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Tech Cocktail

About Tech Cocktail

Tech Cocktail is a media company and events organization for startups, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts. Since 2006, its goal has been to amplify local tech communities and give entrepreneurs a place to get informed, get connected, and get inspired. Tech Cocktail dedicates itself to covering news, how-to’s, up-and-coming startups, and industry trends online, and hosting events in over 20 cities in the US and abroad.

From a simple community-building event, Tech Cocktail has transformed into a full-fledged media company with thousands of fans, followers, and supporters across the globe. Tech Cocktail has hosted local mixers, breakfasts, conferences, festivals, and other events around the country that have attracted thousands of attendees, educating entrepreneurs as they showcase their latest achievements and the local technology communities they live in.

Working with Tech Cocktail has helped startups find employees, co-founders, funding, and even acquirers. Tech Cocktail has hosted events in Chicago, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Boulder, Austin, and more. A better informed, recognized, and connected tech community is possible through Tech Cocktail. Check out the full schedule of upcoming Tech Cocktail events.


The company was co-founded in 2006 by former Tribune and AOL product strategist, long-time tech blogger, and new media pioneer Frank Gruber and early Feedburner employee Eric Olson as a way to better and amplify the local Chicago tech startup scene. In 2010, after over three years as a passion project, Eric moved on to take on new endeavors and Frank teamed up with the leadership of expert technology producer and longtime AOLer Jen Consalvo as the company was reborn into a full-time media company.

The Tech Cocktail executive team of Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber

The Tech Cocktail executive team of Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber

Interested in writing for Tech Cocktail?

Do you have a love for technology and all the latest innovations? Do you love startups, social media, mobile apps or new marketing and the tips and tricks of entrepreneurship? Are you a content producing machine with a strong and distinct voice? We are always looking for solid content creators, so if you think you have what it takes and want to be published in front of an audience of tens of thousands of people across the globe, contact us – here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tech Cocktail Team

Frank Gruber

Frank Gruber

Founder, CEO, Executive Editor

Frank Gruber grew up in the Midwest heartland and is an entrepreneur, new media journalist and investor. He is the author of Startup Mixology: Tech Cocktail’s Guide To Building, Growing and Celebrating Startup Success published by Wiley. He co-founded Tech Cocktail in 2006, which has grown into a hub for the creative class, offering tech startup focused news, events, and resources. Frank currently is the CEO of Tech Cocktail.

Previously, Frank built and launched products for the masses while at AOL, Tribune and Classified Ventures along with startup efforts like Thankfulfor, Splog Reporter and more. As a journalist his works have been featured in a number of top media publications like TechCrunch, Fortune, HuffPo, etc. He was named by Forbes as one of the most connected people in tech. His alma maters include Purdue and Northwestern respectively. While living the startup life, he also enjoys swimming, strumming his guitar and/or ukulele, warm weather, beaches and sports – especially Chicago and DC teams.

Frank currently lives in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. but travels a lot as he circles the globe speaking, hosting events and helping entrepreneurs, startups and technology communities amplify their local technology signal.

You can find Frank Gruber online and on Twitter @FrankGruber or contact him by email at: frank [at] tech dot co. If you are reaching out to send us your news or to be featured on Tech Cocktail please fill out this form. Please send all sponsorship, partnership and advertising requests here.

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Jen Consalvo

Jen Consalvo

co-founder, coo

Jen Consalvo is Co-Founder and COO of the tech-focused media company, Tech Cocktail, as well as the Founder of Thankfulfor, an online gratitude journal community. She has worked in product development for over a decade, leading large and small teams in a range of product areas such as digital imaging, community & social platforms and personalization. The majority of her career was at AOL, planning and building products used by millions of people globally.

Her deep network across the global technology community enabled her to introduce many entrepreneurs to AOL resulting in interesting new relationships and in some cases, multi-million dollar acquisitions. The most enjoyable part of her role was working together to find areas of potential partnership with these young companies.

