The Eastside tech community has a new monthly meetup option. New Tech Eastside, a sister event to the very popular New Tech Seattle, held its inaugural event at Kirkland Performance Center last night.
“I think the goal here is to get everyone to meet at least two cool people, and to come away from the experience with a better understanding of what’s going on in the business community on the Eastside,” says Brett Greene, New Tech Eastside co-founder.
The format for these events begins with light food and drinks and networking, then moves into the speaker series. Last night’s event included an introduction from Kirkland Deputy Mayor Penny Sweet and featured talks from leaders of a diverse group of businesses.
The lineup began with AppSheet CEO Praveen Seshardi. AppSheet is a DIY platform for mobile apps that specifically builds apps from business data in spreadsheets. His lively presentation included an interesting anecdote about how DIY has always been contained within the realm of architecture and the home, until recently, where DIY has be applied to technology.
Speaking of home, the next presentation came from PurpleWall co-founder and CEO Jonathan Chang. The interior design company serves as an online marketplace for interior designers. The service targets upper middle income homeowners who have an eye for design and the desire to make changes in their homes, but not the deep pockets of celebrities. A homeowner shares details about her dream projects with PurpleWall, then she gets to see different designers’ interpretations of the dream room. She chooses her favorite design and the designer provides a final version and a shopping list for the project that sits within the user’s budget. The designer gets a separate consulting fee from the user. You can use the site to get design help for your home projects, or if you’re an interior designer, you can apply to become one of PurpleWall’s designers.
Next up was Josh Decker with Tagboard, which 425 Business covered as a startup to watch in the premiere issue. Tagboard is an aggregation tool that allows people to search and curate content from multiple social media using hashtags. The list of applicable social media platforms that work with Tagboard continues to grow with client demand, and most recently includes Flikr. Demand has been high for Tagboard – Decker revealed that more than 90 percent of Tagboard’s client base has been inbound and that the company hasn’t had to do much in the way of sales or marketing.
The evening closed with Jim Bak, the senior PR and marketing manager at Inrix, a leading supplier of quality traffic data and traffic intelligence. The company’s traffic app pulls from billions of data points to provide real time traffic information to help you get through whatever tough commute you’re facing (seriously, what’s with traffic lately?). Aside from the obvious driver assistance from Inrix, the company also partners with cities, transportation departments, and media, plus provides data insights for real estate, retail, and other businesses.