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Tech startups launch new inauguration party, starring Lupe Fiasco

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab,Inauguration

There's been a lot of talk about this year's inauguration being not quite as star-studded as President Obama's first. And while that's somewhat true with fewer A-listers making the trek, it's also allowed innovative parties to fill the hole.

At the Hamilton, a group of area technology startups have joined forces to start up other startups (say that three times fast) and are using the inauguration as a platform to show off their work. Together HyperVocal, Event Farm and Fighter Interactive have created StartUp RockOn, an event series, and for inauguration they are bringing the Grammy-nominated rapper Lupe Fiasco to perform.

"Our goal is to shed light on startups. If 20 firms just got together and talked about what all the companies were doing, it's not that exciting. It gets boring," explained Event Farm co-founder Ryan Costello. "We need an artist that's big enough to draw serious energy to be able to showcase what we're doing."

Costello and company are also getting members of Congress involved, picking people like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., to be on the host committee. "These are folks that we've identified either through their legislative track record, or just in the press and media that have been proponents of small business and innovation and supportive of entrepreneurship," Costello explained.

Some tickets are available through organizers for Sunday night's party, which kicks off at the Hamilton at 9 p.m. Costello promises that the vibe will be "on the hipper, younger side of the spectrum," he said. "Our official dress code is black-tie discouraged."

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