This past Wednesday night, we hosted a new type of event: Tech Cocktail Sessions. Over 220 people joined us at an art gallery near the Potomac River to hear a couple of experienced entrepreneurs share their personal stories – how they took ideas they had at various points in their lives and turned them into companies. And in some of those cases, very successful companies.
Shane Green, co-founder and CEO of local startup Personal, shared the story of how he went from being a student interested in government and international human rights to founding The Map Network and then Personal and the lessons he learned along the way.
Tim Chi, the co-founder of Blackboard and founder of WeddingWire, talked about the differences between his first venture, which came straight out of his college dorm, to his latest, which brought together a new team focused on disrupting the wedding space.
The audience showered Green and Chi with questions – which was the goal – allowing for lots of interaction. They were surrounded by colorful art installations within The Water Street Project, a two-week popup art gallery produced by No Kings Collective.
The new monthly speaker series debuted in DC but will also take place in Boston (May 14) and Chicago (during TechWeek) – more cities will be announced soon. The next Sessions DC event will be May 24th.
Sessions was born out of the positive response to our Startup Mixology Conference, which breaks down the various ingredients that go into starting and growing a business in today’s technology and business landscape. But rather than offer you just one opportunity a year in one location, we’re now bringing this opportunity to you each month. Enjoy more speakers and chat with your peers afterward about the evening’s topic in a relaxed environment. As in all our endeavors, Tech Cocktail is serious about startups and entrepreneurship, but we believe in enjoying the journey and sharing what we learn.
Previous speakers at Tech Cocktail events have included Steve Case, Alexis Ohanian, Travis Kalanick, Dick Costolo, Genevieve Thiers, Gary Vaynerchuk, Micah Baldwin, Alexis Juneja, and dozens of others. Sessions brings the experiences of successful entrepreneurs to you so you can learn to succeed yourself and learn lessons for your startup. Hear their stories in their own words and ask them your questions in an intimate setting.
And while we did announce Tech Cocktail’s first podcast today, Tech Cocktail Conversations, we’ll soon be announcing the release of another podcast, Tech Cocktail Sessions, where you’ll be able to watch our Sessions speakers no matter where you’re located. Many thanks to our kickoff speakers Shane Green and Tim Chi and our partners: Uber for providing discounted transportation, White Ribbon Studios for video services, and, of course, No Kings Collective for their visionary space.