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Collaborate 2015 Conference

This two-day conference was advertised as being a different kind of conference, and on that promise it delivered. The variety of activities to engage in over the two days were broad, the opportunities to network were many, and the keynote speakers were top-notch. I pushed myself to meet and present in front of as many people as possible. I participated in 2 “Media Match” events where I could pitch my business in front of journalists “speed dating” style. It was a great opportunity to practice and refine my pitch and to meet journalists. I also participated in the “Dolphin Tank” where I pitched my business to a panel and a full-house audience. The experience was invaluable in gaining contacts and getting great ideas.

The keynote speakers Tom Chi from “The Factory” and Megan Smith, CTO of the USA, were both inspiring. Megan had two of her deputies on her panel, Alex Macgillivray and Ryan Panchadsaram, and the three of them offered high-energy insights into tech for the government and encouraged everyone to get involved.

I had the pleasure of getting to know the founders of “MindMyBusiness” a NYC startup that helps shopkeepers know what’s happening on their street and in their neighborhood, making 311 data useful. Aileen Gemma Smith and Chris Smith are a powerhouse duo who are turning data into information that real people can take action on.

It was also fun to see so many of my new friends there. People that I’ve met at startup weekends, classes, and meetups. The DC startup community is welcoming, engaging and diverse. Fosterly did a fantastic job with this event!

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