Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hudson Valley tech meetup in Kingston draws scores

An estimated 200 people and at least one Peruvian Life and/or Engagement long-hair editor from a ~news~ organization came to the Senate Garage in Uptown Kingston on Thursday night for the Hudson Valley Tech Meetup to get inspired, talk all things tech and exchange emails printed on "business cards," whatever those are.

Keynote speakers for the January kick-off event were Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley, who is a Mid-Hudson Valley weekender (and co-founder of Kingston Stockade FC); and Lately founder and Stone Ridge resident Kate Bradley-Chernis, who showcased her marketing campaign manager startup.

For his part, Crowley gave a passionate presentation, equal parts auto-biography and inspiration, with a couple of sprinkles of #realtalk thrown in for good measure. The lesson? Do that thing you want to do, even if people tell you that it's crazy. It will be hard. Persist and learn from your failures.
I'm not doing it justice here, it was rather lively and Pacmanhattan funny.

Here's a bit more detailed background on the event itself and the presentations, via Evolving Media Network.

For my part, I went to take a 360-degree photo from the main stage and somehow managed to literally drop the mic and subsequently get some very stern looks from the event organizers. So much for fly-on-the-wall reporting, but hey here's a photo so there's that?

The mic survived.

From left, Lately CEO Kate Bradley-Chrernis, Forsquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and meetup organizer Dan Stone take questions from the audience. 
It was an impressive event with an impressive turnout and impressive attendance, which showcased the diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of the region — and a quite a lot of energy.

Local startup founders, tech and non-tech people, along with ~content~ producers and creatives exchanged ideas, asked for help and pitched their goods and services (there was also food and drink, which the organizers noted so I'm noting that, too).

Although centered around technology, the meetup brought a range of industries from across the mid-Hudson Valley, the Catskills and a bit beyond. There were some familiar faces (you know who you are; no name dropping here), but fresh and recent talent was very present and quite refreshing.

I went in skeptical, as I'm wont to do, but I left rather surprised. Yes, there's a bit of self-marketing and promotion in all of these events, but these cats know what want and know what they're doing.

So if you are a human person (or otherwise) living in the area and with a modicum of interest in tech, I'd recommend you pay a visit to one of these meetups.
Do it for the networking or do it for the camaraderie or do it for just yourself. Heck, do it for the food and drink.
You won't regret it.

*drops mic*