Last Friday, over 200 members of the Gainesville innovation community gathered at The Wooly for an epic Battle of the Bands. In addition to bringing together bands from local tech companies, the event also had a mission to raise money for GRACE Marketplace to end homelessness in Gainesville.
The four bands included musically talented employees from Infotech, Feathr, IC2, and Gainesville remote workers from DuckDuckGo, Tangram Vision, Elaborate, and Zapier. Feathr, a digital marketing company, won the battle of the bands.
“What I love about this event is that it brings everyone together for a good cause,” Caven said. “This event encourages local companies to form a band and compete on stage while raising money for people less fortunate.”Christine Caven
The event raised over $25,000 by the end of the evening for GRACE Marketplace. Read on for our top five highlights of the evening.
1. Band practice.
We had the privilege of meeting up with THE BAMS, made up of employees of Infotech, a Gainesville-based software company. The 8-piece band sounded like they had been playing together for years but had just formed several weeks before the show. The lead singer, Jillian Dinius, shared that she had always dreamed of being a singer and that this event allowed her to explore her passion. Band practice offered the teams a chance to get to know each other outside of a formal office setting and learn about the company’s multi-talented workforce.
2. Announcing that startGNV beat the $15K goal before the event even started.
With help from a LinkedIn post, former startGNV board member Matthew Luedecke announced a last-minute $1,500 donation from Emerging Tech, and the $15,000 goal was met. At that moment, the event organizers decided to up the goal to $25,000 with help from the competitive bands and a silent auction.
3. Feathr’s band “Mixtape” opening on stage with Lizzo.
The crowd swayed under the stage lights as Feathr, a local startup that provides digital marking solutions, took the stage. Aidan Augustin, the co-founder of Feathr and former startGNV Board President, served as drummer for the night.
“I’ve always dreamed of being a rockstar,” Augustin wrote in a Facebook post. “The rush of performing on stage, in a band of friends, with an enthusiastic crowd co-creating an immersive musical experience with us. And tonight’s my night.”Aidan Augustin
4. Remote Control, a creative band name, and a remote team.
One of the bands was a unique group of tech employees that work remotely from Gainesville. The pandemic has shown us that people can work efficiently from anywhere, but working at home can sometimes be lonely. So remote workers from DuckDuckGo, Tangram Vision, Elaborate, and Zapier came together as “Remote Control” and rocked the stage while making new friendships.
5. That 3D Printed Trophy!
Local UF Hub startup Slice Engineering donated a fantastic 3D-printed first-place trophy. Thanks to startGNV Board Member Joanna Barousse and her husband, Daniel Barousse, CEO & Co-Founder of Slice Engineering. The company that raised the most for GRACE Marketplace, Feathr, was awarded the trophy at the end of the night.
Learn more about Tech Battle of the Bands in this article by WUFT News, and see photos from the event in the gallery below.