API World and DataWeek Kick Off Fall Conference Season

Mark Boyd
Aug. 12 2014, 03:07PM EDT

This year’s DataWeek events will be held in San Francisco from Sept. 12-18, with the main conference and API World events held Sept. 16-17 at Hotel Kabuki. ProgrammableWeb spoke with organizer Geoff Domoracki, DataWeek award winner SwiftIQ and first-time attendee APIMatic, an API tools startup.

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API World is expected to be one of the bigger developer-focused API events to be held this year. Organizer Domoracki says he has seen a change in the level of interest since last year’s event:

I’ve been intrigued by how many large companies have wanted to be involved this year: Microsoft, Citrix and IBM, for example. Last year, our sponsors were mostly early-stage companies, and this change looks like it reflects how APIs have really hit the enterprise now.

We are also seeing some of our company partners shifting from the data conversation in DataWeek to the API conversation in API World.

DataWeek tends to attract big data decision-makers, analytics, the reporting side of the equation (but there is also a techier side of DataWeek, such as with our events around machine learning), whereas API World is almost completely geared towards developers. We see our job as to put APIs in front of developers. We’re not here to tell businesses how to manage their API strategy, so that’s where we try to focus this conference on developers.

This year’s speakers include:

DataWeek and API World commence with a day of workshops and hands-on learning on Sept. 15, followed by the conference program. This year, a significant upswing in the number of presentations on connected devices being submitted has led API World to create an Internet of Things focus for the second half of its program, says Domoracki:

The Internet of Things conversation has gotten big. Our second day is all about wearables, the connected car, the environment as platform, even camera APIs. A year ago, there were a lot of new startups appearing in API infrastructure: identity APIs and API middleware. Now the new area that startups — and established businesses — are getting into in the API space is around the Internet of Things. The level of emerging competition in the IoT is an extension of the importance of data and how APIs are becoming so prevalent.

Along with the events, DataWeek and API World released several awards announcements, including APISpark, Visage Mobile, OAuth.io, SmartBear and Gengo winning in API categories. SwiftIQ, which has a series of predictive and big data analytics services available via API, won the Data Science Technology Top Innovator category.

Jason Lobel, CEO and founder of SwiftIQ, told ProgrammableWeb:

This award is further validation that SwiftIQ is building a solution that is recognized as innovative and valuable by peers and customers. We are developing a core differentiation through a vertical focus, applying data science to transaction, consumer behavior and other related factors (e.g., weather) for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies. Our early traction with large, Fortune 1000 enterprises and our entire client roster, combined with awards like this, combine to help alleviate typical concerns for big enterprises to engage with younger companies like SwiftIQ.

Lobel says the top three reasons startups with an API should consider attending DataWeek and API World are “one, networking; two, education on best practices, challenges and new API applications; and three, hiring.”

New Zealand-based startup APIMatic is an API tools service provider (it auto-generates SDKs off an API) keen to attend API World. Its first industry conference attendance was APIcon, hosted by ProgrammableWeb in May.

Founder Syed Adeel Ali told ProgrammableWeb:

Before attending APIcon, we were a bit reluctant to spend a good amount of time and efforts on a mere conference. However, we are amazed by the reception and the connections we got at APIcon. The reception actually boosted our spirits, and the connections led us to more users and potential customers, which are vital for any startup. We are expecting more of them at API World 2014.

Adeel Ali and his team will use the event to “expose APIMatic to the API world”:

It is a superb venue to fulfill our current business goal, that is, to get some users on board and convert them into our referenceable users/customers by letting them achieve their goals of trying out APIMatic.

The motivation of attending API World came from the first two incentives listed on the event website: 

  1. API Strategy: What languages + SDK’s should I prioritize?
  2. Browse 100 APIs: Build less, use more APIs.

SDK generation is our core business, so it’s natural for us to be interested and involved in any API strategy building and discussions in this domain. For the second point, 100 APIs means 100 potential users/customers of APIMatic, means 100 probable meetings at a single place instead of spending 100 days in reaching out to them.

Satellite events include hackathons, hiring mixers and sponsor hosted events. Developers and API providers can register online. A day pass is also available to attend the Internet of Things Day. ProgrammableWeb will be live blogging from DataWeek and API World events throughout the weeklong series of events.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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