If you’re new to London and/or want to get an “in” to the city’s startup scene, the weekly Silicon Drinkabout has fast become the obvious landing point. Run by 3beards, who describe themselves as the UK and Europe’s “most iconic startup community events organisers”, presumably because that’s what unchecked facial hair does for you, the startup networking event — or piss up, in British parlance — happens every Friday night somewhere in or close to London’s “Silicon Roundabout” tech cluster.
Now the bearded ones, in conjunction with local entrepreneurs, are expanding Silicon Drinkabout to New York (U.S.), Toronto (Canada), Sao Paulo (Brazil), And Sofia (Bulgaria). This adds to a list of Drinkabout outposts that, along with its home in London, already includes Manchester (UK), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).
One of the reasons Silicon Drinkabout has worked so well in London is that, along with a fairly welcoming and helpful atmosphere, spearheaded by the inclusive nature of 3beards themselves, it happens as regular as clockwork. Even though the venue changes weekly, almost without fail you know they’ll be a Drinkabout on a Friday night, and a quick glance at the website or the increasing noise on Twitter from the afternoon onwards, tells you where.
In fact, 3beards have hosted Silicon Drinkabout over 124 times after taking the baton from Moshi Monsters maker Mind Candy, who actually conceived of the event.
During that time, along with other events run by 3beards in London — the monthly (and unfortunately-named) feedback event ‘Don’t Pitch Me, Bro!‘, ‘Chew The Fat‘, and the quarterly ‘Digital Sizzle‘ — I’m told that the team have hosted over 15,000 people, and served over 4,500 portions of food and 70,000 beers. And I haven’t yet mentioned that the drinks at Silicon Drinkabout are sometimes sponsored. Drinking is fun, but drinking on someone else’s dime is a lot funner.
So, without further ado, here are the details of the New York, Toronto, Sao Paulo, And Sofia launches.
Kicking off first is Silicon Drinkabout Toronto on Nov 15th — this Friday — at Ryerson Digital Media Zone, one of Canada’s largest incubators and multi-disciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs.
Silicon Drinkabout New York debuts on November 22nd at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, and sees 3beards team up with the founders of 3460 Miles, Courtney Boyd Myers and Erica Berger. It’s already had sign-ups from a number of prominent UK and U.S. startups including Lyst, Hailo, Conversocial, YPlan, Fueled, SHADOW and Foursquare.
The event will be run by Downtown Records A&R Manager Josh Elkes and Andrew Rauner, a producer at mobile design and development shop Fueled. There will also be a special live set from DJ Sean Glass. As well as being a DJ, Glass founded Win Music, which is described as the “next generation of record label” and builds on his work at Glassnote Records.
Also launching on November 22nd, Silicon Drinkabout Sofia will be run by serial entrepreneur Stoyan Angelov and Entrepreneur.bg founder Nikola Yanev.
Meanwhile, Silicon Drinkabout Sao Paulo kicks off the same Friday, and will be run by former Wonga.com foundation dev team member and current founder of Startup Mansion Brazil finalist Printi, Ricardo Parro, at Vaca Véia.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the 3beards on their first New York event,” says Courtney Boyd Myers, co-Founder of 3460 Miles, in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Having seen first-hand what Silicon Drinkabout has done to bolster the London tech ecosystem, we’re looking forward to the impact 3beards will have in New York, as well as how their team will further deepen the relationship between London and New York’s tech industry.”