Posts tagged tech cocktail

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Help Trish & Vsnap Get to SXSW 2013!

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap

[UPDATE: Voting is now open up til September 4th, 11:59PM CT]

Hey vsnappers! 

It feels like yesterday I was recapping my trip to SXSW 2012 and here we are in the last week of public voting for SXSW 2013. This time around, I’ve decided to buckle in to the driver’s seat and pitch a panel instead of just attending one of them next year. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of "I Walk the Line: Community Engagement Online & Off", alongside Sarah Cicuto (House Party), Leighann Farrelly (Skillshare), and Brian Slattery (House Party). I believe we’ve got some incredible perspective as a whole because we have such different communities. Another cool thing about us is we’ll be writing blog posts, conducting interviews with other community managers/engagement folks, and providing a place for people to discuss community on the way to and from SXSW. 

And y’all know how we like to support (local) startups and businesses, so I’m including a list of panels I think you should check out. I picked a few topics near and dear to my heart: Video, Community, and Boston (contains at least one panelist from Boston). So while you’re voting for my panel (thankyouthankyouthankyou) consider supporting their panels as well. 

Voting ends on August 31st (this Friday) at 11:59PM CT. 

[UPDATE: Voting is now open up til September 4th, 11:59PM CT]

So let’s get going! 

Registered? Vote for my panel here, then skip past Step 3 to see my additional suggestions. 

If you’re not registered: 

  1. Head to to create an account. 
  2. Go to: and click on the thumbs up icon to the left of the panel title. The thumb will turn green like in this picture:        
  3. Feel free to share the panel, by clicking on the share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn below the voting thumbs. 

Some of my picks for other SXSW panels: 




And… a couple more shout outs for:

Read more… 

Event Recap: Vsnap at SXSW

The Perfect Vsnap: Anatomy of Your Message (Part 1 of 3)

Filed under BWP Boston Globe BrokenOpenMedia Freshbooks Huffington Post IBM IDEO Mullen Skyword Springpad Tech Cocktail TechStars Tomorrowish WOMMA Whole Foods Workbar YouNoodle houseparty panel picker pulsepoint skillshare steelcase sxsw trish blogs video message video messaging vsnap the tap lab iFroggy Network

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Recap - Tech Cocktail SESSIONS: Boston

by Trish Fontanilla, Community Manager at Vsnap

Recently, Tech Cocktail started a new speaker series, SESSIONS, that brings experienced entrepreneurs into an intimate setting where people can hear their stories and learn about building a business. Last Monday, I was able to attend their first event in Boston that focused on the theme of turning startup ideas into action. TC had 2 amazing speakers for the event, Jeff Janer of Springpad and Jessica Kim of BabbaCo.  

Janer has started 5 companies, 3 of which have been acquired. His talk focused on…

  • Surrounding yourself with 8s and 9s. In his newest company, Springpad, I believe he said 7 of the 17 employees he’s working with came from his previous companies. He’s a strong believer of networking like crazy to find really great candidates and avoiding headhunters when possible.
  • Begin at the end. Know where you want your company to end up. Is it an acquisition or will you become the dominant force in your industry? 
  • Have contempt for obstacles. Always a good tip for entrepreneurs, be passionate and don’t allow things to get in your way. 
  • Sales cures all. Focus on sales as soon as you can and don’t be afraid to actually sell your product/service early on when starting up your company.
  • Find product market fit. Also, figure out if your product is a nice to have or a have to have. 

What’s Janer’s secret sauce? His answer, “Timing and luck.”  Of course, hard work is essential if you want to make the most of those two. 

Kim spoke about how her entrepreneurial career started off while she was in college. She felt like a local pizza shop’s outsourced banana bread wasn’t up to par, so she offered to make her own loaves for them to sell. The encounter spawned her first company, Jessica’s Wonders, that started off selling baked goods to local shops and later landed Stop and Shop as a client. Her startup advice revolved around what she referred to as the 4 Ps of entrepreneurship: 

  • Passion. Kim started BabbaCo when she became a mother and wasn’t seeing products in the market to meet her baby’s needs.  
  • People. She’s also a big believer in creating a rock star team, right down to the service providers. Early on, Kim shared her vision with her mailman and when they weren’t ready to ship during the regular pick up time, he’d come back later!
  • Perseverance. She found out that her mother had cancer right before she had an interview on national television. Puffy face and all, Kim stood in front of the cameras and did the interview. (BTW, her mother is fine now.)
  • Purpose. Her baby’s needs turned into a mission of helping other parents and making their lives easier and more fun with BabbaCo products. 

Both speakers had such a great presence but different ways of storytelling and it was an amazing event all around. Thank you to Boston community manager, Melissa Pocek (whose photos I used in this post) and the Tech Cocktail team and volunteers for putting together such an informative event. Also, congrats to Eli Sapir of Apptopia who won TC’s Hottest Startup in Boston poll and got to pitch at SESSIONS. 

The next SESSIONS event in Boston is June 27th. RSVP here. Looks like they have events coming up all over the country too, so check out their event schedule for details. 

Filed under babbaco boston jeff janer springpad tech cocktail trish blogs vsnap jessica nam kim tech cocktail SESSIONS Boston startup