The week of Web 2.0 Summit, with the industry converging on San Francisco, seems like as good time as any to throw a shindig. Everyone's in town for the schmoozefest, so you might get to meet quality people who normally avoid the party scene. While my boss hit the Reddit party, I hopped around town to some of the other events. Three, in fact. VC firm True Ventures held a gathering at their offices on Pier 38, a tech industry jam session — for charity, naturally — occurred across town at the Rickshaw Stop, and VCs Eric Chin and Mike Jung held a private party at Fluid for attendees of their intimate Alpha dinners in Woodside. Who needs sleep this week?
True Ventures, the firm which counts WordPress maker Automattic and tech-blog network GigaOm among its holdings, hosted people at its offices on Pier 38 right by the Bay Bridge. Spotted at the party: GigaOm reporters Katie Fehrenbacher and Liz Gannes in conversation with Richard MacManus of ReadWriteWeb. The effortlessly charming Jared Kopf of AdRoll tried to duck having a specific launch date for his ad software company. (Before December 31, he promised.) On my way out the door, I spied First Round Capital VC Josh Kopelman chatting with angel investor Ron Conway, VC Stewart Alsop, and TeeBeeDee's Robin Wolaner. (I recognized Wolaner because she recently blogged about having eye surgery complete with mid-surgery pictures. Ew! In a Discovery Channel can't-stop-looking sort of way.)
I spoke with Kopelman for a moment as he explained the reason why he tried indoor skydiving — the activity which broke his shoulder. His wife thought it seemed safer than the zero-gravity flights currently in vogue with the Sand Hill set. Oops.
Onto the Rickshaw Stop across town, to a music session for hacks and flacks. The open mike jam session starred jounalist rock star Don Clark of the Wall Street Journal and Kevin Maney of Portfolio. Here's a secret for you — whenever Don Clark plays, a gaggle of PR fans mob the audience. Last night? No different. Spotted in the crowd, flacks from big firms, like Voce Communications, and PR consultants aplenty. Ali Partovi, founder of music application service iLike, came out to support the scene. PR goddess Brooke Hammerling appeared and greeted Le Web 3 conference producer Cathy Brooks effusively.
To SoMa and Fluid for the the last stop of the night, where Mike Jung of Panorama Capital and Eric Chin of Bay Partners brought together alums from their Alpha dinners in Woodside for a drink special. Spotted: First Round Capital director Howard Morgan, who spoke briefly about his investment into the Zero-G airlines. (He's been on three of those flights already!) The crowd was full of founders. Among the crowd were Mint's Aaron Patzer, HotorNot founder James Hong, former Greylock VC turned Chirpscreen founder Eve Phillips and the guy blowing kisses above, PBWiki founder David Weekly. Eric and Mike told me that they aim to have their Alpha dinners bring together founders and VCs with a common thread, with the hopes of making connections that pay off. And it's happened. Oren Michels of Mashery reports that his widget-software startup received a check in the midst of one of the Alpha dinners. The Alpha luck might have struck again. At the end of the night, Mike Jung snuck away for a phone call. Rumor was that a deal was in the works. Heard anything about it? Let us know.