‘Give First’ in New Tech Seattle
With nearly 10,000 members, New Tech Seattle is currently the largest tech-focused Meetup in the Pacific Northwest and has become a cornerstone of the tech community for the region. New Tech Northwest, which is comprised of Meetups in Seattle, Eastside, Tacoma, Portland, as well as a newsletter, has over 21,000 members in total.
New Tech Seattle prides itself on its ‘give first’ attitude, where each member hopes to contribute to the community before expecting a return. Their 500+ attendees each month come together to create a one-stop social stop for tech professionals and fanatics.
We recently got to chat with Brett Greene, New Tech Seattle’s co-founder and current organizer. Greene co-founded New Tech Seattle with Red Russak in 2013.
Meetup: Can you tell us a little bit about New Tech Seattle’s ‘give first’ culture?
Greene: We believe in building relationships at our events rather than looking for business transactions. This means that a new person at an event feels like a new neighbor at the neighborhood bar-b-que. We learn what you’re interested in and try to help you move forward with your tech career, company or life. It’s a much more fun and fulfilling way to live and network.
The members of our community take ownership in creating a culture where we care about others before taking actions to get what we want. That’s giving first.
M: What are some examples of your proudest moments with the Meetup?
G: There are many small proud moments that add up like people in the community getting jobs, finding co-founders, starting events like Here Seattle and Puget Sound Programming Python, and other ways they take action based on making connections and being inspired at our events.
My proudest moment was being invited to participate at the Tech Meetup at The White House. That was totally unexpected and allowed us to share our experiences, learn from others and be recognized as a Meetup making a difference.
M: Can you share examples of current community outreach initiatives?
G: Outside of the events, we’re doing two really cool things. The first is that we’re building ongoing partnerships with Union Gospel Mission sending Search and Rescue vans of tech leaders, organizers, employers and techies from our community out to help our homeless friends. There are additional initiatives we’ll be rolling out to expand on these efforts. The second way we’re giving back to the greater community is working with SeattleWorks to connect individuals and tech companies in our community with hundreds of volunteer opportunities across Seattle.
Last year, our community raised over $4,000 for STEM education for underserved minorities and women as part of the Geeks Give Back campaign. Those funds were matched by a local investor before going to the state of Washington where they were again matched. This resulted in contributing over $12,000 to scholarships for kids who need the support.
M: Can you give us a snapshot of what is coming up for New Tech Seattle?
G: We’re very excited about our 4th annual special event with the University of Washington happening in April. This is our biggest event every year because we partner with UW and hold New Tech Seattle on campus. The New Tech Seattle regular community mixes with computer science and engineering students.
This year may be bigger than the previous largest crowd of 1,000 people. A past highlight was one of the past presenters selling his company to eBay months after presenting at this event. It’s a fantastic time and expands our community further. The more diverse our community is, the richer the experiences are for everyone.
Their Meetups happen on the 2nd Tuesday (Seattle), 2nd Thursday (Tacoma), 3rd Monday (Portland), and 3rd Tuesday (Eastside – Bellevue, Redmond & Kirkland) of every month.