“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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

Recap: Demos & Drinks in OC, Smart Home Edition

At the end of September, Tech in Motion Orange County hosted a Demos & Drinks mixer – smart home edition! Some of the best home automation companies were on display at Eureka Building’s high-tech outdoor venue while 400 Tech in Motion members enjoyed drinks, viewing the latest home tech and meeting up with local techies and friends.

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Featured companies INSTEON, EDGEhome and Smartenit demonstrated how our Orange County members could use the latest smart home tech in their own homes.

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Medicast, a service that delivers doctors to your home within two hours with just a click of a button graciously sponsored the event and raffled off a service package to a lucky member!

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INSTEON entertained our members by demonstrating how they’ve integrated their Windows 8.1 phone app with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.

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EDGEhome and Smartenit both helped our members understand the logistics behind home automation. While Smartenit has been part of demo events other than Tech in Motion, they were sure to note that this was one of their best demoing experiences to date. They said the casual atmosphere and interest from our members really made their demoing process enjoyable!

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Founder Peter Cullen of Core Performance Consulting also sponsored this event, and provided our members with information on how his company can provide excellent Cloud based Accounting Services to small and mid-sized businesses.

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As always with our events at Eureka, people networked into the early evening and left our event with new information, new friends and new memories! We can’t thank our sponsors Workbridge Associates, Jobspring Partners, Core Performance Consulting, Medicast and Eureka Building enough for helping us put together this event!

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If you’d like to learn more information about joining the largest tech meetup in Orange County, please check out Tech in Motion Orange County to join the group and RSVP for our upcoming events!

Tech In Motion Chicago Goes Back to School with Ed Tech

Tech In Motion Chicago hosted our first Back to School demos & drinks event focusing on those startups changing the education space with technology. Techies from all over Chicago came out to network and chat with some of the coolest startups in the education space. We had a great turnout and each of our five demo companies had a unique approach – we even had a demo-er who had been featured (and funded!) on ABC’s Shark Tank. Packback Books, Overgrad, mLevel, digedu and Jail Education Solutions all came out and demoed their apps and platforms to a very enthusiastic Chicago crowd.

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To recap the event, we thought it would be interesting to ask a few of our demoers some questions about where they saw the ed tech space heading in the next few years.

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Ian Hood with mLevel

1. What do you think is the biggest impact tech has made on education so far?

I think the biggest impact that technology has made within the education space, and really all of our lives, is the ability to access information at will. Whether it be a desktop, a tablet or a smartphone, people today can find information on any topic with the touch of the finger. The process of having to ask your teacher about a subject, search the edition of the encyclopedias at your house (if you were lucky enough to own them), or take a trip to local library are all but gone. The ability to access information at any time is the biggest impact in my opinion.

2. What did you think people were most surprised about, or found most interesting in your presentation, or about ed-tech in general?

I think people were just most surprised to see the mLevel Platform in action. The ability to create a game on any learning subject that could then be delivered to any mobile device without the need for code was powerful, especially for teachers who are already stretched for time. They also loved the analytic suite as they have never before been able to easily assess what a student does and does not know about a topic. They liked that they didn’t have to dig for that information manually, it was bubbled up and easily accessible.

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Amanda Glandon with digedu

1. What do you think is the biggest impact tech has made on education so far?

We all know technology has been advancing teachers’ abilities and students’ engagement. But the potential for an even greater impact lies in technology’s ability to unite a community around improving education. It’s may not be the norm yet, but soon, teachers will be regularly using technology to collaborate on lessons, students will be logging in to complete their classwork, parents will have access to exactly what their students are learning, and administrators will have visibility into the strengths and weaknesses of their teams. EdTech can bring together each of these areas with the common goal of improving student learning.

2. What did you think people were most surprised about, or found most interesting in your presentation, or about ed-tech in general?

I think people are surprised at how much digedu can do! Students can receive lessons tailored to their needs anywhere they go, teachers can create, curate, and control exactly what their students are accessing and drive their mastery — and it can all be a lot more fun than reading a textbook chapter or completing a worksheet!

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Ryan Hoch with Overgrad

1. What do you think is the biggest impact tech has made on education so far?

This is generic, but true: its ability to connect any individual to the world’s information. I remember my first year teaching thinking “how the hell am I going to do this.” I then found out about Teach For America’s resource exchange where I could find entire lessons on exactly what I was teaching. While I still had a lot to learn about to deliver the content, at least I had the content. Whether it’s MOOCs, Google, Wikipedia, TFA’s Doc Exchange, or whatever, tech connects people with the best information the world has to offer. That is so awesome.

2. What did you think people were most surprised about, or found most interesting in your presentation, or about ed-tech in general?

People thought it was incredible that we had bootstrapped Overgrad to serving 20,000 students in under a year with only two people. Having to grind it out day-to-day, I never stopped to think about what we have accomplished. It was humbling to receive that recognition, but there’s still a long way to go.

Since we received such positive feedback on this event, we are planning a follow up “tech talk” in October to hear from 5 local Chicago startups on the changing ed tech space for K-12. We hope to see you there!

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A big thanks to our sponsors, Jobspring Partners & Workbridge Associates. We hope to see you at Tech in Motion Chicago’s next event and make sure to join our official meetup group!