Several hundred tech lovers crammed into Schulze Hall at the University of St. Thomas in downtown Minneapolis last night and challenged the air conditioning on another day of near-record highs in the state, for the latest edition of the quasi-quarterly Minnedemo event. Luckily, there was plenty of cold beer — thank you, sponsors — and a damn nice appetizer buffet as well. Nothing brings out a crowd more than free beer and food… oh, and a chance to sit in a large, crowded auditorium and listen to startup pitches for half the evening, while you overhear others in the lobby having fun and drinking beer. I decided to join the outliers after only one demo, exiting the auditorium for what I thought would be a just a while — but then I never made it back in. Oh, well, I’d heard enough startup pitches in recent days and weeks to make my head explode, anyway (including some of those on the evening’s agenda), so opting for schmoozing in the lobby seemed like the sane thing to do.
And it did prove to be a better bet for me, and for several of the folks I did that schmoozing with. Wow, there were so many great conversations and introductions brokered, my head was spinning. Or was that the beer? No matter, a good tech time was had by all. And you can read all about those startups that pitched in the auditorium here. A brief stop at the after-party (on the outdoor patio on the second-floor of nearby Brit’s Pub) put a nice capper for me on a very pleasant — warm! — evening, blabbing with so many of the key players in our awesome Minnesota startup community. Thank you, Minnedemo organizers and sponsors, for another great get-together!