Looking forward to a platform for the entrepreneurs/ technologists/ VCs/ Angels/ enthusiasts to talk about themselves little more, find potential technical & Business intellect around?
Open Coffee Club – Goes very much in essence with open source ethics that the source code is available but may not be free and so it means for Coffee. However, the gathering is not about coffee more than that the place might serve you good coffee over the discussion.
As a member & as an observer, there are 2-3 good things about OCC, which can make this event a potential one to find a hook in building this ecosystem.
1. The so called coordinators are quite young – (Ramjee & Vaibhav) In the sense, they are learning the starting up process, quite passionate about it, probably not very much diplomatic in talks and thats what I find as the No. 1 differentiator. Sometimes the freshness & innocense is best roped in by some amateurishness as well to such open ad-hoc meetups.
2. High frequency + lesser time of the event – Its been voted out to be conducted once every fortnight on Sundays for just few hours, which definitely seems to be in the reach of many guys, given the Sunday and less traffic on Bangalore roads. However, to make most out of it still remains the challenge.
3. Use of collective learning from other such events – Barcamps, MoMos, Blogalorean, Proto etc. have now given quite a good amount of learning in terms of what is the missing thread and what more is the need of the people, thus, a high probability of making it little more meaningful & structured than it is required to be ad-hoc.
A common aspect – Such events usually see the same faces dominating the sessions/ conversations/ self-discussions wherever you go. This always makes me concerned about those talented people with real insights into industry, who usually shy away either being introverts or to avoid any fiesty conversation. And I experience it everytime during any networking session (typically while exchanging the cards) when people share their experiences & work they have been doing in the past.
However, personally OCC meet for me was little nostalgic, it did give me a chance to see the last gathering in Bangalore. It was also nice to see the support few guys extended to help me out in establishing such chapters in Delhi as well. No idea how much time will I have for organising such activities but yes will definitely strive for materialising something like this.
2-Cents worth words to make OCC little better. I see these aspects missing in any event and would love to see such things happening definitely in future.
1. Idea Ceremony -Every single person comes up with an idea today, at the end of the day they want somebody to hear them, why not build and ecosystem to give few patient ears to these crude ideas.
Invite them to demonstrate their comprehension out of that diary where they have been holding that killer idea just to themselves (of course if they are comfortable). Give them about 10 min. to explain (lesser time promises to avoid fuzzy talks) and help them collect the written/ Oral/ voted feedback they have been looking forward to. Probably 3 ideas per meet can ensure a good quality.
2. Structured pre-planned talk by a well known person from the industry/ Academia to help people find some words of widom as well to take back home. I don’t know why do we miss Academic people in such gatherings. We have wonderful Professors around like Prof. Sadagopan (IIIT Director), Prof. J. Ramachandran (IIM Bangalore), IISc. Faculty etc. They will definitely be able to fill the gap between the good product companies to great ones as they come up with real research insights on several aspects.
3. Competitions/ Contests – Ask the startup guys joining the meet to sponsor small-small events like quizzes etc. just to promote the high energy levels and creativity in the group. In turn they too can promote their startup with a minimal cost of marketing.
4. Promote Hiring – Also why not have some time reserved (ad-hoc basis) for employers to promote hiring right there, or may be ask someone looking out for a Job to present himself about the kind of job he/ she is looking forward to.
I’m sure this can resolve good amount of Talent acquisition needs of the startup guys. And if someone finds a person through these meets, they should be honest enough in giving back something to the OCC in some way or the other (however, not necessary ofcourse).
5. Monthly Newsletter(online/ hard copy) – Publishing featured talks, featured startups presence, VC presence, general Networking Photographs etc. Just like some college monthly Magazine that comes every month. Someone can definitely take up such responsibilities, this also ensures overall participation.
6. Providing visibility to all the people who attends the session later on. Very small thing but can do wonders to motivate people to bring in innovative ideas next time to the meet.
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P.S. Very much in essence with this Blog’s motive, these are very much personal views. However, I love & prefer dicussions over the blog not debates.