Drinks & Data in San Francisco with Tech in Motion

Last winter, San Francisco techies flew through the industrial doors of Quid to begin a night of networking and data visualization. As the food and drinks flowed, attendees networked and looked forward to the speaker series following the cocktail hour, featuring Joey Hobbs of Quid, Mikko Jarvenpaa of Infogram and Alex Salkever of Silk.co.

Find a tech speaker series near you on Tech in Motion’s list of upcoming events.

One Tech in Motion member, Robert, who is a customer success manager from SF, said he was “excited for the panel to start and learn more about data visualization”.


As members began to fill the space they made their way through tea sandwiches and vegetable platters as well as the beer and wine bar. Guests mingled over the latest in data news and common interests. One member mentioned that she “wasn’t expecting so many people” and that it was “encouraging to see so many tech people in one place.” The crowd still quieted down easily in anticipation of the tech talk from the three tech experts of the night.


First on the microphone was Alex Salkever from Silk.co. Alex showed Tech in Motion how members can use Silk to take data and turn it into rich, interactive visuals that are easier to comprehend and can be helpful in business. He stressed the importance of communicating efficiently through visuals and using them to improve business strategy.

Next up was Mikko Jarvenpaa from Infogram. Mikko showed how Infogram’s product can assist anyone in making infographics for their personal and business uses. He also emphasized how prominent infographs are becoming amongst Internet searches and in business plans.


Last on the stage was Joey Hobbs from Quid. He brought up an interactive analytical map that showed different relationships between data visualization companies. This map could compare information between two companies, such as funding, to help formulate better business decisions. He dove deep into the technical side of data visualization and wowed the audience with his expertise on the matter.

Upon finishing the talks members were given twenty minutes to do a Q&A with the speakers. Questions were flying until the very end of the session and continued after the official presentation time was over. All three speakers were greeted with curious members that wanted to know just one more thing about data visualization. Greg, a member from SF, explained “although it’s not what I’ve done in my background, I enjoyed hearing about data visualization.”

Interested in getting in sponsoring a Tech in Motion event  in your city? Get more info here.


As the night came to a close members finished up last drinks and closed conversations with the exchange of business cards. They chatted about the speakers, what they learned and how they’d use data visualization in the future. The last members cleared Quid’s large doors around 9 p.m. with a group of people that had met that night. Attend San Fran’s next Tech in Motion event by joining the chapter there.

Product Design Trends: The Future

Within the tech industry, it is becoming increasingly important to broaden our skills and embrace new ones that are paving the way of our future. Product design is described as a whole process with many different factors that go into the design. From concept to completion, an idea evolves through a life cycle of UX/UI designers, graphic/visual designers, user researchers, data analysts, and prototypers to name a few. As we see day to day, current trends of messaging, virtual reality, all things “smart”, and data storage are consistently changing.


Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley recently held a Product Design Demo at The California Art Institute in Sunnyvale. With roughly 200 tech enthusiasts in attendance for the night, the event showcased companies such as:

  • Zackees– the World’s first turn signal glove
  • FlameStower– designs/manufactures energy products and services for global markets
  • PocketLab– a wireless multi-sensor and software platform that enables anyone to engage in open ended science experiments
  • VivaLnk– developing integrated solutions with its ultra-thin and flexible eSkin™ wearable technology platform
  • Nixie– the first wearable camera that is also flyable
  • The Wearhaus Arc– Bluetooth headphones that let you wirelessly sync music with multiple people around you
  • Orion– creates communication accessories and services that connect people
  • Ministry of Supply– research-based design used to create purposeful products for a life spent in motion
  • Flashtag Photo– an interactive photo booth that automatically prints photos taken at your event when they’re tagged on Instagram or Twitter.

Sign up to attend the next drinks & demos event from Tech in Motion by finding the closest one here.

Throughout the night,Tech in Motion organizers interviewed the guests and demo companies on what some of their favorite products are, what the future holds for product design, and the hottest design trends on the market now. Here are some of their responses:

What are some of the trends in product design for 2015?

Richie Zeng, CEO/Founder of Wearhaus  

“I’m seeing a lot of connected devices and products built around connectivity with phones as the central hub.”

