Boston TechJam ‘block party’ returns to City Hall Plaza on June 11

TripAdvisor's owl mascot, Ollie, rides the mechanical bull.
TripAdvisor's owl mascot, Ollie, rides the mechanical bull.

What other after-work shindig features baggo, beer, live bands, startup pitches, and TripAdvisor’s owl mascot riding a mechanical bull?

The annual TechJam block party returns to City Hall Plaza on June 11, and this year organizers expect it could grow to nearly 4,000 attendees. (Last year’s attendance was north of 3,000.) That makes TechJam, now in its third year, Boston’s biggest annual gathering for the local tech tribe.

One new feature will be presentations by one startup from each of the city’s prominent incubators and accelerator programs, like Bolt, Cambridge Innovation Center, and Constant Contact’s Innovation Loft.

Tickets cost $10, but 100 percent of the event’s profits go to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s Education Foundation, which promotes computer science learning. Last year’s TechJam raised over $18,000 for the foundation.

techjam-octopusWhile last year’s TechJam featured entrepreneurs pitching business ideas at Faneuil Hall, and the outdoor games, booths, live music, and beer at City Hall Plaza, TechJam co-founder Mark Lorion says this year, “We’re fully integrating content into the main footprint at City Hall Plaza. We may have one main stage and rotate content and entertainment throughout the evening, or have one entertainment stage and one content stage, but the content won’t be in a separate place.” Lorion is chief marketing officer at Apperian, a startup that helps large companies deploy and manage mobile apps for their employees.

About 75 companies typically exhibit at TechJam, which serves for them as a recruiting and marketing event. The team that puts on TechJam includes Lorion; co-founder Christine Nolan; Clare Madden from MassTLC; Dave Polcaro from East Coast Catalyst; Ben Maitland-Lewis from Pretty Instant; Dave Cutler from Influence Central; and Joel Richman from SHIFT Communications.

Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column every Sunday in the Boston Globe, in which he tracks entrepreneurship, investment, and big company activities around New England.
Follow Scott on Twitter - Facebook - Google+