The 2015 TUGG Wine & Tequila Party hosted over 1,500 guests representing Boston’s entrepreneurship and tech community, and raised over $400K for fledgling charities.
But this year the party is going to be bigger and badder than ever — in every way possible.
“Our philosophy with the Wine & Tequila Party is ‘more is more.’ We’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure Boston’s tech community shines on a night dedicated to celebrating innovation of all kinds,” said Zoe Anetakis, TUGG’s executive director. “We look forward to seeing our social CEOs and our tech CEOs standing shoulder to shoulder and connecting to solve the big, hard problems in their markets in unique and thoughtful ways.”
“More is more” means bigger raffle prizes, a wider focus on TUGG portfolio nonprofits and, of course, more booze at this year’s event.
Those in attendance at Landmark Center on Thursday will be privy to more wine and tequila options than in years past, and the raffle prizes are headlined by a four-day European cycling tour with Duvine Cycling that includes your own Invincible bike from Fortified Bicycle. The whole package is valued at over $11,000.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the “party” aspect of the Wine & Tequila Party, the event’s impact on local nonprofits and social innovators can’t be ignored. Over the past 10 years, TUGG has granted over $1M to social ventures, catalyzed over 35 nonprofits and grown a charitable community of over 11,000 people.
Each year, three returning nonprofits and three new, compete for top prizes of up to $50,000. Those pitching their model and making their case for your votes this year will be Resilient Coders, Science Club for Girls and Youth Hub in the returning category, and First Teacher, MassLEAP and WeThrive in the new category.
In addition to those nonprofits competing for funding, the 2016 Wine & Tequila Party will showcase other portfolio nonprofits bringing “more” to the annual tech celebration.
While PressPass TV — a community initiative providing training, programming and employment opportunities for young people in video production — is running the photobooth, Music & Youth is allowing TUGG to kick off the after party with a live band for the first time ever.
The TUGG Wine & Tequila Party has become one of the first events innovators, VCs and entrepreneurs circle on their yearly calendar, but Anetakis said the goal is to continuously widen the net of those who get involved with TUGG.
On Thursday, she expects to see 30 percent more people in attendance than 2015, with over 100 companies represented and over 80 sponsors on board.
Anetakis said she and the TUGG team are constantly trying to “crack the code” and kick things up a notch to make next year’s Wine & Tequila Party more memorable than the last, but notes that nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing the event has taken on its own life and garners its own magnitude.
“The TUGG Wine & Tequila Party has grown from 20 people in a conference room to 2,000 people representing hundreds of companies,” Anetakis said. “But we don’t take much credit for that — TUGG has always been led by our community. Boston’s tech companies have put TUGG on their shoulders. We want to celebrate them, and all that they have created by being a part of our community.”
If you’re one of the lonely few without a ticket to one of the biggest bashes in Boston tech, fret not. Tickets are available for the party taking place from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Landmark Center