For some people, summer means kicking back on the Cape. For techies, though, it’s also an awesome time to get out there and connect with the rest of the community. That’s not to say we don’t know how to have fun. It’s just that sometimes, our idea of fun involves networking, pitching, competing, fundraising, and OK—a few adult beverages. Luckily, summer 2015 is stacked with Boston tech and startup events.
From TUGG’s epic Olympic-style entrepreneur showdown to HubSpot’s legendary INBOUND conference—here are the happenings you won’t want to miss.
June 11: TechJam
Though Boston TechJam has only been around for three years, it’s managed to grow into the largest innovation meet-up in the region, with more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, VCs and startup professionals attending. This year’s installment will once again take place in City Hall Plaza, with food trucks (including Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Bon Me, Taco Party), Harpoon Brewery libations and live music galore. And in a newly formatted pitch tournament, some of the top local incubators and accelerators will present startups to pitch in front of guests and a panel of leading local venture capitalists. In between all of the innovation exhibitions, festival-style activities and games hosted by more than 75 tech companies, attendees will also get to scope out a one-of-a-kind art display from Circus for Construction. The best part? One hundred percent of the admission proceeds go to support computing education in Massachusetts via the MassTLC Education Foundation.
June 16: State of Innovation
What do you get when you put 1,000+ business leaders and professionals in one place for an afternoon of invigorating panel discussions, intimate fireside chats, educational workshops and incredible networking? BostInno’s third annual State of Innovation Forum. This year’s event, which is going down at the Westin Boston Waterfront, is focused on identifying what is required to fuel Boston’s growth as an innovation leader. And high-profile speakers—from fast-growing early-stage startups to big pillar tech companies—will be on site to share their insights. Additionally, guests will be privy to an in-depth discussion with Boston’s civic leaders about the bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, and an exclusive screening of a short feature film on the Olympics’ potential impact on innovation. When the day winds down, attendees will gather at an exclusive networking reception and after-party with panelists and speakers, including Diane Hessan, CEO of Startup Institute; Steve Pagliuca, Managing Director of Bain Capital, Chairman of Boston 2024 and co-owner of the Boston Celtics; Jason Robins, co-founder and CEO of DraftKings; and Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO of HubSpot.
June 21-25: DevNation
A practical intro to microservices, Internet of Things protocol roundup, and machine data analytics for a competitive edge: These are just a sampling of the topics covered at this week-long open-source conference by and for developers across the globe. At DevNation, experts in Web, mobile, cloud, data and IoT will be on site for technical sessions, programming events, coding challenges and more. Speakers include Chris Aniszczyk, head of open source at Twitter; Tyler Jewell, CEO of Codenvy, Craig McLuckie, senior product manager of the Google Cloud Platform. And at the eight hands-on labs, guests will bring their own laptops and get coding. Add in keynote addresses from the likes of Giant Spacekat founder/CEO Brianna Wu, CERN engineer Felix Ehm and Agile Developer founder Venkat Subramaniam, and there’s no doubt this is one devs won’t want to miss.
June 23: WebInno 10th anniversary
Each quarter, the Web Innovators Group—a community centered around tech entrepreneurship—gathers to watch the latest startups demo their products. And now, Boston’s biggest recurring startup event is turning 10 years old. Join hundreds of entrepreneurs and tech aficionados to celebrate at this anniversary bash, which will be held at District Hall. Expect presentations from Crayon CEO Jonah Lopin and Cymbal co-founder Mario Hall, as well as startup demos from LucyBot, SPOT, Spatter, OpportunitySpace and Eximo.
June 25: TUGG Entrepreneur Games
It’s amazing what a little healthy competition can do to bring out your real capabilities. That’s the idea behind The Entrepreneur Games, now in its third year: To bring together all types of professionals from the local startup ecosystem for a night of team building, and a chance to showcase your athletic and mental strengths outside the workplace. Already, more than 800 people are registered for this Olympics-style event, which will raise over $100,000 for BUILD Boston—an organization dedicated to using entrepreneurship to propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success. The games, which will take place Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Roxbury, range from ping pong, CrossFit to nerf gun shooting and Sudoku. Don’t want to participate? No big, you can still support the cause as a spectator—and enjoy the plentiful refreshments from more than 25 food and alcohol sponsors.
July 29: MassChallenge Startup Showcase
This event is the first major opportunity for the Boston innovation community to meet the 128 high-impact startup companies accepted into the MassChallenge 2015 accelerator. experience their new developments in an open-floor exposition. Attendees will be able to mingle with not only the participating startups, but also the VIP community of sponsors and supporters from a wide range of industries. The location has yet to be announced, so keep a lookout for more information on the MassChallenge events page.
Sept. 8-11: HubSpot INBOUND Conference
This just may be the most epic year for HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference yet. Held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the event features a hands-on course covering the best inbound practices as well as a number of informative sessions, which range from “Building a Better Female Leader,” and “The Inside Story: The Heart and Mind of Unicorns,” to “5 Steps to a Successful Video Strategy on YouTube.” The diverse roster of speakers this year include Nastygal founder Sophia Amoruso, New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink and Squidoo.com founder Seth Godin. Each night, Club INBOUND will host a happy hour so you can unwind and network with other attendees, but in between activities, you can also hit up Club INBOUND to lounge and refuel. Undoubtedly, though, the entertainment portion is bound to be a highlight: comedian/actress Amy Schumer is the headlining INBOUND Rocks act.
Featured image via TUGG. Photo of 2014 startup showcase via MassChallenge.