This is my first Tech Cocktail. I’ve been wanting to go for a while and I missed the last one. This one was held at John Barleycorn in Wrigleyville. A few startups showed their wares. I got there at 6 and it was pretty dead. However the place got packed pretty quick. By the time I left it was standing room packed. It was just insane. I’m glad I went though as I met some really cool people as well as ran into some old friends. The likemind crowd was there. My old buddy Jason Rexilius who owns HosteLABS and runs BARCamp Chicago was there and FINALLY introduced me to Harper and the other Threadless guys. I’ve been wanting to meet them for a while now. Threadless, in case you are not familiar with, is a brilliant company. On the surface, they sell t-shirts. The beauty of it is that they don’t design the t-shirts. The designs are crowd-sourced from designers and artists all over the world who submit their designs to Threadless. Visitors vote on which designs are cool and ultimately determine which designs will be printed. The winning designer gets a cash prize.

On to some of the cool people I’ve met:

  • Andrew Huff, from Gapers Block, a web publication about Chicago
  • Ars Technica – I met a few of the editors there. I didn’t realize these guys are from Chicago. It’s a technology blog so you know I am a big Ars Technica fan.

So here are some of the cool companies I saw:

  • callpod – mobile device hub charger. Their product looked very stylish. It’s Chicago based, but they outsource the manufacturing to China and Malaysia.
  • mocklinkr is an online mockup collaboration tool. They just launched today. I poked around their website before coming to the event but there wasn’t much there. They had a really cool video demoing the product at Tech Cocktail though. It looks very promising.

All in all, this excursion was a success unlike some of the other tech events I’ve been to. I’ll probably go again next time.

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