nPost

Loads of events from TechCafe this summer

Over here at TechCafe we’ve been proud to have been a major part in accelerating the Seattle Startup community over the last several years. We started back in 2007 as Seattle Lunch 2.0 and expanded the number of events as demand surged and no one else stepped up to offer great networking events, places for companies to demo their new products, places for people to meet investors, and forums for in-depth conversations about modern programming and business decisions that entrepreneurs and startupers need to make. Not to mention the incredible amount of hiring and job landing that has occurred at our events. We’re still committed to the community and our next TechCafe event is on August 15th!!

You may wonder why so few TechCafe events lately… There are an incredible number of events that have begun to pick out niches in the wide field of events and we’re pretty darn excited to have been foundational to these events getting started and now becoming critical to the community. Events like Poker 2.0, Seattle Tech Meetup, HackerNest, Startup Grind, HackerNews, Ignite Seattle, Startup Weekend, Lean Startup, not to mention all of the events at Eastside Incubator and SURF Incubator the list goes on and on with great events.

With so many great events we are choosing to put on LESS events. We are focusing on GREAT events. We are deciding to find unique startups (like Currently who we are working with on the next one) that we can work with or event concepts that are less of the same thing and address specific needs in the community.

One need that we are focusing heavily on is funding. Early stage funding is a critical component to accelerating companies to find out if they will succeed or fail. To start with we are partnering heavily with the Seattle Angel Conference. If you are a budding entrepreneur looking for funding or a budding angel investor looking to go through our training program – you need to be a part of these events! This is exactly what the Angel Conference specializes in! The conference itself will be in November; however, the investors and startups need to be registered by the beginning of September. Btw, If you are interested in sponsoring a conference full of early stage entrepreneurs and investors please let me know!

So here’s the schedule – advance of most people knowing the schedule of events we’re working on. We’ll post to all the blogs and mailing lists in due time, but since you have been a member of the TechCafe mailing list for all these years, we wanted to share with you before we really started publicizing these.

Date

Speaker

Topic & Registration

Location

Time

8/5/2013

Joe Wallin

Agreements Entrepreneurs Need in Place for Angel Investing

SURF Incubator

3:30PM

8/13/2013

Rudy Gadre

Angel Investing with Rudy Gadre

Think Space Redmond

6:00PM

8/15/2013

Currently, Cairncross, & TechCafe

Pioneer Square Rooftop Social

Cairncross Rooftop

4:00PM

8/19/2013

TA McCann

Data Vault – Entrepreneurs Preparing For Due Diligence

TBD

5:30PM

8/27/2013

Greg Gottesmann

5 Important Things for Angel Investing Term Sheets

Think Space Redmond

6:00PM

9/9/2013

Tolis Dimopolous

How to Pitch to Investors

SURF Incubator

3:30PM

Yes that is A LOT of events!! You’ll notice the specific speakers and topics that are focused on the issues related to funding. Most of these are being put on in conjunction with the Seattle Angel Conference (Yes Josh is assisting behind the scenes with the next conference).  If you miss the old TechCafe events and don’t want to dive deep on funding startups… not to worry – the event on the 15th will have a bit of a profile of Currently and a few words from Cairncross.

As usual, you may want to follow Josh’s blog where more details on the events and investing will be published. All TechCafe specific stuff will still be posted on the TechCafe site. You may also want to start following the Seattle Angel Conference blog as there is a lot of great content there as well.

If you have an idea for an event, want to speak, want to sponsor, etc. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are always looking forward to connecting with new people and ideas.

The TechCafe Team

P.S. This post is sponsored by KStream Media – stock market education and training. Register for the newsletter – Thinking with Waves.

TechCafe Happy Hour @Appature

If you are counting, this is the first event of the year! We’ve been busy (details on Josh’s blog). We still love putting on tech events in Seattle though!! If you are itching for great events in between TechCafe events you should check out the events at Surf Incubator and Hub Seattle. We feel great that the community is growing here and are honored to be a part of it!

At TechCafe we work with awesome startups and technology companies to offer brilliant technologists a few things for free. Sure you’ll be stuck in Appature‘s slick offices. Yes you will have to participate a little in the technical talk at the event or at least listen to the discussion that Derek Slager (VP of dev at Appature) will lead.

