The atmosphere was electric. Sizzling with young creative energy as local computer enthusiasts came together at Pioneer Square’s monthly tech meetup at ‘The Hub.’ FAS went to the founders to learn about what is now ”Seattle’s largest ongoing monthly event,” according to the event’s Meetup page.
“Seattle Tech Meetup [STM] originally started as a result of trying to create a physical, central, community event that people could go to once a month and say: ‘Wow, this is Seattle,’” STM co-founder Red Russak tells FAS. Juxtaposing his collected statement, Russak shouted “Whassup!” to an associate entering the venue. My first goofy intro to the tech gathering, the party actually started six months ago.
Powered on in February 2013, Russak and friend Brett Greene of Fresh Consulting, — or “Mr. Green” Russak calls him — have now created one of Seattle’s hottest monthly events. Russak, a Sales Manager for Apptentive, an app feedback company, modestly said the event is “still in the early stages, and like a start-up, we’re scrappy.” But despite being scrappy, Russak has sold the event — figuratively — well adding another staple in Pioneer Square’s nightlife portfolio.
The event is routinely hosted on the third Tuesday of every month at Pioneer Square’s ‘The Hub’ with a $10 entry fee. In May, the meetup was held at the University of Washington bringing in close to 600 attendees. Most of the other meetups range from 250-350 people. Connections are inevitable.
“For a lot of people who are new to the community this is an incredible resource for them to get plugged in every single month,” Russak said. A 2012 Geekwire article reported Seattle as 4th in global tech startup hub rankings — Geekwire also routinely covers the STM. And as Seattle increasingly becomes a center for innovation and employment opportunities at companies like Amazon and Microsoft, this sort of networking event is a no brainer for attracting people to the area and gathering those already here. One such individual is Garrett Kocher.
Born in Ohio, and previously based out of Los Angeles, Kocher was the Research and Development Manager for a silicone producer that contracts with medical implant companies. New to the Seattle area, he found the event via Meetup.com and first arrived hoping to network with local tech professionals. Professionals who flock to this event.
All range of tech company and start-up representatives, as well as employee recruiters were present. Among the attendees were people from news organization MSNBC’s web content managing department to a recent graduate of UW promoting an app called Rent-a-Corgi pairing corgi enthusiasts with the dog’s for fun-filled hours and afternoons — dog sharing is the future after all.
“I love Seattle Tech Meetup,” said Amyr Haq, one of the innovators of Rent-a-Corgi. While some startups have more interesting business models. Other groups, such as Rackspace hope to improve on a need every tech professional utilizes: server space.
“We’re just trying to get involved in the community and support tech startups,” Rackspace rep Tony Wolf said. Rackspace provides cloud servers for prospective clients, and they came to the right part of town to get involved. Russak tells FAS, Rackspace and Seattle rideshare startup, Lyft, came together during an STM gathering. And while rideshares moved to the cloud, back at my STM introduction, liquid courage brought out presentations.
After an hour of drinking and mingling with the local tech field, STM founder’s Russak and Greene took to the stage and hyped up the assembled crowd with trivia questions and free t-shirts. Followed with brief presentations by all manner of attendees. People gave twenty-second speeches on employment opportunities and publicized their personal projects and company endeavors.
Though a relatively new monthly event, STM is catching on fast, and businesses are starting to take notice. “We have beer sponsors and we have wine sponsors. Everyone is working together to support this event because they see that it is valuable,” Russak said.
But as the beer and wine supply became depleted, and the presentations finished, the two hour event ended. But patrons didn’t have to worry seeing as an after party was organized at a bar across the street so the revelry in technological entrepreneurship could continue.
If you aren’t able to make it out, the event is streamed live every month, and details on the next event, August 20, can be seen below:
Seattle Tech Meetup, Seattle’s largest ongoing monthly event, happens on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. This month we’re focusing on Seattle companies who are making the world a better place through their Tech For Good. We believe that Seattle has the greatest tech community in the country, and the more we support our full tech ecosystem the more greatness we’ll all experience and create together!
6:00pm – Doors Open/Buffet/Drinks/Get to know your community
7:00pm – Event Begins!
- Community Announcements: Events, Jobs, etc. (20 seconds/ea)
- Pres. #1: Survive the Streets
- Pres. #2: Moving Worlds
- Pres. #3: PathForcedx
- Pres. #4: ActivelyLearn
- Pres. #5: Vittana
- Pres. #6: Jolkona
8:00pm – After-Party at Fuel Sports Bar (Want 10% off your drinks? Tell the bartender ‘I’m a techie and I love FUEL!’)
- Check in on Facebook for Live from Pioneer Square updates and see where you should set up shop in downtown: t.co/dBn6TyLdNL Time ago 35 Days via Twitter
- @FifthAveSeattle is on for the @Seahawks game. Contribute your voice and check in for @pioneersquare updates: t.co/bVAkifBa7H Time ago 35 Days via Twitter
- @LarryChoateIII "Not goodbye. Remember? See you later." -- John Q Time ago 82 Days via Twitter
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