Today, we’re excited to announce that Tech Cocktail has taken a $2.5M investment from Tony Hsieh’sDowntown Project (Hsieh is also the CEO of Zappos.com). Over the next year, Tech Cocktail will focus on deepening the coverage, exposure, and resources we currently provide to new startups and startup regions all across the United States and the world. And following in the footsteps of our past conferences and festivals (e.g. Startup Mixology, DCWEEK) we’ll soon be announcing an exciting new national platform for startups and their regions around the country - sign up for details here.
At Tech Cocktail, our mission is to help entrepreneurs navigate and enjoy the startup journey by providing resources, connections, and community. We’ve written thousands of articles covering startups from across the globe and seen over 30,000 people come to our events in the last year alone. We’ve done this as a bootstrapped company since 2006.
Many of the companies that initially showcased at our events as much smaller startups are now much bigger or have been acquired, like Groupon (demo’d as The Point), AddThis (as Clearspring), Foodspotting (acquired by OpenTable), Blue Sky Factory (acquired by WhatCounts), Socialthing (acquired by AOL), and Wine Library (by Gary Vaynerchuk). We’ve had the pleasure of working with big brand advertisers and sponsors like Oracle, Samsung, Sony, Sprint, Verizon, Pepsi, Coke, Cars.com, Sprint and more. We’ve also had great partnerships with American Airlines, Microsoft, .CO Internet, and others.
We’ve known Tony Hsieh for over 5 years, dating back to a party that we threw together for CES 2009. It’s great to have a strategic partner who really understands entrepreneurship and the importance of celebrating and building community around it. We’re also delighted to open up our headquarters in downtown Las Vegas to support the efforts of Tony and his team with the Downtown Project and to be leaders in the VegasTech community. We still have offices in DC, Chicago, and Boulder, but with the regular flow of thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and startup founders visiting to check out the Downtown Project, we wanted a work space and studio downtown to host events, live shows, and interviews.
It seems like just yesterday (though, it was 2006) that I was working in Chicago for Tribune Interactive and Classified Ventures, and I’d founded Tech Cocktail with my friend, early Feedburner employee Eric Olson. We wanted a way to amplify the Chicago tech startup scene, and the idea quickly took on a life of its own as our side project continued regularly in Chicago, Boston, DC, and Boulder. In 2010, Eric moved on to other things and I brought on veteran technologist and early AOL employee Jen Consalvo to help run the business. Together, Jen and I have been able to take something that was a side project for Eric and me, and turn it into a nationally recognized media company.
Since receiving the funding from the Downtown Project, we’ve been working on beefing up our team to move faster and grow. Our event team, led by Julia Fischer, who was our first loyal team member, now has the added support of DC-based event planner, Kim Blackburn, who has worked with Tech Cocktail on a part time basis for the past year. Silicon Valley veteran and former communication consultant Cathy Brooks is advising with Tech Cocktail to help produce our monthly Tech Cocktail Week in downtown Las Vegas, while Mollie Andrade also joins the Vegas office, focused on Tech Cocktail Week events and team support. Editorially, Senior Writer Kira Newman has been managing our team of contributors, along with Meg Rayford, where we will also be adding some additional editorial support. Prominent VegasTech organizerGabriel Shepherd has joined sales veteran Mary Ellen Delaney to do business development and sales. DC Tech organizer Justin Thorp has joined the team to run community development while Zach Davis will grow our online marketing and analytics, while also making his regular editorial contributions. And we are thrilled that serial entrepreneur and Co-founder of 1776, Evan Burfield, continues on as a strategic advisor.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Google Inc. has landed licensing deals with Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group to introduce an on-demand music streaming service that would compete with Spotify, Rhapsody and others, according to executives knowledgeable with the contracts.
Warner Music Group was the first major record company to sign on to Google’s proposed music service in March. Now, with all three major labels agreeing to license their catalogs to Google, the Mountain View, Calif., technology giant is set to launch its service as soon as this week, sources said. The addition of Sony and Universal was first reported by The Verge.
