Boston TechJam 2014 To Showcase, Inspire And Celebrate Local Innovation Economy

On June 12, 2014, the second annual Boston TechJam will transform City Hall Plaza into the largest and most diverse innovation event in the region. Boston-area entrepreneurs, startups, established tech and tech-enabled companies, venture capitalists, non-profit groups, students and artists will come together to network and celebrate the region’s technology ecosystem in an event that uniquely combines a tech block party, live concert and innovation showcase.

With its new venues at Boston’s City Hall Plaza and Historic Faneuil Hall, the event will be bigger and more diverse than 2013, which brought in nearly 2,000 attendees over the course of the afternoon and evening and sold out days before the event. The 2013 event also crowned startup company DataCrowd its first-ever “Pitch Heard ‘Round the World Contest” winner and contributed nearly $10,000 – 100 percent of the admission revenue – to the MassTLC Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on supporting computing education in Massachusetts.

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What Does it Mean to be a Boston Geek?

If there is one thing I know about pure geeks, it’s that they are technology lovers. They are typically the hardcore, math-loving, STEM rock stars that can build an API for anything and everything under the sun. The pocket protector might be so 40 years ago, but it was replaced by ironic jokes about Big Data and a mild aversion for Facebook addicts that perpetually share selfies and cat memes.

When we began asking the question, “What Kind of Geek Are You?” around the planning tables of Boston TechJam 2013, it was a struggle. It forces you to ask yourself, “Do those eight word search apps on my phone make me a word geek?” How about my fascination and love for fruit bats? Is my obsession with growing the perfect tomato garden every year geeky?

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Boston Tech Jam: DataCrowd wins Pitch Heard ‘Round the World

The sold out Boston Tech Jam, a block party for Boston-area companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and students, was tonight in The Innovation District.  Two featured events were “The Pitch Heard ‘Round The World” and “University Startup Lane.”  Overall, it was a beautiful night with a creative carnival feel, including good live music, drinks, and beer pong.  Sadly, there weren’t any pitches about medical or healthcare innovation.

“The Pitch Heard ‘Round The World” was won by C.J. Acosta, who is a super friendly and energetic co-founder of DataCrowd.  Congratulations!

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Techies let their hair down

It was definitely not your father’s networking event — billed as a block party, the inaugural Boston TechJam last night brought together entrepreneurs, startups, students and venture capitalists to make connections, share ideas and celebrate the Hub’s innovation community.

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The Winning Startup Pitch, Skeeball & Dancing Owls: What You Missed At MassTLC Boston TechJam

Thursday evening marked the first-ever MassTLC Boston TechJam, an event thrown by Mark Lorion of Apperian and Christine Nolan of MassTLC to celebrate the wealth of tech and business ideas brought into fruition in the Greater Boston Area. The shindig took place in none other than the Innovation District’s new District Hall building, its nearly one thousand guests spilling out the back, where a dozen or so technology companies had put up shop with a cache of engaging activities (read: beer pong, Mario Kart, skeeball and breaking it down with the TripAdvisor owl).

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Boston Tech Jam and Shark Tank – A Night for the Boston Tech/Innovation Ecosystem to Celebrate

It was a festive, carnival atmosphere down in the Seaport/Innovation District yesterday afternoon as the first ever Boston Tech Jam took over Seaport Ave. With a midway featuring some of the hottest companies from the Boston area, great food and drinks from Papagayo, and awesome live music from bands featuring some local startupers, it would be a challenge to find attendees who didn’t have a great time.

The featured pitch contest/Shark Tank was a great opportunity for local, up-and-coming entrepreneurs to try their hand at pitching to a group of well-known, and experienced Boston tech leaders.

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Scenes from Boston TechJam 2013

Boston TechJam brought together innovators, entrepreneurs, students, investors and angels in a fun and laid-back environment. “We wanted a place for everyone in the innovation community to socialize and see that investors need startups as much as startups need investors,” said Mark Lorion, CMO of Apperian and the co-founder of the event. “It’s technology meets a Jimmy Buffet concert.” The block-party style get together took place Oct. 3 from 4 to 9 p.m. in the Innovation District’s new unofficial headquarters, the District Hall. It was all business in the hall and all party in the adjacent parking lot where companies were set up with games fitting the carnival theme.

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Boston startup events – Boston TechJam

For years, research has told us that few people believe claims that are made in advertising. But even today, with trusted advice and opinions only one click way from consumers, brands continue to spend considerable time and money telling people how great they are.

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Boston Idea Week 2013 Promises New Businesses, Innovative Ideas & Rock and Roll

Tuesday, October 1, will mark the beginning of the second annual Boston Idea Week. Hot on the heels of the Tech Tax repeal, and the announcement that MassChallenge will be moving to the Innovation and Design Center, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Boston Redevelopment Authority present a joint venture to celebrate the Innovation District, startup culture and booming Boston ecosystem.

Idea Week actually lasts for nine days, and all over the city there will be events of all types, at all hours, for all ages. You can get the full schedule of events here, but we have provided an overview and some highlights.

