Startup Soiree is a monthly meetup for startup founders (only) - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Dec. 30, 2014 12:31 pm

Startup Soiree is a monthly meetup for startup founders (only)

For those entrepreneurs who want a place to meet, network and learn without service provider pitches, here's the event for you.
Attendees at a TechBreakfast event in 2012.

Attendees at a TechBreakfast event in 2012.

(Photo by Andrew Zaleski, file)

Among entrepreneurs, there is often a dim view of some service providers who slide pitches into otherwise social settings. They’re a vital part of any ecosystem but out of place and, with frequency, many an event has earned whispers that there are too many pitches of legal, accounting, insurance, recruiting and other services.

Patrick Rife, a partner in Pixilated Photo Booth, wants to silence those whispers. In January, he’s helping to launch Startup Soiree, a meetup to be held the last Thursday of each month that’s limited to founders, owners and other doers. The first will be held Jan. 29 at Pixilated’s headquarters at 3200 James St. in Morrell Park. To keep out those aforementioned persons non-grata, you have to request an invitation on their website.

“Can we create this cool networking space that attracts founders and companies?” Rife asked.

Events and private networks like this aren’t new. In the fall, 410 Labs founder Dave Troy launched a Google Group for software product developers. Early-stage tech entrepreneurs in Philadelphia have started a private monthly meetup for founders. Rife hopes this will be an important addition to the Baltimore tech community.

The three-hour events will start with a cocktail hour, followed by a town hall discussion led by a guest of honor, then a final hour of sideline chats, music and cocktails.

“The meat and potatoes is going to be the middle hour,” Rife said. “We want to make the education section of it really, really cool.”

The guest speaker may field questions from a projected stream of questions via Twitter. The discussion could also be podcasted, Rife suggested. He added that he expects about 50 attendees at the January meetup, and they might not all be newbies learning the ropes.

“There’s also going to be companies that did it two years ago in the room,” he said.

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