Tech Cocktail Contributor of the Month



Besides our core team, Tech Cocktail has a band of contributors bringing content from all around the country, and as far as the UK and Israel. And like many entrepreneurs, they do it for the love of the game. We’re incredibly grateful that they spend some of their time helping us amplify local startup communities and sharing their tips and insights for entrepreneurs. So each month, we’d like to highlight one of our contributors here for a job well done.

February: Ezequiel Williams


Ezequiel Williams is a new contributor, but he has already made his mark on Tech Cocktail with several articles that generated a lot of interest among our readers. In February, he introduced us to five Miami-based startups, giving us a taste of what is happening on-the-ground in Miami.

Location: Miami

Bio: Ezequiel is an entrepreneur with a fascination for the intersection of business, design anthropology, and technology. Before moving to Miami, Ezequiel worked for two Mayors in Washington, D.C. and consulted for public and nonprofit organizations. He received an MBA from American University and a BA in Anthropology from New College of Florida.

January: Drew Hendricks


Drew Hendricks is a Tech Cocktail Contributor who writes on a wide range of tech topics. His most recent article, How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider, presented clear information that entrepreneurs can apply directly to their startups. It was one of our top-performing articles in January.

Location:  San Francisco

Bio:  Drew Hendricks is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of sites including The Huffington Post, Forbes and Technorati.  Drew has worked at a variety of different startups as well as large advertising agencie

December: Sonali Basak


Sonali Basak is a regular Tech Cocktail contributor who enthusiastically takes on any writing assignment we send her way. She wrote one of the top-performing articles during the month of December called It’s as Natural as Trust: How 37Signals Built a Following of Millions.

Location:  Chicago

Bio:  Sonali is a freelance tech and business reporter who fell in love with the tech world in Chicago and believes good technology changes the world. She received her MSJ from Medill School of Journalism and her bachelor’s from Bucknell.  

November: David Hassell

DavidHassellDavid Hassell wrote a thought-provoking article on keeping perspective in this crazy startup life. David reminded us of the dangers of overloading ourselves with work and offered some sound advice on avoiding a burnout. His article was one of our top stories of the week, and it generated some conversation around this important topic.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Bio: David Hassell is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of 15Five, a SaaS company focused on helping individuals and organizations reach their highest potential. David formerly served as president of the San Francisco chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and was named “The Most Connected Man You Don’t Know in Silicon Valley” by Forbes.

October: Chris Beck

Chris BeckChris Beck is a freelance writer in the insurance and tech space. He has a degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina, and he is originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina in a city named Asheville. He is an avid Gamecock sports fan, and he really enjoys the simple things in life and believes in living life to the fullest with no regrets.

Location: Charlotte, NC


September: Susan Strayer Lamotte

Susan Strayer LamotteSusan Strayer LaMotte joined Tech Cocktail recently as a contributor on HR and recruiting, and she’s lost no time getting down to business. Her post “You’re Not as Good of a Manager as You Think You Are” was one of our top five this month, and she threw in two others for good measure: “5 Ways to Save Money on Your Hiring Strategy Now” and “Caring about Employees Is Not a Talent Strategy.”

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Susan Strayer LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo. She helps startup and high-growth companies develop cultures, build employer brands, and create talent strategies to help scale and grow businesses. Follow her @SusanLaMotte.

August: Kristin Pryor

Kristin PryorKristin Pryor has been writing for Tech Cocktail since fall 2012, and she takes on anything and everything, from event recaps to startup profiles to videos. This month, she brought us insights from three Tech Cocktail Week speakers: Umba’s Lauren Thorp, digital-telepathy’s Chuck Longanecker, and Pop17’s Sarah Austin.

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Kristin Pryor (@kristinpryor) is an archeologist by day and budding entrepreneur by night who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. Her current obsessions include wine, hiking, and Downton Abbey.

July: Tom Risen

Tom RisenWith a background in journalism, Tom Risen writes comprehensive articles backed up by an impressive amount of research and interviewing. He’s based in DC, so many of those articles focus on local news, tech governance, and politics. This month, he took a dive into angel funding opportunities in DC and a startup called Savvy Wares.

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Tom Risen remembers LAN parties and custom-building computers before the rise of the smartphone. He started reporting on the tech stock market at the Medill School of Journalism, and has written about the tech industry for Government Executive, National Journal, Slate, Policy and Regulatory Report, and for newspapers in Maryland and California. He’s on Twitter @TomRisen.

