Sample startups, craft beer at tech meet-up in downtown Kitchener

More than 1,000 people have signed up for a networking event that combines craft beer and cider with startup companies.

More than 1,000 people have signed up for networking event

Drink craft beer and chat about startups - that's the two main goals of a tech networking event being held Tuesday night in downtown Kitchener. (redcollar.ca)

When the folks at Sortable wanted to plan a networking event, they wanted put on an event they would want to attend themselves.

So that meant a cool space and craft beer.

Their idea for Startups and Beer has taken off and more than 1,000 people have signed up to take part in the Tuesday evening event, said Brenden Sherratt, digital marketer at Sortable.

"Our goal is that we're providing an opportunity for people to learn more about companies in town. There's a thousand-plus tech companies plus and Communitech is doing a great of promoting it, but we figured, let's bring together some of the fastest growing companies, and we picked five … and you can learn about those companies, but you can also learn from different people," Sherratt said.

"With 1,000-plus people signed up, you can talk to other people about their companies and connect with different people in a different environment. And of course, there's great craft breweries there."

'Blown away' by response

Five companies will be at the event: Sortable, Axonify, Magnet Forensics, Vidyard and Dejero. The five craft breweries are Descendants from Kitchener, Elora Brewing Company, Block Three Brewing from St. Jacobs, Abe Erb in Waterloo and KW Craft Cider.

As for those who want to attend, Sherratt said they are "blown away" by the response of more than 1,000 people.

He said there are likely three things of interest to those who have registered for the event: People are interested in learning about and talking about startups, people want to sample craft beer and cider and they want to check out the space at the Eaton's Lofts.

"It's a space that nobody's seen in 10 years," he said of the space at 276 King St. W., which is owned by Perimeter Development. "It's rough, it's just like start-ups."

Donations accepted at the door

There is no set plan for the night, just a start and an end time.

"The goal is to be a taste of the start-ups and a taste of the beers," Sherratt said, adding people can still sign up on the event's website.

While it is free, they are raising money for The Working Centre and donations accepted at the door.

Sherratt said given the "good buzz" surrounding this event, there may be plans for another one in September.