Fri update: EverywhereElse conference, New Year’s Service Industry party at Kooky Canuck 12/27, outlets on bars, Christmas with Santa @ Aldo’s Pizza Pies

(Before I start this post: Deepest condolences to those who knew MPD officer Martoiya Lang. She was killed in the line of duty this morning while serving a drug warrant. She was a mother of four and the shooter is said to be only 15 years old.)

Sometimes changed plans lead to good things. Last night I had a 6:30 meeting get canceled, which left me with not much to do until Kooky Canuck’s Christmas party at 9. After Goose and Saucer stops, I found myself at the Blind Bear, sitting a couple of seats down from Eric Mathews of LaunchMemphis. Eric gave me more details about The Startup Conference, to be held at the Peabody February 10-12. It’s being organized by Nibletz, “the voice of startups everywhere else” (than Silicon Valley), which recently relocated to Memphis. Here’s a quick overview of whom and what you will find at the Everywhere Else conference:

Steve Case, founder of AOL
Scott Case, founder of Priceline
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, co-founder of TechStars
Pitt Hyde, founder of AutoZone
MC Hammer
100 startups
400 investors
A Startup Village full of exhibits
1500-2000 tickets sold
At least one huge name I’m not allowed to blog

A 15-minute conversation with Eric convinced me that I absolutely must burn a Sunday Fun Day and two vacation days to attend this. Early bird tickets are $39 until the end of the month. I am not actively involved in any tech startups but I believe what I’ll learn and who I’ll network with offers far more value than the $39 ticket price. I’m in. If you have any interest in the future of business and technology in Memphis, you need to be there.

Eric also told me that EmergeMemphis, the tech incubator on Tennessee Street, is now completely full. When I toured the facility with Eric in November 2011, it was only a little over half full. “We now have a path in place to help a business get from nothing but an idea to over $100,000 in investor funding,” Eric said.

I’m really starting to get a feeling that Memphis could be the next San Jose or Seattle in 5-10 years time. That may sound grandiose but the pieces are falling into place. Those of you who aren’t aware of the startup community in Memphis need to pay attention. It’s an exciting time to be here.

At 9 I walked over to Kooky Canuck’s Christmas party. They did it a little differently this year; they had an invite-only VIP dinner at 7. Due to the 6:30 meeting, I had to RSVP “can’t make it” earlier in the week. I heard the dinner was delicious though, with four courses including choice of beef and chicken. Shawn and Lana really know how to take care of the people who support their restaurant. The VIP dinner replaced the Kooky buffet they’ve had at past Christmas parties. I wonder if those who show up every year to mooch a free meal were disappointed that their food find came up empty this time.

Those of you who are in the service industry: Shawn asked me to blog an upcoming event which is made just for you. Almost all servers and bartenders have to work New Year’s Eve, or as I call it, Amateur Night. As a result, they don’t get to celebrate when the clock strikes 12. Kooky Canuck will accommodate those in the service industry with a party of their own, on Thursday, December 27 from 10 PM to 2 AM. There will be $3 “you call it” until 1 AM, and there will be a ball drop and champagne toast at 1. Party favors, and special guest DJ Mark Anderson.

Tweet I saw this morning: “Thank you @localgastropub for having outlets on your bar.” I assume they’re talking about the Midtown one, but I wanted to post it as a suggestion for other bars. Before I got the external charger, the chance to charge my iPhone right there at the bar would definitely be good to keep me there for a beer or two (and maybe some food) longer. Would make me more likely to bring my laptop and make the place my “branch office” for the day too.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies will have “Pizza with Santa” on Saturday, December 22 from 11 AM to 3 PM. If you bring a toy for Toys for Tots or a $5 donation to the Mid-South Food Bank, you can get your photo taken with Santa. The photo will be immediately emailed to you so you can share with friends and family. There will also be arts & crafts, cookie decorating, goodie bags, and Christmas music.

Lots of Christmas stuff this weekend. Office Christmas party today from 4 until I sneak out, three events tomorrow (two of which have conflicting times, gotta figure that out), two events Sunday. Fun weekend ahead. No definite plans for tonight but I’ll be out.