A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a Buffalo Open Coffee Club, where people gather together, bright and early, every Tuesday morning to share their revolutionary ideas. Actually, a lot of the people that attend come to listen to the ideas, while others are retired CEOs and investors who come to see if anyone is in need of help, be it lending experience, or even financing. Still others show up to see who’s out there doing what in Buffalo.
Last Tuesday, a friend of mine and I opted to attend, and we were glad that we did. The gathering was held at Rowhouse Bakery and Restaurant, 483 Delaware Avenue. Upon arrival, we grabbed a cup of coffee (free for attendees), and began to talk to others in the room who were milling about. We met a number of intriguing people who were all there for different reasons. We talked to potential investors, brainchildren, movers and shakers, organizers, and others who were simply there to watch, listen, mingle, and learn.
After the priming social, individuals were invited to walk up a few stairs on the staircase to say why they were there. A few of the attendees said that they were there to offer support to those who were looking to get their ideas off the ground. But mostly it was an assortment of folks who were pitching their ideas, to see if anything might spark/ignite within the room.
After each informal and impromptu presenter spoke, he or she would offer up a “give” or an “ask”. A give would be an offering – for example, “I offer anyone a chance to tour our facility.” An ask might be a pitch for people to support a certain fundraiser – for example, “Our group is hosting a 5K race to raise money for a cause – if there are any runners out there, please talk to us.” After around ten people took to the stairs, the event wrapped up. But instead of leaving, most people stuck around to network and talk.
It’s hard to sum up how much I personally learned at the Open Coffee Club #8 – by the time I left my brain was swimming with ideas, and my pocket was loaded with business cards. It was fascinating to see so many people in one room, who had so many intriguing projects and concepts. It was also great to see so many senior and retired professionals who were there looking for good fits for their own expertise, or even funding.
Last week there were 52 people who attended the Open Coffee Club (eight weeks in). I hear that these numbers are growing week to week, which is a good sign that Buffalo’s start-up community is really tuning in to the event series.
If you are interested in attending, don’t be afraid if you’re not a techie or a geek… this group is more about broadranging ideas and concepts than simply tech-driven concepts (although there is certainly some tech talk – last week I was enlightened on the inner-workings of Blockchain.)
Ready to jump in? Feel free to sign up for the group by clicking here. You never know what you will find, or who you will meet. But one thing is for certain, you will be inspired, and you will come back.
The event is brought to Buffalo by Techstars in Buffalo.
Open Coffee Club #9
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Rowhouse Bakery and Restaurant, 483 Delaware Avenue
Door open at 7:30am
Content runs from 8:10am-8:30am