Since 2006, Tech Cocktail has been to cities across America, and although the venues, climate, and accents change, one aspect remains the same-you, the technology enthusiast! Whether it’s the Bay Area, Boston, Boulder, or Boise (we go to cities that don’t start wit “B” too), we are consistently taken aback by your level of enthusiasm for the local tech startup scene.
And during this span, you continually wanted to know how you could get involved. Now we have the answer: Tech Cocktail Ambassadors.
Tech Cocktail Ambassadors organize and facilitate Tech Cocktail Mixers in cities across the country and world. They are organized, motivated, and above all, social. They are show runners, the point guard, the quarterback, the orchestrator, the…well you get the point. Tech Cocktail Ambassadors are plugged into their local technology scene and enjoy connecting with others.
Below are our esteemed Tech Cocktail Ambassadors.
Trey Bowles – Dallas/Fort Worth Ambassador
As a serial entrepreneur, Trey Bowles has spent his career starting and building companies in both the for-profit and non-profit space. With an expertise in technology, Internet, and media, Trey has been at the helm of some of the largest businesses in the world in their respective industries.
Trey is the Co-Chair of Startup America Partnership: Texas, an organization focused on helping entrepreneurs in Texas create businesses and jobs within the community. Bowles also serves the City of Dallas in a civic capacity through the recently launch of two different initiatives with Dallas Mayor, Mike Rawlings. First is the Mayor Star Council , which is a leadership organization, focused around bringing together 25 of the top young leaders in Dallas to serve the Mayor and his vision for the city. The second initiative, titled, Mayor Connect, is a council of 30 of the top digital and technology minds in the city to develop a digital strategy this is both functional and visible that will allow the Mayor of Dallas to more effectively communicate with his constituents.
In 2010, led the turn-around and sale of Big Jump Media Inc., which owned and operated GodTube.com and Tangle.com, the largest faith based video sharing platform, and the largest faith-based social network, respectively. Bowles has significant experience with building and running technology based media companies, beginning in 2001 when he helped build one of the fastest-growing companies in the history of the Internet age — Morpheus – which had over 100 million downloads of its application in less than one year. Additionally, Trey helped build World Digital Media Group, a strategic and collaborative effort between RadioShack, Dish Network (Echo Star) and Sirius Satellite Radio. Bowles also started a entertainment management and consulting firm named Trivate Entertainment which specializes in creating, producing, and promoting positive content in the mainstream marketplace. With a focus in strategy, operations, and marketing, Bowles has leveraged his experience and expertise to build companies that are cutting edge industry leading organizations with a heart for serving non-profits in an advisory, board, or consulting capacity.
Trey has a BA in Marketing from Baylor University and is also an Adjunct Professor position at SMU teaching Entrepreneurship courses.
You can contact Trey by email at: trey [at] treybowles dot com or @treybowles.
Mike Brenner – Baltimore Ambassador
Mike Brenner is a co-founder of Betamore, an urban campus for entrepreneurship and technology located in the heart of the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Previous to this, he ran a creative web studio called Sunrise Design that he started in 2006.
Aside from his professional involvements, Mike has played a key role in helping organize and shape the city’s tech community by helping organize some of the following initiatives: Beehive Baltimore, Startup Baltimore, BaltimoreTech.net, Startup Weekend, and recently the Education Hack Day.
Mike is passionate about making Baltimore a fun place to live and work and plans to continue to leverage his technical skills to do just that.
You can contact Mike by email at: m [at] betamore dot com.
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation – Champaign Ambassador
The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) is a public-private partnership dedicated to fostering a cooperative, county-wide approach to economic development. We coordinate with a number of other key organizations in the area to promote an environment in which business thrives.
Founded in 2001, the EDC established the following mission: The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation through public private partnerships continually improves the local economy by successfully driving business attraction, retention and expansion.
Supported by a streamlined staff led by the executive director, the EDC includes members from area businesses, developers, utilities, educational institutions and local municipalities.
You can contact EDC by email at: edc [at] champaigncountyedc dot org.
Ahmad Corner – Seattle Ambassador
Ahmad Corner is a philanthropist, social networker, insomniac, die-hard University of Washington Husky fan.
Ahmad is the co-founder and President of Young Professionals of Seattle, one of Seattle’s fastest growing networking organizations. He currently serves on the Young Professionals Committee for the Michael-Ryan Pattison Foundation, a non-profit established to increase awareness and enable access to specialized therapies focused on improving quality of life for those living with this paralysis, and as the Fundraising Chair for the Jessie Corner Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Foundation, college scholarship fund for underprivileged kids in Seattle and surrounding areas.
Ahmad double majored in Communications and Social Sciences at the University of Washington and has since, utilizing his experience working in the legal and financial sectors, began consulting entrepreneurs on the startup process by helping them connect ideas to resources.
If you can’t find Ahmad event-hopping through Downtown Seattle, you can find him boarding a local mountain… or you could just email him at acorner2 [at] gmail dot com.
Martin Hambalek – Boise Ambassador
Martin is a passionate supporter of the Boise technology community. He is the vice chair of the Idaho Technology Council Software Alliance and also chairs the annual develop.idaho software conference – the largest software event in the state of Idaho – and Tech Cocktail Boise.
