We’ve already talked at length about how excited we are for this year’s Combine in Bloomington. It’s going to be a great event filled with great people, but I must admit… As is wont to happen with me, I was a little over eager. I was so excited for this year’s Combine that I went down to God’s Country to talk to the Combine’s Executive Director, Mat Alano Martin who happens to be an extremely funny standup comic and one of the masterminds behind the annual Limestone Comedy Festival in Bloomington. 

Why Mat’s Stoked for Combine

It’s obvious that the speakers coming to the Combine are going to be awesome, but Mat is excited about a lot more than that as this year’s Combine approaches. To him, this is a learning opportunity for folks of all degrees of technical ability. Additionally, this is a great opportunity for smart people from across the state to get together and enjoy everyone’s favorite college town.

Mat put it best. The Combine is your chance to “Hang out and party with cool people.”

Speaking of cool people, Mat’s a pretty cool guy as well. So cool, in fact, that we talked him into giving us a very special offer for this year’s Combine.

Special Offer for Verge Indy Members

So here’s how this went down. We were talking to Mat about getting Verge Indy members a special offer for attending this year’s Combine. He said he’d be happy to give some Verge Indy members 20% off their badges.

Now, if there’s one thing you all should know about me about this point, it’s that I’m a pretty tough negotiator. I looked him straight in the face and told him…

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So he came back with an offer that is stupid good.

You heard that right. The first 10 people to sign up at this link will not only save 20% on their badge price, but they’ll also get a free ride to and from Bloomington in a limo on Saturday.

The limo will leave The Speak Easy at 8am on Saturday, April 12th and deliver you to The Combine in Bloomington, IN where you will:

  • Attend the speaker series, featuring: Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, Tech Cocktail’s Frank Gruber, internet sensation Lil’ BUB and many more.
  • Check out LobbyCon where you will play some of the coolest games and see some of the newest regional tech happenings.
  • Go to the official After Party at the Bluebird, featuring the Star Trek themed rock and roll of Five Year Mission.
  • Meet cool people, forge lifelong friendships, build bridges, party with your peers, etc….
The limo will pick you back up at the Bluebird at 10:30pm and return you to the Speak Easy.

The Schedule

While visiting SproutBox, I also caught up with Erin Erdmann of Visit Bloomington who gave us a quick rundown of the schedule.

Thursday features an event from our friends at Verge Bloomington at the Fountain Square Mall.

Friday includes workshops throughout the Bloomington Convention Center followed by a kickoff event at the Bishop.

Saturday kicks off with LobbyCon at the Solarium at the Indiana University Memorial Union followed by the speaker series in Alumni Hall. The day concludes with an after party at the Bluebird featuring Star Trek-themed band, 5 Year Mission.

Sunday will feature tours of Bloomington’s new Certified Tech Park.

The App

For those of you attending, Chris Borland takes you through this year’s Combine app. It’s currently available for download for Android here and will be coming to iOS shortly!

Frankly, if you read all the way to the end of this blog without signing up for the Combine, you may have already missed out on your chance at the limo, so you better register fast. If you need me, I’ll be waiting outside the Speakeasy.