The tech industry in the Fargo/Moorhead metro area is growing like crazy these days, and the recent success and popularity has brought an influx of super talented individuals and meetup groups to the forefront of the tech scene.
Tech Tailgate is essentially a meetup for meetups. It's a one night event where local tech groups can get together and "tailgate" with each other, complete with beer from local breweries.
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While sitting in the Prairie Den one afternoon, Shannon Wiedman and Megan Otto, co-leaders of Girl Develop It Fargo, and Kyle Weik, Fargo Game Makers leader, started chatting about an idea. As leaders of meetup groups in Fargo, they wondered if there was a way to bring all of the local meet-ups together so everyone could learn more about what each other is doing.
GDI and Fargo Game Makers had just been part of an NDSU class project where they told the class about their groups, their goals, their our pain points and the students' projects were to advise solutions to help solve some of those pain points. Something that arose during that conversation was that they really know much about what the other was doing, but they wanted to.
Wiedman, Otto & Weik came up with the idea to host an event where all of the local tech meet-ups could get together and learn about each other. The meet-up groups would invite all their members to come and learn about other groups within the community. After much brainstorming about a word that starts with a T and goes with Tech... Tech Tailgate was born! And, of course, no idea is real until you have a logo and a URL, right? So those were the obvious next steps. After getting branding guru, Adam Wiedman of Wiedman Design Co involved, a logo and brand was created. Otto got going on the website and Weik & Wiedman started working out all of the details of the event.
The first Tech Tailgate on July 16th at the Fargo Brewing Company parking lot. Nine tech meet-ups from the area gathered in the parking lot, opened up their tailgates (or trunks), and talked to guests about who they were and their purpose within the community. Fargo Brewing donated the pizza and the beer was flowing right along with the conversations. The nine meet-ups represented were Girl Develop It Fargo, Fargo Game Makers, Interface Fargo, NS Fargo, Geek Meet, Hack Fargo, FM Content Strategy Meet-up, Red River Web Group and Good For Nothing Fargo.
Wiedman, Otto & Weik say they would have been happy with 50 people showing up, but there were well over that – coming in at around 130 people. Once people started showing up, they knew that this was something the FM community needed. They didn’t know just how much excitement the first Tech Tailgate would bring to the FM community, but quickly learned people were excited. The next day, they already had people asking when the next Tech Tailgate was.
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