nte-katie-and-brett“Live from Kirkland… It’s Tuesday Night!”

Sit down and let me tell you a tale of a place like no other. Where the beer flows like high speed internet, where the wine flows like beer, and where no two business cards are the same. Sounds like a dream right? Wrong. This is New Tech Eastside and it is very, very real.

“I put on lipstick.”

The night kicked off on quirky note, as Katie Walvatne acknowledged that she didn’t resemble the photo on the big screen, and joined Brett Greene on stage as a Peter Chee impersonator. To get things started, Brett and “Peter” introduced the interactive portion of the evening: Community shout-outs! Following pleas to beta test, review, and join teams of techies, three startup weekends were advertised. If you are interested in building a product geared toward B2B sales, health innovation systems, or Latino markets, visit http://startupweekend.org to learn more about how you can participate!

“I’m from Texas, I always carry a pocket knife, and I won a state-wide coloring contest in the 1st grade.”

Kicking off the presentation portion of the night, Brandy Rhodes from NTE sponsor 9Mile Labs introduced her company as one that “invests in people with smart, innovative tech ideas” before turning the floor over to iMovR.

“Nobody should be sentenced to the chair!”

Ron Wiener from iMovR made a compelling argument, advocating the value and the usability of his treadmill desks. In his words, iMovR is “in the business of office fitness.” Ron says that getting people out of their seats is what drives his company. For those of you that can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, don’t knock it ‘til you try it! Like Ron said, “Jimmy Kimmel can do it… Even Peter Chee can do it!”

“This is getting dangerous…”

With an arm like Babe Ruth, the aim of Annie Oakley, and the stage presence of the Three Stooges, Frontier demonstrated a mean curveball t-shirt toss to reward correct answers to trivia questions about Seattle. Coming in hot behind this energetic interlude was Trent, the man behind the mouse(flow).

nte-trent-mouseflow“We’re cutting edge, NSA-style!”

Trent Scott launched Mouseflow in 2009. His aim? To revolutionize the way people view website analytics data using heat maps and real-time playbacks of visitor activity on websites. Aggregating that data onto a sexy dashboard, Mouseflow takes cyber-stalking to a whole new level by making it easy for a company to analyze the behavior of actual visitors on their website. Mouseflow provides companies with the data they need to optimize how they organize and present their information virtually. Since its launch, Mouseflow has spread over nine countries and provides service to companies like Pepsi, Frontier Airlines, and the Weather Channel.

“Lose the chimp, send in blue!”

Papa Smurf made a cameo appearance to represent SendinBlue, a NTE sponsor. Offering an alternative to companies like MailChimp, SendinBlue facilitates the efficient sending of newsletters. Papa Smurf gave Sailesh from Mobisante a warm New Tech welcome.

nte-sailesh-mobisante“I’m going to volunteer my body for science now.”

Giving a real-time demonstration on stage, Sailesh Chutani with Mobisante validated the gadget that has earned him several awards, and worldwide press. Traditional ultrasound machines conservatively cost $35,000, weigh as much as a chubby rhinoceros, and are about as portable as a grand piano. Mobisante has created the first-ever mobile diagnostic ultrasound machine, offering users clear and accessible ultrasound imaging on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Because of this technology, ultrasound imaging is now made available to previously underserved populations, including climbers on Mt. Everest, soldiers in active duty, and organizations that provide healthcare in remote areas of the world. The basic unit costs less than $5,000, weighs less than 12 ounces, and its counterpart app is so easy, a caveman could do it.

“New Tech Eastside Rocks… er… dot rocks.”

Wake up on the WrongSide of the bed because you’re sick and tired of being just another dot-com? Maybe it’s time you try RightSide, the company that brings you access to an encyclopedia of unique domain names such as “.rocks” or “.ninja.” Shawn from RightSide introduced the last presenter of the evening, GoDaddy.*

“I have no idea, I’m just a developer.”

What do you get when you mix heavy slides of coding language, intricate descriptions of platform updates, and a captive audience of techies? I have no idea. I’m not a developer. What I do know is that GoDaddy is in the business of individuality. GoDaddy has a cult following as the go-to website for landing the perfect domain name to provide you with the unique online presence you crave. For example, my domain name might be chantel@overmyhead.sorrygodaddy. See how that works?

“I took off my lipstick…”

Arriving fashionably late to the stage, Peter Chee (the real one) joined Brett on stage to thank the presenters for the evening and give the attendees a proper send off. Cheers to another night of entertaining presentations, techies turned stand-up comics, and near-miss merchandise tosses! Until next time, Eastside!

*I now see the irony of this lineup.

On LinkedIn there are millions of users but not all profiles are created equally. Many are a direct reflection of their resumes, but at a recent pilot event held in Capitol Hill, LinkedIn instructed the crowd  to think of their profile as a “living, breathing” way to get a new job, customer, or even volunteer opportunity. That can be accomplished by adding rich media, from pictures to videos to links of your work.

To help those in attendance achieve those goals LinkedIn brought together a panel of experts to speak about how LinkedIn has helped them grow their brand. It included: Peter Chee, CEO and chief pot stirrer at thinkspace; Carol Vecchio, founder of Centerpoint Institute for Life and Career Renewal; and Alexis Baird, Product Manager for Profile at LinkedIn. It’s the first time the San Francisco-based company held an event like this one. They chose Seattle because of the large number of startups here and the diversity of the city.