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Sylvia Wu, Design Lead at Orion

“Wearables that add value to people’s lives, or products that are specific for communication. Products utilizing voices are becoming popular as well because you can convey emotions through tone, for example Siri and Amazon Echo.”

Clifton Zoozeboom, CEO/Co-founder of PocketLab

“Simplicity. Everyone is following the ‘Apple Way’.”


What makes your product stand out among competitors?

Alena Laptsinskaya, Director of Customer Relations for Zackees

“We make better quality products. We have sensors that detect ambient light so that the LED will be brighter at night. We have a feature that disconnects the light after a certain amount of time to save battery, and you can change out batteries, unlike our competitors.”

What was the story behind your product and what does the future look like for it?

Adam Kell, Founder at FlameStower

“We’re aiming to impact energy services, and we’re also currently partnering up with the Guatemalan Government as well as doing some work in Ethiopia.”

“In 3 months we will start working on emergency energy solutions. Like for earthquake kits.”


What is your current product you are involved with and how does it play a role in consumer’s lives?

Guy Horgan, Sales consultant for Ministry of Supply

“We do ‘smart’ men’s clothing… We are looking into eyewear as well.”

“We want our customers to feel comfortable in our clothes all day. We want work life integration. Our customers can go from work, to dinner, to a movie, and then out for drinks without the need to change or any discomfort.”

Interested in participating in a Tech in Motion event? Contact your city’s team here.


Audience favorites of the evening were Nixie, PocketLab, and VivaLnk to name a few. Be sure to keep an eye out for these companies and how they will be impacting the product world and possibly our very own lives.



There’s an exciting lineup of events coming up for Tech in Motion in Silicon Valley this spring and summer. Join in on the next meetup by becoming a group member and see what’s on the docket for April and May.

Health and Fitness 2015 in NYC

Walking into a Tech in Motion event for the first time might be overwhelming. Here you are at a new event where you potentially don’t know anyone. But if you were at Tech in Motion NYC’s January event, you remember that you’re at a WeWork space, and you know people who work in WeWork spaces (and love it!), and then you remember that it’s a demos event, where companies are there to show off their latest product. Nearly everyone has come independently, or with a colleague and that it’s basically a room full of friendly faces.

Find a Tech in Motion demo night to network at in your city on our event list.

One Thursday this winter, that was the scene at WeWork Soho West. Filling the space were engineers, developers, investors, tech enthusiasts and health aficionados. At the cross-section of these people were health techies, an impressive group of people and companies that strive to bring simplicity to the varied aspects of health. Said Matt Hacknney, a Tech in Motion member: “You find a little bit of everything here—I met someone in the health care industry who’s a dietician, so it’s not just ‘tech’ people, but I have met a few ‘techies,’ a few designers, a few developers – but while varied techies and non-techies.”

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The demo companies covered a significant gamut of the health care industry: In attendance were Alcohoot, “a smartphone breathalyzer that can plug into any smartphone”; Body Labs, a company that digitizes all of the data related to individual bodies; LoseIt!, a smartphone-based weight loss app; Pager, a company that allows for on-demand access to doctors; and Smart Vision Labs, which created a smartphone-based device to do eye exams. Each set up a boot complete with interactive demos and swag.

Interested in participating in a Tech in Motion event? Send us a message.

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Chika Ota of Smart Vision labs compared Tech in Motion to other events saying, “I think here people are more interested in learning about each other and each other’s companies and seeing what’s out there in the tech world, so there’s probably a slightly more tech savvy crowd here.”


In addition to the wonderful demos, healthy treats were enjoyed all around: Runa donated kombucha, a delicious probiotic tea and red and white wine—for heart health—were enjoyed. To keep it healthy, mixed nuts and fresh veggies were scattered around the venue.


It was clear by the end of the night that those who had arrived alone were leaving with a new network of potential friends and colleagues, and that everyone in attendance was ready to kick off 2015 the healthy way. Join Tech in Motion NYC to keep up to date with upcoming events so you can leave one with new connections of your own. 

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12 Great Pieces Of Advice From Female Software Engineers

Here are the top 12 golden pieces of forward-thinking, action-oriented advice from female software engineers that have been shared on the Hackbright Academy blog this year:

#1 – How To Detect Female-Friendliness In A Company / Engineering Team

Thumbtack software engineer and Hackbright alumna Katie Thomas suggests 5 questions to ask an interviewer to detect how female-friendly a company or engineering team is. Asking “how do people ask questions” or “Are any engineers involved in programs aimed at supporting women in the industry? (e.g. PyLadies, Women Who Code, Hackbright, etc.)” will help you figure out if this workplace is right for you.