The new service will be offered by Google Play, the online marketplace that also sells Android apps, games and other digital media, including books, movies, music and magazine subscriptions.
For companies building media platforms such as Google, having a music service is important to offering a one-stop destination for entertainment and information. And with the emphasis on capturing advertising on mobile devices, music services are even more critical because more and more music is being consumed on smartphones and, to a lesser extent, tablets.
Google is racing against Apple Inc., which is buttoning up its own deals with major record companies to introduce an Internet radio streaming service that would rival Pandora. The two offerings are distinctly different, however. Google’s music service would let listeners pick and choose exactly what they want to hear, similar to Spotify. Apple’s service would function more like radio, serving up a random selection of music similar to what users want to hear.
Bree DeLano, also known as DJ 88, is a resident DJ at Insert Coin(s), as well as the venue’s entertainment and marketing director.
After a stint in music management and production, Bree DeLano got her start as an open-format DJ in LA. Today, DJ 88 has been going strong for 10 years, seven of which have been in Las Vegas. She’s also entertainment and marketing director—and a resident DJ—at Insert Coin(s), which celebrates its second anniversary this Friday.
How is the Downtown Las Vegas scene treating you? It’s been one of the best experiences of my career, hands down. I’ve been able to book DJs and artists that may not be able to play the Strip, because it just doesn’t fall within that, you know, sort of one-dimensional lane that a lot of the larger nightclubs need to stay in to pay the bills and attract an audience of tourists. There are a lot of music lovers in Las Vegas who want to experience something different, and a lot of the DJs and artists we’ve had at IC, there’s no way they’d be able to play any of those rooms—they’re just too big.
How’d your recent video shoot go? It was nice to do something creative like that. It was an artsy film-noir black-and-white thing for one of the mixes I did. Very cool to create something visually that goes along with the mix. It complements it perfectly. It was time for me to get something shot that shows why my brand is different from other DJs and other female DJs.
What do you mean when you specify “other DJs and other female DJs”? Well, I’m a DJ … I just so happen to be a female. I’m not soapboxing about some bra-burning sh*t right now, but people always tend to put [female DJs] in a completely different category. A lot of female DJs are just straight-up marketing, sort of just actresses. There are a handful of really great ones, but not many that are as versatile as I would like. But there are a lot of sh*tty guys out there, too. Just because the market has become so over-saturated and it’s so easy for anybody to call themselves a DJ and/or get booked to DJ depending on who they know.
Every day there are new subgenres, so to be a true open-format DJ, you have to be really strong in all categories. “DJ” is a word that’s been diluted quite a bit … Vegas is probably responsible for a lot of that just because of the nightclub scene.
And why is that happening? The art has sort of been dumbed-down with easy access to technology, the Internet, and music being so easily accessible, and the allure that comes with being a DJ and how nightlife has sort of turned DJs into celebrities. Everybody wants to be one now. There are a lot of DJs that have come out of the incubator way too soon, without putting in the work.
So, an up-and-coming open-format DJ doesn’t want to end up a hack. How do they earn their stripes? It’s a matter of putting yourselves in the right company and studying and figuring out what you want your individual style to be. Being a true open-format DJ is a difficult task, and it takes years and years to get to the point where you feel like you can tackle any kind of room. I really believe that it’s going to slowly but surely start equaling the popularity EDM has in nightclubs.
There’s going to be a change coming soon. It’s not all house music anymore. Those people that are open format, or want to be, need to step it up right now, because it’s going to be go-time soon. It’s a science; you study it, you learn it and you love it.
Listen to DJ 88 at mixcrate.com/dj88sincity.
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Austrian manufacturer KTM has unveiled the latest version of their popular X-Bow go-kart. Appropriately dubbed the X-Bow GT, the improved model features an added layer of safety and comfort with a windshield, side windows and doors. A 2.0-liter turbo TFSI engine from Audi provides a whopping 280 horsepower and takes the lightweight vehicle from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 3.9 seconds.
For more information and to order yours head over to the manufacturer’s website.