Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup celebrates 6 year anniversary
by Sara Isenberg
Publisher, Santa Cruz Tech Beat
Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp (“SCNT”) will celebrate its six year anniversary on Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Currently one of the largest Meetups in Santa Cruz, there were only 22 members at the inaugural event in 2008.
“I had to beg and bribe my friends to attend the first event”, says Doug Erickson, founder and host. “I realized that after commuting to the valley for 20+ years, globe trotting for companies like Cisco WebEx and SugarCRM, and amassing a global network of 500+ tech professionals, I only knew a handful of tech professionals in my home town of Santa Cruz. I visited New Tech Meetups in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Boulder before deciding to launch the Santa Cruz chapter. Six years after it’s inception, there are over 1,300 members and professional connections, and standing room each month for 150 attendees.”
The SCNT MeetUp meets each first Wednesday of the month. Three to five tech companies have 10 minutes each to dazzle the crowd with their tech solutions, to give attendees a competitive edge in their current business, to provide vital education for career growth, or to spark an entrepreneurial flame. The SCNT community is built upon the Meetup.com platform, and is loosely associated with 1000+ other New Tech Meetups around the world.
“Santa Cruz has a rich legacy of innovation and successful companies,” says Erickson. “Think of the industries spawned here, from surfing and wetsuits, to ultra lightweight displacement sailboats, to leadership in organic agriculture. Look at companies like O’Neill, Santa Cruz Bicycles, West Marine, Seagate, Plantronics, and NetFlix. It is no surprise that Santa Cruz was named one of the top 5 cities to watch in 2014 for tech innovation.”
“The enthusiastic crowds at the New Tech MeetUp are a sure sign of the vibrant tech community that’s flourishing in Santa Cruz,” explains Peggy Dolgenos, Founder of Cruzio. “They use Cruzio’s gigabit-lit event space as it should be used — to stay on the radical side of technology”.
Santa Cruz Tech Beat listed Erickson’s reinvigoration of SCNT Meetup as one of the Top Santa Cruz tech community highlights of 2013.
In 2013, the membership increased 20%, attendance doubled, sponsorship grew to include Cruzio, NextSpace, City of Santa Cruz Economic Development, and South Swell Ventures. The staff of volunteers has been bolstered to 7 people. In addition to significant growth and networking, deals and startups are being formed as a result of the networking opportunities that the SCNT Meetup facilitates. Jason Book Esq / Book & Book Attorneys at Law reports “conversations and introductions with attendees at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup last year resulted in two separate angel investments into one of our firm’s clients.”
Asked about his vision for 2014, Erickson said “we will continue to grow the membership with a goal of over 2000. We are planning a number of events designed to bring together UC Santa Cruz and SCNT Meetup members. And we will continue to provide networking-friendly, exciting and meaningful monthly events.”
This month’s Meetup will be held on Wednesday, February 5, 6:30pm at Cruzioworks in downtown Santa Cruz. It will include live music from Cruz Control, food & beverage, a monthly snapshot of tech activities by Santa Cruz Tech Beat, and the usual company presentations. This month, attendees can look forward to hearing about:
- Bitcoin, from Kurt Thams / CEO of PayNearMe,
- the public debut of an electric cargo bike, Neal Saiki CEO of NTS Works,
- BUZZ, a new way for marketers to move from self promotion to recommendations, Axel Schultze, CEO of Society3.
- Isentio, a biotech company that recently relocated from Denmark to Santa Cruz, from CEO May Kristin Roen.
To attend this event, RSVP at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup event site.
Sara Isenberg curates and publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.