Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending TechCrunch 9 at August Capital.  I attended the event on behalf of one of Airfoil’s clients, ProfileBuilder, who launched their new identity aggregator at the event, which by the way, turned out to be hit!

I have to admit right off the bat that I received the invitation last minute and I really didn’t know what the event was about or what to expect.   The event was attended by about 900 people, including Silicon Valley luminaries, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, journalist, bloggers and the like.  They all came to mingle and get a sneak peek at the dozen or so tech start-up companies who were showcasing their products at the event.  I had a chance to meet quite a few of them.  I was delighted to meet people like Dean Takahashi, Robert Scoble, Michael Arrington and Eric Auchard … just to name a few.

In addition to meeting media, I had the chance to meet some very cool people, like Etienne Handman, the chief operating officer of Pandora, a company that generates personalized streaming radio for your computer, mobile phone or home entertainment system.  Etienne played deejay at the event, streaming music all night from his laptop.  I also met Anne Donker, who helps start-ups find venture funding in Silicon Valley.  Anne is a former journalist and gave me quite a few tips on working with journalists.  Although we didn’t have much conversation, I got the chance to introduce myself to Nuttall, technology correspondent for the Financial Times and Charlene Li, vice president and senior analyst at Forrester.  I also got a glimpse of Fred Vogelstein from Wired and Rob Hof of BusinessWeek, but never got a chance to actually speak with them.  Maybe next time.

All in all, it was a great event and a great experience for me as a PR professional.  I not only had the opportunity to meet all these great people but I got a sneak peek at some of the up-and-coming technologies and individuals that are working to change the world. 

The thing that struck me most about the whole program, however, is how very roaring ’90s it all seemed.  Mind you, I wasn’t in the industry for the Internet bubble. I was still in undergrad, as a matter of fact; but as a consumer of media and a PR practitioner, I’m well read on the topic and also quite familiar with the warning bells being rung by the once-bitten and twice-shy tech veterans that lived it the first time around.  Taken as a whole, I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen and if anyone learned any lessons from Web 1.0.

— Lucia Giacomantonio

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