So I had some beers and great conversations with a thousand friends on Wednesday at Startups and Beer at the old Eatons space at King and Water in DTK. Ok, well that’s how many registered for this jam, and by the time I had to bail at 7pm for a Maker Expo planning meeting the place was packed and running through til 9pm. TL;DR: crackling energy, big success.
I try to pay attention to what’s happening around town and this felt like an inflection point, a good sign on the trail. Felt like critical mass achieved. Maybe it was because the sponsors (Sortable, Axonify, Magnet Forensics, Vidyard and Dejero) are all players I like. Maybe it had a little something to do with the great beers and cider from Descendants, Elora Brewing, Block3, AbeErb and KW Craft Cider. (Of course it did.) Maybe it was because this long-shuttered space in the heart of DTK was awakening in the capable hands of Perimeter Development. The dream of a possible grocery store danced in the heads of downtowners.
A hard rain and gridlocked traffic did nothing to dampen spirits inside.
I showed up early, as did Mayor Berry, chatting with Simon here.
Click through for a quasi-unreasonable number of photos…
Just getting warmed up.
Always a mystery as to who is in the Vidyard bot.
Erik from Astrodog Media on scene for video.
Games: good idea…
does something. Jk.
Matt wiring for sound.
The gate with Sam and Co.
When I filled out the post-event survey I gave a high-five to whomever did logistics. Nametags are so simple and boost name retention and new connections by 37% [cite].
Here’s another *excellent* sign on the trail: The Working Centre representin’ here in this tech crowd. I’m *super*-happy to see this. Community Access Bikeshare, fair-trade roasted-on-Queen-Street coffee and lots more good at this table. My family signed up earlier this very week for the Hacienda Market Garden CSA program. Fresh veggies in DTK. Community Supported Agriculture FTW!
It is so great to see the paper come down from these windows. There’s talk of these windows being extended up to the ceiling.
Hey Steve Currie.
People! I see Nabil.
I’m going to mention The Working Centre at least a couple more times in this post. Because they are one of the best street-level players helping our in-need community members get a leg up.
Spot Josh here.
Simon, Jeff, Mike and Mike in a power chat.
Ken talking with Craig.
My pal Josh from the old days, hanging with the Axonify crew.
Zoom in and she is talking with… ZOMG, it’s Peter the-most-awesome-AV-guy from my past life.
Catharine has spotted me while checking out soaps from TWC. I also see Kristin over there.
So photogenic. Perfect for the no-look hipshot.
Erik and Matt. Quasi-meta (‘cause it’s video).
These guys are great. Matt is one of the hardest working networkers I know.
Sam on the turntable.
This event was Sam-approved. Good tunes, my friend.
Beer comes from here.
The rare posed shot from me of Craig. Many thanks to Craig and Perimeter for buying this lot of photos to show prospective tenants. High five! Getting a photographer paid is like feeding a cat: you got a friend for life.
Alex and Craig…
two guys who love DTK.
Block3 beer here.
Carol representin’ with Axonify.
Yup, still a little left in this one.
Or this one.
People just kept on coming in.
I learned that one of my favourite lawyers, Jonathan, has left the firm and joined Vidyard.
One of my regular haunts in UTW.
Fun fact: Vidyard is pretty much all moved into their totally wicked space at 8 Queen.
Shout to all my friends from the old BlackBerry Security days who are now at Magnet.
Community Access Bikeshare: it’s not just for outside.
You’re a good sport, Berry.
Only halfway through the party, I had to dash over to Descendants for a meeting of the Maker Expo Extraordinary Planners (yes, MEEPs). We’re bringing Maker Expo to you on September 10 on the next block (City Hall, y’all!) and this thing ain’t gonna plan itself. I want to see all your shiny faces there, so get it in yer calendar now.
I’m really excited about the potential for this space in the core. Getting all these great people in the room with beer is a recipe for endless possibilities.
At the corner of King and Water, this is Waterloo Region!