Last Tuesday 17th September, the red carpet was rolled out at the Beverly Hills-adjacent Pacific Design Center, but not for the stars of Hollywood, despite it being Emmy week. Instead, those quaffing champagne and munching on Wolfgang Puck catered hors d'oeuvres were the shining new stars of the tech community, proving they know how to party just as flash as the tinseltown A-list.
Wilshire Blvd based incubator Be Great Partners hosted the bash, held on the rooftop of the iconic PDC looking out over the LA skyline in a bid to bring the tech community together, and showcase many of their proteges including Nanxi Liu's interactive billboard company Enplug, flying robots Skycatch, and Skinny Bikini swimwear amongst others. Founders and staff from each company were on hand to talk about their startup and experience, such as Kumar Thangudu, VP of growth at Eversnap - a collaborative photo album marketed primarily for weddings and bachelor / bachelorette parties. Thangudu explained how being in LA from his base of San Francisco gave the team chance for quality time with their Be Great funders, and explore LA in search of new clients, namely nightclubs.
Guests came from far and wide, and attracted a mix of young fresh entrepreneurs, such as Jessica Rose and Cooper Harris. Rose, who is best known for being one of the first YouTube stars as LonelyGirl15, and the TV show Greek is now embarking on an exciting Hollywood-based web startup for the entertainment niche, and came to the event in the hope to meet developers and key people to build out her team; whilst Harris, also with firm feet in showbusiness recently won the AT&T hackathon with her dating app, so attended no doubt inspired by many of the other female founders in the room. The crowd was also filled out with some more familiar faces in tech too, from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's son, to Adam Hudson of Firestarter Videos.
Amongst all the business, fun was still prevalent with an open bar, rooftop music by DJ Politik and gift bags filled with geek goodies from Marvel Pez Dispensers to Video Game High School DVDs, headphones and other gadgets. Guests were treated to discount rides to and from the event by sponsor Uber, and whilst it may not be the entertainment highlight of Awards Season, much of Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach will be making the Be Great Fest a firm fixture on their dry-wipe calendars.