Thanks to the over 40 people that showed up, the inaugural Houston OpenCoffee Club was a resounding success. We had several Angel Investors, bona fide Venture Capitalists, business consultants and most importantly - entrepreneurs discussing various aspects of the startup life cycle. With no formal agenda, the conversations that I overheard ranged from “we’re looking for $X equity capital” to “We need a lawyer” to “I have this idea” - all met with enthusiastic repsonses and an exchange of business cards with the promise of further follow up. This was precisely the goal of OpenCoffee Club and to that end I think that there is demand for a second edition.
One thing that I was particularly pleased about the attendees were the handful of people there that I did not know who learned about the event second or third hand from the original emails I sent out two weeks prior. The fact that the idea became viral so quickly demonstrates that there is a pent up need for this kind of organization. I am very happy that I could help facilitate the event, although I can not take the credit for making it as big a hit as it was.
Special Thanks go to Saul Klein in London for coming up and executing the original idea, Jason Mendelson in Boulder for walking me through what to expect (he was remarkably accurate after his first two in Colorado), Robert Brackenridge of the Houston Technology Center for promoting it to the people he thought would get the most out of it and of course to business leaders and my personal friends and associates: Paul Campbell, Andrew Clark, Richard Scruggs, Jeff Williams, Leo Womack.
About mid-way through the event, roughly 30 people still going strong
Another shot of the crowd
Tony Huang, founder of www.techxans.com Speaking with Robert Brackenridge
Reid Pennebaker of RPVentures
Billy Buchsbaum of 1790 Capital
Russell Holliman, Founder of www.podcastready.com and Robert Brackenridge
Jeff Willams of Mainspring Capital Partners speaking with Co-Founders of MindOH.com