Toasts and Technology at the Tech Cocktail Boise Mixer

May 16, 2013

11:00 am

Tech Cocktail hosted its fourth Boise Mixer & Startup Showcase on Wednesday, April 17th at Boise State University’s Stueckle Sky Center, along with our exceptional Boise Ambassador Martin Hambalek, IT director at Memjet and Software Alliance vice chair at the Idaho Technology Council. The event allowed us to showcase some of Boise’s most innovative startups.

At the event, we announced the winner of our Boise Hottest Showcasing Startup Poll: Smart PJ’s, which makes children’s pajamas that have special dot patterns printed on them. When users download Smart PJ’s free apps on their smart device, they can scan one of the dot groups to play a bedtime story for their children. The runner-ups were LaborFeed, which matches workers with employers for contract or day job opportunities, and Silverback Learning Solutions, which provides a technology platform that helps educators assess students’ progress.

Boise has a thriving entrepreneurial community, and April’s Tech Cocktail Boise had the largest turnout yet since Tech Cocktail Boise’s inaugural mixer in April 2011. The event had around 275 entrepreneurs and technologists in attendance, who were eager to mingle with startups over cocktails. We asked several startups and attendees to explain why they enjoy Tech Cocktail events and how they impact the local startup scene.

Russ Stoddard, founder of Social Good Network, which presented at the event, described his experience:

“People were engaged and interested, open and friendly – they asked good insightful questions and seemed to be participating in a collegial way. [Tech Cocktail Boise is] another building block, a good step on a journey toward raising visibility for our startup community.”

Other Boise entrepreneurs agreed that Tech Cocktail Boise provided a lot of value through connecting startups with local technologists in the region. Our favorite quote was from Shane Vaughan at Balihoo, whose company sponsored last Fall’s Tech Cocktail Boise:

“Balihoo is a firm believer that building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boise is critical not only to our success, but to the city and state as a whole. Tech Cocktail is an opportunity to meet and engage with the best and the brightest entrepreneurs our town has to offer and shouldn’t be missed. And frankly, we’re down for anything with ‘cocktail’ in the name.”  

Be sure to check out the event photos and tag yourself online on Facebook.

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Special thanks to our presenting sponsor:

CradlePoint: CradlePoint provides 4G/3G network router solutions that provide secure connectivity from networks to distributed enterprise, small business, and mobile customers.

The following startups were showcased at the event:

  •  i-KPI Software – FactoryKPIs enable manufacturing decision-makers to monitor their key processes throughout their enterprise, from wherever they may roam. FactoryKPIs run on all Apple iOS touch devices: iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and iPod touch.
  • LaborFeed – LaborFeed.com is a newly launched national employment website with a twist. Using an intuitive fully responsive interface, LaborFeed aligns people looking for contract or day work with individuals or business owners who need work done. The service is free to use, includes a rating system, and offers the option to receive real-time job alert emails.
  • Mobi2Market – Mobi2Market is communication platform that allows small businesses to communicate with their customers the way the consumer chooses. Businesses can use it for promotions, drawings, coupon, or events. Once the customer is in the system, promotions start to flow to that consumer. As the consumer uses the system, the system learns from the interaction.
  • NetCamps – NetCamps provide online registration, secure payment processing, and websites for sports camps. They basically take a time- and paperwork-extensive process and automate it online.
  • One4All – One4All is like the Gates Foundation for the rest of us. You create a charitable fund, you commit and fund it, you make grants to the causes you care about, and you make a difference in the world.
  • Pencil Me Down – Pencil Me Down is an online scheduling service that is designed with the small business/contractor in mind.
  • Silverback Learning Solutions – Silverback’s cloud-based, results-driven, K-12 instructional improvement system, Mileposts, increases student achievement by enabling educators to collaboratively plan and deliver personalized instruction based on student data collected at the state, district and classroom level and from all types of student information, assessment and curriculum systems.
  • Smart PJs – Smart PJs makes and sells children’s pajamas that have multiple special dot group patterns printed on them. There are approximately 47 different dot groups printed on each pair of pajamas. When the user downloads SmartPJs’ free apps from their app store on their smart device, they can scan one of the dot groups on the pajamas with their smart device, and a bedtime story is played for the child.
  • Social Good Network – Social Good Network is disrupting cause fundraising. They are replacing static, destination-based donation options with a distributed social model that reaches more supporters and raises more money (6X in initial tests). The platform delivers an easy and compelling user experience that tells a nonprofit’s unique story on their website, on Social Good Network’s community site, on social media, and on partner and brand sites.
  • Speak Your Silence – Speek Your Silence has created Outspoken, a peer-to-peer fundraising platform for supporters of the cause, as well as those who have been personally affected, to own the cause in their own unique ways.
  • Sunlution – Sunlution has filed a utility patent for a low-cost novel grounding spring that is used to ground solar panels together as well as secure the solar cables.
  • Tips for Vino – Tipsforvino is a wine training application for restaurants.

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Malcolm Hong is a writer and tech advocate with a passion for innovation. He’s connected to entrepreneurism and technology through his work managing the activities of the Idaho Technology Council, the state’s largest member-driven association that fosters the growth of Idaho’s tech ecosystem. Originally from Hawaii, Malcolm quickly realized that Idaho does a great job of growing startups, not just potatoes. Follow Malcolm on Twitter: @IDTechCouncil

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