Santa Cruz Tech Beat


TechRaising to hold 48 hour collaborative startup blitz


More than 100 will come to build their startup or be part of a teamTR

TechRaising, an event that brings together developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and other technical and non technical folk for a marathon weekend of product innovation and company building, will present an ambitious program beginning on Friday, April 25.

The TechRaising weekend, which premiered in May 2011, is a startup creation event with a distinctly collaborative flavor. For one thing, its organizers have labored to ensure that there is a spirit of what co-founder Andrew Mueller calls “serendipity” and his colleague Margaret Rosas calls “magic.” Where similar tech events are about competition, TechRaising is as much about community and building the Santa Cruz tech ecosystem as it is about hard work and output.

Santa Cruz Roots

True to TechRaising’s Santa Cruz roots: Many of the ideas that have taken shape in the previous TechRaising events are about making the world a better place. The event has spurred the launch of a micro-gifting service that helps families in need, a web app delivering reliable health-care information to people with various illnesses, a tool that allows corporations to track the ecological footprint of their supply chains, and many other products and services.

The goal is to create a supportive and energetic environment where teams can collaborate and rapidly produce a product or project. A host of experienced local “Mentors”—many of whom are or have been well-known players in Silicon Valley—will be on hand throughout the weekend to offer insights and guidance.

Kick off with Pitch Night

The event kicks off with Pitch Night, when hopeful individuals will present their ideas in a 90-second “elevator pitch” with the goal of attracting a team—designers, programmers, business development experts, etc. The teams set to work immediately, often working into the night, fueled by pizza, beverages and other goodies.

The fun starts again early Saturday morning, the TechRaising teams will be invited to participate in two hour-long workshops (see below)—but for the most part of the day and into the night, they will be coding, crunching and building.

Sunday Demos

By Sunday afternoon, if the three previous TechRaising events are an indication, many teams will demo complete or well-started products to a panel of tech-celebrity advisors, who will offer critique and insights.

Matthew Swinnerton, the third TechRaising co-founder, points out that the event draws out a remarkable number of successful tech people who call Santa Cruz home.

Some of this weekend’s TechRaising Mentors (partial list):

  • Jose Caballer, a veteran web designer who now runs the design/business consulting company The Skool, will offer a Saturday morning workshop on “Defining Your Startup,” to help budding entrepreneurs hone into their target customers and product market fit.
  • Peter Jennings: High technology entrepreneur and investor with 30 years experience in Silicon Valley, Founder Gavilan Corporation, designed and marketed the first notebook computer. Founder Micro-ware Ltd, author of micro chess, the fist game software marketed for personal computers, Chairman of Visicorp – the developers of the original “killer app” VisiCalc – the first spreadsheet application, and much more.
  • Graeme Devine: Owner of  GRL Games and 30-year gaming industry veteran who pioneered CD-ROM gaming with the breakthrough title The 7th Guest. And now heading up a new gaming studio in Santa Cruz for Magic Leap — who just raised $50 million.
  • Craig Vachon: A successful venture capitalist and former chief operating officer of Nextel International who has raised $1.17 billion in private-equity / VC investment for 14 companies in seven countries.
  • Sol Lipman: Co-founder of  the Santa Cruz-based online video sharing platform, co founded and sold Rally Up to AOL and more recently cofounde and sold TomFoolery to Yahoo.
  • Bob Cagle: Software industry management expert and co-founder of the Santa Cruz-based productOps, which creates custom software for industry-leading clients, specializing in building and deploying API-driven server-based applications in a cloud infrastructure.
  • Bart Teeuwisse: Former senior engineer at Yahoo! now working as part of the Growth Team  at Twitter.
  • Alex Cowan: Founder & CTO of Leonid Systems, a leader in enterprise 2.0 solutions for cloud communications, and the author of ‘Starting a Tech Business’ (Wiley, 2012).

Who should attend:

    • Entrepreneurs
    • Developers
    • Engineers
    • Designers
    • UX experts
    • Business development professionals
    • Marketing professionals
    • Social media professionals
    • Anyone with an idea for a product or startups
    • Angel Investors

For tickets and more information:


Sara Isenberg 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.

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  1. Pingback: What's Cooking at TechRaising? | Santa Cruz Tech Beat

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