Seattle Innovators, It’s Time to Rock: WTIA and Xconomy Team Up for Battle of the Tech Bands

Xconomy Seattle — 

The Seattle music scene is one of those cliches that people around the country always ask me about, along with the coffee and the weather. But I don’t mind, not one bit. From Jimi Hendrix to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, from the Presidents of the USA to Death Cab for Cutie and Fleet Foxes, the Northwest has produced some of the highest-flying acts in the business. (OK, I also have to mention Sleater-Kinney, Pedro the Lion, and Sir Mix-a-Lot…despite those atrocious Burger King ads.)

Here at Xconomy, we are all about bringing the tech-business community together in new and exciting ways, in addition to our core mission of providing authoritative, hyperlocal coverage of the innovation scene. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our experiences in our network cities, it’s that really active innovation scenes go hand-in-hand with an abundance of creative talent and a strong arts culture. In particular, we’ve found an astounding amount of overlap between the music scene and techies/researchers working in innovative fields like software, gaming, and biotech.

So, on behalf of our whole staff, Luke and I are thrilled to announce that we are teaming up with the Washington Technology Industry Association to bring you the Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands. The contest will be featured at the WTIA Annual Summer Celebration on the evening of Thursday, July 30, 2009, outside the Pyramid Ale House in Seattle. The WTIA Summer Celebration is one of the foremost networking events of the year, and now it will be even more of a blast. Here is more info on entering the band contest, and event registration.

“We’re really happy to be partnering with the WTIA on this amazing event,” says Xconomy co-founder and CEO Bob Buderi. “We’ve held some great battles in Boston. We expect Seattle to bring it.”

Here’s how it works. The Xconomy Battle of the Tech Bands is open to all bands (amateur and pro alike) that have at least one member who works at a Northwest technology, life sciences, or tech-investment firm. Why enter? For starters, you’ll get to show off for your friends; meet fellow entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, developers, and engineers; and, oh yeah, possibly take home some serious loot—if you’ve got the chops. There will be two grand prize winners: the audience will pick its favorite band, and so will our esteemed panel of judges (more on prizes and judges to come).

In the past year and a half, Xconomy has put on its Battle of the Tech Bands twice in the Boston area, and they have been smash hits, the most recent drawing upwards of 450 people and raising a bunch of money for some great local charities. (My band played a guest set at the last Battle, so I can personally vouch for how much fun it was—yes, I lead a double life in music, as I suspect many around here do.) The winning bands have received free studio time and promotional services courtesy of local companies. We also gave away some fabulous door prizes, like Roomba vacuum cleaners from iRobot, Zune music players from Microsoft, and Rock Band video game bundles from Harmonix Music Systems.

So please join us for the inaugural Battle in Seattle. If you’d like to be considered for a slot in the Battle of the Tech Bands, send your band’s info (including MP3s, URLs, contact info, and the tech company or companies your band represents) to [email protected]. Complete details for entering the contest are here—the deadline for band submissions is Friday, June 12.