March 24, 2010
Four years ago Frank Gruber and I founded TECH cocktail. We sought to bring the Chicago startup and technology community together in a meaningful way and have been fortunate enough to do that and much, much more. I am very proud of the organization we built and what we’ve accomplished since our first TECH cocktail mixer event in July of 2006.
Over the past four years a number of startups we showcased went on to raise money and build solid businesses with GrubHub and The Next Big Sound being just two of those companies. Others have even been acquired like JellyFish.com and SocialThing. On top of that we have helped many great people meet others who could help them with their businesses. We even expanded TECH cocktail’s operations to cities like Washington D.C., Boston, Boulder, Ann Arbor, Champaign, San Diego and others. Check out the video from our first TECH cocktail event (below) as it really brings back memories and shows you just how far TECH cocktail has come.
I met many great people over the years as well. Some have become good friends and others trusted colleagues. It has been a great ride.
However, it is time for that ride to end for me. As I begin to think about graduating from the University of Chicago next year I realize I need to focus on school, my family and finding a career path that suits me. Frankly, I would not be able to give TECH cocktail the attention it needs to move to the next level as a technology media and events company.
No need to worry about the future of TECH cocktail though. Just as I began thinking about leaving TECH cocktail, Frank decided to take the entrepreneurship plunge full-time after moonlighting to build his own personal brand and TECH cocktail since 2005. Frank has also been driving technology and media initiatives for Tribune Interactive, Classified Ventures and AOL since 2001. As part of that plunge he will be running TECH cocktail in a full time capacity, focused on growing the media business. If anyone can make TECH cocktail grow stronger, it’s Frank. Everyone who knows him knows that when he puts his heart and soul into something, good things come of it and I know he will be putting his heart and soul into growing TECH cocktail after my leave.
All in all, this was the perfect time for me to exit. Of course, I will still be involved tangentially and will likely help with the Chicago event but it will be in a much decreased capacity.
Thank you all for letting me take this ride with you and for your help in building this fantastic organization. It has been a blast. See you at the next TECH cocktail Chicago in May!
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