June: Austin Hackett

Austin HackettAustin Hackett is an entrepreneur writing for entrepreneurs. As the cofounder of a startup, he specializes in profiling other startups and the trends they’re part of. He also shares lessons he’s learned along the way. This month, he wrote “5 Tips for Succeeding in a Startup Accelerator Program” and “VCs are People, Too.” The latter might just as well have been called “VCs are Entrepreneurs, Too” – a good reminder for anyone raising funding.

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Bio: Austin Rory Hackett is the cofounder and CEO of CrowdHall. He loves karaoke, pinball, and rock climbing. Follow him @austinrory.

May: Eddie Earnest

Eddie EarnestEddie Earnest is an expert in all things marketing. This month, he took a deep dive into the benefits of Hubspot, asking: “Should Startups Be Hubspotting?” (You’ll have to read to find out.) In the past, he’s offered tips on telling your story, improving your marketing effectiveness, and the secret to inbound marketing. Earnest is also a startup founder himself, so he’s not offering ivory-tower principles but real, actionable advice.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Bio: Eddie Earnest is a big-thinking entrepreneur focused on staying ahead of the marketing curve and using that knowledge to help build awesome companies. His latest venture is seedRef, a web platform for simplifying personal references and measuring character in the process. You can follow him on Twitter: @eddie_earnest.

April: Joshua Kubicki

Joshua KubickiJoshua Kubicki comes to us from Cincinnati, Ohio, highlighting some of the local startups there. He wrote about Cladwell this month, and seemed to strike a chord – perhaps because the headline began, “If you’re a man and you don’t like shopping…” With an expertise in the legal industry, Kubicki also brings us insights like “6 Reasons the Legal Industry is Ripe for Startup Invasion.”

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Bio: Joshua Kubicki is a business designer for the legal markets and a seasoned entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He helps startups and companies focused on the legal markets create new business models and revenue streams. Follow him at @jkubicki.

March: Jinesh Parekh

Jinesh ParekhJinesh hails all the way from India, and we’re happy to have his international perspective on Tech Cocktail. As head of a development studio working with startups, he’s seen many products go from idea to market and learned what works and what doesn’t. This month, he counseled entrepreneurs on working on your business, not in your business and getting started with content strategy.

Location: Pune, India

Bio: Jinesh Parekh is the founder of Idyllic Software, a Ruby on Rails development shop which exclusively works as technical partners with startups and small businesses. He has 10+ years of software development experience working with startups and large businesses in Chicago. Having realized the need for a reliable technical partner that not only delivers software, but helps build a business, he founded Idyllic Software. Apart from his business, Jinesh proactively mentors students and entrepreneurs in their hero’s journey as time permits, thus giving back to the community in his own little way. You can reach out to Jinesh at jparekh [at] idyllic-software [dot] com.

February: Neil Kane

Neil Kane

Neil is one of our more experienced contributors, having worked at a dozen startups and larger tech companies. He’s seen a lot, done a lot, and has an eye for the patterns among successful startups. He likes to dispel misconceptions, like why you need more money than you think and why startups are a mental game. This month, he wrote about “The Best Advice I Ever Got.”

Location: Chicago

Bio: Neil Kane, a leading authority on technology commercialization and innovation, is a serial entrepreneur and has the battle scars to prove it. He specializes in bringing innovations to market that come from research labs and university research programs. Based in Chicago, he has started or been part of the founding team of over 12 startups in addition to doing time at IBM and Microsoft. He was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2007. His Twitter handle is @neildkane. He’s also on Google+. And LinkedIn.

January: Danny Boice

Danny BoiceIf you’re a founder and you haven’t read Danny’s posts yet, please remedy that situation immediately. He shares lessons about the everyday rough-and-tumble of startup life, from growth hacking to hiring to development, from the perspective of a CTO of a growing startup. This month, he lamented the state of CES and took away some observations for startups.

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Danny Boice is the CTO of Speek – a 500 Startups-funded startup that lets users do conference calls with a simple link ( rather than using phone numbers and PINs. A serial startup/technology entrepreneur and executive, Danny started his career as a software engineer working for startups like Network Solutions and in the 90′s. You can find Danny on Twitter @DannyBoice.

