Business Travel

Traveling For Work? 4 Networking Opportunites You Should Know About.

Traveling For Work? 4 Networking Opportunites You Should Know About.

Networking party time at AlleyNYC.

Image credit: Alleynyc
This story appears in the April 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Business cities teem with events like these four, where traveling entrepreneurs can be inspired by local talent.

Los Angeles

Silicon Beach Young Professionals’ free monthly mixer, held at swanky hotels one Thursday a month (siliconbeachyp.com)

Silicon Beach -- sounds like coders in beach chairs.

Lucas Bean, founder of Silicon Beach YP: Everyone who doesn’t live here thinks we’re on “island time,” wearing flip-flops and T-shirts, trying to look cool rather than putting in hard work and long hours. It’s a big misconception about flip-flops. 

So I’ll benefit from coming even if I didn’t pack board shorts? 
L.A. has become loaded with capital, great ideas and aspiring entrepreneurs. The only downside is that web, app and software developers are scarce. iOS, Android, Python, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java developers: Move to Los Angeles because you’ll have a job before you tell anyone you’ve moved. 

Great. But will I be the only person there who hasn’t lunched with Scorsese?
You won’t be. Let me know if you meet him for lunch; I’d love to join. 


New York

Happy Hour Showcase, at AlleyNYC’s midtown location. Presentations from three local startups, plus drinks and merriment, every Wednesday (alleynyc.com)

What’s the biggest misconception about NYC entrepreneurs?
Andrea Luxenberg, AlleyNYC events coordinator: There are stereotypes of a guy or gal in a hoodie coding in a garage. We are in New York! There are thousands of small businesses on every street, everything from bodegas to boutiques. I think there’s an authenticity about entrepreneurs here.  

You bill this as the most badass happy hour. How badass are we talking?
To launch something in New York is a risk. I’m amazed by how creative, generous and humble the people who join Alley are. 

Who can I expect to meet?
It’s different every time. We often feature companies from a certain industry; for example, fashion brands or education-tech companies.

Editor's Note: Entrepreneur Media is an investor and partner with AlleyNYC, a coworking space in New York City. 


Chicago

Internet of Things Meetup, typically Monday or Thursday at Catalyze Chicago, TechNexus or Nerdery (meetup.com/Internet-of-Things-IoT-Chicago)

So, is this a bunch of techies watching a PowerPoint?
Steven Loving, IoT Chicago founder: No! Our last presenter never even got to his presentation. Right away the questions started flying and we all started talking. We want this to be hyper-interactive. 

Is there an IoT dress code -- app-connected hoodies, say?
Most of the people who show up are propeller heads, and they’re in jeans. Only the biz-dev guys wear suits—they’re dressed the best and know the least. I can say that because I am one.

Who’s the one person I need to meet?
Bill Fienup, president of Catalyze Chicago. If you want to make stuff, they’ve got all the tools, like lathes and lasers.


Atlanta

Startup Chowdown, Atlanta Tech Village’s  weekly entrepreneur lunch every Friday (atlantatechvillage.com)

So what are we chowing down on, aside from lunch?
Karen Houghton, director of Atlanta Tech Village: Pitches! You can just show up and practice your 30-second, three-minute or five-minute pitch. Or you can just come to hear pitches. The line can get long -- more than 250 people -- so get here early. We open the doors at noon; the sessions start at 1.

Two hundred fifty people who know each other sitting at long lunch tables -- that’s a high school flashback.
We’re a very friendly, open community. It is in our Southern roots. You have to be a bit of an extrovert to be an entrepreneur, but it is a great informal way to build community with each other.

Peach pie has to be on the menu, right?
We always cater a hot lunch. No pizza and cold sandwiches. Jim ’N Nick’s BBQ and NaanStop are favorites. 

Edition: December 2016

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