The Idaho Technology Council has partnered with Tech Cocktail since 2011 and has scheduled the third Tech Cocktail Boise to promote the local startup community. Martin is the IT director for Memjet, a printing technology company bringing to the market the fastest inkjet technology of it’s kind.
You can contact Martin by email at: martin.hambalek [at] memjet dot com.
Mitchell Patterson – New York (Surrounding Areas) Ambassador
Mitchell Patterson is the Managing Director for Emerging Business Portfolio – The CenterState CEO Emerging Business Portfolio consist of multiple venture funding and business development programs. Currently funds are focused on IP Commercialization, early stage startups, and helping startups outsource c-level services.
Mitchell leads the Organizing team for Syracuse Startup Weekend – a 54 hour startup event taking place in 500 cities spanning nearly 63 countries which provides the networking, resources, and incentives for individuals and teams to go from idea to launch. Mitchell also serves as the Startup Weekend Facilitator for Albany, Binghamton, Rochester, Ithaca, and Buffalo.
Building collaborative partnerships, Business development and strategic planning, networking and client engagement, technology commercialization, program implementation, early-stage growth capital funding, capital attraction and fund raising.
You can contact Mitchell by email at: mitchell [at] centerstateceo dot com.
Betty Ann SantaMaria – Kansas City Ambassador
Betty Ann is a Kansas City native, living in and loving the area. After running a Manpower Temporary Services office shortly out of college, she felt ready and capable to be involved in more proactive recruiting. She began her corporate recruiting experience at a locally-established consulting firm called Triple-I. She joined at a time when Triple-I was developing their first internal corporate recruiting department. It was truly a ‘from the ground up’ type situation. She recalls getting handed a phone book and headset, and being instructed to hire a dozen sales managers, recruiters, marketing professionals and support staff. After perfecting her cold-calling and closing skills, Betty Ann moved into the company’s KC IT branch and was off and running as an IT recruiter.
Since, she has worked as a recruiter for IT consulting companies and nearly 2 years back took a position at DST Systems, where she has a ‘best of both worlds’ situation. Betty Ann is still hiring associates for senior level IT positions; however, in a corporate (rather than consulting) environment. When asked what she enjoys about recruiting and why she’s stayed in it so long, when others typically move onto other ventures, she answers with two words: variety and challenge. She indicates she enjoys that IT is an ever-changing industry. New technologies being introduced into the industry often keeps the research skills she earned as an English Literature major at William Jewell College, sharp. She also enjoys the variety of people with whom she has exposure “No two candidates are alike. That’s for sure.” And, there is always a challenge, whether it be with new technologies, the constant battle of supply vs. demand, or time management. “This profession keeps you on your toes, which is just the way I like it.” Betty Ann also enjoys engaging herself in special projects around decorating her home, party planning / networking events, and travel, and she considers herself quite the epicurean.
You can contact Betty Ann by email at: BSantaMaria [at] dstsystems dot com.
Eric Siegfried – San Francisco Ambassador
Eric Siegfried is the CEO and co-founder of TangoSource, a Ruby on Rails and front end web development firm that specializes in helping lean companies scale, through team extension. Eric loves helping people grow innovative businesses.
As a software developer turned business developer, Eric has experience in product development, project management, business development, and interaction design. Eric holds a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Washington University in Saint Louis. Eric is excited to be a part of the world’s technology boom, and the improvements in quality of life that is possible from it.
You can contact Eric by email at: eric [at] tangosource dot com.
Michael Sitarzewski – Boulder/Denver Ambassador
Michael Sitarzewski is a veteran entrepreneur with a specific focus on web based software and services. His internet startup career started in 1994 by co-founding an internet apartment search product, and continues today with companies in the web based website development and podcast streaming spaces. He understands the intricacies of the technology industry and considers helping people understand and leverage the technology of his life’s work. He is the CEO of Callisto.fm, Inc., rich, real-time audience analytics for media creators of all kinds.
You can contact Michael by email at: michael [at] callisto dot fm.
Gracie Leigh Stemmer – Tampa Ambassador
Gracie graduated from the University of Tampa’s Entrepreneurship program and has been an advocate for the Tampa Bay tech scene for over two years. Currently Gracie is the Marketing Manager for Tampa Bay WaVE and oversees all marketing for the FirstWaVE Venture Center as and the FirstWaVE Accelerator program. She has built their social media and email distribution up three times larger in her time with Tampa Bay WaVE. She sit on the board of Girls in Tech Tampa Bay and is an active volunteer in Tampa’s Entrepreneurial community.
Betsy Trotzke – Bloomington Ambassador
Betsy Trotzke is a tech-savvy marketing chick with a passion for emerging media and companies.
Currently, she serves as the director for communications at the Indiana University Varsity Club and coordinator for the Combine Conference. She has been a Senior Web Services Consultant at Hanapin Marketing and both an Interactive Account Executive and Production Manager at Finelight.
She is motivated to create all forms of communications: writing, editing, design, public relations, advertising, direct mail, print and collateral materials. She thinks the best results come from effectively integrating them all. But, she is admittedly is most passionate about building valuable relationships online—through websites, social networks, email and applications.
She lives in Bloomington, IN, with her husband, Mike, a technology executive and entrepreneur at Sproutbox, and their evil cat, Thomas. When she is not communicating and marketing, she can usually be found running, hiking, camping, gardening and finding creative inspiration anywhere she can.
You can contact Betsy by email at: betsy [at] trozke dot com.