I was fortunate enough to participate in Glendale’s Tech Week for the 2nd year in a row. Right now, most of you are asking, “Where’s Glendale?” It’s actually a pretty tech-centric city right in the middle of Los Angeles. Tucked between Burbank (home of the Warner Bros. studio and the largest IKEA in the US) and Pasadena (home of the Rose Parade, CalTech and the famous incubator Idealab), a recent city survey turned up that tech is its 2nd biggest industry! And Tech Week was born!
The downside of Glendale is that there isn’t a central location to host all the events. They are scattered throughout the city and some overlapped on times, but I was able to make it to a half of the events. I myself participated in the sold out (!) Women In Tech event, which was inspiring and exciting. Hundreds of women attended to pitch, ask questions and get advice, network, and get inspired. I was impressed with the “wantrepreneurs” I met, leaving me hopeful for the future of women-forward businesses.
Meet the Funders was informative and invigorating. Nina Achadjian, Principal for Index Ventures and HIVE Ventures, spoke at the top of the event on hacking Silicon Valley. Then hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs broke out into speed networking with VCs and other experts. The room was deaf with pitching, learning, and business card exchanges.
The next day I finally got to see the newly remodeled, gorgeous city library while attending a Digital Design Panel. Narek Khachatryan: Senior Designer at DockYard, shared insights and study materials to increase one’s design proficiency as well as talk about how to use design concepts for anyone delivering a service or product.
Being a cloud integrator, I was quite excited to hear about Service Titan’s app. They hosted an event called, “Taking SaaS to the Next Level”. While their app doesn’t integrate to Xero (stay tuned on if I can charm them into considering it), it is impressive UX for the home services industry. They’ve grown to 500 employees in 4 years and just this week secured $165M in well-deserved Series D funding! They are definitely the star pupil of Glendale’s Tech scene.
The next day’s Pitchfest and Keynote was impressive. Brian Mac Mahon, founder of Expert DOJO, speed-talked for an hour and didn’t even get past the tip of his advice iceberg. I could have listened to him all day. The pitches ranged from a few duds to some serious contenders for the final prize valued at $60K!
The closing ceremony was in fact a giant party on the green of the Americana (an outdoor mall with a water show rivaling and designed by the Bellagio team). The week flew by, I reconnected with colleagues and met many new ones. Over 1000 people attend this year’s tech week making the city abuzz! I can’t wait for next year!