On Wednesday evening, I drove a car full of college students from Scripps Women in Technology club and Scripps Entrepreneurs to a Techsparks mixer in Pasadena. There, some of them experienced their first networking event ever, and passed with flying colors. Techsparks created a comfortable and warm environment above Barney’s with plenty of food, drink, and conversation. We were the youngest group there, but the tech professionals welcomed us with open arms, and allowed us to join their conversations with ease. I look forward to exposing more club members to events like these, and helping them discover the wonders of the tech world.
On October 10, 2013, Christie Kweon and I represented Scripps College at Innovation Summit Pasadena, a Technology and Business conference in Pasadena. Our day started out with some really awful dead stop traffic from Claremont to Pasadena, meaning we unfortunately missed some of Bill Gross’s (of Idealab) opening speech, but the last part I did hear was absolutely fascinating. There seemed to be a theme at the summit of failure not being the end, but rather if you keep going you will become stronger. Go hard, and keep trying seemed to be what most of the speakers agreed on.
There were a variety of speakers ranging from design to science fields, but each had something to say about the growing tech industry and how innovation is thriving. The community was eager to learn, and the presenters were engaging, so although the event was around 8 hours, it seemed to blur by. There was a lunch in the middle where I met the Social Media intern for Mindshare (whose events I hope to be attending in the future), as well as many other cool entrepreneurs in the tech field. I’m glad I attended, for I learned some invaluable lessons about technology and business, as well as meet some very inspirational figures.
This past week I attended two technology mixers, one hosted by Bixel Exchange and one hosted by Innovate Pasadena. Both are basically movements to create a new Silicon Valley in their area, Bixel Exchange representing Los Angeles and Innovate Pasadena representing Pasadena.
The Bixel Exchange mixer was held at Youtube Space L.A., one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Have you ever seen images of Google’s offices or Amazon’s? It was kinda like that, with colors everywhere, food, a firepole, everything you could want to keep your creative juices going. It had giant rooms with catwalks where productions (to be posted on Youtube) could be created, smaller premade sets, control rooms, and editing rooms. I commend Youtube on its efforts to encourage its users to create and collaborate, and look forward to seeing what types of creations are produced.
The Innovate Pasadena mixer was held in a lovely coffee shop in Old Town Pasadena, where Sean Lynch, CEO of Metacloud Inc., talked about the details of launching a start-up in Pasadena. I pitched my idea of a single website where tech companies in Pasadena could post internships and students could submit resumes to his marketing manager, Ali, and she seemed like she liked it (we’ll see if they let me in on the project or decide to take it as their own.
Finally, I’ve started a Scripps Women in Technology club at my college. As much as Scripps emphasizes gender gaps in the workforce, for some reason they never seem to comment on the giant gap in the tech industry. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull something together to help create an environment where Scrippsies interested in tech can support each other.
This Thursday evening I attended TechSparks, a monthly mixer for Tech Professionals in the Pasadena area. Their focus is on the Social Spark Theory, which says that ‘when driven, smart people play games and socialize, they will spark big ideas that change the world’. This particular event was for Pasadena interns to network with local professionals, and I got the chance to meet a bunch of cool people.
The venue was at Barney’s Beanery, a hip little bar with a nice upstairs area with a second bar, tables, and pool tables. Interns were handed raffle tickets at the door that they could give to professionals who talked to them, so I found myself very quickly being included in conversations and asked about my own experiences. I met a Pomona alum, a psychologist interested in researching usability, and many other IT people. It was a great chance to hear about what was happening in the tech industry, as well as many offshoots and tangents to traditional tech businesses.
Unfortunately I am a bit young to be attending any more of these events, but I’m contacting them in the hopes of being able to volunteer or help out. Currently Pasadena is in the middle of a tech revolution, spearheaded by the Innovate Pasadena movement. I want to be at the top of the wave, hopefully getting my hands dirty while the movement is just budding, helping to make my hometown a hub of innovation and technology. Wish me luck!