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Expedient and Fast Switch bring tech networking event to northeast ohio

Expedient and Fast Switch are bringing their Tech Strategy event to Northeast Ohio. Started in 2007 in Columbus by Fast Switch, the Tech Strategy events are relaxed invitation-only networking events between senior level IT executives and promising technology startup companies.

Expedient got on board as a co-sponsor soon after the group’s inception, and now the two companies brought the concept to 70 attendees at  Lockkeepers in Independence on Tuesday, Feb. 26 for its inaugural Tech Strategy NEO. “I think it’s a great, unique concept for this area,” says Michael DeAloia, Expedient’s regional vice president. “It’s invitation-only to senior IT executives so they can meet with their peers while at the same time meeting with a select group of startups.”
The goal is to help the startups generate local customers, find advisory board candidates, access capital, gather employee referrals and receive business plan and strategy critiques. While the structure is casual, startup founders are given a short time to give their elevator pitches to the executives.

Eight startups pitched their companies, including Widdle, DragonID and J-Lynn Entertainment. Additionally, Fast Switch New Ventures and North Coast Angel Fund pitched to the group. “When was the last time a venture group pitched a room full of entrepreneurs,” asked DeAloia.
“It was a fascinating mix of people, creeds and generations in the room and I am always jazzed to be in the company of entrepreneurs and the energy and enthusiasm they possess,” says DeAloia. “I dig hanging out with the experienced executive and enjoy the opportunity to explore their experiences.”

No selling is a firm rule at these meetings, which will occur every two months, although DeAloia admits that occasionally the meetings have led to client relationships. The objective is to provide a casual yet controlled forum for executives to learn about technology start-ups in the region and explore ways to help them succeed. 
For information about future Tech Strategy events, contact DeAloia.
Source: Michael DeAloia
Writer: Karin Connelly

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