Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t at Tapastry restaurant in Montclair last night, but maybe the world’s next tech phenomenon was. About 45 people packed the second floor of the restaurant, eating paella and exchanging business cards, at Montclair Media and Tech Startups’ inaugural meetup. And yes, almost everybody wore jeans.
Attendees included coders, publishers, video producers, entrepreneurs and angel investors, and due to the size of the crowd, people were asked to keep their intros to 140 characters or less. There were too many local notables to mention them all, but here are a few: Eric Hellman, president of Gluejar, an effort to make all ebooks free, Russell Kahn, editor-in-chief of Press4Kids, a soon-to-launch news site for children, Jonathan Phillips of Organic Digital, who has rendered the film Lorax into 37 languages, Jay Woodruff, a journalist-turned-headhunter, and the great BaristaJenn.
Among the things we learned were that Ritesh Patel, co-owner of Montclair’s Brick Lane Curry House, is a tech entrepreneur on the side and that TechLaunch.com, a tech startup incubator and accelerator, plans to work out of Montclair State and is looking for projects to invest in.
Montclair Media and Tech Startups was started over a lunch I had with Saul Hansell, founder of the the nascent Sii TV, which plans to personalize the television news experience for users. The meetup is shooting for another gathering in early June. To join, sign up here.