(re)Open(ed) Coffee

6 May 2008, at the moment this is looking good for the relaunch of Open Coffee in Bristol. I’m still waiting on confirmation for a venue (and some free coffee as part of the deal) but it’ll be central Bristol.

I’ve decided on a morning mainly because the focus is on networking around business development and entrepreneurship and I think that works better at the start of the day than at the end with a beer. Most of the Open Coffee clubs around the world meet in the morning and I’m sure there are plenty of people there smarter than me in organising network events. There will be evening social dinners to cement the networks but part of the focus is on discussing the business of doing business, and how to build innovative digital businesses in Bristol.

The rough schedule of 4 meetings over 2 months, followed by an evening dinner, shake, rinse, repeat; seems to be going down well with everyone I’ve spoken to. The current topic outline is:

  • Explaining your idea; convince just one other evangelist and you’re well on your way (articulating your idea in 140 characters or less)=139
  • Addressable market – who are the people that actually want your product / service, are they who you think they are? Perhaps talking over coffee with other entrepreneurs will open new market ideas, or give you research leads on building your business plan / invement proposal.
  • Financial instruments – how are you raising / going to raise, the cash to build your product. Even with Google BigTable / Amazon EC3/S3 you still need some cash. Angel, VC, SFLG, FFF, Credit Cards, remortgage, what are your decisions, options and how are others finding cash?
  • No “I” in Team; but there is a me – I love that bit of team building bumff “There’s no ‘I’ in Team”: there’s no f’in team either but you don’t tend to hear that one from the managment coaches so much – as a start up entrepreneur you probably are the team, even when you build an executive support squad, most investors say they’re investing in the founder. So how are you / should you build a support team around you and who’s in it?

At each morning I’m going to try and make sure that there are some professional in the crowd but the idea is to network and discuss in generalities to inform your decisions. Feel free to let the folks you know and work with that this is going on (it is Open Coffee after all).

More details as they settle down.


  1. Good work John. Morning sessions get my vote. If you need people willing to get up and sepak to get the first one off to a start I am always happy to pitch in.

  2. Thanks Clive, there’ll be more announcements as soon as I’ve got a venue confirmed but some willing folks to rustle up a conversation will be very welcome!

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