TechCrunch Seattle Meetup: Tech Community Picks Pot, and Revolting Against Revolutionary

June 13, 2014

For the second year in a row, Barokas Communications sponsored the TechCrunch Meetup and Pitch-Off in Seattle. While some of the ideas gave me flashbacks to the early 2000’s, there were a handful of companies that showed a lot of promise.


One of my favorites, and selected as the runner up by the judging panel, was Vet Commander, a company transforming the job seeking and hiring process for America’s vets. The company enables veterans to create a personal connection with an employer through a short video, allowing them to share their experiences beyond a static resume.

The winner of the evening was Essay Mentors, a service that supports students through all steps of the college essay writing process. Being a tech geek myself, I always appreciate the automation of tedious processes, and I’m sure every parent in the audience was drooling over the thought of a service that can help eliminate family feuds caused by the essay writing process.

And in what should come as no surprise to any Seattleite, Canary, a marijuana courier service, won the audience choice award. Canary was founded by two 19-year olds CanaryFounders copy 2who showed up the rest of the presenters with a witty and enthusiastic 60-second pitch. Oddly enough, they are planning to launch later this year in the two markets where we have offices – Seattle and Denver. #Coincidence?

At the VC dinner prior to the Meetup, we had the opportunity to spend a little quality time with several TC reporters and local VCs. One of my favorite comments from the evening was made during a discussion about the enormous volume of email reporters receive each day. One reporter commented that if you search the word “revolutionary” you can delete about 90% of the pitches and press releases sent each day. AMEN. Revolutionary can joined “thrilled, pleased and excited” in the bucket of words that should be banned from pitches and press releases. If you can’t think of anything more original or compelling to say, then maybe you shouldn’t be saying it.

Now, lets see if I can find a service that automates blog post writing which reflects my own voice and style.  🙂



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