The Passion, Innovation, and Hilarious Candor of Tech Entreprenuers
Yesterday, HealthCentral attended TechCocktail’s Startup Mixology at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC. Tech Cocktail refers to themselves as “cocktail of emerging technology news, people, startups, products, and innovations” for tech enthusiasts. They travel the country putting on events that bring great minds in the tech/entrepreneur/startup world to speak about successes, failures, and everything in between.
HealthCentral was proud to have a strong presence yesterday with 2o attendees as well as our CEO, Chris Schroeder, speaking on a panel about “The Realities of Funding,” alongside other entrepreneurs and angel investors (David Steinberg (moderator), Jill Stelfox, Daniel Odio, Bobby Ocampo, and John May). Chris spoke of the true tests of being an entrepreneur whether it’s your first time or your tenth. Also, he gave his exciting view of building in the DC area as a tech entrepreneur and of value and resources that are available.
Polling our team, the general consensus of favorite presentation (besides Chris, of course!) was Travis Kalanick, CEO and Founder of Uber. While it was a personal favorite for me, I think what made his presentation so memorable was his uncanny ability to make jokes at his own expense which in turn kept the audience laughing and engaged throughout. How many people can say they’ve been sued for a quarter of a
billion trillion dollars or by the city of San Francisco? It was so interesting (for lack of a better term) to see how many different companies he’s been a part of, the way his mind works, and with all the failures and “bumps in the road” he still wants more and is so passionate about what he does.
Here’s what my other teammates had to say on their key-takeaways from the event:
1. Sarah Suchy, HealthCentral Content Manager and Producer: “In sum, Travis Kalanick, of Uber, put it best: You have to hustle and you have to out hustle everyone else’.”
2. Beryl Lee, Wellsphere Communications and Outreach Manager: “Peter Lamotte had the best visual side-by-sides of advertisement produced by specs with arbitrary client votes on completed projects being the impetus behind ultimate decision, versus those that were storyboard-based with unlimited room for artist creativity. This change in approach and conception called a pitch the beginning rather than the end-all-be-all already.”
3. Clay Roop, HealthCentral PR and Social Media Coordinator: “My take-away from the conference was that passion is contagious. It is the foundation for any great idea, team, business, or movement. Passion will overcome the adversity of starting a web based business and will inspire those around you to truly believe in what they are doing. Though passion is contagious, work “cancer” is malignant,”
4. Jeff Kennedy, Wellsphere Community Manager: “The most successful people understood the value of their individual employees and their willingness to adapt to an ever-changing environment.”
5. Michelle Thompson, Wellsphere Blogger Relations and Development: “Culture is key in the work environment.”
6. Tina Robles, HealthCentral Interactive Media and Promotions: “Think big, start small. Get ur product out there, measure it, tweak it, then promote it.”
7. Andrew Canepa, HealthCentral Customs Program Coordinator: “What I enjoyed the most was the unconventional spin that most presenters put on their presentations.”
8. Brian Nash, HealthCentral Software Developer: “I thought the whole thing was pretty inspiring. They make it sound like just any old Joe can do a startup and be successful, with a lot of hard work and direction.”
9. Lucie Leblois, VP, PR and Marketing Outreach: “Don’t be afraid to fail – you’ll want to quit 100 times, even people who love you will tell you maybe you should do something else. But if you know and feel that your product is great – is something missing – that people will want and need to have, then keep at it. You might not sleep much, drink a lot of coffee, move into your parent’s basement – but keep at it. And if you fail, you’ll know what your mistakes were and not do them again the next time around – and if you don’t, then you can go buy your dad Washington Redskins front row season tickets. Shout out to Alexis Ohanian, Reddit Co-founder.”
10. To add to the list and make it a well-rounded 10 key take-aways – The conference made me a believer in the Entrepreneur. It gave me a deep appreciation for the genius and creativity behind each individual’s concept, regardless if I found it useful or not. I felt the energy and inspiration in the room and even more so appreciate the culture that I work in for we do have an entrepreneur as a CEO who truly believes in our mission (and no, I didn’t come up with this during a marijuana-induced writing session, Alexis).
Overall, we had a blast and are already looking forward to more events from TechCocktail…oh and Travis, give us a call when Uber deploys in DC.