#2 – How To Not Suffer From Imposter Syndrome

Hackbright alumna and software engineer Gulnara Mirzakarimova shares 5 lessons on beating imposter syndrome. Our favorite is #5 – “Accept the fact that there are things that you do not know, there are things that you will never know and there are things that You Can Decide To Learn.”


#3 – Focus

Flixster software engineer and Hackbright alumna Aimee Morgan blogged about focus. She shares that “being a beginner at something in your mid-thirties is alternately terrifying / humbling / awesome.” Agreed.


#4 – Self Care Strategies For The Job Search

Hackbright software engineer and alumna Meggie Mahnken shares self care strategies for the software engineer job search. She crowdsourced advice from Hackbright alumnae, from not letting an interview outfit go to waste (go out with friends to dinner after an interview!) to “set a mini-goal for yourself to have something more achievable and within your control as a measure of success, rather than just ‘did you get an offer or not’ from the interview.”

Find your next role on the Tech in Motion job board here.


#5 – Learn Git and GitHub

Self-taught web developer Jenn Wong shares her story about learning to code and working at Zillow. Her advice? “Learn Git and use GitHub to keep a record of the work you’re doing.” Now she’s working on becoming a full-stack engineer.


#6 – Read It Three Times If You Have To

Self-taught engineer and Spitfire entrepreneur Erin Parker shares her story of learning to code: “I started going through the Michael Hartl Ruby on Rails tutorial and I ended up going through it 3x before things really started to click. In tech, you learn that you can teach yourself anything by googling stuff, finding a book, reading documentation.”


#7 – Have Confidence But More Importantly, Perseverance

Skybox Imaging software engineer and Hackbright alumna Danielle Levi shares advice about perseverance and confidence: “It’s easy to compare yourself to others in the industry and find yourself lacking. However, its often not a fair comparison. In my case, I found my interest in technology and computer science at a later point in life. I’ve had less time to learn as much. Everyone has their own unique obstacles. It’s better to compare yourself to yourself. Think about your progress, how much you’ve accomplished, and exercise self-compassion. Stay passionate and keep learning.”


#8 – Find Your Local Programming Resources and Meetups

Rachel Ann Werner went to Nashville Software School and learned to program – she’s now a back-end developer at iostudio. She recommends “getting out there and meeting people at programming user groups.” Rachel also founded the Nashville chapter of Girl Geek Dinners, an organization that encourages young women into technology careers. And on Meetup.com, she met the ladies of Nashville Women Programmers (pictured, below).

Find a local Tech in Motion event happening near your city.


#9 – Ask For Help

Uber software engineer and Hackbright mentor Martha Girdler shared advice on “politely and unobtrusively asking for help”. She advises mentees to “don’t be afraid to politely and unobtrusively email someone you admire in your field and ask for mentorship. It’s best to ask for a small amount of their time (a phone call once every few months, a few emails here and there). Always take notes, and research your potential mentor thoughtfully and thoroughly. If they say yes, your first priority is to ask thoughtful questions!”


#10 – It’s OK To Not Know Everything

Medium software engineer Jean Hsu assures new programmers: “it’s OK not to know everything.” She continues that “it’s impossible to know everything, but sometimes, especially at the beginning, it’s easy to think that everyone else knows it all. There’s plenty of time to learn. You are not an imposter. It is incredibly unlikely that you got lucky over and over and over again. It’s much much more likely that you got where you are through hard work and your accomplishments.”


#11 – Remember, This Too Shall Pass

Presidential Innovation Fellow and software engineer Sarah Allen was a young mom when someone told her “this too shall pass”. Sarah reminds us that “when things really suck, remember that this too shall pass, and when things are really great, remember that this too shall pass.”


#12 – Do The Hardest Thing

Femgineer founder and software engineer Poornima Vijayashanker urges women to “do the hardest thing”. Instead of doing what’s easiest – that will bring her the maximum benefit – Poornima always chose to pursue the hard path. She’s programmed herself to do the hardest things in life, but they’ve also brought her the greatest joy.



