A Night of Inspiration & Connection: Recapping the TGSF Kickoff Mixer

Event Recaps
Keyaira Lock Adewunmi
May 3, 2024
keyaira with alums at TGSF kickoff

On April 18th, 2024, The Garage San Francisco (TGSF) hosted a Kickoff Mixer to commence a new season of innovation, collaboration, and success within our community, and it was celebratory whirlwind of excitement, community, and connection, to say the least! As the host, I had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand the magic that unfolded as 75+ Northwestern alumni came together to celebrate entrepreneurship and community.

The evening began with a lively networking hour, complemented by the energetic beats of a live DJ, setting the perfect backdrop for vibrant networking and discovery. The clink of glasses and bursts of laughter created a soundtrack of its own, perfectly complementing the tunes spun, which seemed to capture the mood with every track.

I watched as alumni from diverse backgrounds and classes, ranging from 1989 to 2023 but with shared roots at Northwestern, started conversations that ranged from the latest in tech innovations to personal career transitions. One founder, who had just returned to the Bay Area after a stint in New York, shared how these gatherings felt like coming home, fueling his passion to dive back into the local startup scene. Another attendee, inspired by the stories from the stage, shared her recent leap into founding her own startup, drawing nods of encouragement and offers of support from her peers.

As the mixer progressed, I had the honor of presenting our ambitious initiatives for the year ahead during 'The Big Reveal. I introduced our impressive lineup of 12 Mentors in Residence, who will provide industry expertise to Bay Area alumni and host events, as well as 4 Entrepreneurs in Residence, who will utilize TGSF as a coworking space as they foster change in the community through their respective startups. Meet them all here.

This year, we're focused on three core principles: clarity, connectivity, and collaboration. These themes are designed to enhance the support we offer to alumni founders, making resources more accessible and fostering stronger community ties. Our event also spotlighted upcoming opportunities for involvement, such as the 'Start-Up Yourself' workshops and 'Co-Working Fridays,' which are crafted to support our alumni in turning innovative ideas into tangible successes. The detailed presentation can be accessed through the link we shared at the event, providing a deeper dive into what TGSF aims to achieve in the coming months.

Attendees were encouraged to dive deeper into TGSF’s world by signing up for the directory, a foundational tool for networking and community building, and to stay updated on future events and success stories through the TGSF newsletter. I emphasized the importance of the ties formed tonight and the future collaborations they could bring. It was a reminder that each handshake, each exchange held the potential to spark something bigger—perhaps a new venture, a strategic partnership, or simply a lasting friendship.

About the Author

Keyaira is a human-centric community builder who is eager to expand Northwestern's enterprising community nationally and internationally, starting with the Bay Area as the Director of Entrepreneurship at The Garage San Francisco.