It could almost pass for a college party. A bunch of twenty-somethings milling about with drink in hand. But wait, some thing's amiss. There's a new Tesla parked outside, with the owner proudly chatting up the passersby. A limo pulls up and a somewhat awkward-looking techie emerges with a model on his arm. He's a VC who's flown from LA for the event. Although we're walking distance from Stanford, this ain't no college keg party. This is Sand Hill road, and we're at the TechCrunch party hosted by August Capital. The host, David Hornik from August Capital, is also one of our Board members. Jane and I met our gracious host in the lobby, and chatted with him about some of the things we're cooking up for the next board meeting.
The event was attended by over 1000 entrepreneurs, techies, and VC's. And there was a healthy distribution of established tech companies, mid-sized start-ups, and brand new start-ups. Web 2.0 was definitely in the air.
I attended with Jane Willis from PayCycle, and we ran across several colleagues from our pasts. I ran across Milton Howard, a former colleague from Cassatt, who was attending with Michelle Fisher, CEO of Blaze Mobile. Michelle's 18-person start-up has developed a platform that allows folks to pay for services using their mobile phone. Milton and Michelle (who are flanking Jane in the picture) were attending to chat up VC's who might become Series A investors. Good luck, Michelle! As it turns out, Milton has been a loyal PayCycle customer for many years. He uses PayCycle's household payroll product to pay for his nanny.
After another hour of navigating through the crowd, Jane and I decided to find a quieter area on the patio, someplace away from the music and crowd. While we were chatting, two gentlemen greeted us and let us know how happy they were with the PayCycle product. Ike Eze and Tuyen Vo are serial entrepreneurs, and they've just started their third start-up, Centrro. They must have done okay from the sales of their previous start-ups, because they're self-financed and not actively seeking VC money. With their latest start-up, Ike and Tuyen have developed a platform for brokering credit card applications and loan applications on behalf of financial institutions. They have just a few employees and many contractors, and they're very pleased with the PayCycle product. They did have some suggestions and product ideas for me and Jane, which we'll talk over with our teams when we return to the office.
I did run into a few other folks during the event, including a potential business partner we had met with earlier that week. It was a perfect summer evening in Menlo Park, and I had a health sampling of samosa, spring rolls, and weissbier. I decided to call it a night around 8:30pm so I could head home and start the weekend with the family. It was my first TechCrunch party, and it was definitely a great event. I look forward to the next one.