BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) is on a mission to break last year’s record attendance and fundraising for its 9th Annual Tech Charity Wine Party. In 2014, 1,500 members of Boston’s tech community attended and raised more than $350K for local nonprofits. This year’s event at the Landmark Center in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, supported by more than 50 sponsoring companies and hundreds of individual entrepreneurs, promises to draw the most diverse set of companies from Boston’s tech ecosystem to date.
|TUGG’s 9th Annual Tech Charity Wine (and Tequila) Party|
|Thursday, April 16, 2015 – 6:30 p.m. to Midnight|
|401 Park Drive (corner of Brookline Ave), Boston|
The Annual TUGG Charity Wine Party began in 2006 with 20 people and raised $2K. Since then, the event has catalyzed 29 nonprofits, including More Than Words, InnerCity Weightlifting, and last year’s winner BUILD in Boston. Ayele Shakur, executive director of BUILD, says, “TUGG’s financial support is amazing, but equally important is the engagement with this community and the exposure we get to hundreds of potential supporters. TUGG events are fun and intense; we get to tell our story and raise awareness for our cause, and when the winners are announced everyone is on the edge of their seats.”
This year TUGG expects about 2,000 people to attend and raise more than $400K for local nonprofits. The party highlights premium wines donated for the event, all of which retail in the $100 range. TUGG added best-in-class tequilas to its lineup since 2011, appealing to TUGG’s growing younger demographic. “This is our staff’s favorite party of the year,” said Mike Baker, CEO and cofounder of DataXu. “Everyone in the tech ecosystem comes together for a great cause, and it’s always an amazing time.”
“TUGG keeps growing as the engagement platform that connects Boston’s tech community with innovative startup nonprofits. Each year, more people are exposed to and participate in TUGG events, furthering our mission to propel social innovation,” said Jeff Fagnan, co-founder of TUGG and a partner at FKA. “Getting the entire community under one roof for one night is a challenge when you experience the kind of growth that TUGG has: we’ve grown out of almost every venue in Boston. We are thrilled to partner with the Landmark Center in The Fenway, our host this year.”
The Landmark Center has donated the over 35,000 square-foot space to host TUGG’s 9th Annual Wine and Tequila Party. The space, owned and managed by Samuels & Associates, will be transformed for the night into a modern and abstract interpretation of Frederick Olmsted’s “Emerald Necklace,” Boston’s most famous landscape design project that sought to expose 19th century city dwellers to green space within the urban environment. Positioned at the heart of the Emerald Necklace, the Landmark Center complex, including the Van Ness property, are drawing the tech startup community into The Fenway neighborhood with flexible workspaces, open floor plans, high ceilings, and soaring views.
“We believe that entrepreneurs and the greater Boston community are best served by innovation everywhere, not just in a select few neighborhoods, and bringing this event to the evolving tech hub of The Fenway was a perfect way to celebrate that spirit," said Peter Sougarides, Principal and EVP of Development at Samuels & Associates. “It enables us to support the important work that TUGG is doing while exposing even more entrepreneurs to The Fenway and this always- on, always active neighborhood."
The party’s Host Committee is always comprised of top influencers in the Boston tech community. This year’s Host Committee is Lars Albright of SessionM; Mike Baker of DataXu; Matthew Bellows of Yesware; Wayne Chang of Twitter; Peter Dolan of Makena Capital Management; Liam Donohue of .406 Ventures; Brent Grinna of EverTrue; Diane Hessan of Startup Institute; Adam Marcus of OpenView Venture Partners; Freddie Martignetti of Suffolk Equity; Patrick Morley of Bit9; Dan Primack of Fortune; Jason Robins of DraftKings; Scott Savitz of Data Point Capital; Fred Shilmover of InsightSquared; and Adam Valkin of General Catalyst.
It wouldn’t be a TUGG party without nonprofits competing for top prizes in two categories: returning and new organizations. In TUGG tradition, members of each nonprofit canvass the crowd, educating partygoers about their organization and asking for votes. Last year’s winning non-profits, Build in Boston in the returning category and Catie’s Closet in the new category, each took home $50K; the remaining four nonprofits each received $10K. This year, returning nonprofits Catie’s Closet, Future Chefs, and Resilient Coders will compete for the top prize. The TUGG nonprofit selection committee is currently finalizing nonprofits in the new category, which will be announced the week before the party.
TUGG’s Boston Marathon team and the startup mile
The wine party will preview the first TUGG Boston Marathon team: Fred Shilmover, founder and CEO of InsightSquared running for ICW; Matt Bellows, founder and CEO of Yesware running for Career Village; Michael Schmidt , founder and CEO of Nutonian running for Science for Scientists; and Brent Grinna, founder and CEO of Evertrue running for BUILD in Boston. TUGG is also starting a new tradition with the Startup Mile, a gathering of the tech community creating a boisterous wave of startups supporting runners at mile 18.
TUGG is the community engagement platform that connects New England tech entrepreneurs with risky social innovation projects focused on education, entrepreneurship and life experiences for under-resourced youth. By harnessing the power of the region's technology ecosystem to source, screen and fund social innovation, TUGG helps young people to realize their full potential. For more information, visit www.tugg.org.