Personality Prevails – “Talk about what you are passionate about.”

LinkedIn panel

“People do business with people, not businesses,” Peter told the crowd. “Find ways to connect on a personal level.”

That wasn’t the only time the eager group of nearly 200 entrepreneurs, small businesses, and students were encouraged to show their personality especially on a professional website. Alexis explained the importance of sharing what you are passionate about. Adding your hobbies could lead to a professional ice breaker.

When talking about how LinkedIn has worked for him, Peter described what he called his “Alex from Target moment” a few months ago. It began with posting a long form blog on his LinkedIn page late one night titled “Questions To Ask Before Quitting Your Job To Work At A Startup.” It was part of an event promotion aimed at helping those wrestling with the same decision. Several hours later the post had 3,000 views and eventually ballooned to more than 92,000 views worldwide, hundreds of comments on LinkedIn, and it helped sell out the event. Peter said the post “created value” for the event, making it a bigger success than he initially anticipated. It’s the perfect example of using personal experience to connect with your audience.

Actionable Tips

So maybe you’re not an established business owner with an expansive network and more like me. I’m in the midst of changing the course of my career and need help with the transition. Peter provided other actionable tips.

For example, after meeting someone at a networking he suggests including “why you enjoyed the conversation” in your LinkedIn message. And don’t procrastinate.

Experts suggest:

1) Tailor your profile around what you want to be doing. It’s not necessary to list every job you’ve held.

2) Avoid job titles and use statements instead.

3) Show examples of your work whenever possible e.g. pictures, links, and presentations

The LinkedIn team also offered profile makeovers. I found this one-on-one time to be invaluable. Crystal Braswell offered me tailored tips that I utilized as soon as I got home. They included changing my profile picture because she said I looked younger in person. (Yikes!) The changes instantly made my page look better. I’ve already received positive feedback which let me know I was on the right track.

Crystal Braswell gets her makep done

Whether or not you think of yourself as being photogenic the experts say don’t ignore your profile picture. The LinkedIn team converted a small area into a professional photo shoot complete with make-up artist. All night this booth had a continuous line. Your profile picture is one of the first things people see and taking the time to ensure it’s representative of who you are is important.

LinkedIn photoshoot

By the end of the event I felt rejuvenated. Receiving usable tips and being in the company of others who are working on improving their digital footprint helped recharge my career batteries. Change isn’t always easy but events like #RockYourProfile showed me that improvement isn’t an insurmountable task.

Here are more Growth hacking with LinkedIn tips from Peter Chee.

A guest-post from Anne Samoilov

Today’s post comes to Thinkspace courtesy of Anne Samoilov and is republished by permission.  Anne has been helping solopreneurs become more productive, create and launch their life’s work. She teaches about topics including online launching, product launch, small business growth, productivity, self-management, motivation, business planning + goal setting. Anne’s background also includes 10 years experience as producer for animation, visual effects, and game development. We’re excited to have Anne here on the Thinkspace blog – as well as a featured speaker in a series of brown bag workshops.


Is it possible something you said 4, 5, or 6 months ago affected your recent launch sales?

Does it really matter what you say to people about your launch? Will it make the difference between sales and dead air?

Is there a known, working method of reaching out, touching, connecting, getting to know your customers before you open the doors, starting conversations that actually lead to sales?

And don’t you want the RIGHT people to take your offer?

There’s nothing worse than making an offer and getting the wrong audience on board… though it does tell you something about what you’re offering… but I digress.

Talking about your upcoming launch, sharing the behind the scenes, taking people along for the ride – it’s crucial to your launch bottom line – but the process is riddled with mistakes people make when they’re first starting.

It’s not as simple as posting 5 times a day on social media (and hoping for the best). If you track your tweets – you know most people don’t click on those posts.

You can’t just run an ad on Facebook – and again, think that everyone will be magically drawn to it.

And – you can’t hope those guest posts – ok that ONE guest post you did – a year ago, will help you grow your audience.

Unless, you understand what it takes to get the right people’s attention NOW.

I learned that to get the conversation started meant focusing on (BRACE YOURSELF THIS MIGHT SOUND SELFISH) the what I wanted back.

Yes – the exchange of ideas – opinions – feelings – experiences… that’s what I wanted.

Once I determined what I wanted back – I changed my approach to communicating forever.

And I’m going to share the secret with you in a very special,  in-person workshop on March 20th here at thinkspace.

Conversations That Sell: How to tell the world about your launch + reach more of the right people.

  1. The easy launch conversation starter that equaled sales within 24 hours – most people don’t realize that this simple strategy is so powerful – and it even surprised me.
  2. My top 3 “no brainer” methods to prepare your audience for a launch.
  3. The one no cost “everyday” business tool that saved me hours in time and money.
  4. How my “Launch Leak Strategy” allows you to “tease” your launch and create excitement before you even launch!

And then – I’m going to share my proven “before, during and after” launch communication plan that will take all the guess work out for you!

Anne will be presenting at an upcoming thinkspace event – March 20th, Fearless Launching: Conversations That Sell, Workshop #2.  For more information and to register for this event, click here.  If you aren’t able to physically be present for this event, view the webinar by subscribing here.

Crazy looking. I just created my LinkedIn InMap to see what my professional world looks like visually. There’s definitely some massive solar systems out there where some of the people I happen to know are incredibly well connected. I am definitely having a fun time looking at who are at the center of each different colored clouds.