Derek’s talk will explore “Life in the post-jQuery world”, and some of the challenges of evolving a very large client side application. This should be an interesting topic for anybody building modern web-based applications at scale.

You will also meet some other interesting developers, program managers, designers, entrepreneurs, etc. So there is a price to pay to drink the free beer and eat the free food. You will also hear about a job opening or two at Appature… Did I mention that Appature has announced their sale to IMS? Well you’ll likely hear more about this as well.

In case you haven’t been following TechCafe over the years, Appature has sponsored an even EVERY year for the last five years of TechCafe’s existence. That means they have been giving free food and beer to startupers and technologists for years and are doing it again. Over here at TechCafe – we can’t imagine the Seattle technology community thriving without companies like this supporting the community.

So join TechCafe for an early happy hour at Appature to talk tech and meet some great peers in the industry.

Registration details are on the Attend the next event page.

This year, TechCafe is also partnering with the Seattle Angel Conference. If you are a new Angel and are not participating (you should be). If you missed the deadline to pitch to the group – there will be another opportunity in the fall. If you want to attend the conference (May 16th)itself where the six finalists will pitch go sign up . If you are interested in sponsoring a part of the event, there is always room for more sponsors.

If you are interested in hosting/sponsoring a TechCafe in the future, don’t hesitate to reach out. Please forward this invite to great people in the community that you think would be interested in attending or sponsoring in the future, our tech community is growing and you are a part of it.

We are looking forward to connecting with you at this TechCafe event or a TechCafe in the future.

TechCafe Launch Event

Do you have a product… even a minimally viable product that you are on the edge of showing to your peers? Do you want direct feedback from other developers, founders, and startup community members on what you have built, what you are launching?

Maybe you are way past that and have an awesome new version or application that you want to launch with some of the communities best and brightest. The next TechCafe will encompass just that and if you want to get in line to be the next great company to launch your product at a TechCafe Launch event you need to attend the first in the series on September 17th.

The idea comes from the demo series we did a year or so ago, but this time we are looking for people doing an early demo of their minimum viable product or launching a new version/product that is ready for the world to consume. The format will be pretty simple – 10min of launch, 2-3min of questions, and then the next presenter. We are shooting for three launches this time around with Josh Ledgard of KickoffLabs, Praveen Seshadri of 1Track , and Mohammad Al-Abdullah of Moalab. We will also have a special sneak peak of the next great thing from Puzzazz by Roy Leban!

The event will be out at Eastside Incubator’s new space with lots of room for parking, near transit & MSFT campus.

TechCafe Lunch @Zillow

In case you missed the event last week – it was awesome and I highly recommend that you never miss an event in the future… ok well I know that will happen as they sell out fast. The event was good and I went through the painstaking effort to sit comfortably on the floor so my arm wouldn’t shake as much as it did in some of those first videos I took years ago. Although, I didn’t realize it would be such a pain to change the video to portrait (any tips appreciated).

 

Spencer was engaging, the view was phenomenal, and the folks at Zillow were great to talk with. I have the video and the Q&A video posted below for those that are interested and of course for those that slacked off and didn’t talk to them about working there they are hiring for some awesome spots right now. Dev, Test, Sales, Quants, etc…

Talk:

YouTube Preview Image

Q & A

YouTube Preview Image

Video From The First Ever TechCafe Event

I took some video today from the event over at Zillow and still need to pull it off my phone to post. In the process though, I found these old videos from the first ever TechCafe event (named Seattle Lunch 2.0 at the time). Thanks Wetpaint for hosting the first one and really turning Seattle into a hotbed of community events where entrepreneurs and technologists can meet and find ways to collaborate with one another.

Thanks Seattle for being such an awesome community!!

Enjoy the videos and see if you can spot anyone you know from 2007…

Wetpaint:

YouTube Preview Image

EyeJot:

YouTube Preview Image

Rand Fishkin:

YouTube Preview Image

TechCafe Lunch @Zillow

Have you thought about taking your startup public, dreamt of developing a great application or platform and going all the way to IPO? Over here at TechCafe we talk to loads of engineers, entrepreneurs, and community members who have been working on startups for years and never had the opportunity to go public. Usually the exits around here are filled with fizzles and acquisitions which are great ways to exit and prepare for the next adventure.

