the workshop. I’d find a way!

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