An enthusiastic bunch of tech professionals attended the Princeton Tech Meetup kickoff meeting, held in the basement of a Nassau Street bar, last week. It was a promising beginning for a group pulling together tech developers and entrepreneurs from the central Jersey area.
The first meeting was primarily a networking event, drawing 90 attendees and providing them plenty of low-cost drinks.
The organizers, Chris Boraski, a Montgomery County web developer, and Venu Moola, a marketing and advertising entrepreneur and technology executive who lives in the Princeton area, promised to try to get faculty and students from Princeton and other nearby institutions involved in their effort.
Their goal: to bring together tech types, creative folks, entrepreneurs and investors. Some we spoke to in the audience were on the business side of startups; others included marketing people looking for prospects and even an advertising rep.
David Deutsch, a Flemington-based chief strategist for SynergiSocial, provided an introduction to social media that was well received. When businesses use social media–Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like–to promote their products or services, they generally don’t get anywhere because social media is, at its core, not marketing, Deutsch said.
Businesses need to understand that “it is a conversation, a place to connect, collaborate, ask questions, answer questions and get to know people. Indeed, it is the world’s largest global conversation taking place right now about every topic imaginable, and it is happening with or without you.”
Travis Kahn, the newly appointed executive director at TechLaunch, the NJ tech accelerator that will be based at Montclair State University, explained how accelerators work to nurture, as well as speed to market, seed-stage companies. He asked audience members who thought their companies might be a match for TechLaunch to contact him.
Jeff Blake, N.J.-based vice president of sales for E-Zassi (Fernandina Beach, Fla.), an integrated online business-network, decision-support software and technology marketplace, spoke about open innovation in the life-sciences device marketplace. “We provide analytics and security for medical-device and life-sciences customers by automating the idea-capture process,” he said.
If there was one complaint, it concerned the noise level. Speakers had to compete with the venue’s sound system, and many in the back of the room gave up on listening because it was too difficult. The organizers are working to remedy this. A lot of business introductions took place at the kickoff, so most attendees were satisfied with the outcome and are looking forward to the next meetup.