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How @RealAustin literally fell into business at a BASHH

BASHH success stories

We often hear tales of startups that have been conceptualized or funded through BASHH connections, or consultants that landed gigs, employers that found stellar talent, or other stories about how business has resulted from casual drinks at BASHH.

Today, Katrina Tolentino (@RealAustin), who is the Marketing Manager at ITFreedom in Austin tells us her BASHH success story:

Tell us about your first BASHH – how did you hear about it, end up there, and how did it go?

Oh my gosh, I’ve been going to BASHH for so long that I had to go back through my Facebook Annie Ray photos to check! I had known about BASHH since 2009, but I always seemed to have a board meeting or some events committee meeting, so it wasn’t until the 2010 SXSW season that I made it to the BASHH at Frank. It was great because I met so many people that night that I’ve had conversations with on Twitter, and made offline connections that I could also build online.

Since you volunteer at BASHH and are so well ingrained in the community now, what keeps you coming back?

If you’ve been going to BASHH for a while, or if you’ve been in the social media scene for a while, BASHH becomes a place where you go to see all your friends that you don’t get to see that often. But the great thing is because the old timers always bring new people to BASHH, there are also a lot of new faces to meet and get to know.

Imagine the networking opportunity in that; someone that you know and knows you and what you do, introduces you to someone that they know. Building relationships, context, and trusts happens that much more quickly.

What connections have you made at BASHH that has been the most meaningful and successful to you?

During last year’s SXSW season, I was walking towards a group of people that I knew, but I was waylaid by my own shoes. I went to turn, the buckles on my shoes got caught, and I fell like a tree. HUGELY embarrassing, so I ran to the nearest table where I tried to play off my fall.

BASHH folks are so open and nice that everybody at that table just laughed it off with me. We eventually got around to talking about what we do for a living, and there happened to be an executive director of a well known nonprofit at the table, and now, they’re a client of IT Freedom’s!

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I think the open and relaxed environment that the BASHH culture cultivates provides for interactions like the one above. I don’t know of any other networking event that I can fall like a tree, run to a table, and actually recover from such an embarrassing incident because of the people that are there. Plus, it’s so much fun!

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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