Friday, May 16, 2008

The Thursday Night Party Report

Went out last night to two events: the opening of Prism VentureWorks' new office in Needham, and PopSignal (formerly TechCocktail) on Landsdowne Street. Prism's new space is across the hall from the US offices of Microsoft's FAST search division, and it looks like it was designed by Ari Gold of Entourage -- very sleek, very white, very LA.

I ran into blogger and Celtics fan Michael Feinstein of Sempre Management. John Landry was also there, sheepishly acknowledging that he'd been caught doing the Funky Chicken on the Jumbotron at Wednesday night's Celtics game. I-banker Paul Deninger was there... and just so's you realize how powerful he is, he pulls people aside every five minutes to whisper something in their ear.

Neil Creighton, CEO of Prism portfolio company RatePoint was there, and he explained why consumers might want to post ratings on a vendor's Web site (it gives the vendor a chance to address any complaints .... very different from posting a negative comment on Yelp or Epinions.) There was also a big contingent from LogMeIn, another Prism portfolio company that filed to go public back in January.

Out in the parking lot, Roy Hirshland mentioned that his firm, T3 Advisors, had been involved in Adobe's deal to buy a 108,000 square foot building in Waltham for its East Coast outpost. That suggests a long-term commitment on the part of the San Jose company, which had been leasing in Newton ever since it bought Macromedia (which bought Allaire Corp., oh so long ago).

At Tequila Rain on Landsdowne, I miraculously scored a parking space right out front... inside, I ran into Matt Lauzon of Paragon Lake, a Highland Capital-incubated company (they participated in the summer program last year) that's out raising its first round. Sounds like the money will likely come from a mix of East Coast and West Coast investors. Lauzon,a recent Babson grad, said he'd listed himself in the PowerPoint presentation as "Acting CEO." On the East Coast, he found, that made investors comfortable: we can bring in some adult supervision. But on the West Coast, people said, "Why just acting?"

Aaron White from the animation site was in the back room ... Michael Kreppein and Dave Dupre from Inquisix were there ... as were PR mavens Maura Fitzgerald and Jean Serra from Version 2.0 communications. Eric Hellweg was in attendance with a posse from Harvard Business School Publishing, and he mentioned that his band Andromeda Taxi has some big gigs this summer, opening up for Phil Lesh and the Allman Brothers. On the way out, I ran into a pair of venture capital PR folks, Matthew Burke and Karen Bonmart, both of whom were toting freebie t-shirts from TripAdvisor, which now proclaims itself the biggest Web 2.0 company in the East.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Boston's First Tech Cocktail

I stopped by the first TECH cocktail gathering held in Boston tonight. It took place at the club Tequila Rain, in the shadow of Fenway Park.

It felt like a success .... a really friendly mix of venture capitalists (Jon Karlen from IDG Ventures, Mike Werner from Flagship, Tali Rapaport from Matrix, David Beisel from Venrock), B-school students, big company people (Don Dodge from Microsoft and some fellow from Teradyne), and Internet entrepreneurs (Evan Schumacher from, Jon Radoff from Guild Cafe, Stephen DiMarco from Compete.) David Tamés was there snapping pics, which I'm sure will be available somewhere, soon.

One of the first people I ran into was Kiki Mills, executive director of MITX... who said the scene reminded her of the "Cyberbrews" that MITX used to hold back in the dot-com era. Of course, back then, all the companies were building e-commerce sites.

The big difference is that now, everybody's building Facebook apps.

Sadly, I had to leave before the party broke up ... early morning flight tomorrow.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

This Thursday: Warring Web 2.0 Booze-Fests

David L. of 93South notes that this Thursday marks the start of the fall Web 2.0 schmoozing season in Boston: O'Reilly's Ignite, an evening of demos that it is holding for the second time here, coincides with the first Tech Cocktail Boston.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bringing Together Web 2.0ers in Boston

I'm really glad that Carolyn Johnson wrote this great piece in Saturday's Globe. It makes note of just how many different efforts there are to bring together the Web 2.0 community in Boston: communal workspaces like Betahouse in Central Square, as well as regular gatherings like TastyBytes, OpenCoffee, Web Innovators Grouip, and Tech Cocktail, which is taking place for the first time on September 6th.

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