What a party. The TechCrunch / Austin Ventures Meet Up at Pangaea was a great time!
I was unable to score a ticket to the afternoon panel discussion on the University of Texas campus where some of Austin's top tech entrepreneurs participated in a panel discussion on "The Web Starts At The Grassroots". I was able to catch part of the program on a live webcast, but with 20 panelists it was a bit hard to follow via streaming video.
I did get an invitation to the party. Over 500 people packed the downtown Warehouse District venue and a good time was had by all.
A short list of some of the cool folks I talked with at the party included Jason Reneau (and his crew from MindBites), Bryan Jones (CEO of Moximity), Brett Hurt (Founder and CEO of Baazarvoice), Bill Leake (Founder and CEO at Apogee Search), Kim Hughes, Jenny Murphy and Tom Ball (Austin Ventures), Sam Zabaneh (partner at DLA Piper), David Lee (Sentient Ventures), Kimberlie Dykeman (Author and Media Personality) Ryan Pitylack (VP marketing at Profit Fuel), Matt Genovese (Door 64), Zach Anderson and Randy Cohen (TicketCity) Rob Adams (UT Professor and business advisor), Todd Barr (VP Biz Dev at FiveRuns), Jason Black (CEO at Boundless Network), Andy Meadows (CEO of Live Oak 360) , Bryan Menell (serial entrepreneur and the man behind much local tech community stuff), Angie Menell (Bryan's much much better half!), A bunch of nice folks from Vertive, CJ Romberger (Wildwood Interactive), Bryan Person (Social Media Evangelist), Chris Garrigues (IT Entrepreneur), Ted Nitka (biz dev at Spiceworks), John Erik Metcalf (Co-Founder of Conjuntured) and many many more folks whom I only know by their Twitter names (sorry to anyone I left out whom I encountered -- some of you did not have nametags or business cards!).
The networking and interesting discussions were tops. I was unable to make it to the Moximity After Party at The Belmont, as I had to get home to relieve the babysitter (my wife is in Chicago to see a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show today. YES - this is the same wife who was at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. She is having a great "birthday week" and I am so thrilled for her that she has had the opportunity to do these cool things!). I heard the good times went on until the wee hours of the morning.
My only disappointment of the evening was the John Erik Metcalf was giving away free T-shirts that boasted about Austin's "Start-Up District". If you recall my post about the Austin Tech Happy Hour two weeks ago... for some odd reason I love free T-Shirts! It's okay John Erik, I am sure there is an XL waiting for me somewhere! (just kidding!).
With all the bad news in the financial markets, I do like the positive feelings that are running through the Austin business community and the tech scene. I am reminded that in downturns many great companies are born. Thus, even with the stock market and banking industries going through crisis - all is not lost. In the mix there are several entrepreneurs who will still start and grow successful businesses.
Have A Great Day.