Final Tech Brew of 2010 Looks to Impress (published in December of 2010 in the SB News Press)

The final Tech Brew Mega Mixer of 2010, which will be held Wednesday, December 7th, at the Fess Parker Double Tree, will combine the traditional Tech Brew format, providing a powerful forum for entrepreneurs, investors, consultants, and those interested in all things technology to mix and mingle, with the Maverick Angels Open Evening for Entrepreneurs for the Central Coast and Southern California regions.

The Tech Brew is the “Region’s Premier Networking Event for High Technology Professionals, Cutting Edge Entrepreneurs and Innovators, Business and Community Leaders, and related Non Profits dedicated to Sustainable Economic Development.”  These events are held throughout the year, to provide opportunities for the movers and shakers in the area to make key contacts, to facilitate venture funding, the exchange of ideas, and general information about what is driving the economy of the Central Coast.

Maverick Angels is an angel investment group that takes an entrepreneurial approach to investing to create win-win results for both investors and portfolio companies.  Some of the top angel investors from around the Central and Southern Coastal regions are members of Maverick Angels, and will be attending this event.  It is a fantastic opportunity, especially for first-time entrepreneurs looking for advice, information, guidance, and possibly funding, to meet the right people who can make things happen for their businesses. 

Maverick Angels will present multiple expert speakers in the form of mini-seminars with topics including: Intellectual Property, Valuations and Term Sheets, Outsourced CFO Solutions, and Human Resource Traps.  All seminars will focus on both start-ups and growing enterprises, so this event is not just for the first time business owner who needs the basics, but is also for those who may be experienced entrepreneurs or serial entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses and their knowledge-base to the next level.

After the mini-semiars, which begin at 4 P.M., a special “Open Evening for Entrepreneurs” presentation by Maverick Angels’ President Bill Barber on Understanding Angel Investing will be offered at 5 P.M.  To follow will be a presentation by the featured sponsor—Convergent Informatics—on IT solutions for emerging growth companies, and then an Entrepreneur presentation by Davis Brimer of ActiveLife Scientific will follow.  These presentations will all be followed by an exciting 30-second Entrepreneur Pitch Contest with a prize going to the winner worth more than $500—a full day Maverick Angels boot camp for entrepreneurs, and 6 months of business Incubation by SBEC/Green2Gold.
From 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., the Tech Brew networking session and mixer will be in full swing with exhibits, resources, and complimentary snacks; all free to attendees.  There will also be a cash bar.

During the Tech Brew, an update on the progress of the Green Coast Alliance and Innovation Zone, a regional economic development plan to encourage the development of clean technology companies in the region, will be presented.

One of the greatest benefits of the Tech Brews is to meet the people who are making business happen in our area—people like Alan Tratner of Green2Gold and Jerry Knotts of Maverick Angels.  These are individuals dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build successful businesses, not simply to make a profit, but because they truly care about our economy, and about helping people. 

Most economists that follow our local economy will agree that the movement toward green, sustainable technologies, products, and the businesses that provide these technologies and products will be a primary driver for our future growth and for jobs in the area.  Our community needs new businesses to create jobs and to drive commerce.  We also need to diversify away from our reliance on education and tourism alone.  I am not saying that there are no other businesses; there are.  But we have heavily focused (and therefore heavily dependent) upon a small number of industries to make our economy work.  Just as with a company’s product or service offering, or our investment portfolios, we need diversification.

The all-day Maverick Angels boot camp mentioned above is a wonderful program, and a must for any business owner who plans to make a presentation to an angel group for funding purposes.  In fact, it is a requirement to present to Maverick.  Entrepreneurs will dig deeply during this boot camp, into many of the topics that will be discussed at the Tech Brew this coming week, in addition to subjects like how to write a good business plan,  Make a Successful Investor Pitch, Create an Effective Executive Summary, Develop a High-Impact Slide Presentation, Personally Align with Your Company Vision, Understand the Playing Field with the Circle of Success™, Leverage Resources for Growth with the Collaboration Spiral™, and Pressure-Testing Your Plan.  Fully understanding and mastering these topics will be critical to the entrepreneur’s success as they navigate the funding process

The Tech Brew will provide the first-time entrepreneur with an introduction to some of these valuable topics, and will offer opportunities to meet with some of the angel investors and professionals that teach the various components of the Maverick Angels boot camp, such as Bill Barber. 

Intellectual Property, or IP, is another interesting and highly complicated subject that many technology entrepreneurs must understand well, in order to protect their business concepts.  While it is certainly true that experts in this area can be hired, the reality is that most entrepreneurs simply cannot afford to have a top IP attorney on staff or on retainer.  In this case, the burden falls squarely on the shoulders of the entrepreneur to do their homework in this area.  The Tech Brew will provide a great introduction to this topic, and Alan Tratner is also a great resource to contact for more in-depth questions and needs. 

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is another complex topic that affects any Internet-based business.  One of my business partners who own SMG Business Plans is an expert at SEO, and he has to be to support the marketing needs of the business.  The tricky part to SEO is that the playing field is constantly changing, so that those techniques that produce meaningful results one week, will not work at all the next.  Effective SEO requires constant tweaking, and an expert that know how to undertake that tweaking, in an effective manner that consistently produces real, measurable results—meaning consistent and meaningful revenues and profits.  There will be experts in SEO and also individuals like Alan Tratner, Bill Barber, and Jerry Knotts who can put entrepreneurs in touch with qualified experts that can help.

Whether you are a first-time business owner, or a seasoned veteran looking for your next success, the Tech Brew Mega Mixer and Maverick Angels Open Evening for Entrepreneurs for the Central Coast and Southern California regions offers plenty of compelling reason to attend.  It’s free for one thing, and the contacts and information available in one location, on one night, is simply priceless.  I will be there as well, so if you attend, be sure to stop by and say hello!

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