October 3, 2014
It’s official everybody, we’re only days away from the kickoff of our annual Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference. We’ve spent the last few months lining up one hell of a schedule for this year’s conference, and we’re dying to kick things off with all of you.
In an effort to give you, the people, a choice we’ve built in plenty of meet-up space this year. What that means is that you can choose whether you want to listen to all of the sessions, join our speakers for a look into their philosophies, or cling to the mentor sessions and learn at the feet of the masters.
Not only that, we have a fantastic startup pitch competition that’s sure to get you excited as we hunt for the Nation’s Hottest Showcasing Startup. Oh, and did I mention that we’re going to have some epic parties?
Here’s a quick preview of the schedule for all those in attendance:
Day 0 – October 5
Work In Progress, a coworking space in Downtown Las Vegas, is hosting a pre-Celebrate “Appy Hour”, sponsored by Apptentive so everyone can get to know each other in a casual and relaxed setting. Stop by, grab a beverage and a snack, and say hello! This event goes down on Sunday from 5-7 PM. Check the schedule map – Work In Progress is just 2 1/2 blocks from Fremont at 317 S 6th St.
Day 1 – October 6
Day 1 kicks off at 9:10 AM with a welcome from Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo, and then we’ll be vaulting right into the sessions.
Dylan Jorgensen will be moderating a panel of community leaders to discuss the finer points of ‘Creating a Collisionable City’: the hows and whys of causing and tracking collisions among the doers, thinkers, and builders in an ecosystem. The panel obviously will touch on Downtown Vegas, but there will be some added input on the ways that community builders around the country are creating hubs and density.
It’s a nice complement to the ‘Building an Entrepreneurial Community’ session that starts at 11:00 AM. Digital correspondent and brand strategist Sarah Evans will talk with leaders from far and wide to gather their expertise on leading and building entrepreneurial communities, centering on an answer to the question: How are we making our communities a better place for startups?
The post-lunch docket is packed with even more sessions from Tony Hsieh as he talks about an ‘City as a Startup’, fund managers and VCs detailing the finer points of ‘Investing to Build a City’, and how big name ‘Corporations are Embracing Startup Communities’. And before dinner Frank Gruber will sit down with David Cohen, the founder of TechStars, to talk about what role an accelerator plays in startup-centric cities.
After dinner, we’re turning the heat up from 7:00 to 10:00 PM as we host our National Startup Showcase & Celebration, sponsored by Khorus. Attendees will be able to browse through the 46 – and growing – startups who have qualified through local showcasing events and wildcard rounds to make it to this final event and compete. Not only is it a competition between the startups, it’s also a mixer and party to unwind and get set for Day 2.
Day 2 – October 7
Right out of the gate on Day 2 we’ll be announcing the four finalist startups from the National Startup Showcase & Celebration. These startups will have the day to prepare for their final presentation later in the afternoon, and from there we’ll shift into a morning of fireside chats with some big time movers and shakers in the tech startup world.
First up are Jeff Haggins and Rob Pegoraro, discussing the ‘Internet of Things & The Future of Smart Households’, giving us a glance into their experiences with SmartThings and Yahoo! Tech respectively. Coming hot on their heels is a special talk about ‘Captivating Your Audience’ featuring Ben Parr – the author of Captivology – and the Grand Illusionist David Copperfield.
We’ll polish off the morning regimen by hearing from Mike Macadaan and Neil Patel about how to ‘Build Your Customer Base’, and Charles Hudson and Bharat Vasan detailing the finer points of the ‘Investor-Investee Relationship’. After lunch, the afternoon kicks back off at 1:15 PM as we hear a panel discussion on a ‘Wild New World of Funding’, led by leaders in the crowdsourcing, accelerator, and contest space to discuss the best options for alternative capital.
At 2:40 PM we’ll see our four finalist startups take the stage once more to pitch their ideas and compete for the title of Nation’s Hottest Showcasing Startup. While our judges deliberate on the winner, we’ll host two final fireside chats with Jenn Lim, Shane Green, and Rachel Ryle. Then we have a special treat with a yet unannounced closing keynote speaker; I can’t say much else, but I promise it’s going to be awesome.
At 5:15 PM, sharp, we’ll announce the winner of the Startup Competition before handing a $10,000 check off to them. From there we kick off the Celebrate Closing part at the Inspire Rooftop. DJ Aaron Pfenning, a founding member of the band Chairlift, will be laying down the beat as we say goodbye and celebrate another successful year of Tech Cocktail.
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