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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.

Great Demo’s at theTechCafe Launch Event

There were some great Demo’s yesterday at the TechCafe Launch Event. In case you missed it… it was all the way over on the Eastside. We need to have more events over there. I met some brilliant entrepreneurs and engineers and was happy to see such a great turnout. If you are working on a startup in the Bellevue/Redmond area – let me know so that we can get you involved in a future event.

The first demo from yesterday was from KickoffLabs - I just started using them myself for a project I am working on. See the demo and go check it out!

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The second demo was from 1track - I didn’t have a need for them at the ready, but just made a buying decision where this would have been useful – I think… go check them out.

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The last was from Puzzazz - they launched their puzzle book store for iOS… what is particularly interesting is that they also built handwriting interpretation for the app. I downloaded it last night and must admit, the puzzle books are fun – check it out for yourself.

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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:

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Q & A

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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…

TechCafe Happy Hour @BlueBoxGroup

Finally! The first TechCafe of 2012!

We have been planning this one for some time and can’t wait to see all the great people in the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond tech community come out for Happy Hour. Last year was an awesome year for TechCafe events – so awesome we took a few months off from getting geeky with the best startups and technologists in the area – rest assured though we are back and planning a few awesome events. If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting one – let us know!

First up is one of our personal favorites. Blue Box Group! We have been watching this team grow for a while now and it has been a lot of fun, we first had an event with them when they moved to Seattle from Tacoma and now that they are growing and expanding (new east coast datacenter and new offices) we couldn’t wait to get into their new space and hear what all the excitement is about. I know they are hiring, I know they will have loads of free food & drinks, and I know that they will have swag…

 

Click Attend the Next Event for date, time, and registion information —>

 

With facts like that it is hard to avoid the obvious assumption that the event will be awesome! Plenty of cool hackers, startupers, founders, and people in the Seattle area tech community will be attending so if you want to get some free food/drinks, do some networking, and learn more about what is driving this awesome growth of a cool local startup – this is the place to be.

 

Co-sponsoring the event will be Colliers International (p.s. co-sponsored events are always better funded)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See you there!

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

TechCafe @ColoInSeattle

After taking the end of the summer off, TechCafe is kicking into gear with a great event being put on by our friends over at WowRack Technologies. They have built an amazing colo down in South Seattle and are opening their doors to all of the Seattle Tech community to come check out their newest digs! There is a new website for the data center at ColoInSeattle (which is under the parent company of WowRack). This event will be taking a different spin as F5 will also be combining alongside Wow to put on a larger than life afternoon for the TechCafe community filled with free food, drinks, schwag, and private tours being held every 10 minutes from the networking lounge and lunch area to the data center for those that want to check it out.  Hang with some of your peers and hear about how WowRack has grown their infrastructure startup here in Seattle and built a top of the line datacenter to facilitate growth of the tech industry to host for some of the likes of Cheezburger, Buddytv, SEOMoz, and others.  You may have met the WowRack team at past TechCafe events (they have sponsored and attended a few in the past), or maybe you are even a customer of theirs. Either way, the attendance should be stellar at the event and stopping in for a drink would be worthwhile!
Join us Friday Oct 28th, we’ll start things off around noon and have the doors open till 3pm.  Come kick start your weekend with all of us!

 

Where: 12201 Tukwila International Blvd. Suite 110 Seattle, WA  98168

Seattle Summer

As usual summer is full of vacations, spending time with family, and it seems it is always a good time around Seattle to hang out at Green Lake, Seward Park, or some other location by the water and learn something new. This summer to show our appreciation to the Seattle tech community for our Fourth year of TechCafe (YES 4 YEARS!)… We are partnering up with Udemy to try and create more Seattle entrepreneurs with successful businesses! We have a deal site of our own that is exclusive for this week only where we have convinced Udemy to offer you an exclusive 70% off of two of their courses.

The 1st, by Zed Shaw (the Yoda of Python), is “Learn Python the Hard Way”. The 2nd, by Bess Ho, is “Learn How to Build an iPhone or iPad App in Four Weeks.” Both courses are amazing because they don’t just teach you the theory behind coding, they actually force you to practice and write real apps. It’s what Zed calls learning “the hard way” and it works.

If you have an idea that you are trying to get off the ground but need some coding chops to start moving it forward – there is something to be said for taking four weeks to learn the skills to make it happen. Learn to Build iPhone and Web Apps in 4 Weeks – 70% off online courses with Udemy

This week only, we’ve convinced Udemy to bundle these courses together and give them away at a 70% discount. Grab both for $150 (retail value $500) at http://ude.my/l5WOuR

Just think – next summer we’ll be out at your new company HQ having a good time like we did last week out at the TechCafe Happy Hour @TeachStreet. We had a good time, met some great people, and of course learned to Bollywood Dance! (Geekwire has the exclusive video)

Next week (6/30 @4:30PM) we will be down in the SODO neighborhood w/3R Technology and a couple of their partners Moose Logic & Bandwidth Advisors co-sponsoring the event. Always a good sign that the catering will be awesome!! Click the “Attend the next event” link on the right hand side of the page to register…

DON’T FORGET: When you get there, make sure to park on the east side of the building facing the railroad tracks. A lot of mapping software puts you in the alley – but the RR track side of the building is where all the parking is along with the entrance to the space.

As always – we have more great events coming and if you want to sponsor or host let us know…

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