Las Vegas has a certain reputation.
It’s the place people go to celebrate a birthday or bachelorette. It’s the place one can get rich, or more likely, lose a good chunk of money. It’s a place many have lost a lot more than money – like their dignity.
But there’s a new wave of innovation and growth hitting Las Vegas, all thanks to eager startups hoping to cash in – but in a much different way.
The Allcal team was lucky enough to be a part of this wave, after being chosen to exhibit at the inaugural Collision Conference in Downtown Las Vegas May 5-6. For two days we made our pitch, showed off our unique scheduling app and bragged about how we’re going to kill Google Calendar.
Related Post: Google Calendar vs. Allcal
We also had the opportunity to meet a ton of amazing business men and women trying to launch their startup. It’s hard to pick favorites, but highlights included a toothbrush that tracks your brushing habits, a tool to help food truck owners manage their business, and a company delivering timely information to expecting and new moms.
There were many more interesting companies (we put our entire list of favs down at the bottom) and the industries varied wildly. But each startup had one key thing in common – we were there to hustle!
Pre-Collision: The Opening Party
In pure #startuplife fashion, nobody wasted anytime that could have been spent networking. Before Collision even started, people heading to Downtown Container Park for drinks, dancing, and informal pitching – oh and get the crap scared out of them by a giant bug.
Here’s the story with the bug – it’s an anatomically correct, “55-foot-tall steel praying mantis sculpture” that shoots fire out of its antennae. It takes four people to work the dang thing, and it’s incredibly startling. But hey, great conversation starter before a night of networking…and dancing.
There was plenty of dancing, as evidenced above. Who knew startup companies attracted such good dancers?
Collision Day 1: Attendee Day
The Allcal Team didn’t exhibit the first day, but we still had plenty to do.
Armed with a list of interesting startups we’d singled out before the conference, we wandered around the two massive tents that held more than 300 exhibiting companies. Everyone was passionate, determined, and eager to show why their product was going to change lives.
Some of the most interesting companies we got to visit with included:
Waygr: Lets users make bets with friends over sporting events. Our Marketing Associate Willie really cares about sports, so he’s 100% on board. I don’t so much, but told the Waygr team I’d be happy to join up as soon as they added the ability to bet on which surprise guest would join the Superbowl performer on stage.
Baby 2 Body: A timely, content-delivery service that gives new and expectant moms the information they need, when they need it. Baby 2 Body lets women enter their due dates, then get customized information sent their way.
Foosye: It’s a lot of work to run a food truck. The startup company Foosye wants to make it a little easier by giving owners tools to better manage the entire process from start to finish.
Conjure: In their own words, Conjure is the “smarter way to get feedback on creative work.” The product helps people working on images and design collaborate in a way that you can on a shared Google Doc. It’s something we needed in our offices yesterday, so we were very happy to meet the company founders and get the chance to try it out!
By the end of the day, we were delightfully overwhelmed by all the great ideas we’d heard and were ready to share our own during Day 2!
Collision Day 2: Exhibition Day
Located at booth D-196, the Allcal Team had a coveted corner space in the cozy startup row.
There was enough room for a few devices and promotional material showing off what our app can do for small businesses, families, and people throwing big events. For example, we told the story of Keith, who uses the app to help manage restaurant employees and Davina, who uses Allcal to schedule her hair and makeup design artists.
Related Post: How to Get Your Small Business on Allcal
We also explained how our app could be used for bigger events, such as at the University of Texas in Austin.
In late March, Longhorns used Allcal to organize Round Up, a 3-day event featuring more than 60 concerts and cookouts on campus. Our app was crucial because it allowed several organizers to keep track of their own events, plus send crucial updates to all the attendees.
Related Post: Get Your Greek Events on Allcal
All these individual user stories were crucial to explaining how our free calendar and event-management platform could work for many of the people attending Collision 2015 (so many thanks to our users for sharing their testimony!).
Even though we were technically exhibiting, we got the chance to visit a few other booths and hear about more cool business ideas such as:
Glass Media: Based just a few miles east of us in a little town called Dallas, Glass Media offers a way for businesses to advertise and promote on glass windows using beautiful digital displays.
Cool Junk: The company makes it easy to learn about physics, science, and electronics with kid-friendly, hands-on STEM kits. Cool Junk hopes to be part of the solution for getting more kids interested in these types of industries, ultimately helping them get into good schools and find good jobs.
Hotels by Day: Who’s sick of the 3pm check-in time at hotels? Yep, me too. Enter HotelsByDay, a platform for booking hotels during the day, giving travelers great flexibility when they are away from home.
Post-Collision: Back to Reality
It was sad to leave sunny Las Vegas, especially since it was expected to rain for two weeks straight in North Texas! But our team walked away with a lot of valuable contacts, insight about our product, and opportunities for growth in the coming months.
Until next time Vegas!