Thursday evening marked the first-ever MassTLC Boston TechJam, an event thrown by Mark Lorion of Apperian and Christine Nolan of MassTLC to celebrate the wealth of tech and business ideas brought into fruition in the Greater Boston Area. The shindig took place in none other than the Innovation District’s new District Hall building, its nearly one thousand guests spilling out the back, where a dozen or so technology companies had put up shop with a cache of engaging activities (read: beer pong, Mario Kart, skeeball and breaking it down with the TripAdvisor owl).
“The Pitch Heard Round the World” competition went down early on, during the tamer portion of the party. Prior to yesterday night’s event, twelve entrepreneurs were granted the unrivaled opportunity to receive pitch feedback from local venture mentors, including Jeffrey Beir of seed2A, Joe Chung of Redstar Ventures, Julia Austin of AustinFish and Annette Reynolds of 128 Innovation Group and Northbridge Venture Partners’ Michael Skok. So, when the dozen innovators took to the stage to present their best two minute pitch, they were well-prepared with snappy slides, without a notecard in sight.
The decision of “Best Pitch” fell to the expert judging panel–Katie Rae, the managing director at Tech Stars Boston, Maia Heymann, a senior managing director of CommonAngels, Ryan Moore of Atlas Venture and Scott Bailey, the senior director of partnerships at Mass Challenge, all of whom provided encouraging feedback to each entrepreneur post-pitch.
The first startup to go, DataCrowd, ended up taking home the first prize bounty, which was comprised of two mini iPads, a scooter, a petite yet respectable golden trophy, a box of other goodies and, of course, bragging rights. DataCrowd is a marketing research platform where, for a monthly fee, marketers can track and measure their execution by using freelancers. In his pitch, DataCrowd cofounder C.J. Acosta likened the startup to “if a Task Rabbit had been created from inception to do market research,” and noted that DataCrowd currently has two companies signed up for its beta program.
(For a list of all the startups from the competition go here.)
Also among the crowd at the pitch showdown were Michael Balaoing, who will be joining TechStars Boston as a mentor during its Winter 2013 class, and Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco, North Bridge Venture Partners’ marketing advisor.
Once the pitches concluded, conversation in the backlots began to heat up, fueled by margaritas and live music from the five headlining bands, Didn’t Planet, NEMES, Unclaimed Freight, The Field Effect and Lansdowne.
Each of the groups had to have at least one member of the local tech community represented.
The bands rocked out; and, needless to say, the tech community got weird.
Overall, the TechJam was a smashing success. Check out what some of the other guests said and shared below: