The NJ Tech Meetup (Hoboken), one of the longest-standing tech and entrepreneurship meetups in the state, with 7,000 members, has taken on new leadership.
Aaron Price, the founder of the meetup, noted that he isn’t stepping back, “but I do think the group needs some new energy. … My focus has shifted a little bit more towardsPropelify [the tech and innovation community and festival he founded], and I want to make sure that the meetup continues to go strong and stay a leader in the state.” He reached out to his constituency, and Jasmine Hoffman and Edan Golomb answered the call.
The change of leadership will bring fresh ideas to the tech meetup that meets at Stevens Institute of Technology, Price said. The culture of the group will not change. “It’s a place to educate, inspire and connect people.”
Hoffman said, however, that the topics the group will address may change. “We have a number of things we’ve already sorted out basically through January 2019.” She indicated that there will be a meetup on acquiring customers and another on using social media marketing and influencer marketing.
“We want to do a meetup all around politics and tech for campaigns, the future of food and maybe wellness,” she said, adding that they’re “trying to structure topics for the next five or six meetups, so people know what to expect.” Some of the events will be educational in nature.
Hoffman, a New Jersey native who lives in Hoboken, told us a little about her background. “I am group events director at a company called TechDay [New York]. I produce the events in New York, Los Angeles and London. I’ve worked closely with hundreds of startups per year, as well as large tech corporations. Hopefully, with the startups who pitch, we’ll be able to get some of the fresh new faces from the startups I know. Before that, I was producing other kinds of events. I’ve always been on the events side of things.”
Golomb noted that he is an enterprise customer success manager at Pluralsight, an online technology learning company. “I work with Fortune 500 companies all day, helping them close their digital skill sets. I look at technology more on the enterprise side of things. … I went to Stevens and studied engineering there, and I attended the meetups for many years. It has traditionally been a really good forum to get excited about what people are doing and the unique problems that they are solving with technology.”
When this opportunity came along, Golomb wanted to plug back into the network and “maybe inject some of my enterprise perspective.” A lot of startups are building B2B companies and rely on enterprises for partnerships. An enterprise perspective could add some “color and flavor” to the group, he said.
Price added, “The real story here is that the New Jersey technology and entrepreneurial community has evolved significantly since eight years ago, when I started the NJ Tech Meetup. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and I’m really excited to bring on Jasmine and Edan to provide fresh new ideas and continue what we’ve built, and to make sure we are ahead of the curve on content” and education.
“The hard work of building a network and putting on quality events has given us the reputation that lets us attract top-quality speakers. I expect we will have many of those to come from brands people have heard of or respect,” Price said.
“For many years, we were focused on general topics and what was interesting at the time and who I personally networked with. Now the state has matured. When I started, we were among the first tech meetups, and now there are 30 or 40 throughout the state. Now we will have a more focused approach to serve the community in a more targeted way, to elevate the conversation, have more training and more focused topics,” he added.
Price will still be very much involved, he assured us, but now he will be able to view the meetup more strategically, knowing that the new organizers are there for fresh ideas and support.