LAist Attends Twiistup 3 and Gets Our Geek On!

Perez Hilton and Shira Lazar
Perez Hilton on the "no" carpet

LAist had the opportunity to attend Twiistup 3 last week in Venice at the Air Conditioned Supper Club and it was a geek fest you didn’t want to miss! Tech startups, their employees and followers were joined by Venture Capital firms, bloggers, news crews and even Perez Hilton to enjoy a night of hands-on demos by 8 pre-selected local startups called “showoffs” for the night all while mixing and mingling amongst each other.

We previewed Twiistup last week, and in doing so took the opportunity to look at all of the companies who would be doing demonstrations that night. For your review, those companies were: Askmenow, Docstoc, Magento, OfficeZilla, PeopleJam, Rubicon (the winner of the competition), SpeedDate, ThemBid and Yellowbot.

As the winner, Rubicon wins, free web hosting from (mt) Media Temple, 1 on 1 consultation from Clearstone Venture Partners and a $5000 Search Campaign from Yahoo! Search Marketing.

Twiistup's homepage also offered the opportunity to make a donation to Kiva when purchasing your ticket and after tickets were sold out and a hot commodity, Twiistup ran a contest that anyone who made a donation to Kiva would be entered into a drawing to win a ticket. The exciting "night of" news was the Rubicon matched all Kiva donations made through the Twiistup web site. This kind of small, but intensely gratifying, addition to the event is an important part of the evening not to be missed. Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to combine philanthropy and social enterprise models to their companies, the events they throw and the way that they conduct themselves and so kudos to Twiistup for making this part of the evening.

Founders of Twiistup and Perez HiltonTwiistup is not alone is seeking to highlight the Southern California tech community. In the past two years, events have been creeping up and growing around every corner including BarCamp, G33k D1nner, ThursdayLunch, Lunch 2.0, Drinks 2.0 – and then there are events that have been going on for a lot longer like ExecTech. Each event has its own look and feel and there are countless others not mentioned here that are not open to the public but on an “invite basis.”

It is not one of these events alone that has brought media shine and increased confidence to the region about what the LA tech community can be, but rather all of them together are creating multiple opportunities within a given week for entrepreneurs and those working at startups to come together and build a community. And community is a part of the puzzle that we need for success – a sentiment I have heard many times over the past six months – in order to be a success.

What Twiistup offered was a red carpet night for the SoCal tech community to shine. Shira Lazar presided over the event and interviewed all of the Twiistup showoffs, Perez Hilton made an appearance to announce the Twiistup winner for the night. Geek culture in LA is growing by the day. Press circled outside for the step and repeat and a local news crew filled the following segment on Twiistup found here.

In response to the overwhelming attendance and enthusiasm around events like Twiistup, Mike Macadaan, Twiistuo Founder said, "This latest installment of Twiistup was the best yet. The community that came out to mingle, chat and discover new local companies was some of SoCal's brightest. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with many requests to participate in our summer event. A big thank you to everyone who attended, blogged or recommended Twiistup. Congratulations to the Rubicon Project for being picked as the best Showoff. Their value proposition is so smart and cool that it might seem intimidating but that feeling quickly turns to empowerment for website publishers when you experience what they have created. Their service is a blend of smart technology and beautiful yet functional design."

Sponsor for the event included: AOL Developer Network, Userplane, Clearstone Venture Partners, speakTECH, ThisNext.com, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Lewis Public Relations, mediatemple, Microsoft, Annenberg School of Online Communities (APOC) and Yelp!.

More coverage includes WebWare, BizOrigin, Mike Macadaan's blog and then within the tech community, many of the people at Twiistup have written reviews, updates and already begun discussion on Twiistup4 through various Facebook groups including, SoCal Tech Geek, G33k D1nner, and BarCamp amongst other.

Mike Macadaan and Sloane Berrent

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All candid photos by Sloane Berrent for LAist, red carpet photos courtesy of Mike Macadaan via flickr.