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Boston TechJam Announces Finalists for “Startup Pitch Heard ‘Round the World” Contest and Live Music Lineup

Boston TechJam Announces Finalists for “Startup Pitch Heard ‘Round the World” Contest and Live Music Lineup

See Boston’s Aspiring Entrepreneurs Pitch Their Ideas Live to an All-Star Panel of VCs; Bands Get Ready to Hit the Stage in Inaugural Celebration of Boston’s Innovation Community

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – Sep 25, 2013) – Boston TechJam, the block party for Boston-area companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and students taking place on Thursday, October 3, today announced finalists for its live “Startup Pitch Heard ‘Round the World” contest for startups, entrepreneurs, and student teams to test their company pitches and ideas. The “Shark Tank”-like event, featuring a panel of the area’s leading venture capitalists and experienced entrepreneurs, will showcase finalists as they vie for exposure, expert coaching and even potential investors. Boston Tech Jam is a signature event happening during the first inaugural Boston Idea Week.

The Boston Tech Jam, founded by Apperian’s CMO, Mark Lorion and Christine Nolan, director, MassTLC has pulled together an A-list VC panel which includes Katie Rae, managing director, Tech Stars (Boston); Maia Heymann, senior managing director, CommonAngels; Ryan Moore, partner, Atlas Venture; and Scott Bailey, senior director of partnerships, Mass Challenge. The panel will be moderated by Michael Skok, partner, North Bridge Venture Partners.

After reviewing the company pitches and ideas from teams vying for a spot, Boston TechJam has narrowed down submissions to the following finalists:

  • DataCrowd
  • Furnesh
  • Mino by ParaWare
  • Pixtr
  • ShopHop (Northeastern University / Hong Kong University)
  • SitterCycle
  • Sol Power LLC
  • Splashscore
  • SputnikBot
  • Telix Networks
  • Uji Showerhead (Tufts University)

In preparation for their presentations, finalists have taken a free Startup Secrets class two weeks prior to Boston TechJam where Michael Skok shared tips for crafting the “Perfect Pitch.” Finalist teams are also paired up with local venture mentors, including Jeffrey Beir, partner, seed2A; Joe Chung, managing director, Redstar Ventures; Julia Austin, principal, AustinFish; and Annette Reynolds, executive director, 128 Innovation Group.

“We’re looking at a great field of innovators who are all bringing some amazing ideas to the competition,” said Michael Skok, Boston Tech Jam “Pitch Heard ‘Round the World” contest moderator and General Partner with North Bridge Venture Partners. “I believe the crowd watching these pitches will be delighted and engaged by the entrepreneurs. The ideas are creative and significant, their teams — even the youngest — are impressive and everyone here represents well the local innovation culture that makes Boston so great.”

Along with an impressive mix of entertainment, food and drink and networking opportunities, Boston TechJam today announced its band lineup:

4:30-6:00pm Pitch Contest (inside)
5:00-5:30pm Didn’t Planet
5:50-6:20pm NEMES
6:40-7:10pm Unclaimed Freight
7:30-8:00pm The Field Effect
8:20-8:50pm Lansdowne 

Keeping in theme with the event, all bands include members who are also employees of local tech companies, including Ipswitch, Apperian, Berklee Online, Vernade/Next Step Living and Exxalt.

“The bands picked for the first annual Boston TechJam are tight, diverse and are going to rock the Innovation District like never before. The level of musical talent working within the innovation economy here in Boston is unparalleled and I’m honored to be a part of showcasing it to the greater Boston community. All the bands performing have at least one member working at a local tech company,” said Ben Maitland-Lewis, CEO, and Music Director for the Boston TechJam. “Narrowing the selection to just five live acts was extremely difficult based on the amount of submissions we got, but it illustrated how rockin’ the Boston tech scene really is and I look forward to many more TechJams to come!”

When: Thursday, October 3rd from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Where: Located at and around District Hall in Boston’s “Innovation District”

What else: Boston TechJam will feature live music, local craft beer producers, food trucks and inspiring local artists to help make this first party one to remember.

“Boston’s innovation community has completely embraced Boston TechJam and we’re excited for a successful inaugural run,” said Christine Nolan, director, MassTLC and Boston TechJam co-founder. “We want to thank everyone who is participating, has made donations of their time or materials and otherwise gone out of their way to help quickly stitch this first celebration of Boston’s innovation culture together. We’re out to show the rest of the country and the world that Boston is hands-down the best place to launch and grow a technology business.”

“The worlds of art and technology are never very far apart, particularly in Boston where there is an abundance of artistic talent working in digital,” said David Polcaro, principal, East Coast Catalyst, and Creative Director for Boston TechJam. “We’re really excited to be participating in an event that recognizes the importance of artistic contributions within the innovation community. We firmly believe in that balance plays a significant role in keeping Boston the destination location for leading companies and those with the ideas who start them.”

To register for the event and get the most up-to-date information regarding the event including timing, logistics, sponsors and partners please visit and follow updates at @bostontechjam. 100% of attendee registration contributions will used to support computing education in Massachusetts.

About Boston TechJam
Boston TechJam gives early stage companies, entrepreneurs, students, established enterprises and venture capitalists the perfect setting to connect and celebrate with the Boston technology innovation community. The block party style event celebrates, accelerates and connects local tech companies, leading industry groups, the City of Boston and you to the world’s brightest tech innovators in one casual environment for networking and harmony. The event will take place October 3, 2013 in Boston’s District Hall, the new public innovation and entrepreneurship center in the Innovation District.

Boston TechJam is sponsored by Constant Contact, EnerNOC, LogMeIn, SmartBear, TripAdvisor and Zipcar and Pretty Instant. World class partners include Apperian, East Coast Catalyst, Greenhorn Connect, MassChallenge, MassTLC, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITX, NEVCA, SHIFT Communications and more.