Editor’s note: Team GeekWire participated in the Geeks on a Train voyage between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday night as part of the GROW conference, taking place this week in Vancouver. We chatted with folks along the way for short four minute interviews, talking about a variety of tech topics. In this installment, we caught up with Seattle entrepreneur and designer Kyle Kesterson of Freak’n Genius.
What’s most exciting that you’re seeing in the tech industry? “I am seeing a lot of new faces. A lot of new faces. Having being in the community the last few years, having seeing a lot of the same faces around events, I feel like I ducked away for a couple of months, through the accelerator, and now I don’t even know people. So, it is exciting to see that the community is growing.”
What does the community need? “I think a lot of this interaction where you can get people in the same room, and talking around a specific subject. Taking it even beyond events, but getting the community tighter. South Lake Union obviously is kind of the Mecca right now. I can’t even walk down the street right now, without seeing people, and that’s kind of exciting and makes me feel like I am a part of the community. How do you bring more people into that community so they are not isolated in these small silos. I still feel like there are a lot of fringe startups that exist that aren’t really connected on a day-to-day basis….. How do you bring the social to where all of the creative energy is happening?”
On creative types getting in touch with startups: “Over the last year, especially thanks to Dave McClure with 500 Startups and Enrique (Allen) with the Designer’s Fund, there are initiatives happening that are starting to permeate into the agency world where the creatives live, and they are starting to see that they have a place in this ecosystem….It is so easy for creatives to find their way into the startup world, and now it is just about letting people know further that this is how valuable they are.”
On new ideas: “It has been really exciting to see how people are excited about bringing ideas to life. I feel like there is this empowerment happening where people feel like their voice can be heard in a variety of different mediums. It hits home with Freak’n Genius because we are trying to do a good job with making them being able to speak their minds. They put in a little, and get out a lot.”
On tech accelerators: “There are good ones, and there are shitty ones. And no matter what they are doing it is probably going to be better than if they are sitting home alone. Anytime you can connect with any sort of community, even if it sucks, it is still better than nothing. But do your homework, build something awesome, and you will get in to the top ones.”
Previously: Four minutes on the train with … Microryza’s Denny Luan…Four minutes on the train with … Portland startup guru Rick Turoczy of PIE… Four minutes on the train with … Ali Daniali of BigShot DJ