December: Glen Hellman

Glen Hellman is a longtime contributor for Tech Cocktail, who often assumes the alias “Mr. Cranky.” But don’t let the humor fool you; he’s a knowledgeable angel investor and serial entrepreneur with a knack for analyzing trends. This month, he gave us “Mr. Cranky’s Top Tech Stories of 2012,” a half-serious, half-joking recap of the year.

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Glen Hellman is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and works for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He is the Chief Entrepreneureator at Driven Forward LLC, frequently muses on his blog, Forward Thinking, and works with entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to do and get them to do it. He’s a member of the board of The University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, a Vistage chair, and mentor at the Founder Institute.

November: Clint Costa

Clint is one of our expert lawyers, offering up witty advice to entrepreneurs. He’s also from Chicago, so he likes to cover some of the early-stage startups in the Windy City. This month he did both, with 2 Ways to Use the Awesome Power of VentureDocs (a site that helps you generate legal documents), and a piece about Chicago startup FasPark.

Location: Chicago

Bio: Clint Costa is an attorney and CPA with the Chicago law firm of Harrison & Held, LLP, working with startups, entrepreneurs, and privately held companies on all manner of official-sounding legal and tax matters. Reach Clint at or (312) 803-7104.

October: Malcolm Hong

Malcolm hails from Boise, where he writes about local startups. He also attends local talks and speeches by entrepreneurs and shares their lessons with the rest of us. This month, he brought us 5 Tips for Raising Capital with Crowdfunding and 4 Ways to Create a Winning Startup Culture.

Location: Boise, ID

Bio: 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.

September: Stephanie Nguyen

Stephanie has been all around the world of startups this month. First, she wrote about two advertising startups, PageWoo and SteelHouse. Next, she looked at FastPay, which helps startups get cash through quick loans. And she even attended a Google event in Washington, DC, to check out their new resources for entrepreneurs.

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Stephanie Nguyen is as serious about digital media as she is about her quest to find the most authentic, Vietnamese banh mí sandwich in her hometown of Falls Church. She is an analyst at a worldwide data analytics firm and her tastes skew toward tech startups, creative advertising and all things digital. Follow Stephanie on Twitter @nguyenist.

August: Lindsey Holmes

Lindsey, our specialist on productivity apps and tips, traveled all the way to the London Olympics for her story this month. She wrote The Validity of Cool: Lessons to Learn from $500 Headphones, drawing out some tips on branding and marketing from the ridiculously expensive but bestselling Beats by Dre headphones. Last month, she jetted off the Germany and covered the MLOVE Conference. Where will she go next?

Location: Newark, NJ

Bio: Lindsey C. Holmes is the CEO/Lead Strategist of LCH Business SM & Tech, a digital marketing firm based in Newark, NJ, with an office also in Washington, DC. LCH specializes in social media marketing campaigns and strategy, mobile application development, and tech/ GTD/Evernote workflows. Lindsey is the Evernote Small Business Ambassador, a self-taught developer, a proud geek, and mom of a shih-tzu named Banks; and spends her free time converting the masses to understand and apply the technology that will make their lives better. Follow her on Twitter @lindseycholmes.

July: Heather Huhman

Heather, an experienced hiring manager, is our resident expert on all things HR and hiring. This month, she gave us 7 tips for hiring top talent for your startup – the basics to get you started on your long and frustrating journey to a new employee. She also continued her reviews of HR tools and apps with, which (à la eHarmony) calculates a “compatibility score” for the company and the new hire.

Location: Washington, DC

Bio: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).

June: Andrew Cross

Andrew’s home run this month was a post called, “Startups: Pay $5 for Graphic Design, Data Entry, and More on Fiverr.” Fiverr helps “low-budget or no-budget entrepreneurs” get some work done on the cheap. Our favorite line? “Whereas Elance and its brethren have been accused of leading a race to the bottom, Fiverr beat them all there.” Plus, Andrew stepped up to the plate this month to cover Social Defender for our TechWeek mixer.

Location: Chicago

Bio: Andrew Cross is an account executive at Walker Sands Communications in Chicago. He covers tech startups, particularly those based out of the Midwest. He has a BA in public relations from Illinois State University. Contact Andrew at andrewrcross[at]gmail[dot]com or @Andrew_R_Cross.


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