Last week was my first TechCrunch MeetUp in Boston. We took over a club called the Estate right near the Boston Common. About 800 people came, and I think I talked to half of them. Mike was regaling the other half. And our CEO Heather, who put this all together (Mike and I just showed up to gab), was making sure everything went off without a hitch. It was hard to move more than a few steps without hearing another startup pitch, shaking a venture capitalist’s hand, or bumping into another blogger like Nick Carr, Allen Stern or Don Dodge. One TechCrunch fan drove all the way from Virginia to attend the event. See pictures from TechCrunch Boston here and here.
The highlight for me was meeting some great entrepreneurs and learning about some new startups (some still in stealth) that I will be writing about soon. NowHound, a search engine for live Web video, launched at the MeetUp. And OurStage, MyPunchBowl, MZinga and TripAdvisor all celebrated new product launches. I caught up with a number of companies on video here, hosted courtesy of Brightcove. (And the OurStage camera crew helped us shoot it). Also check out Andy Plesser’s interview of MZinga here. Please send additional links of your own coverage to us, and we’ll add them to our Boston MeetUp page.
One thing I learned about TechCrunch MeetUps is that there are really good prizes. We gave away an iPhone from CrunchGear‘s own iPhone Hacking Station. ZoomInfo gave away a Wii console. Moola matched up two TechCrunch Boston MeetUp audience members in a live head-to-head online game of “Hi/Lo” on Moola.com for $5,242.88 (or level 20 on Moola’s Tower) with Boston-area attendee Ross Levanto winning the game and taking the prize; see the coverage here. Perkett PR and MyPunchbowl served some specialty cocktails. I tried the TechPunch, but never quite made it to the wine bar hosted by Wine Library TV. It’s not easy being the host.
Video from the event:
Thank You Sponsors
Thanks again to our nineteen event sponsors who made Friday’s Boston MeetUp possible.
Please take a few minutes to learn about the services of our hosts on our dedicated Boston MeetUp page and here. New video will be uploaded as we receive additional highlights, so please check back for the latest coverage.
IDG Ventures Boston: early-stage venture capital firm with $280 million under management. The firm is focused on investing in consumer, information and life sciences technology companies. IDGVB portfolio companies that will be represented at TechCrunch MeetUp Boston include Acinion, BzzAgent, go2 Media, GuildCafe, Infobright, Mall Networks, MOBIVOX, SimpleTuition, Transpera and VidSys. Thanks again to general partners David Aronoff, Jeff Bussgang, Michael Greeley and Chip Hazard for co-hosting the event with TechCrunch.
Partner and Product Launch Sponsors:
Brightcove: the market-leading Internet TV platform, used by media businesses around the world to distribute and monetize direct-to-consumer, broadband video programming. See the Brightcove player in action on our Boston MeetUp 11 page.
Moola: has created a “Massively Multi-player Rewards Game” (MMRG) that is half loyalty program and half super-jackpot game show with 175,000+ member community.
Mzinga: provides workplace and customer community solutions that transform business processes to produce a more energized workforce, greater customer loyalty, and positive bottom line impact.
OurStage: is the only purely democratic online competition where the fans decide who’s the best in emerging music, film and video.
TripAdvisor: is used 25 million people each month to start their travel plans and who are pioneering the next generation of online travel guides.
ZoomInfo: a business information search engine used to quickly find information about 3.5 million companies and 40 million business people.
PerkettPR, Inc.: provides results-based communications solutions for emerging Web 2.0 companies and established technology leaders.
Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment: is intelligently connecting gamers on a massive scale with its innovative Social Networks at Play™ (SNAP) games.
CoreBlox: is all about enabling people to easily locate and exchange information.
NowHound: is the Internet’s first live-media search, and is launching out of stealth mode tonight during the TechCrunch Boston Meetup.
Power Play Development Corporation is the parent company of Poker Creations, a gaming software development company and National League of Poker, the Internet’s leading poker-centric social media portal.
MyPunchbowl: is a new website for event and party planning with unique features such as: “Pick a Date”, “Save the Date”, “Party Checklist” and more.
Prism VentureWorks: is a Westwood, MA and Santa Monica, CA based venture capital firm built by experienced entrepreneurs in technology and life sciences with approximately $1.25 billion in capital under management across five funds.
You Be the VC: equal parts incubator and American Idol, is a competition to find the best new entrepreneurs in the U.S.
(Photo courtesy Erik Kastner)