By Angie Chang (VP Strategic Partnerships, Hackbright Academy – shown left)

Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley is recognizing Women’s History Month with a Women of Influence panel event. These women are taking the lead head on in the technology industry. Through courage, compassion, and conviction they have built their way up to represent the top in their class. Please join Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley for this educational and inspiring panel discussion on March 26, 2015 at Microsoft (Bldg 1) located at 1065 La Avenida Street, Mountain View, CA. RSVP here.


Say you’re out to drinks with some friends and you’re ready to get home. How do you know if you are safe to drive or better yet ensure you are making the smartest, most responsible decision? The answer, know your number—your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) number.

Now lets be honest, who actually knows their BAC after a night of drinking? Nobody. Fortunately there is a device that can calculate your BAC within a matter of seconds! It’s called an Alcohoot.

See innovative companies like this at Tech in Motion’s next demo event. See what’s next on our event lineup.

Alcohoot is a smartphone Breathalyzer that uses police grade fuel cell technology to measure an individuals BAC and it’s easy as 1-2-3 (literally).

  1. Plug your Alcohoot into the headphone jack of your iPhone or Android and launch the free accompanying application.
  2. Blow into the Alcohoot.
  3. Within seconds your BAC will appear on the screen of your smartphone or tablet.


While there are a number of smartphone breathalyzers on the market, Alcohoot delivers you the most important thing of all, accuracy. So, start making the right decisions by being informed of your BAC. Remember, Know your number, know yourself, and know your limit. Let Alcohoot Help.

Sponsor an event with Tech in Motion and participate in alongside our demo companies.

About Christopher G. Ayala, Chief Executive Officer of Alcohoot

alcahootChris has 14 years of diverse professional experience, most recently as an operations and business development executive in the consumer and enterprise software industry while at ALK Technologies, Inc.  Prior to that, Chris served as General Counsel for private equity sponsored Native American Resource Partners LLC, and as a senior associate practicing private equity, and mergers and acquisitions in New York at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.  His experience and knowhow has helped build Alcohoot’s corporate vision while also managing the day to day execution and growth of the business and its team.

Adapting Cyber Security in a New Era of Corporate Destruction

Corporations suffered more cyber attacks in 2014 than ever before, causing the loss of business intelligence and personally identifiable information at an alarming rate. As a result, confidentiality issues and privacy concerns have fueled discussions in the media and become top of mind among corporate executives.

Then, at the end of the year the conversation changed. A major attack aimed at corporate destruction served as a sobering wake-up call. It’s not only the frequency of cybercrime that is escalating – it’s the severity of damage.

Adversaries that commit cyber crime for personal and financial gain could soon be the least of our worries. The world has now seen an activation of foes that are likely well-funded by nation states or driven deep ideological motivations — taking innovation and persistence to new levels.

This evolution in the threat landscape sparked rare warnings from the FBI and Europol in late 2014 urging organizations to prepare for new types of campaigns aimed at destruction. Seems that our adversaries have upped the ante, and we are now facing sophisticated attackers determined to delete data, tamper with control systems and even cause physical harm.

How do corporations mitigate these devastating risks? Are there any precedents for these types of attacks? How can we adapt our cyber security thinking and tactics?

In this January’s Security Magazine Steve Chabinsky, CrowdStrike’s General Counsel & Chief Risk Officer, explains that in addition to protecting data privacy – corporations need to maintain a focus on the integrity and availability of essential data, systems and services. Using examples from destructive breaches in the last few years, he explores lessons learned and tactics that can help us prepare adversaries aiming for corporate destruction.

To read the entire article as featured on Security Magazine, click here.

This post was adapted from the original article “Adapting Cyber Security in a New Era of Corporate Destruction” at Crowdstrike.com. Read this blog and more at blog.crowdstrike.com

A Fireside Chat with Hubspot: All about Company Culture

Tech in Motion Boston hosted a Fireside Chat with HubSpot this winter at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA, featuring VP of Engineering Eric Richard and VP of Product Brad Coffey. Moderating the conversation was Stephanie Viccari, a Rails Developer at MeYouHealth, which was awarded “The Best Startup to Work For” in 2014 by the Boston Globe.