Consalvo is also co-producer of Digital Capital Week (@DCWEEK), a week-long festival in Washington DC focused on technology, innovation and all things digital in our nation’s capital.

Jen was named a 2011 and 2013 Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine, was featured in DC Modern Luxury Magazine in “The Smart Set”, in the Washington Post cover story “Digital Nomads Choose Their Tribes” and also in the Huffington Post story “What is Work? Cutting Yourself Free With Heart“. Over the past few years, Jen’s products have been featured in such places as WashingtonPost, TechCrunch, CNET, Mashable and more.

Outside of the tech world, photography, travel and health are her passions.  Jen’s photography has been published in several publications and her book, Love Your Photos: A Simple Guide To Photographic Happiness is available for download.

You can find Jen on Twitter @noreaster or contact her by email at: jen [at] tech dot co. If you are reaching out to send us your news or to be featured on Tech Cocktail please fill out this form. Please send all sponsorship, partnership and advertising requests here.

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Julia ‘Labandz’ Fischer

Director of Events & Operations

Julia Labandz Fischer is a Chicago based events planner and designer; known as an artistic visionary for her passion and ability to create a truly memorable occasion. She began her career while living in San Diego, working for Fortune 500 company, Yahoo!, in the Search Marketing Sales Technology division, where she perfected her entrepreneurial skills and sales techniques in the professional world.  During her free time, she volunteered at Urban Kitchen Catering.  It was working there that cemented her love for event planning.  In 2007, Julia studied Food and Beverage Management at Kendall College and obtained in- depth industry knowledge concerning the most efficient ways to conceive, organize and execute special events, corporate receptions, lavish galas and charity functions.  She also acquired insight on maintaining event budgets, site transformation, menu proposals, and creating a custom designed event experience.

As Tech Cocktail’s Event Coordinator, Julia assists in creating events that showcase the technological contributions from up and coming as well as established professionals; offering the latest in community- powered projects, technology news, events, and information. Julia’s devotion to harmonizing her extensive special events knowledge, impeccable style, and attention to detail, ensures that each event will be a successful and worry free affair.

You can contact Julia by email at: julia [at] techcocktail dot com. If you are looking for event promotions please contact us here. Please send all sponsorship, partnership and advertising requests here.

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Mary Ellen Delaney

client development

Mary Ellen Delaney (@MEOS) is a passionate Development Evangelist with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and extensive experience in cross platform strategy, operations, sales and marketing.

Currently, Mary Ellen drives business and client development at Tech Cocktail, a media company that focuses on startups, emerging technology and entrepreneurial resources. Prior to this, she was with Reed Business Information, the world’s largest business to business publisher, where she spearheaded the Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology vertical and represented five industry trade publications both online and in print – Semi Conductor International, Manufacturing Business Technology, Control Engineering, Consulting Specifying Engineering and Plant Engineering.

Mary Ellen has deep experience in consumer marketing and media sales with Time Warner (Little Brown & Co. Publishing, Time Magazine, HBO and AOL). Her last role was with AOL Media Networks in a Senior Sales Solutions role where she spearheaded the discovery, development and direction of major branded online advertising opportunities.

On the client side, Mary Ellen directed consumer marketing for MediaOne, AT&T Broadband and Comcast. She led several key areas of focus which included acquisition upgrade marketing, branding and partnership marketing, cross channel online management, and promotional management. Mary Ellen holds a BA from Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts. Outside of her passion for technology and mentoring, Mary Ellen loves travel, live music events, theatre, the ocean, and supporting higher education initiatives. Mary Ellen’s greatest role to date is being a Mom to her awesome children.

You can contact Mary Ellen by email at: Maryellen [at] techcocktail dot com. Please send all sponsorship, partnership and advertising requests here.

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Ann Diab

Editor and Community Marketing

Ann Diab is the Editor of Tech Cocktail. She is proud to call Las Vegas home, and has been involved in the launching and nurturing of startups and tech companies in Vegas for over 15 years.

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