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“Whoa – That Nerd Can Sing!”

Last night the Silicon Valley Bank and Coverflow (a cover band made up of some of Silicon Valley’s musically talented techies) debuted an American Idol-style talent show, a new annual event celebrating the creativity in the tech community for a great cause. Affectionately called the “American Idol for the geek set,” the Silicon Valley Voice showcased the vocal and performance skills of seven handpicked contestants from around the tech industry.  After the final performance, the judges (also fellow techies) chose the night’s best performance while the tech-loving crowd voted for the best artist.


The event took place at the world famous Fillmore in San Francisco, and it rocked from beginning till end. Coverflow (including Mayfield Fund’s Tim Chang and Raj Kapoor, Fandalism’s Philip Kaplan, and Ethan Beard) opened the show to get the crowd started.  Afterwards, the contestants gave their all in a final showdown.  When the performances were over, the contestants returned to the stage holding their Twitter hashtags.  Voting lines (tweets?) were opened and the contestant who received the most unique tweets was crowned winner with the proceeds of the event going to the charity of his/her choice.

Viralheat was happy to take part in this new, fun-filled event – we were given the task to monitor the audiences’ tweets and add up the unique votes.   After the votes were counted, there were two indisputable champions – Andy Barton, a tech recruiter and Facebook alum, for best performance for his take on “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, while Sara Oliver, an executive assistant and Electronic Arts, won crowd favorite and best artist with an amazing rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”  Check out Sara’s performance here.

Check out some of the responses from the crowd below.  Some dedicated audience members tweeted multiple times in an effort to have their favorite crowned champion, but only one tweet per user was counted toward the final vote.

According to Silicon Valley Bank, the event raised more than $20,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation, Bay Kids, and Little Kids Rock.  As the overall winner, Oliver directed an extra $3,000 to Better Lives, a foundation that provides medical care in Sierra Leone.

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