‘AVL Tech & Startup Night’ a big hit

Sad to say, this is the last week of Tech Talent South‘s stay at Base Camp AVL.

TTS has been running an 8-week code immersion program in our 2nd floor conference room since Jan. 13. Knowing they were going to be using the space motivated us to get most of the 2nd floor renovated before they showed up. So thanks to them for that.

But mostly we just like having everyone who is involved around – they’ve become part of the OS AVL family! (Happily, it looks like at least one of them will be co-working with us.)


Chad Littlefield gets the group going.

And we’re super grateful for them organizing the ‘AVL Tech & Startup Night,’ which christened our showcase space on the 2nd floor on Thursday evening, February 18.  More than 70 people from the Asheville tech community showed up. Many did not know what they were getting themselves into…

To open the evening, Chad Littlefield of We! facilitated a series of exercises that made it apparent to everyone that this would not be networking-as-usual. Participants were asked to connect on a deeper level than typically happens in a networking event; fortunately, Chad made this easy and fun.

Then participants were invited to join one of four discussion groups – or to just talk to whoever they felt like talking to.

Three of the groups had been planned prior to the event:

Code for Asheville, a local Meetup group, hosted a group to talk about…

  • How can citizens encourage government to improve transparency?
  • How can we use technology to improve citizen engagement and lower the barriers to access of government?

Asheville Women in Tech, another Meetup group, and Cardinal Solutions, an IT consulting group in Charlotte, hosted a dialogue on…

  • How do we create strong, new relationships between organizations?
  • How do we make them effective and impactful?
  • How do we work together to get things done?
  • What other organizations might be good to work with (start-ups, non-profits)?
  • How to make a positive change in our community through our tech-based roles?

And Base Camp AVL convened a group to discuss…

  • What are the most important aspects of a tech/entrepreneurial ecosystem for Asheville, NC?
  • What assets do we have to build a thriving ecosystem, what is missing, and what do we need more of?
  • In what ways do you feel supported by the Asheville entrepreneurial community, and in what ways would you like more support/guidance?

The fourth group was formed by Dominic Taverniti of Smartrac, who had an interest in hosting a discussion on how to create collaboration between Asheville tech companies in their recruiting efforts.

At the end of the discussions, each group shared its top three ideas.

A common theme across all groups was how to make it easier for the tech community to collaborate and communicate, e.g., about different events/meetups, and to connect people with skills to people/jobs looking for those skills.

I’m excited to being involved, both personally and as a representative of Base Camp AVL, in moving some of the ideas forward.


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