I found it a little odd when I got an invitation to Lone Rider for a Silicon Valley Bank sponsored get-together last night.

Not odd in the sense that Lone Rider would be doing something that involved startups, I haven’t figured out how to get my name on a card in that brewpub, even though there is already a Joe P. card there and, according to said card, he goes by the nickname of “Sizzle.” If that’s not me then who exactly is it and how did he steal my identity?

It wasn’t that Silicon Valley Bank would be getting startups together for a night of free beer and, from what I was told, the most amazing pork-barbecue-filled jalapeno poppers ever (event fatigue column still on the back burner, by the way).

I was perplexed by the overall picture of what it meant that SVB was inviting folks to Lone Rider on a (seemingly) random Tuesday night.

“Happy Hour” the invitation said. And you know how I hate those.

As it turns out, the evening was a very good idea, and without spectacle or fanfare, Pat Scheper from SVB introduced a bunch of his folks from the left coast to a bunch of us folks on the East Coast.

It was a good mix of people from the Triangle startup scene, even though it wasn’t public, from anything I’d seen anyway, You had a number of local angel and VC investors, quite a few folks from the just-past-early to late-stage startup universe, and a solid amount of local service providers — mainly those that work primarily with and have built a track record with local startups.

The only break in the socializing was a few minutes to introduce the SVB people from the Palo Alto Entrepreneurs Services Team — a team that has helped entrepreneurs evolve ideas into businesses for almost thirty years.

This was a very good reason to come out to Lone Rider on a random Tuesday night.

Pat tells me that this is sort of a one-off. There was no public EventBrite style invitation and not much of a plan going into it. He felt he had some really smart people from Palo Alto he needed to introduce to some really smart people from the RTP.

And yes, it’s a business development type arrangement, but in this case the ends clearly justify the means. If one startup here got a lead on financing or advisement or something from there, then it was all worth it. I like the fact that there were some very early stagers there, including recent Triangle Startup Factory graduates and NC IDEA grant winners.

Even more importantly, it shows that we have a startup ecosystem here worth getting to know. Pat isn’t making a habit out of this, hoping to do this once a year when it makes sense (thus, the event fatigue article can wait).

In the meantime, anyone who wants to bring anyone from the West Coast here to get an idea of what’s going on, I’ll be all for that.