Last March, it started as Gabe Shepherd’s big idea and culminated in bringing the #VegasTech community to showcase at SXSW 2013 in a very big way. Switch's sponsorship gave the idea life, and paved the way for others sponsors like Downtown Project and the community to get on board, for real. 

Before SXSW Interactive 2013, #VegasTech was already legit. After all, #VegasTech is a two-year-old startup community with humble coffee shop roots that has grown into an oft-referred to tech community attracting national attention. But something shifted with our #SXSW community representation: to the global scene, we’ve arrived as a notable tech community with viable startups, serious talent, major corporate support, educational backers and a whole lot of passion.

The project encompassed a booth at the SXSW trade show, a cocktail hour and a mega party.

VegasTech
#VegasTech startups and organizers about to hit the streets with party posters

Perhaps best of all, we got to share the collaborative, cooperative and passionate nature of our community. With our growing publicity and infrastructure growth, we hope to attract more companies and talent into the valley in order to grow the ecosystem. But, even if we don’t, it was a bonding experience to collaborate on the #VegasTech #SxSW go-to-market plan (we used Tracky!) and see it come to fruition.

Gabe Shepherd and David Gosse

@tracky CEO @davidgosse and #VegasTech SxSW Organizer @gapeshep sporting VegasTech shades

Now, the world knows about our startup community. We even trended on Mashable and other outlets.

trending

Thanks to Fuller Street Production, amidst the SxSW trade show noise, #VegasTech stood out.

VegasTech sign

Here is a little recap of what went down...

Tracky at #SXSW

Tracky at VegasTech booth

First off, our corner of the booth was rockin’ thanks to Fuller Street.  Tracky co-founders David and Jennifer Gosse were booth-bound most of the show and it was hugely productive. Sarah Evans was evangelizing and producing an Innovator Series (details below).

Tracky caps

We hung our Tracky caps on the scaffolding and gave every single one away. (If you snagged a Tracky cap while at #SXSW, snap a picture and share it with us! We’ll add you to our “Tracky in the wild” sightings and share a little about who you are too).

We met a ton of interesting folks from around the world. We got to demo Tracky to hundreds of people and loved the feedback that we received. What were the main complaints that we heard? Workflows are broken and email kills productivity because it's still being used as collaboration. (More on that in future posts). If we met you and we need to follow up, we’ll be in touch soon!

TechCocktail held interviews in the booth for a couple days. It was great to see the flow of startups and thought leaders come through the space and chat with Frank, Jen, Zach and Kira. We love that TechCocktail is in Vegas now!

TechCocktail at VegasTech

David Gosse and Frank Gruber

We enjoyed sharing the space with our VegasTech comrades, including Switch, UNLV, the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, Alice Reception, Tabeso, docBeat, UsedGearSale, RollTech, LaunchKey, Zuldi.

VegasTech comrades

Oh. And we got to see Shaq. He stopped by the VegasTech booth for a minute, entourage in tow. He is extremely tall.

Shaq

Shaq and Rick Duggan

Innovator Interviews

Sarah Evans hosted the Innovator Series from the Samsung Blogger Lounge on March 12th with partners Watchitoo, Cox Blue and Tracky.

Sarah Evans and TicketCake

Sarah Evans with Jackie Jensen and Dylan Jorgensen of TicketCake

Innovator series

Sarah Evans with Gabe Shepherd - sponsored by Watchitoo, Cox Blue and Tracky

Lounge

The #VegasTech lounge brought together an electric crowd and showcasing startups and sponsors, with the evening’s presentations hosted by Frank Gruber of TechCocktail. Switch and Downtown Project, ended the evening with inspiring talks via Jason Mendenhall and Tony Hsieh.

Jason Mendenhall speaking at the Cocktail Hour 

VegasTech Party

VegasTech party

The community invited SxSW attendees to a big bash at Red 7 for open bar, Vegas musical talent (Jordan Laws, Rusty Maples and American Cream), big-time dancing and networking. With something like 3000 RSVPs, the venue was packed until 1am.

 Switch team

The Switch team with David and Jennifer Gosse

Fuller Street Productions abundantly sponsored the production materials for the booth, lounge and party at a great financial and human resources expense. Thank you. Your generosity shined.

 Daniel and Jennifer

Daniel and Fuller Street - you represent the 1% doers movement!
 

VegasTech buds

VegasTech buds 


Sarah Evans, Ann Diab and Jennifer Gosse

Sarah Evans, Ann Diab and Jennifer Gosse all smiles at the #VegasTech party

We Did It

Networking and partying in Austin with hundreds of your closest friends is a great way to celebrate the two-year anniversary of our community. A heartfelt thanks to Gabe Shepherd, all the hard-working volunteers, sponsors and to all who made it happen. We <3 you!

1% Doers