That elusive IPO though, where we start to wonder if we can really call the startup a “startup” any longer and if the culture and product direction become inundated with needs to make Wall Street happy. It is intriguing and we are lucky to have a great company and community member share their recent experiences with taking their startup public.

If you recall, the second TechCafe ever was over at Zillow – at the time they were no where near IPO ready and we talked about the technology, development, and fundraising at the event. Now we are going to head back over there and see how the IPO has affected those same aspects of their business.

Spencer Rascoff will talk about building a company with the intent to take it public – what it takes to get there, and what to anticipate after the event. There will be a number of Zillow’s engineering staff on hand to talk about what impact this has on the product side. If you want to start prepping your questions now for Spencer, his twitter handle is @spencerrascoff.

If you are looking to host at your place, demo your product, or want to sponsor an event let us know.

When: August 16th 11:30AM-1:00PM

Where: Zillow (1301 2nd Avenue, 31st floor Seattle, WA 98101)

To Register: go to the “attend the next event” link on the right

Looking forward to seeing you at the event!

The TechCafe Team

Experiences Attending and Hosting TechCafe

I am updating an older post from my personal blog – joshmaher.net. As the TechCafe events pickup in frequency and the number of new attendees start coming and enjoying the events, I wanted to share my thoughts on the experience of attending and hosting a TechCafe (previously Seattle Lunch 2.0). This is also my way of distilling my thoughts in preparation for planning some new types of events that I am working on. We have come a long way from the growing Seattle Startup Ecosystem of a couple years ago to a robust one with good things happening daily and new resources like StartupRiot, StartupCity,  and the Hacker News Meetups popping up everywhere.

Over the last four years that I have been running TechCafe and have participated in numerous group discussions about how companies grew their startups, leveraged technology, succeeded, failed, and everything in between. When I say discussion, I mean an active audience participation in discussions about what is most interesting to the group at large. The CEO/Founder contributions to the conversations have ranged from “started in college”, to “spun out of Microsoft or other BigCo”, to “had a bright idea coding one day”, to… well, you tell me what situation a company might be spawned in and we’ve pretty much had those kind of developers and founders talking about it – if not let’s have one (I’m serious – contact me).

The great thing is that the intention of these events includes meeting technologists and participating in discussions (a little presentation, demo, or Q&A to get things going) and then discussion and a lot of time to mingle and meet other developers, designers, entrepreneurs, etc.

What do I mean by mingle you might ask… well at a recent one of these events the founder gave a demo and talked a little about the company (10min), followed by another 10-20min discussion/Q&A, then there was the hour of talking to the developers, marketers, founders, and everyone else on the team that is actually required to make a startup function. So I guess it’s a little more then mingling :)

Seriously, just last week we did this over at Glympse. If you didn’t attend – you should have. Brian Trussel talked about how they stayed focused on their location related product despite investor pressure to morph into a foursquare competitor and that focus (combined with an awesome team and vision) equated to now over 3m users and the first of many licensing deals with Mercedes Benz. Brian showed off some of the next release, some of the first slides they used to raise money (I can’t believe those slides were good enough).

These are not – here is a consultant or just the CEO reflecting on the tipping point for their company. These are – meet the team, founders, business model and ask any question you want of any member of the team.

Admittedly, the events are usually a little less formal. Presentation Zen is not required – Demos are fun, panel discussions are fun, heck just having the whole team around to hang out with for an hour or two is fun!! I will also admit that these are not held in nice conference halls or venues – they are usually in trendy facilities – like the offices where these companies spend their time (yes that means co-working spaces, shared offices, lofts in pioneer square – usually w/o AC).

In addition to CEOs/Founders we’ve had speakers that include authors, investors, lawyers, developers, architects, and well… we are open to just about anyone who has something relevant and is interesting to talk about. Keep in mind – the hoster of the event has their whole team there so you are never stuck talking to the CEO, when you really want to talk to the guy/gal that wrote the feature!!

