One of my favorite Meetups is the monthly NJ Tech gathering. It’s a great crowd with excellent speakers and there is always a wait list.
Here’s how it works every month.
- Pizza and networking.
- Opening remarks.
- A word from the sponsors.
- A chance for the crowd to give rapid fire pitches or requests.
- Three quick startup presentations with Q&A.
- The guest speaker.
- Vote on the best startup.
- Adjourn for beer.
Repeat that formula every month and you have a pretty killer meetup.
Aaron Price is the mastermind who organizes this extravaganza. Every month he lines up both smart startups willing to throw themselves to the lions and high profile special guests. Just a few of the past speakers include Ari Meisel, David Kidder, Scott Belsky, Peter Bell and Bob Dorf.
Tonight, three startups each got five minutes to present and five minutes to answer questions. Yes, the stakes are high. The merciless crowd picks the best pitch and awards them the highly coveted, “recycled and rebranded” trophy.
First up tonight was iBE.net. They provide an enterprise cloud software solution for small and medium sized businesses that works across devices.
Then, Geekrowd pitched their “platform as a service.” They are a jSON api for developers who want to build social apps and tools.
The final pitch came from Sproute. They provide a B2B2C white label digital concierge for travelers. Currently, they are working on a new name and prepping for launch.
The main event was a speech from entrepreneur and writer, Lewis Schiff. His focus tonight was the major points from his recent book, Business Brilliant. Outlining his simple four point LEAP strategy on how Ultra High Net Worth players get wealthy and stay wealthy, Lewis spoke with conviction and drew on hard data to back up his findings.
1 LEARN Discover the few things you are exceptionally good at that will make you money. Focus almost solely on those skills.
2 EARN Make money doing what you do best. Move up the ladder from being a player to being the proprietor. A job will make you money. A business can make you very rich.
3 ASSISTANCE Develop your network. Know the people who will bring you business and opportunities. Choose wisely and surround yourself with a few truly great people.
4 PERSISTENCE Fail, fail, fail…and learn from failure. Don’t give up and keep going. Stay focused. Have faith in failure.
Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for. Which startup would bask in the glory of the NJ Tech Meetup’s blessing? The audience voted by phone and the real-time results yielded a winner….Sproute. And the crowd went wild!
This is a can’t-miss meetup. Come join us on August 2nd with Scott Heiferman, founder of Meetup or September 16th with Michele Brown, CEO of the NJ Economic Development Authority. It would be great to see you there.