March 30, 2015

Wine, Tequila and 2,000 People Set to Join Forces for TUGG and Break Fundraising Record

The Annual TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) Charity Wine Party began in 2006 with 20 people and raised $2K. Since then, the event has catalyzed 29 nonprofits. 

Now in its 9th year, the Annual Wine & Tequila Party is on a mission to break records in attendance and fundraising on April 16, 2015. Last year more than 1,400 people attended the event at Royale and raised over $350,000. 

This year’s event, in partnership with The Fenway, will take place at the Landmark Center in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Supported by more than 50 sponsoring companies and hundreds of individual entrepreneurs TUGG expects to draw the most diverse set of companies from Boston’s tech ecosystem to date. 

                                   TUGG Annual Wine & Tequila Party.

TUGG is expecting to surpass 2,000 guests and raise at least $400,000. Big numbers!  However, they have the team in place to hit these goals. Just as any startup looks to put the best possible team together to grow their company, TUGG has done so with their Host Committee: 

Lars Albright of SessionM; Mike Baker of DataXu; Matthew Bellows of Yesware; Wayne Chang of Twitter; Peter Dolan of Makena Capital Management; Liam Donohue of .406 Ventures; Brent Grinna of EverTrue; Diane Hessan of Startup Institute; Adam Marcus of OpenView Venture Partners; Freddie Martignetti of Suffolk Equity; Patrick Morley of Bit9; Dan Primack of Fortune; Jason Robins of DraftKings; Scott Savitz of Data Point Capital; Fred Shilmover of InsightSquared; Adam Valkin of General Catalyst; Janet Kraus of Peach; and Jules Pieri, The Grommet.

What happens with all that money raised??

This is the fun part - where the community really engages. 

The nonprofits compete for top prizes in two categories: returning and new organizations. In true TUGG tradition, members of each nonprofit canvass the crowd, educating partygoers about their organization and asking for votes. If you’ve never been, you’ll enjoy the sales pitches, but it will not be an easy vote. 

Last year’s winning non-profits, Build in Boston in the returning category and Catie’s Closet in the new category, each took home $50,000, while the remaining four nonprofits each received $10,000! This year, returning and competing for the top prize are, Catie’s Closet, Future Chefs, and Resilient Coders. The TUGG nonprofit selection committee is currently finalizing nonprofits in the new category, which will be announced the week before the party. 

         TUGG Wine & Tequila Party. Catie's Closet.


When: April 16th 

Where: Landmark Center | 401 Park Drive (corner of Brookline Ave), Boston

35,000 square feet of space, which will be transformed into a modern and abstract interpretation of Frederick Olmsted’s “Emerald Necklace,” Boston’s most famous landscape design project that sought to expose 19th century city dwellers to green space within the urban environment. 

Tickets: Buy them here for $100 

Why: It’s an awesome night for a great cause. Top of the line wine and tequila are provided. Nonprofits get much needed support. Boston’s tech and startup community is at its best. Last year was awesome (check out the pics). If that’s not enough… I’ll let the community convince you: 

This is our staff’s favorite party of the year. Everyone in the tech ecosystem comes together for a great cause, and it’s always an amazing time.” - Mike Baker - CEO & Co-Founder of DataXu 

If you are a startup founder in Boston and you are not involved with TUGG, I want to know why!? Great organization, great cause, and lots of fun ways to get involved, either personally or as a team. The CoachUp team is a huge supporter and will definitely be at the Wine Party in force! Giving back is a huge part of our mission, and the focus of CoachUp Cares.” - Jordan Fliegel - Founder & President, CoachUp 

"Easily one of the best events of the year for the Boston tech community. Supporting great causes, wine, tequila, and networking with the most prominent people in tech...doesn't get any better!" - Eric Trickett - Principal / Executive Recruiter, Dissero

For the last 4 years I've worked with Jeff Fagnan and a team of 5 underprivileged, Boston Public School boys. I've watched firsthand how tech and entrepreneurship made high school relevant for these kids. First tequila shot on me.” - Slava Menn – CEO, Fortified Bicycle 

“For one night under one roof, social entrepreneurs and tech entrepreneurs come together to celebrate innovation and to fund the next great social project to affect Boston’s youth.  Add in great wine and a strong dose of tequila, what more could you ask for in a party?" - Zoe Anetakis - Co-Executive Director, TUGG

"The TUGG Wine & Tequila Wine Party is a "must-attend" event each year!  Not only does it support a great cause, but it is a perfect opportunity to catch up with many, many people from the Boston tech community... all in one spot!"  - Principal, Dissero & Founder, VentureFizz

“What started 9 years ago as a great idea and reason to get a small group of like-minded people together to help local charities - while of course drinking wine and tequila - has exploded into the biggest, must-attend party for the tech community in Boston.  Not only is the event raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for TUGG charities, but we’re getting more than 1500 people together to interact with these philanthropic organizations in a complete party atmosphere.  After the winter we’ve had this year, this event should be pretty epic.” - Keith Watson - Founding Partner, fama PR

“It’s most exciting to see the connections between the tech community and the nonprofits come to life.  The nonprofits campaign hard – it’s fun and intense at the same time.  For past winners, like Inner City Weightlifting (ICW), TUGG enabled lasting connections both by engaging new sponsors in the tech community, and by helping connect other social entrepreneurs with its leadership team.  ICW recently opened its second gym in Boston – the model works." - Jeff Fagnan - Founder, TUGG and Partner, FKA

Josh Boyle
 is Director of Marketing & Community, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter @jb_sid
 and keep up with his latest posts by signing up for the VentureFizz Weekly Email!