High Tech Happy Hour in the Making...
High Tech Happy Hour’s roots trace back to its inception in August 2001. It was the visualization of Allen Dines, Craig Parson, and Al Hawkins. Allen was just joining the UW-Madison’s University Industry Relations, and Craig and Al were recent grads from the Business School’s Wienert Center. They recognized the fact that Madison had a growing high tech community, but lacked a gathering place where those involved could connect with each other for fun and business. Thus, began High Tech Happy Hour.
The first HTHH drew about 30 people. The concept was simple – no agenda, no fees, no program, and no pre-registration – just people connecting with other people to leverage ideas and opportunities. At the time, Allen, Al, and Craig gambled on the notion that sponsors would come forward to make these events possible. The idea worked! It is because of consistent support of these sponsors that HTHH has succeeded and grown to what it is today.
In July of 2005, SupraNet Communications, Yahara Software, and Applied Tech Solutions created an alliance and took over HTHH to ensure the continuation and culture of it. Since this merger, HTHH has seen tremendous growth through a steady and loyal following. Each event now draws upwards of 300-400 attendees – all interested in learning more about the high tech fields and making connections.
In January 2010, SupraNet Communication and Yahara Software took over sole ownership of High Tech Happy Hour. Through their dedication and support, HTHH remains a solid foundation in the Madison community. Every month draws new and old faces alike, and all those involved with HTHH couldn’t be happier with where things are heading!