Boston TechJam: Ain’t no party like a tech party
There’s a TechJam block party at Boston City Hall Plaza, and everyone’s invited! Come meet fellow developers, marketing and biz dev pros, founders, and tech execs.
If you don’t have plans today after work, head on over to City Hall Plaza in Boston for the 2nd Annual TechJam Block Party. It’s an event that gives anyone who loves tech or innovation the opportunity to see what’s coming out of Boston that will hopefully, one day, change the world. You should come and check it out. I’ll be there, find me and say hi! I got a chance to to speak with Christine Nolan, one of the co-founders of the event, who also works closely across the tech community through her role as director of communities at MassTLC. Christine was able to give the inside scoop on the event:
A brief history
TechJam was founded in 2013 by Nolan and Mark Lorion, the CMO of tech startup Apperian, an enterprise mobility management company. When asked why TechJam was founded, Nolan responded:
“We see people talking about having to go to the Valley, what the Valley has, and what NYC has from a consumer angle. Jeez, I don’t think there’s [anything] quite like Tech Jam that’s bringing together the entire community to help each other out, help accelerate technology, and celebrate everything that’s happening here. It really is truly bringing together all different parts of the community from the students to the startups to the vc’s and small and large technology communities.”
I asked Nolan how the Boston tech scene compares to Silicon Valley, to which she replied:
“…We can be our own group, we don’t have to be exactly like Silicon Valley. We want to make our own thing We have our own different type of environment. People here really want to connect and help each other out. And that’s what we see with TechJam.”
There will be a startup pitch contest in the old Faneuil Hall building where six local startups will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges comprised of leading early-stage investors and members of accelerators from Boston. The six startups will be getting up in front of a crowd of about a thousand people in the historic building to deliver their pitches. “They’re going to get some great feedback and lessons to grow their business further,” said Nolan. Here’s who’s pitching:
- BitCoin Nation – software to access cash for bitcoins on existing ATMs
- Energy Harvesters – mobile charger fueled by walking to let users become their own power source
- Increment – sensory toys that foster development skills, regardless of kids’ age, ability or gender
- Moodsnap – delivers mood-based playlists inspired by images
- Sharalike – sorts your photo tsunami, selects the best pictures and creates animated slideshows in seconds
- SKARA / Time Out – baseline and on-site mobile concussion testing app for athletes
“We had Bob Mason the other day with project 11 and techstars, coaching these groups on how to deliver the best pitch,” Said Nolan. They were chomping at the bit for information, it was really exciting to see.” Here’s the panel of judges:
- Peter Boyce II, Co-Founder, Rough Draft Ventures
- James Geshwhiler, Managing Director, Common Angels
- Chip Hazard, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners
- Katie Rae, Managing Director, Techstars
“It’s been in the works for two months where we had startups submit applications. We narrow down the field to six startups. They were ranked by their applications by a panel of judges and mentors that are leading folks in the industry. From Katie Ray to Chip Hazard over at Flybridge,” Nolan said. Mayor Marty Walsh will be helping announce the winner of the pitch conference. The Tech Bash
Following the pitch-off there will be a block party held in Boston’s City Hall Plaza with an expected 3,00 people in attendance. “There will be fellow developers, marketing and biz dev pros, founders, tech execs, and others who love to ‘geek out’ and see innovation in action,” said Nolan. Here are some of the activities you’ll find at Boston TechJam:
- BEER! – Harpoon will be the official Beer provider for the event
- Music – There will be six bands ready to perform. More than 100 bands applied to play at TechJam; one of the criteria was that each band must have a member from the tech industry.
- Food – Local food trucks will be there to provide you with some of the best food out of Boston.
- And more!
For more information, visit the official Boston TechJam site here. Will you be attending TechJam? If you do, share your experience in the comments.