Events — 19 September 2012
Brooklyn Tech Meetup at Huge Dumbo, Brooklyn

On Tuesday night, techies, social media professionals, and newbies alike made their way to Dumbo, Brooklyn in the midst of a tornado warning to attend the “Brooklyn Tech Meetup.” The nasty weather couldn’t keep a capacity, sold out crowd from heading to the office of Huge, one of advertising’s most innovative and tech savvy firms to network, listen to industry trailblazers, and have a couple of drinks all in the same evening. It was a terrific marriage of the popular grouping service “Meetup” paired with those who see the future and want to be a part of it right now. was in the house to bring you some cool, hopefully breaking news on the tech scene!

After a solid half hour of networking and grabbing beers and some light snacks, it was time to sit down in Huge’s take on the modern conference/key note space. After a warm introduction, the team behind Temboo took to the microphone. Created by a team of programmers and developers from all sides of the industry, Temboo works to help developers build apps that assist users by simplifying development by building efficient, smart shortcuts that you can drag and drop right into your code. Co-founder Trisala spoke passionately about her firm’s work to take simple apps like an alarm clock and truly make them work for us. She stated that this all inclusive clock app should be able to check your calendar, flights, workout schedule, and weather all in one fell swoop. These simplifications are not only super cool, but also help us save time. Trisala’s clock example made me think back to an episode of “The Office” from a few years back, where the Ryan character created an app called “WUPHF,” which centralized a user’s social media platforms. Even though this was a parody, it appears to be the same type of all-in-one inclusiveness Temboo is working towards.

Next up was Kevin King, CEO of “The Appreciation Engine.” Mr. King comes to the application world from a long career in the ever changing music industry. As one of the founders of MusicHype Kevin worked tirelessly to innovate the manner in which we bridge the fan-artist relationship in an honest and cost effective manner. The formation of The Appreciation Engine solidified this change in which information is collected by allowing the fans themselves to opt in voluntarily in an transparent exchange. Therefore if a fan signs up for the group Thievery Corporation (and Appreciation Engine client) homepage and mailer updates, they will only receive updates that they truly want. Long gone are the days of the “If you like this artist you will also like..” nonsense, Appreciation Engine gives said artist a real-time feed of personal fan activity in a centralized hub.

Before Mr. King took to the floor to fully explain his firm’s dealings, I was fortunate to speak with him about his foray into this fan friendly technology over a few beers during the networking session. We both agreed on how crucial it is to target audiences in a way that respects them. Repeat business or viewership depends on these clear and open channels. Mr. King and I both happen to be Brooklyn residents, and that led us to a casual discussion about this technology being used on a block by block basis in order to directly connect local businesses to longtime or new consumers. Needless to say, we are waiting with baited breath to see what Kevin and his firm roll out with next. This also goes to show how hands on these Meetup sessions are- as it is relatively infrequent for attendees to grab a beer and chat with the people who are behind the technology being used on a daily basis all while hanging out in Huge’s sprawling, dynamic office space.

Last but certainly not least was Ben Silbert co-founder of, “Bar & Club Stats.” Mr. Silbert and his team have created a much needed technology to help bars, nightclubs, casinos, stadiums and retail establishments protect themselves against underage drinking and much more. Utilizing an ID scanner that affixes itself to modern versions of the iPhone, with the “Bar & Clubs” proven system, the establishment can quickly scan IDs to avoid legal problems with underage patrons. Yet the real benefit occurs when this ID information is sent in real-time to provide users with male to female ratios in bars as well as what nights are the hottest, to name a few benefits.

Don’t worry, all name and address information are cloaked for privacy issues. Ben then provided the packed Meetup crowd with a fantastic real-time example showing us the stats for Sutton Place, the highly popular Manhattan nightspot. This joint scans 100% of ID’s, reporting black and white stats which would help a customer coming in from Long Island or Queens with the straight dope on that evening’s scene. When I first started hitting bars nearly ten years ago, this type of technology simply did not exist, leading to several places being raided for underage drinking all the time. Thankfully these scanners can prevent that and help these small businesses to prosper.

Following each speaker, Q&A sessions where held providing Meetup attendees additional opportunities to ask the programmers and developers any question about their respective services. In addition to these great exchanges, the Meetup up also allowed time for attendees to stand before the crowd to promote their businesses and announce job openings. Since this was my first Brooklyn Tech Meetup I was blown way by this inclusiveness, and face-to-face interaction to include everyone. Be on the lookout for these regular occurring events. You better believe we will be in attendance for future Meetups. They are simply one of the best ways to meet people who share a common interest while being at the forefront of the tech biz.

- Jay Rubin

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