Wishing Our Vets a Very Happy Veterans’ Day. And Welcome New Tech Tacoma!

First off, THANK YOU to all of our veterans for your service and all you contribute to our country. Your service is appreciated every day, but especially on Veterans Day.

fc97a25e-d3b1-46c7-a5b8-ea89062ec9f5Secondly, what a fast, strange trip it’s been. I launched New Tech Seattle (Seattle Tech Meetup) with Red Russak in February of 2012. I launched New Tech Eastside in November 2014. And last night I lunched New Tech Tacoma!

No success is created alone and my success with New Tech is certainly no different. The formula came from NY Tech Meetup. The experience came from Boulder New Tech. The magic behind the fun and growth has come from the Seattle area community collaborating and partnering with, and supporting, New Tech.

Adding Tacoma to the family last night means that our community is expanding to create a greater impact for more people. Like Seattle and the Eastside, a lot is happening in the tech sector of Tacoma, but people are so busy doing their own things that they don’t always have many opportunities to connect.

Tacoma has manufacturing, UWT students and professors, entrepreneurs, long time company founders, new startup founders, co-working spaces, investors, a committed city government, plenty of awesome Class B business real estate, and an energized community doing innovative things. Now our combined communities will share and grow in stronger ways together – and we are so excited about that!

Tacoma Mayor, Marilyn Strickland shared her insights on where Tacoma tech is headed, while listening to ideas from the audience for having hackathons, Startup Weekends, and more in the interest of generating opportunities for Tacoma techies to connect and innovate.

VetStartups shared how they’re helping our Armed Forces veterans to code – and get tech jobs in conjunction with Code Fellows and other partners.

EveryHome brought Seattle love and shared how they’re helping people buy homes with a few clicks and Seattle-based Elevator demonstrated how they are helping dev teams to get job offers together.

Our first Tacoma event had more racial diversity than any of our previous events. Although there was a lower female-to-male ratio than we’re used to seeing in Seattle and on the Eastside, two of our fantastic presenters were women – including the Mayor of Tacoma, Marilyn Strickland, who is also a woman of color.

We’ll quickly get the word out to make sure more women and minorities in the community know about New Tech Tacoma so that we can ensure a thriving and diverse community. Please help us by inviting your Tacoma-area friends, colleagues and family members to join the meetup group.

It’s interesting how paths are created that don’t necessarily fit our first ideas of where the path is going. When Red and I started Seattle Tech Meetup we knew the impact on the community would grow, but we didn’t exactly know how it would grow. By listening to what the community needed and wanted we added some important bricks to the path.

As you build your career, company and life, I encourage you to remember to listen. We don’t always know what’s best, but when we listen great things happen.

In the early days of 2013 Seattle Tech Meetup didn’t have name tags because we wanted to keep a block party feel to our events. Attendees shared that they felt awkward seeing someone they met the month before and not remembering their name, so we added name tags.

After I kept hearing stories of people finding jobs at our events I wanted to pour fuel on that fire. That’s when the name tags became color coded for ‘hiring’, ‘looking a job’ and ‘just here to have a good time’. Since then, based on our community sharing what they needed, I added colors for ‘founders & C-level types’ and ‘sponsors’ to help make connections easier for everyone.

By simply color-coding name tags we’ve helped hundreds of people find jobs, employers find talent, and great people find each other. By listening to our members, we’ve expanded to the Eastside and now Tacoma to bring our communities together to support each other in what is quickly becomingNew Tech Northwest.

Each new brick on the path leads us to more unexpected journeys together. Please welcome Tacoma into the family and thanks for continuing to take this awesome ride with us.

See you around town,
Brett

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