Last year Matt Johnston and myself picked up the Belfast Silicon Drinkabout batton from Dermott McElduff who had been running the events. Matt and I are both founders of Raise Ventures, but this is an extra-curricular project. Matt loves tech and I love going to the pub so we’re well placed to take this forward.
We’re keen to build on the fine traditions started in London as they explain on the Silicon Drinkabout website – “Michael Acton Smith (Mind Candy) started Silicon Drinkabout as an informal get-together of friends. When it outgrew the time he had available to spend on it, the 3 Beards took over. Visitors from other cities attended the Friday night event and suggested setting up similar gatherings for their local communities, under the same name. The community waxed and waned and waxed once more, fuelled by love and frustration, by commitment and creativity, by luck, by limitations and by yet more love. 3beards ceased operations in pursuit of other Unicorns yet Silicon Drinkabout continues to flourish in the hands of a growing global community and supportive guidance of Vicky Hunter.”
I met Ben Southworth a number of years ago at Google Campus in Shoreditch. Seeing and hearing about the energy in the tech sector and ambition in London was inspiring. There was also a sense of community with the Silicon Drinkabout events, it was a welcoming event for individuals rather than company representatives. Too often events related to work are all about promoting your employer or using the event to find staff, providers or customers. Silicon Drinkabout isn’t about that.
It’s about people meeting up, sharing experiences, building friendships, empathising, supporting and having fun. It’s not easy navigating the tech world and this will hopefully be a highlight in the month.
It’s not a Magaluf shot fest or pint downing session – whatever your poison – whether it’s tomato juice, a trendy new IPA or craft gin, a pint of Harp or a cheeky pinot you will be welcome.
The challenge we face is to organise evenings for anyone involved in tech – whether a coder for a startup, a systems guy at bank, a database expert working for an FDI or a designer at an agency. Everyone is welcome!
Our monthly meetup at the Duke of York on Belfast’s Silicon Alley and we hope to see you, your colleagues and your friends there. Don’t bring business cards, it’s not that sort of evening.