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CxO Happy Hour from Spark to Growth!

By Matthew Goldman — June 29, 2016

Every startup starts with a spark of an idea. Like any startup, like Innovate Pasadena itself, and like our other successful meetups, the IP CxO Happy Hour started with a spark.

Two years ago this month, I e-mailed six other local CEOs and suggested we grab a few drinks the following Thursday. I just said we’d have a “Relatively short, low-key, software services CEO happy hour.” Like most meetups, I was looking to build my community, introduce people to each other and share a few drinks (and perhaps complaints about startup life).

It took a few additional months to put some structure around it, but we’ve now held about 18 happy hours in the two years since. We’ve grown from a mailing list of less than ten, to more than 120!

With networking, learning, and pitch events all around us, the IP CxO Happy Hour serves as a place for technology, innovation, and design entrepreneurs and leaders to meet in informal settings and enjoy networking, colleagues, and conversation. While we don’t check business cards at the door, we discourage non-sponsor service providers to ensure that the gathering lives up to its name.

Not surprisingly, CxOs are a busy group, with a long list of travel, meetings, and urgent deadlines. We keep the Happy Hour flexible. We always meet on Tuesdays, but we shift around the month to avoid repeated conflicts and holidays and we never check your attendance.

With our growth, we’re thankful to a core group of sponsors who host the event including TriNet, Square 1 Bank, and Elkins Jones Insurance.

If you’d like to join us at our next Happy Hour on July 26th, please visit our Meetup page at

If you’re interested in sponsoring a future event, please e-mail me at

Matthew Goldman is the Chief Product Officer at Bankrate Credit Cards. He founded Wallaby Financial in 2012, which Bankrate acquired in 2014. Matthew is a Board Member of Innovate Pasadena and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Claremont McKenna College. He lives in Pasadena with his wife and children.

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