Ernest Hemingway once said, “Paris is a moveable feast.” If you ask me, San Francisco got wind of that and decided it was time to put together a ‘moveable feast’ of its own. Before you knew it the good old Startup Crawl was born! As the name would suggest, a Startup Crawl is just like a bar crawl, except that instead of drinking and mingling from bar to bar you drink and mingle from office to office. When it comes to networking and exploring, what could be better?
Last Friday, I had the chance to do just that while on the #NewTechCrawl. The Crawl was organized by SF New Tech and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation in honor of Innovation Month. Some of the brightest (only because you use great again in the next thought) minds in San Francisco’s startup community were there to spread the word about the great work their companies are doing.
First stop: Scoop.it’s headquarters. There were champagne bottles by the dozens and plenty of eager faces ready to kick off the Crawl! I had the chance to chat with Scoop.it’s co-founder and CEO Guillaume Decugis about how Scoop.it is changing the way companies publish content. I suggest any company looking for tips on publishing and blogging check them out for some helpful advice.
Next pit stop was at FlexScore, where we learned about their financial planning service. Unlike other services like Mint, which help people balance personal budgets and spending habits, FlexScore provides users with a number that represents their entire financial assets. The number serves as an indicator of how close you are to achieving financial success, which in their terms means not having to work another day in your life. Not too shabby if you ask me!
Rackspace was next. A leading provider of hybrid cloud services for enterprises, and listed in Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, it became clear from walking in that this was a large, interactive work space where people enjoyed themselves. They even had beer on tap! Who needs happy hour when your office provides beer on tap? Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here…
One of my favorite stops on the Crawl was Grio. Grio creates and designs web and mobile apps, ranging from lightning fast file sharing apps for Mac to clever puzzle games for your mobile phone. Their space was beautiful, with exposed brick and beams across the ceiling and sunroofs sprinkled in here and there. The work space came complete with a Ping-Pong table, a large-screen TV and even an indoor swing to just kick back and relax on! I could tell these people had their priorities straight.
Following Grio was a stop at Globant. Globant is an IT and Software Development company operating much of Latin America, Europe and the United States. Their clients include major companies like Cisco, American Express and Coca-Cola. Not much of a startup per se. These guys were certainly the heavy hitters of the day, doing some pretty phenomenal work around the globe.
From Globant we walked to the last stop of the Crawl – Runway. Located in the Twitter building, Runway is a beautiful startup incubator and shared work space housing what felt like countless startups, each one seemingly more interesting than the next. The space featured a quirky collaboration space not unlike an igloo, and legend has it a mean dance party has been known to happen in there on occasion. Sign me up!
So there you have it: the skinny on this month’s #NewTechCrawl. Interested in attending a startup crawl yourself? Stay tuned to SFNT for upcoming dates!