Chicago Technology Meetups

Kristen Nicole and a Llama
(Pictured above: Kristen Nicole of and a Llama)

This past Thursday, I attended my first Tech Cocktail, a quarterly Chicago technology meetup, organized by Frank Gruber and Eric Olson. I have to say, as someone new to these type of events, it was great and incredibly worthwhile. What finer way to spend a Thursday night than to drink free draft beer from a glow-in-the-dark mug, while engaging in uber-dweeb conversations with some of Chicago’s brightest technology minds?

Just last month, Sandy and I attended the Chicago Beta meetup at Goose Island Brewery. Organized monthly, Chicago Beta provides a forum for local startups to present themselves in a 60-second pitch to fellow startup peers. As good luck would have it, Tappity won the pitch award, which included an upcoming interview on and 2 free classes at Digital Bootcamp.

Now, I’ve always been told that "networking" is the key to becoming a successful business person. To some, that means being a social whore, slathering the world with their business cards, and hoping to find a person or organization who will propel them to riches, or in some cases a mouth full of gold-capped teeth. But to me, and what has become apparent over the last few weeks, is that networking has less to do with the success of your business and more joy of connecting to people with like minds. Through TC4, Chicago Beta and SXSW, I’ve met some great friends, who are sharing in the same experiences that I am, trying to create websites from nothing, and learning the ropes of establishing a small business. Chicago provides a wonderful, non-competitive environment for technology, and it’s apparent when you attend one of these meetups.

For those who live in Chicago, I highly recommend attending one of the meetups listed above. For those who live elsewhere, take a moment to learn about meetups in your area — it’ll be well worth your collective whiles.

Posted on April 15, 2007 at 5:41 pm.