For years, the tech community in Charlotte was dominated by people who worked for the major financial institutions. Things are changing. Facilitated by social media and local meet-ups, groups such as Charlotte UX, Packard-Place, and Charlotte Hackers and Founders have created an energetic synergy that reflects the "can-do", positive attitude of the Charlotte region.
Last week I attended a meetup of TechCrunch and Charlotte-area techies, held at the uptown Packard Place entrepreneurial center. My main purpose for attending the TechCrunch meet-up was to learn more about innovative technology start-ups in my region. Because the place was crowded and there were very few booths, I changed my strategy and wandered about, and stopped if anything interesting - like a T-shirt or a winning smile- caught my eye. (See TechCrunch Charlotte Highlights: T1 Vision, inTouch Software)
Cards I Collected, Info I gathered
One group of enthusiastic techies had a working demonstration of their system, NexTable, the "next generation reservation, table management system and marketing solutions for restaurants".Since I worked as a waitress in my college days, and married a guy in the restaurant business (he's now a recruiter), I know how crazy it is to make sure the reservation process goes smoothly. From what I could see from the iPad interface, the reservation component would be very easy for busy restaurant staff to implement.
The NexTable system looks like it would be helpful to wait-staff, customers, and restaurant owners. It aggregates online reservations from any source, which is great for busy, hungry people. It provides a text platform for customer reservations, wait-lists, confirmations, and notifications when tables are ready. Data generated from this system can be used to customize marketing campaigns.
Queen Associates: Frances M. Queen
Queen Associates is an IT consulting group that provides talent for clients across multiple industries. They promote the hiring of veterans and minority candidates. "It takes many different voices, many different viewpoints and an environment of respect and inclusiveness to provide the best service for our clients." -Queen Associates website
fritter: Derek G. Dahl
"By eliminating order errors and the hassle of phone ordering, our cutting edge online ordering platform streamlines the food ordering and delivery process. Fritter.co creates ordering solutions for restaurants and hungry customers, providing quality cuisine at an affordable price. Support local restaurants while enjoying great deals and promotions."-Fritter website
AddShoppers: Jon West
AddShoppers is a social commerce analytics company. It helps internet-based retailers figure out how their social media efforts reach customers. The service is free.
"AddShoppers is the only social sharing platform built for online retailers. We help retailers increase sharing while at the same time providing unparalleled analytics".
MailVu : Addy Kapur
MailVU provides a way to communicate through video email. It can be embedded into websites or even learning management systems such as Blackboard and Moodle. For businesses, it can be embellished with a logo.
KYCK "The Global Soccer/Futbol Experience" "KYCK is a digital media platform that discovers, curates, and delivers personalized and highly relevant soccer content to our users"
I wasn't able to catch the guy who was wearing this poster on his back. I don't follow soccer, but it seams that the platform could be used by followers of other special interests, such as tracking weather disasters around the world, favorite music groups and events, and so forth.