Find a Tech in Motion chat near you on this listing of events nationwide.

The evening began with an hour of networking and food provided by Boston’s popular food truck, The Chicken and Rice Guys, before the Fireside Chat took off. Stephanie started the discussion by asking our panelists about the beginning of their time at Hubspot and how they got involved in the recently IPO’d company.

Networking HourBrad told the audience about how he got his start at HubSpot as an intern, and how the company was founded out of MIT – where he earned his MBA. CEO Brian Halligan met the CTO, Dharmesh Shah, there. Brian had a “playbook” at the time, which helped companies he had previously worked with. When it came to HubSpot, he found it wasn’t working, so he took a step back to reevaluate. They came up with the idea of an “all-in-one software solution” that could bring their ideas together and resonate well with the customers. This idea flourished and has led HubSpot to where it is today.

The discussion then flowed into the topic of company culture and what its like to work at Hubspot.

“The key part of HubSpot was that it wasn’t about just a company when it first started, it was about how we wanted to create a culture,” Eric explained. “So we created the ‘culture code’ which asks the question ‘How do you think about culture as a company?’”

“You want to make sure that the teams and individuals have autonomy so they are making mistakes and thriving.” Brad added. “You want to empower the engineers to do work. You’re there to serve the people who make the magic.”

This topic sparked a great discussion between Brad and Eric, who both agreed that if you make sure the people who work for you are empowered, you will have a successful company.

Become a Tech in Motion speaker – contact your local chapter for more information.

“Although we do spend a lot of time making sure our people are empowered, we also structure the ‘guard rails,'” said Eric. “We do something called a ‘Science Fair’ once every month which is a way for everyone at the company to show their products and projects off. Everyone get a few minutes in front of the room to present their work.”

The Fireside Chat

This conversation continued into some of the difficulties entrepreneurs can run into when starting and running a company. The Hubspot team made the point that it is hard creating the design and consistency you need as the building blocks and foundation to a new company. Eric and Brad then transitioned into the product teams and hiring process of engineers at HubSpot.


“Cultural fit is the most important thing to our product teams. On the engineering side of things, we make sure the hiring process is fast and makes the candidate feel they are getting a customized experience throughout the interview.”

Stephanie opened up the room to questions after wrapping up the moderated discussion. The room immediately filled with raised hands as the audience was clearly intrigued and curious to hear more. Even after an extended Q&A, Eric, Brad and Stephanie continued answering questions and networking past the conclusion of the event. To be a part of the conversation, join the Boston Tech in Motion chapter here.

“Kickstart” into 2015

When someone hears the word “Kickstart” it automatically sparks an interest and excitement. “Kickstart” embodies a vision, innovation, a dream, and the possibility of the next big thing in an industry.

High_Res_Logo_no_shield_Sm_400x400Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley wanted to start the New Year off with a bang and welcome 2015 with a “Kickstart” into the New Year Mixer held at Strike Brewery Co. in downtown San Jose.

This networking event was aimed with a goal to connect people and ideas together. Building off of one another made the theme of the night very inspiring whether you were new to the tech industry or a seasoned veteran. Conversations throughout the crowd, were of passionate tech enthusiasts who had their eye on what the future could possibly hold.

Interested in hosting or sponsoring a Tech in Motion event? Contact us here

The taproom for Strike was actually funded through Kickstarter making it the perfect venue to host this event. Located in an industrial environment with an open floor plan design, it was the ideal space to display their huge steel tanks for brewing. The mixer was packed with over 100 techies in attendance, ranging from Kickstart companies to founders in search of co-founders, and regular tech lovers interested in new products/designs.


The night was filled with plenty of perks for the early attendees including: free drink tickets, free group tours of the brewing facility, delicious food from Melts my Heart Truck, and a special promotion for members to come back between January 8th– February 28th to enjoy a “Buy one four-flight, get the second for a penny!”




Strike recently just released their new winter seasonal Stout. A crowd favorite for the event, it is definitely something to stop by and enjoy while relaxing and playing some games or watching your favorite sports team.


Keep the momentum going in Silicon Valley with Tech in Motion’s events coming up in spring: The Women of Influence Tech Talk on March 26th, the Social Tech Mixer on April 9th and more.

Not in Silicon Valley? Check out our list of events happening across the nation.