On Wednesday night, over a hundred people mixed and mingled at Cruzioworks coworking space prior to the commencement of the second installation in a three-part series on the tech economy in Santa Cruz hosted by the Santa Cruz New Tech Meet up. As organizer and host, Doug Erickson mentioned, this was the fifth year of the New Tech Meetup in Santa Cruz and it was a full house.
The event started with three presentations from three technology startups in different stages of their business. The first was Sol Lipman from Tomfoolery, his most current business venture, although he boasts 6 businesses he has founded in the past, including Vibe and 15seconds. Tomfoolery has established a social media app for the workplace, Anchor, with companies like Starbucks using the application to build better communication among coworkers. His goal is to bring the social media culture and community to people at work.
Next up was Peter Koht of Open Counter, which first established his idea when he worked as the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Santa Cruz and partnered with San Francisco based non-profit, Code for America in 2012 to streamline the process of applying for a business permit. His program helps to assist in that process by walking you through the process in a simple online format and has been growing steadily, with the 4th largest City in the United States, Houston, Texas signing up with Open Counter this week.
Last to present was Shane Pearlman from Modern Tribe, who emphasized the importance of being happy and building cultures at work. His point was that you spend more time at work than with your loved ones, so the goal should be to make that community a positive one. Being a freelancer, Shane pressed that it is important to find coworkers who you like as individuals (not just the talent they bring), equating their final decision on an interview applicant on whether they could vacation in Hawaii with them.
Once the presentations were done, three people were each given a three minute time limit in front of judges to present their up-and-coming startups, to which they were then given feedback. This included a health and fitness app named “Santa Cruz Challenge” aimed towards fulfilling the customers “wants”. Pinion, a polling app, with hopes to be the site where people can debate who the greatest sports athlete of all time is. Lithomobilus, an app born out of TechRaising which is aimed towards allowing readers to get more out of their books, making it so they can download additional content.
The third installation of the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup series on tech innovation in Santa Cruz will be on November 6th at Cruzioworks. Doors will open at 6:30, audience entry fee is $5. Food and beverages provided.