The Next Big Thing in High-Tech was at TechCocktail’s Startup Showcase Tuesday

| MSNE Staff

We love to see a bustling NERD Center.

If you were wondering why the streets of Boston were so empty last Tuesday evening, it’s because everyone was across the river at Microsoft NERD for Tech Cocktail’s Summer Mixer and Startup Showcase.  The event drew hundreds of people from students, to VCs, to entrepreneurs and all the fans that come along with that.


TechCocktail Founders Jen and Frank were working in Chicago when their professional lives crossed paths back in 2008. They were active, passionate and influential in the start-up community and formed TechCocktail as a way to help entrepreneurs network, grow, and create an identity.  TechCocktail hosts monthly speaker sessions in DC, San Francisco, Chicago and yours truly, Boston. Last month Boston featured HubSpot’s Laura Fitton and Punchbowl’s Matt Douglas.  Next month the Boston session welcomes Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder & CEO of on August 21st at Massachusetts’s favorite venue, NERD.  Register now!
The super fabulous TechCocktails team.


But I digress.  Yes, monthly TechCocktails are cool, and I hope you’ll all attend, but this post is about something bigger than monthly, summer! The summer mixer and startup showcase was AWESOME.  The 10th floor of One Memorial Drive was bustling with personality and brains.  Sixteen startups in various stages of existence shared their products in expo style on cocktail tables.  The event was informal and conducive for schmoozing.  The only structured part was when a lucky company, Traackr, won the popular vote privilege to capture everyone’s attention with a 60-second pitch.


I had interacted with Vsnap earlier that day via everyone’s favorite blue bird, twitter.  I followed VSnap and immediately got this video thank you note.  (Nice touch, Trish!)  VSnap was born when co-founder Dave’s cousin was living in Ireland.  Sure they could keep in touch with instant messaging and Skype, but the time difference was an issue. With video messaging they could stay in touch more personally at any time.  I encourage you to check it out and send someone a message. The video is free and it will live on the interweb forever.  Vsnap could very well be the NEXT BIG THING and you could be one of those ‘oh ya, I used that way back when’ people.

Part of the Myster Gift Machine Dream Team.
Boston Start-Up School students enjoying the event, preparing for startup life.

Another useful tool present on Tuesday was So, Pick a Party.  The website launched 10 months ago as a result of founder Mike Miller’s experience moving around and traveling after college.  One of his biggest challenges was finding things to do.  There was no central platform to search all kinds of events in one place- so he created it.  Whether you’re looking for parties, networking events, arts, culture, club nights, or something else, you can find it all here.  The website is partnering with promoters, event organizers, club venues and socialites to create a one-stop-shop for evening options.  In some circumstances you could even pop free bottles and get line cutting privileges at your birthday party.  As an avid party goer, I’d like to personally thank you Mike!

A pseudo-famous start-up in the house Tuesday was Abroad101, Mass Challenge’s inaugural winner.  Created by Tufts and MIT alums, Abroad101 is the first of its kind for reviewing study aboard programs.  Before you judge a destination, let other peoples’ real life experiences shape your judgment.  The website has helped thousands of students make better decisions in at least one aspect.  Where were you during my college years?  Oh yea, the internet was barely alive.
Part of the awesome Abroad101 crew.

Every single company and person participating was innovative and enthusiastic.  They were honored to be there and it showed as they interacted with the crowd.  I wish I could talk about all 16, but this post is already a borderline novel.  I’m excited to stay on top of Mystery Gift Machine,  RecoVend, SecPanel, Bakepedia, Lingerie Planet, Mixer, Be, Slide Seed, Renda and Viral Gains.  When one or all of them become THE NEXT BIG THING, I’m totally going to say ‘I told you so.’

The showcasing Entrepreneurs. Take a close look- these people are THE NEXT BIG THING!

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