We headed down to ASU SkySong yesterday for the second installment of Techiepalooza, a networking event hosted by ASU Venture Catalyst that is designed to bring the Phoenix entrepreneurial and tech community together.
Our first impression was that the event felt more organized and relaxed than the previous Techiepalooza this summer, when the RSVPs doubled on the day of the event, causing the chatter to drown out some of the speakers and the food/drinks to run out early in the evening.
In fact, quite the opposite happened last night. According to the folks at ASU Venture Catalyst, there were well over 700 RSVPs for the event, but only about 350 people showed up. (Really, guys? Not even for the open bar?)
The scheduled keynote speaker, Aaron Matos of Recruiting.com, suffered a concussion from a biking accident earlier that day (he is said to be recovering quickly) and was not be able to speak at the event, so Rahul Sood from Bing Fund filled in at the last minute. Sood spoke of how venture capital is becoming growth capital for startups, and detailed how Bing Fund invests in startups at the seed stage and fosters close relationships with the companies they choose to fund.
The five workshops took place on the 2nd and 3rd floors this time (to control the noise level), and covered customer development for lean startups, mobile and web payments, WordPress management, media for startups, and innovation exercises.
In terms of the overall experience, recent partnerships with Local First Arizona and Uber added new perks to the event such as an increased food truck presence and discounted transportation to and from the event. Massage Envy was also doling out free massages in the “relaxation area”, and some lucky attendees won prizes including $4000 in legal services from Quarles and Brady, a Halo 4 Special Edition Xbox, copies of Halo 4 and Black Ops II for Xbox, three Google Nexus 7 tables and more.
There’s no set date yet for the next Techiepalooza, but ASU Venture Catalyst is expected to announce it in the coming weeks.
What did you think of Techiepalooza 2.0? If you attended both events this year, we’d love to hear your thoughts on how they compared.