When VCHub's Jeff Boardman was working on refining his startup back in October 2010, he happened on the RTP New Tech Meetup, itself a fledgling idea looking to take hold at a time when, if you can believe this, there weren't too many places to talk about your startup in the RTP.
What he got was a bunch of valuable feedback from a savvy audience (or so he says, I mean, I was there holding down the savvy curve), one that included technologists, entrepreneurs, marketers, and so on.
Started by Roger Smith while he was working on a SugarCRM, New Tech eventually grew into a series of speaking engagements -- I saw Southcap's Jason Caplain and Intersouth's John Glushik speak on separate occasions -- and public pitches/demos, with feedback given by anyone who attended.
Then, like a lot of startup related events, it kind of faded out over time.
It's back with a vengeance, and roughly 55 people showed up. Registration actually filled up pretty quickly, based some on the history of the event and some on Jeff's rebooting effort.
Speaking of previous attendees, Anil Chawla, who presented his Triangle Startup Factory accelerated ArchiveSocial last night, is a repeat offender, I remember him presenting TweetyMail back in 2010.
But at RTP New Tech, everyone got to see a preview of the product he'll be pitching to investors and others at the TSF June 7th demo day. It's a solid pitch and Anil is a great presenter. It was also the first time his product has seen the light of day, with a live demo for the audience.
As a practice field, RTP New Tech was the perfect venue. Public pitching is a always a double-edged sword, but most of the questions were thoughtful.
In fact, all three companies who pitched last night were TSF companies, and this is not a shocker nor is it a bad thing.
Matt Ramsden was there because he's revving up a new version of Berst for May and this is likely the last time he'll be able to get live public feedback to incorporate.
Deepak Gopalakrishna from RxAnalytics was A/B testing his pitch, and got an idea of what resonated and what didn't, so he can fine tune for the real thing.
Also turns out the TSF open house immediately followed RTP New Tech, although miles away (RTP New Tech was at First Flight, TSF Demo Day was in the Underground), but it does put a nice touch on the evening, with early applications for the next semester at TSF wrapping up in late May, anyone working on their application probably should have been at RTP New Tech last night, taking notes from the entrepreneurs going through it now.