by Lenny Pierce, Research Analyst
On Thursday, April 16th, the organization Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG) will be hosting their 9th annual Tech Charity Wine and Tequila Party at Landmark Center at 401 Park Drive in Boston. TUGG is a group dedicated to nurturing social entrepreneurship in New England and Thursday evening’s party is specifically geared towards raising $400K+ to support six local non-profits–that and imbibing in high-end wine and tequila.
While last year’s event drew 1,500 tech community members out to celebrate, the goal this year is for 2,000 guests to attend. Throughout the evening guests will be visited by representatives from each group in their attempts to gain votes for the top spot in one of two categories–”new” and “returning”. The winner of each category will receive $50,000, while the remaining four groups will receive $10,000 each.
Fenway is an intuitive choice for the event since the area is being viewed as fertile ground for the next generation of start ups–especially as space for this type of group becomes scarcer and scarcer in Cambridge and the Seaport. Developers hoping to provide office space for these incoming tenants are designing projects in the area with the live-work-play dynamic so highly valued by the modern technology worker. Examples of ongoing developments in the area include The Van Ness and Fenway Center projects, which are a combined total of over 400,000 sq. ft. of office space, as well as Landmark Center itself, which is undergoing a massive redevelopment that will eventually see 622,000 sq. ft. of office space. In addition to the office and residential portions of Fenway projects, significant retail components will mean ever-strengthening, ever-hip night life in the region. Aside from these more recent developments, the most established medical cluster in the world, Longwood Medical Area, has a natural gravitational pull for those tech workers operating in the medical industry.
The three non-profits new to the competition are A Bed for Every Child, a group which provides brand new beds for low-income and homeless children, Press Pass TV, who provide training, programming and employment opportunities to disadvantaged young people in the video production field and Sitters Without Borders, a volunteer baby-sitting service for low-come communities. The returning nonprofits are Catie’s Closet, which provides clothing and basic necessities to underprivileged children, Future Chefs, a culinary education and early employment program for urban teens and Resilient Coders, a group focused on making web technology more available to urban youth who might not otherwise be exposed to it.
The Host Committee for this year’s party include tech all-stars such as Lars Albright (SessionM), Mike Baker (DataXu), Matthew Bellows (Yesware), Wayne Chang (Twitter), Peter Dolan (Makena Capital Management), Liam Donohue (.406 Ventures), Brent Grinna (EverTrue), Diane Hessan (Startup Institute), Janet Kraus (Peach), Adam Marcus (OpenView Venture Partners), Freddie Martignetti (Suffolk Equity), Patrick Morley (Bit9), Jules Pieri (The Grommet), Dan Primack (Fortune), Jason Robins (DraftKings), Scott Savitz (Data Point Capital), Fred Shilmover (InsightSquared) and Adam Valkin (General Catalyst)
To provide transit to and from the event, Bridj plans to run pop-up services from neighborhoods such as Back Bay, Kendall Square, Downtown and the Seaport. Fares are $0.50 but you can also use the promo code “tugg” to ride for free.