In 2012, we heard a lot about Chicago's startup community. Entrepreneurs are thriving here like never before, and people all over the world are taking notice. I'm a musician who's never had an actual job, so aside from my love for GrubHub and Groupon, I never really cared about the start-up scene. That is, until I became a part of it.
When it comes to being social in Chicago, we have a well-established hipster scene, a punk scene, a hip-hop scene, etc. Now, I can tell you we can officially add one more to that list: the startup scene.
My best friend, Keisha, is a nerd. She's such a nerd, in fact, that she started an organization called Sugar Gamers that targets other female nerds. Our friendship is a democracy, so for every concert and out-of-town performance I drag her to, I have to attend just as many technology conventions and entrepreneurial seminars.
When Keisha started inviting me to parties for the startup community, I declined out of concern that I might go down in history as the first person to actually die of boredom. However, once I started attending the events I realized that Chicago's entrepreneurial smartypants folks know how to party.
I was won over when a hot guy whose company recently had received funding asked if I had a day job. I said, "I ain't never had a day job. I don't even own a resume." His response was, "Me neither! You're an entrepreneur, too!" Well played, hot guy. Well played.
These days, most startups are going to have a technology component. That means students and recent graduates are gonna be around for sure, as well as publicists, photographers, graphic designers and other young folks whose job it is to make companies look cool.
Of course, this scene isn't for everybody. (That's my polite way of saying if you're not brainy, then you probably won't like it.) These startup scenesters like to socialize and network at the same time.
If the same old party scene isn't fitting into your 2013 agenda, maybe it's time to shake things up. These folks organize meet-ups at the coolest locations in the city. They book some of the best DJs who actually play music from this decade, and their events always include freebies.
On New Year's Eve, I attended a party at Adler Planetarium called Entrepreneur's Eve, and it was surprisingly crunk.
One of the funniest moments occurred in the bathroom when a girl asked my bestie and me if we had cocaine because she "really, really wanted some." Every woman in the bathroom immediately stopped and gave her the stank eye. I couldn't decide what was funnier—the fact that she asked the only two black girls around for coke or the fact that everyone in the bathroom looked at her like she was crazy for doing it.
We ended New Year's Eve dancing under the stars in Adler Planetarium, with everyone singing all the words to Trinidad James' song "All Gold Everything." Chicago's entrepreneurs work hard and play hard, too. So it made total sense that everybody hit the floor when the DJ spun Rick Ross's hit "Ima Boss."
Well played, DJ. Well played.
RedEye special contributor Nikki Lynette, a Chicago native, is an indie recording artist whose music appears on MTV, VH1, Showtime and more.
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