Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DC meetups for tech founders and entrepreneurs

Are you thinking about starting a tech company in the DC area? Do you want to meet with other entrepreneurs, see what they are doing and meet interesting people? You should because it is one of the fastest way to learn what you need to know in order to be successful as well as make useful connections that might be helpful later for your company.

There are a ton of different meetups and events available to you and there is no way I can list them all here. Instead I have made a very short list of the ones I fairly regularly attend, with a brief description of their focus.

MoDevDC is a forum mainly for mobile developers. For me, the presentations are sometimes a bit too technical. Even so, I keep going because it is generally a high-quality event with good speakers and presentations. While the focus is on mobile development, a lot can be applied to a wider, more web-centric view. For example this presentation about App marketing is really good even if what you are doing is web and not app related.

DCTech is the big event each month in DC. And I mean big! Usually over 500 people come to these events. By the nature of its size it is less interactive than some of the other meetups but I find it both fun and interesting since it is a great way to find out what others are doing in the area as well as see what distinguishes a good pitch from a bad one (they have a lot of company demos).

Startup Grind DC just started this week in DC. Their inaugural event was the fireside chat with Steve Blank who developed the Lean Startup method later crystallized by one of his students, Eric Ries. If they can keep these events, high quality. I will definitely keep going.

As I said, the list is short, I will post again about other meetups I go to. But these are a good start.

So what should you do if you do not live in the DC area but you do need to network and find other tech entrepreneurs? Check MeetUp for your area, usually there are lots of meetups available and if not, your mission is to start one. Find a venue, a few interesting speakers and market your event. Try and bring a community of entrepreneurs, investors and others together. It can be the start of something new for your area!

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