About Tech.Co

Tech.Co (formerly 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.Co dedicates itself to covering news, how-to’s, up-and-coming startups, and industry trends online, and hosting events in cities everywhere.

From a simple community-building Tech Cocktail event, Tech.Co has transformed into a full-fledged media company with millions of readers around the world.

Tech.Co’s event brand, 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. Tech.Co has hosted hundreds of Tech Cocktail events in Chicago, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Boulder, Austin, and more.  A better informed, recognized, and connected tech community is possible through our efforts. Check out the full schedule of upcoming Tech Cocktail events.

Our global Startup Tour and competition runs throughout the year and culminates at the three day Celebrate Conference in downtown Las Vegas.



The company was cofounded 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 amplify the local Chicago tech startup scene. In 2010, after three years as a passion project, Eric moved on to take on new endeavors as a venture capitalist and Frank teamed up with the leadership of expert technology producer and longtime AOLer Jen Consalvo as the company was reborn into a media company.

Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo of Tech Cocktail

Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo of Tech.Co

Interested in writing for Tech.Co?

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 Cofounder and COO of the tech-focused media company, Tech.Co and was the Founder of Thankfulfor, an online gratitude journal product with tens of thousands of users. 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.

Jen serves on the digital advisory board for The Nature Conservancy and for the Master of Arts in Media Entrepreneurship at American University.

She was nominated by Nevada’s TBAN for 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year, listed by Business Insider in their 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter, named a 2013and 2011 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. Consalvo was also the 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 attracting over ten thousand attedees.

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.Co please fill out this form. Please send all sponsorship, partnership and advertising requests here.

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Julia ‘Labandz’ Fischer

Director of 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.

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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Ronald Barba

Managing Editor

Ronald Barba is the managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things.

Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in ‘Doctor Who’, Murakami, ‘The Mindy Project’, and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a “writer”. He also likes to cook things; you can check out all the noms on his Instagram.

Email Ronald (ronald@tech.co) or tweet @RonaldPBarba. You can also subscribe to him on Facebook or find him on Google.

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Kimberly Blackburn

Kimberly Blackburn

Director of Events
As the Event Coordinator for Tech Cocktail, Kimberly Blackburn fulfills her passion for entrepreneurship and desire to help connect and foster the entrepreneurship world through creating memorable and constructive networking events. Kimberly is based out of Washington DC and in addition to her role as event coordinator she likes to consider herself a permanent tourist.
Prior to her role as Events Coordinator at Tech Cocktail, Kimberly also worked as the Marketing and Training Coordinator for the Maryland Small Business Development Center. At the SBDC she coordinated over 100 training workshops a year for small businesses in the DC Metro area. She also has the opportunity to work as the Events Director for an angel investor group called the Washington DC Archangels, helping to plan their monthly meetings and workshops for companies all across the country.
Previously she was the Event Coordinator at Lendio, Inc., a financial services company in Salt Lake City, where she coordinated 80+ networking and pitching events for investors and entrepreneurs across the U.S. Kimberly is a graduate of Brigham Young University (BYU) with a Bachelors degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship.  At BYU she helped found two successful businesses as well implement a sustainable business model for a local orphanage in Ghana.
Besides her passion for entrepreneurship, Kimberly loves trying new things in the kitchen, traveling pretty much anywhere and getting in touch with her crafty side. You can contact Kimberly by email at: kimblackburn [at] tech 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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Fran Rugo

Marketing Manager

Fran Rugo is Tech.Co’s marketing and account manager. Based in the Windy City, she brings years of marketing and account experience to the team and shares a passion for sharing the Tech.Co story in creative ways. Fran oversees the marketing department and manages various accounts and programs such as the ambassador program, internship program, industry events, and more! Fran’s love for marketing and events are always accompanied with a positive attitude and a big smile to ensure that everyone, including the Tech.Co team, the attendees, and the vendors all have a great experience!

When Fran isn’t working, you can usually find her on the lakefront running, brunching on the weekends, at a sporting event (Go Cubs Go!) or just exploring all her favorite city has to offer! She loves insta-blogging her various Chicago brunch places and fitness findings. One of her many passions includes giving back to her communities which include being a  marketing mentor to students at DePaul University, teaching leadership courses, and lastly, volunteering at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago – which the highlight of her week.

Connect with Fran:
By Email: fran [at] techcocktail dot com
Follow Her: @FranRugo | Instagram

If you are looking for event promotions please contact us here. Please send all sponsorship, partnership and advertising requests here.

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