When venture capitalist and tech visionary Brad Feld came to Boise last year, he asserted that regularly scheduled events that engage local entrepreneurs are critical to building a vibrant startup community. The Idaho Technology Council understands the importance of supporting Idaho startups and shares Feld's belief that providing Idaho entrepreneurs with opportunities to engage with the community can act as a catalyst to future growth.
That's why the ITC Software Alliance organized Tech Cocktail Boise, a networking mixer that showcases the Treasure Valley's startups to both a local and national audience. Our next Tech Cocktail Boise event is scheduled on Wednesday, April 17, at Boise State University's Stueckle Sky Center. Startups can apply to be spotlighted at www.developidaho.org before the deadline of Friday, March 22.
Tech Cocktail is a national media company that promotes startups and entrepreneurship through helping local tech communities. Even though it was founded only six years ago, Tech Cocktail's brand has a monthly reach of about 200,000 technologists through its website, email newsletter, social media and live events. Through a partnership with the ITC, and thanks to the efforts of Martin Hambalek, vice chair of the Software Alliance and official Tech Cocktail ambassador, Tech Cocktail has come to Boise for the past three years to showcase our startups after our annual develop.idaho software conference. To explain how Tech Cocktail Boise gives value to our community, here's a brief summary of what took place at our most recent event.
Last fall, the Idaho Technology Council joined with Kickstand to kick off Tech Cocktail Boise with a Startup Speed Dating event, in which startups gave their business pitch to win over the audience for a $1,000 prize. Audience members voted for SlideKlowd, a company that offers an app for Apple operating systems and Android devices that dramatically improves the presentation process. SlideKlowd's app creates a connection between the presenter and audience members using mobile devices or browsers.
Once audience members are connected, SlideKlowd allows the presenter to use features that gather audience feedback and measure knowledge retention.
After Startup Speed Dating, attendees had the opportunity to mingle with startups, which were showcased in an expo-style format. The impact events like Tech Cocktail Boise make for our startup community shouldn't be undervalued. Here's what a few startups that participated said:
Kyle Cooper from Life Simplified said, "Tech Cocktail showcases what's going on in Boise. Without these events, it can be difficult for startups to get noticed if they are just looking to promote their product or if they are looking for funding."
Mike Caldwell from LaunchNest said, "Idaho is a small state where it seems everyone knows everyone. There's a lot of opportunity to learn from each other, create partnerships and help our great state become even greater. Whether you're an investor, a tech enthusiast, potential partner, or an out-of-work job seeker, Boise's Tech Cocktail provides a fun, laid-back atmosphere to make connections and build your network."
We had an audience of more than 165 entrepreneurs, inventors and technologists who came to engage with our startups. We anticipate increasing the number of attendees to 300 for our upcoming Tech Cocktail Boise event on April 17.
Community support is critical for new startups, so please engage with our local entrepreneurs by purchasing tickets for this event, available at www.developidaho.org.
Building a strong entrepreneurial community doesn't happen overnight, but events like Tech Cocktail Boise place Idaho startups in the right position for future growth.