Last night over 400 people turned out for the TechCrunch Meet up in New Orleans @The Republic. The event was slow to build but in the end was a big hit. As expected in any event in NOLA there was a lots of networking, private pitching, and excitement around the developing Tech scene. The ratio of attendees was 75-25 male\female; guessing 80% players, 15% investors and 5% groupie’s, a most valuable part of a healthy eco system. My conversations with a number of entrepreneurs and investors left with four takeaways:
- New Orleanians love their city and are putting forward every effort to help local and regional tech startups and entrepreneurship make it;
- The quality of the Pitches have improved and are road worthy – only one missed the 60 second mark before completing the product introduction;
- Startups and entrepreneurship are putting in the time to find their niche and ability to mainstream their product. Even the far fetched idea of “Uberizing” toilet time at major events had thought through the roll out;
- Human relationships matter even more in the age of pervasive technology, and the entrepreneurs that get the most value from the writers and editors are the ones that connect on a personal level
TechCrunch has a huge audience and ability focus attention on people, concepts and deal flow. I was very happy to see them select NOLA as one of their stops and even happier with the turnout. New Orleans is one of the most competitive environments when it comes to events and parties. Few are so focused on getting everyone together around the ecosystem startups need to grow jobs locally. I look forward to future events.