Tech Networking Nirvana on Lansdowne Street

My ears are still ringing from the din last night at Tequila Rain, where hundreds of local digerati gathered for the first TECH Cocktail Boston.

Aside from the the Nintendo Wii boxing matches sponsored by Waltham-based search company ZoomInfo and the free vodka-and-Red-Bulls, the most head-pounding thing about the gathering was its sheer size and its resulting decibel levels, which surely exceeded safety thresholds. You know when it’s so loud that even if you’re shouting, you can only hear your own voice because it’s being carried to your ears through the bones in your jaw? That’s how loud it was.

Some 500 people were on the original RSVP list for the event—the maximum number who would fit in the space—and an additional 300 people were put on an overflow list, according to Brian Balfour, a ZoomInfo product manager who organized the event along with Shareaholic developer Jay Meattle and Geezeo cofounders Shawn Ward and Peter Glyman.

When that many people show up for an event with no theme other than “tech” and “cocktails,” you know there’s a bottled-up demand for networking opportunities. In this case, it seemed that people had been waiting all summer for a chance to tell one another about their latest business plans and venture deals. (Is there a single B-school or computer science graduate student these days who doesn’t have a startup brewing even before they get their degree?)

The business cards were flying like autumn leaves. My personal collection from the evening includes Ovidiu Bujorean of Neuron Global, Todd Galloway of FaFaRazzi, Vineet Sinha of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Tim Barton of Blue Sky Factory, Jayne Karolow of LocaModa, and Kiki Mills of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange, better known as MITX.

I hope there are more TECH Cocktails, and I’m looking forward to another (perhaps quieter) opportunity to hobnob next week, at the Web Innovators Group forum. And we at Xconomy have a few networking events of our own in the works—stay tuned.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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