Easygoing Vibe Makes CTO Fireside Chat a Massive Success

This was the first ever held Fireside Chat by the CTO company. There were two speakers today Rick Bunker and Chris Wink. Not going to lie, what initially attracted me to this event was the fact that my friend’s beer company, Shawnee Craft Beer, was involved. He sent me an invite a couple weeks prior and I thought that it would be a good chance to meet up with him again. When I recognized that this event could be a nice topic for an ICE blog post I was locked in.

The environment was very casual and light hearted. You could hear chuckles as people networked and joked around. You could tell that this wasn’t your typical business networking event. I was confused as to the lack of seriousness, but when I asked around I kept getting the same answers. Basically, people involved with tech are not your typical businessmen. Therefore they think more loosely about things and tend to enjoy themselves a little more.

The event was held at CityCoHo which is a business that works with Philly Nexus. Philly Nexus is a company that strives to improve social efforts by providing the means necessary to improve the networking capabilities of the individual movements who choose to be a part of it. CityCoHo essentially it is a space that is rented out to local Philadelphia communities. It is located at 2401 Walnut Street, a convenient location right in center city, if you are interested in seeing it yourself. It is a very fun place, it even has a big screen TV with Xbox 360/PS3 set up to it. It’s designed to boost creativity and light-heartedness so as to relieve stress but encourage innovation.

Rick Bunker spoke a little after 7:00 PM. I missed the first 15 minutes of the talk, which I was told focused around the Dot Com bubble and how he worked for ICGE which acquired 75 companies in under a year and a half. Then he went on to talk about his own endeavors. He owns the Neat Company. Neat is a company that is based in cloud databases. It promises to take all of your digital as well as hard-copy documents and to upload and organize them into a server that is attainable through only the internet. They also provide a mobile app to ensure that it will never be to hard to access and share your company’s important information. They also work with individuals and their personal documents. The company had humble beginnings as NeatReceipts which was just a program that would store your receipts for expense reports. Now they’ve grown so that you can scan a multitude of different sized documents and then upload that file into the cloud server. It has many accomplishments to put its hat on. A couple of these are…

  • 2006- Named Fastest #1 Growing Private Company by Philadelphia Business Journal
  • 2008- NAPO’s Organizers Choice Award for Best Business Product
  • 2008 – Named #1 on Inc 500 in the Atlantic Region
  • 2012 – Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology Company of the Year

Other ventures that Rick Bunker shared with us was how he was a CEO of a company called Reality online, which provided financial services over the internet. (They were one of the first companies to do so.) He is also a veteran of the US Army and attributes much of his success to the discipline and work-ethic he developed serving our country.

Overall the event was very nice. Casual fun atmosphere, a motivated speaker, and the fantastic as always Shawnee Craft Beer.