Blog of a Million Dreams

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New Tech Meetup

For the past few years, I've been attending the New Tech Meetup at the DLA Piper building. It usually takes place on the first Tuesday of the month and it is always packed, with standing room only. I attended before it even took place at DLA and it has always been informative. The guy who runs the program, Vincent Lauria, is great! He really finds some awesome companies and runs the program well.

The meetings have the same format. The first hour is a presentation by new Internet companies. They speak for about 15 minutes or so, then are allowed questions and then it's on to the next company. Vincent moves them along quickly, and it is never boring.

I heard the venture capitalist speak about Twitter before it hit it big in these meetings awhile ago and I've also listened to some interesting young companies with a variety of different business scopes. The second hour is networking and, while I should stay and schmooze, I usually don't stay.

Yesterday, we heard from four companies, Superfeedr.com, www.notepal.com, 99designs.com and envolve.com. I've gotta say, I liked 99designs the best but that's because it is something I might actually use!

Superfeedr is company that charges subscribers to get all of their notifications and feedback in one centralized place. The guy who presented (Julien) spoke so fast that it was distracting and I think the company would've been better to have someone who spoke slower and explained how the company worked better. The elevator pitch for the company is as follows..."Real-time feed parsing in the cloud for web-developers."

The next company was Notepal and Duane Nason presented. Basically, this company is an online marketplace for buying and selling notes. While he showed up some notes that were being sold by a marketing professional (I think that's what she was), the value in this company is for students looking for notes for their college classes. At least that was what Vincent Lauria stated at the end of this presentation. I thought it was interesting and I also thought that if I ran the company, I'd think about linking in or doing some sort of marketing strategy related to RateMyProfessor.com

After that the company I was most interested in presented. 99designs.com is a company that works sort of like elance or odesk for graphic designers. Basically, a client posts a project up and graphic designers submit their work. Then the client picks the one they like the best. I wanted to ask Jason, the presenter, what was preventing the graphic designer from posting 20 designs, in order to try and improve chances of getting the job, but I didn't get the chance. I guess I'll just have to investigate the website.

The last presentation was by Envolve, with James and Andrew presenting. I didn't find this company as interesting...basically, it as just instant messaging in real time with the ability to translate chats. So, you could real time chat with someone in another country who didn't speak your language. They used Google to translate and I guess there could be situations where I used this program. They used the example of commenting on a blog site. But here's the thing, I rarely want to get into a conversation with someone on a blog site. I'll leave a comment, but I don't have time for a long drawn out conversation...especially about hockey-which was the example they used. What I did think was cool, was that they used 99designs to design their logo. And it was a great design!

Before wrapping everything up and going into the networking part of the evening, Vincent Lauria always allows people to come up and give a 5 second infomercial (but only if they are looking for work or looking for employees, not if they are selling anything). This part of the evening is worth staying for also.

Matt Mireless came and said he had a company called Speakertext (don't think they'd launched yet) and was looking for Speech Engineers. If you are a Speech Engineer, he wants you to email him at mattmireless@mattmireless.com.

Another guy (I think he said he was Norris Boothe) was from Gamebooth Media and wanted a Web Developer and a Designer. You can email him at NorrisBoothe@gamepro.com.

David Pollack is looking for tech cofounders for his company, Seeyu.com. You can email him at David@seeyu.com.

And lastly, someone from Gotweet, which is a CRM for twitter for big business, is hiring or something. I didn't quite catch it. So, if you're interested, I guess you could go to their websites.

After the presentations and infomercials, I took off. Which I heard was a good thing 'cuz someone complained on the NewTech Meetup website that at the end of the evening everyone makes a mad dash to speak to the presenters and the room, which already is overcrowded becomes bottlenecked.

I'm so glad I took the time to attend this meeting. I can't always do it, but I'm always happy when I'm able to make the meeting.

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