The cross-country Switchboard Hearts tour has commenced! But before I go telling you all about the wonderful things we’re up to on the road, I want to tell you about the awesome PDX Startups Switchboard party we had before we left!
For our second Switchboard Hearts event we invited 600 members of Portland’s startup community to take over our office and drink all our beer as part of TechFest Northwest’s “TechCrawl.” Portland tech scene veteran and Portland Startups Switchboard founder Rick Turoczy was kind enough to put us on the map, both literally and figuratively.
Under Rick’s magic touch, PDX Startups Switchboard has grown to 750 members with daily posting in just a few short months. In addition to generating countless hires and individual connections the Switchboard has been used to establish a monthly Coffee for Cofounders, collect lots of data in little time, and share a surplus of free lunch among hungry startup types.
“I really can’t take credit for the awesomeness that is the Portland Startups Switchboard,” said Turoczy. “Portland’s startup community is extremely collaborative and collegial, by nature. It just happens. But they don’t always have the appropriate tools to facilitate that collaboration. Switchboard has provided the perfect platform for this community to engage with one another —- in a very Portlandy sort of way.” With this much enthusiasm bubbling up online, we still managed to be surprised by the happy flood we saw at the TechCrawl.
Hundreds of Switchboard users and other tech folks came pouring in our doors over the course of the night. Between directing codeschoolers, lawyers, founders, and journalists towards the keg, members of Team Switchboard were inundated with enthusiastic praise for everything from our vision, to our UX, to our emails. All in all it was a wild success and only served to further our conviction that Portland is home to the best startup scene around. Of course, you can confirm for yourself just by checking out the Switchboard.
Up next, the tour is headed to Chicago where we’ll be cooking dinner with Oberlin alumni, sharing a pot of tea with the ladies at Third Coast Festival, getting crafty with Reedies at the Chicago’s only creative reuse center, the WasteShed and eating pancakes in the park with Wheelwomen. Stay tuned for what can only be some great stories!