Get off the Couch For Public Exposure to Enhance Your Career & Job Search

May 11, 2009 at 9:26 pm 1 comment

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Santa Cruz, California is a fabulous coastal town located about 30 miles from San Jose.  It is also home to the World famous Beach Boardwalk.  If you haven’t heard of this 102 year old amusement park, go rent the movies Lost Boys and Dirty Harry’s Sudden Impact.   You are sure to book your Summer trip after those viewings.

This unique coastal town is also home to UCSC and for any old school techies you may remember SCO (Santa Cruz Operation.   SCO’s technology was sold off but many of it’s tech community has stayed and attracted a new crop of tech entrepreneurs.  

Last week I attended one of Santa Cruz’s finest Meetups:  The New Santa Cruz Tech Meetup.   If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend, here’s what you missed:

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It was a PACKED audience at the AnnexSpace on Cooper Street in down town Santa Cruz and several of the presenters left us excited about some currently hot technology companies.

UserVoice was up first.  Marcus Nelson, co-founder was absolutely engaging with this product pitch.  UserVoice is a “on-line suggestion box”.   It’s a great social media tool that allows companies to enhance and engage the “customer experience”, something that is extremely important in this economy.   The techie audience I came to the mixer with were blown away with Marcus’s presentation style, mixing it up with humorous terms such as “freemium”.   As a non-tech, I was absolutely sold on UserVoice.  If you haven’t heard of UserVoice take a moment to take a peek and follow Marcus on Twitter @marcusnelson.

LinkedIn was up next.   Sheena Gogna works in Business Development for LinkedIn.  Sheena described LinkedIn for us as your own “Professional Identify On-line”.    LinkedIn turned 6 years old!   Sheena also shared that they hit 40 million members.  Most of the features she shared were fairly basic, but she also talked about the “share widget” which is kind of cool.  She said LinkedIn is currently working to build out more applications soon.  Her presentation style was very informative.

Spare Change should give all economic naysayers a run for their “pennies”.  Mark Rose gave an entertaining, to say the least, presentation of his company.  Mark told the story of the Spare Change inception so well, you just have to hear it from him direct because he’s full of personality.  I wasn’t expecting to laugh so much at the tech event, but I did.  Mark Spare Change is a “micropayments” company.  They are the brains behind payment for all those silly little games people play on Facebook, Myspace and Bebo.   Mark gave a hilarious product pitch that made me want to go home and learn code so I could jump on the silly games and stuff band wagon.   Spare Change is processing $2.5 million a month in micropayments a $30 million annual run-rate.  He described it as “counter recessionary”.    

Finishing off the night were three of the UCSC Business Plan Contest finalists with their pitches.   Brilliant student minds with some wonderful innovation.  If I were a college recruiter looking for fresh out of college ideas, I would have hit the candidate jackpot with this group!

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The organizers gave us an opportunity to network was after the presentations.  I loved the room FULL of talent and the organizers had a great spread of pizza and drinks.   My favorite part of the evening was meeting new technologists.

Next month the New Santa Cruz Meetup is will have a Green Tech agenda at the newly redesigned Dream Inn conference room. 

How about we go the next face to face networking event together?

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Entry filed under: Job Hunting, Networking.

Wishing “Happy Mother’s Day” to Mom for All the Wonderful Things She Tolorates Job Seekers Hold on Tight Stay Positive & Don’t let go!

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