#MinneDemo. That just happened. Seven super (Emcee and MinneStar board member Adrienne Peirce’s fave word of the night) tech innovations in Minnesota. It was a sold out crowd at the Guthrie for MinneDemo’s 19th run of their event platform that invites companies to take the stage for seven minutes each and show off their tech products. The event organizer, MinneStar, even had to turn folks away, but many of them, notably the introverts, didn’t mind. They got to view the live stream just outside of the theater and enjoy their beverages.
By show of hands, I’d say about 40% of the 700-some attendees were experiencing MinneDemo for the first-time. MinneStar board member Justin Porter was jazzed about this fact and encouraged post event conversations between the talented developers and tech-minded companies in the house, including top sponsors LeadPages and Best Buy.
The event was high-energy, despite being low tech at times. WiFi issues at the Guthrie and toggling back and forth between live streaming mobile and internet presented a few painful connectivity challenges, especially for GroveStreams, who handled the hindrances expertly. I seconded Jaclyn Grossfield’s tweet, “Agreed! painful RT @jaclynanng: Technology difficulties at #minnedemo. isn’t there someone – or 700 people- who can help? #getupthere.”
I will say that Justin did a great job of stepping up and taking the pressure off presenters when this occurred. Hashup creator Bryon Shannon just needed a few moments more to sync up his mobile to run his live demo, which ran very smoothly after a few refreshes. Between the seven presenters, we heard a brief 2-3 minute talk from some of the event sponsors and during the low tech lulls, the MinneStar team offered the mic to audience members with tech-oriented events to share a bit about their upcoming gatherings including Best Buy’s hosting of MinneBar, Twin Cities Geekettes and 1 Million Cups St. Paul.
The seven demos included, in this order, HashUp, Estate Map, DocentEdu, Grovestreams IoT, RedCurrent, ToggleGreen and PurchaseBox. They covered new social-oriented apps, efficient solutions for classrooms, event-goers, recruiters and job seekers, and consumers and retailers. Super favorite part: being invited to share in the beta testing for some and getting access to services, software and apps for free as a MinneDemo attendee. I downloaded @RedCurrentApp (in the AppStore for a mere 30 hours before the event) and @PurchaseBox right on the spot (@HashUp coming in March). I also signed up to test out EstateMap because you never know when you’ll be one of Facebook’s 10,000 daily death toll (morbid for sure).
For those of you who missed the event, here’s a download in #SixWords format first intro’d to me at #OTAFargo by SixWord founder, Larry Smith (see that recap here):
@HashUp: Smart social browsing powered by hashtags.
@EstateMap: Sum of money. Hidden under rock.
@DocentEdu: Layering education on content. Flow baby.
@Grovestreams IoT: Build Your IoT. Hot in Here.
@RedCurrentApp: Synced calendar, events by category. Sanity!
@ToggleGreen: Your next gig. Your terms. GTFO.
@PurchaseBox: Save trees. Eliminate coupons. Smart retail.
All of the presenters made for an entertaining, exciting evening and overview of what’s new and noteworthy in tech in Minnesota. It’s a growing and connected community that’s creating its own culture and identity here in the Twin Cities. I’ll wrap it up by saying it’s a super exciting time to be a geek in MN.