These events also have the free food/beer model – if the speaker sucks (at least the food & drink were worth the time).

A good analogy is a written letter in comparison with… Twitter. The letter is great, has it’s place, it’s norms, it’s value. Twitter – well it’s great too, but in a different way, for different reasons, and it has a different value. Both can get your point across, both can be valuable, but sometimes you need to choose between writing a letter or tweeting and sometimes you need to choose between reading a letter or reading twitter. The value in your message when you write and the value in your information acquisition when you read will vary. Plus we all know which one is more fun…

Of course if you are interested in hosting, sponsoring, or just want to chat – don’t hesitate to reach out!!

See you at the next event…

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from TechCafe!

You may have thought we went away
I know it has been a month or two
Since we brought an event to you

Rest assured our next is in the works
And it will be full of startup quirks
We’ll bring you networking with your peers
No worries – we’re all a bit weird

So dirty shirt, or suit and tie
Drinks and Lunch are free and nigh

Happy Holidays from TechCafe – We are looking forward to seeing you at one of our events in the new year! In the meantime we hope that you stay focused on your products, find time for your family, and close the funding you need. If there is anything we can do to help you – please don’t hesitate to ask!

Sincerely,

The TechCafe Team

Upcoming Events

There is a ton of activity happening in the Seattle Startup Community right now – after Mark Suster gave an inspiring speach at the Seattle 2.0 awards. Red is putting together another event Seattle Tech Meetup, Pascal is builing the Technology Launch Center, and of course there is all the standard stuff that continues to happen – TechFoamSeattle Tech Startups, NWEN, Hops & Chops, Startup Poker 2.0, Seattle Startup Drinks, etc.

Of course here at TechCafe we are rocking and rolling with tons of events this summer. I have been asked a lot lately about what those upcoming events look like so I wanted to lay out some details here. Specific dates, locations, topic, and times will be coming in the invites.

So without further ado, here is the order of the next events over the summer (if you aren’t on the mailing list to get the invites, let us know):

TechCafe Happy Hour @TeachStreet – 6/16 @4:30pm

TechCafe Happy Hour @3R Technologies

TechCafe Happy Hour @Aeon Law

TechCafe Happy Hour @Conceivian

Of course if you miss one, we always try to get the summary (photos, video, writeup) posted here so you can gain access to the insights of the community. Also as always the events are free to attend and full of people from the tech community (devs, test, designers, PMs, etc.), founders, etc. If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting an event either this summer or after the summer is over please let us know. Similarly if you are interested in sponsoring the site, t-shirts, or something else more creative – please let us know!

Seattle Startups

For the third year running TechCafe is supporting our great friends over at Seattle 2.0!! We won the first year for best startup event, were excluded from the second year, and this year there isn’t even an event category… all is well though we still love the Seattle 2.0 awards. It’s our little Seattle area startup community prom – fit with a few best dressers, some drama, and of course some inspiration for those interested in becoming amazing entrepreneurs! If you haven’t been before, I highly recommend you spend the money to check this one out. Lot’s of entrepreneurs and startup teams to network with and learn from. I just finished my voting for the finalists and somehow Marcelo continues to get the new innovative startups in the list… Remember it’s not a beauty contest – vote for real innovation and talent!!

Speaking of innovation and talent, John Cook from GeekWire came by our TechCafe Happy Hour event last night over at CoCollage‘s offices inside of LaunchSpace and posted a great GeekWire write-up and video of CoCollage. I am continually amazed that the quality of startups around Seattle keeps going up and somehow the quality of reporting John and Todd  put out continues to go up as well.

We are in the midst of getting our next invite together. It seems we’ve done a few events about great startups and building great businesses and haven’t had an event about writing great products!! So we’re going to make sure we keep everyone in the community happy and have the next lunch event focused on coding – if you like to write code and are always wondering what you’ll do with the unknown (potentially crappy) code you’ll inherit going from an uber coder at a big software company to a startup – well this event is focused on you!! We’ve all been there and dealt with the transition, so we will have a CTO who has been through the transition and worked through the obvious problems that scare a lot of corporate coders away from startup life. Keep your eyes out for the invite or send me a note if you want to reserve a spot Josh@techcafe.co

 

hosting