Founders & Friends 2017
By now, you’ve likely recovered from the chaos that is CES 2017 (or if you’re like a few from our team, you dodged the Nerd Flu while in Vegas but caught it once back home in the real world). We’d like to share our personal highlights in a separate post, but for now we want to give a shout out to everyone who helped us pull off another successful Founders & Friends at CES.
Last year’s CES was the first year MistyWest sent a team to the show in Las Vegas, and to balance our trip we thought it’d be great to offer a reprieve from the conference madness. Our main goal was pretty simple: we wanted to host a small, intimate gathering to bring together startup founders, early stage Angels & VCs, design thinkers, luminaries, media, artists, incubators, and associated friends in an environment conducive to sparking ideas and forming lasting relationships. We were fortunate to find a home for our event in a penthouse suite at the Nobu hotel, along with great partners Pebble, TrackR, and Vann Alexandra.
Thanks to the incredible response from last year, three of us original co-hosts–MistyWest, TrackR, Vann Alexandra–couldn’t wait to host it again. We held the Founders & Friends event again this year on Jan 6, 2017, with new partners MIT Media Lab, TZOA and Isobar.
We were delighted to entertain colleagues from organizations ranging from Formlabs, HP, Tesla, Arrow, Google, IDEO, Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Hardware Club to name a few. Live music by troubadour guitarist and vocalist Mark Woodyard of Vancouver, BC, kept the beat thumping, while guests explored 4 different rooms with interactive art and technology curated by our event partners.
We are really passionate about technology and what’s happening in the VR/AR space so a key element to our event this year was incorporating some VR experiences; one of which was the wireless VR room sponsored by Isobar, featuring hardware demos by TPCAST plus HTC and VR experiences created by Isobar.
MistyWest brought its Robotic VR Sherpa for players to try out gaming in a manner that didn’t involve tripping over cables and therefore breaking immersion. Crowds of onlookers mingled with drinks as they watched their friends play Space Pirate and other VR games.
On the second floor of the penthouse, past the party-overlooking mezzanine, you could find the TrackR room showcasing their tracking tags and app for finding lost or stolen items.
The final room was hosted by MIT Media Lab and Vann Alexandra, which saw visits from Dr. Michiel Bove and Henry Holtzman. Vann Alexandra showcased some of their work in this room, including the kickstarter funded NASA standards manual.
Our 5th partner host was TZOA, a wearable start-up based in Vancouver focused on measuring air quality and bringing more social awareness to the issue of pollution. As a side note, TZOA was able to assess firsthand the quality of air in Las Vegas casinos. Verdict: it’s quantifiably terrible.
Also in attendance was Jon Tippett from Furrion Robotics, who is the mastermind behind one of the more exciting unveilings at CES in 2017: the 14 foot Ft, 7,000LB racing mech “Prosthesis the Anti–Robot.” Tippet and his team, including MistyWest’s own Derek Disanjh, celebrated in style after winning “Best of CES” earlier that day. Revelry included passing the heavy gold medal between team-mates all night. Huge congratulations Team Prosthesis!
To those that attended and those who couldn’t make it: hope you enjoyed the show and please, keep in touch for CES 2018!
Special thanks to Tito’s for sponsoring and supplying us with Vodka for the party!