I took a break from tweeting about TechCrunch Disrupt and went with Mike to Tech Cocktail last night at Slaviya (formerly Left Bank) in DC. I have fond memories of Left Bank, as last year we presented Giv.to there and got tons of great feedback. And also criticism. I went up to one group (who shall remain nameless) and not only was their pitch lukewarm, but they didn’t know their competition and therefore could not respond to my simple question of “how is your product different than X?” That’s okay though. I definitely (still) feel put on the spot when asked to pitch and sometimes awkwardly blunder my way through it.
I love Frank Gruber for starting Tech Cocktail and I think it has made the DC startup community a small world with a tightly knit group of players. I love seeing what everyone is working on, meeting developers, lawyers, and our own local venture capitalists/angels. I saw some startups that really could add to the online conversation, and provide neat tools that I would genuinely use. Tech Cocktail despite its name is so much more than just a ‘social hour,’- start ups really use these events to practice/hone their skills in their most friendly market. I would love to see Tech Cocktail build out some kind of feedback mechanism for the start ups that presented so that others could make suggestions, vote, etc. on the start ups who present at each event.
Also, talked briefly with Peter Corbett about iStrategyLabs building an Innovation Center for start ups in DC. I LOVE THIS IDEA and IM SO GLAD they are doing it! So many of us work out of basements and our own bedrooms that it’d be fantastic to have a place (hopefully with a bit of character, not a pointless grey land of cubicles) that we can utilize for meetings, gatherings, etc. Mike and Sean bonded over their barely functioning cars, and once again I was reminded of how much I hate mine. To do item: purchase a car I actually like, that has a somewhat lower car payment, with four doors.
All in all, great Tech Cocktail once again. Look forward to seeing everyone next time!