Tempe prepares to host Geeks Night Out in February

Dressed as Darth Vader, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman leads a pack of Star Wars fanatics down Mill Avenue late Friday afternoon to film a promotional video for the upcoming Geeks Night Out. (Photo by Sam Rosenbaum)

Geeks Night Out, a special Third Thursday event on Mill Avenue, is coming to Tempe for the first time in February to celebrate Tempe’s “geeky” culture.

Geeks Night Out — the Science of Fun is a celebration of technology, inventiveness, science fiction will take place along Mill Avenue on Feb. 16.

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman participated in the shooting of a 30-second commercial advertisement Friday for the event.

In the commercial, Hallman marches down Mill Avenue dressed as Darth Vader, rallying a horde of similarly costumed Tempe residents toward the Madcap Theatre.

Hallman reveled in the opportunity to portray a character from Star Wars.

“I remember watching the Star Wars trilogy as a youth so this was a lot of fun for me,” Hallman said. “The City of Tempe is an extremely diverse and creative community. 20 percent of Tempe jobs are based in technology.”

Other science fans can dress up as their favorite Sci-Fi character, invention or inventor in front of the Madcap Theatre the night of the event, according to a Tempe City press release.

Tempe spokeswoman Kris Baxter-Ging oversaw the production of the commercial.

“The importance of all this is ultimately to educate the youth about the benefits of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said. “With the help of some Sci-Fi enthusiasts in the community, this promotional commercial will help get the word out.”

The Downtown Tempe Community, ASU Venture Catalyst, LaunchSpot and the Phoenix Business Journal partnered in support of Geeks Night Out.

LaunchSpot will be sponsoring an event called Rapid Pitch, which is an opportunity for individuals with innovative and inventive ideas to present their concepts to a panel of judges and a live audience, LaunchSpot spokesman Fred Von Graf said.

The person with the most impressive presentation will win funding for their project.

“We are calling it the Rapid Pitch because each of the teams are allotted a four-minute window to present their software concept, idea or invention,” Graf said. “Afterwards we will narrow down the proposals and teams will be awarded prizes or potentially have their idea funded and developed.”

Other events range from a tour of Monti’s Restaurant by the Allied Paranormal Investigations Team to a “Food Matters” presentation that includes a homebrew beer competition.

The Phoenix Business Journal Success Panel will feature several entrepreneurs, including Senior Education Evangelist of Google Jaime Casap, Steven Mihaylo of Crexendo Business Solutions, Quantera chairman Matt Kim and Tallwave CEO Jeff Pruitt.

Each member of the panel will share their individual success stories and talk about the characteristics needed to succeed in today’s business world.

 

Reach the reporter at mjgordo1@asu.edu