How do you like to start your mornings after the hustle and bustle of waking up, getting ready, and fighting morning traffic? How does coffee sound? Or sitting down and chatting with like-minded people? Or breakfast? How about all three at once?! Houston’s “OpenCoffee” is an entrepreneurial community event, now held once a month at Station Houston. It’s for individuals such as entrepreneurs, developers, and investors to come together and well…as the name suggests, talk over coffee. Usually it would be in a public, easily accessible location, like a local coffee shop. Although it is, in a sense, a networking event, it’s not the stereotypical kind like (career) fairs. Instead, they sit while drinking coffee and eating snacks, and they have a conversation. What they talk about may range from investments, to insights and advice about starting and running a business, to catching up and getting up to date.
“We’re really looking for entrepreneurs, people who are running their own businesses and need that support structure… I think integrating it with the mentorship structure here at Station will help get that education out, just another avenue to do that.” – Austin, the Organizer for Houston’s “OpenCoffee” meeting.
With the setting already depicted, you can imagine that it’s not made for a hoard of people, nor the need for the suits, or corporate-type social norms that come with stereotypical networking events. One of the differentiators about OpenCoffee is that it is intended to be in an informal setting. In the first blog post that kickstarted everything, the blogger noted that “The key is a regular place and a regular time – it’s not important who comes along, some days it might be no one – just that people know if they want to meet, this is the time and this is the place” (localglo.be OpenCoffee Club – Feb 23, 2007).
OpenCoffee did not disappoint. You would probably think it’s just a group of friends or coworkers chilling in the corner; and it kind of is, but more! In the group you would find Austin, the Organizer for the event, and Alex, one of Station’s team members speaking with the guests.
Protip for promoting your value: have the home-field advantage! Alex was able to show more of Station’s value to these entrepreneurs through having that face-to-face interaction, as well as letting the work environment speak for itself. Throughout and after the meeting, guests were able to walk in and out of the meeting and explore “The Pit” as well as “The Revolving” work areas and immerse themselves in the environment.
First impressions do matter, and here’s what first-timer, Abraham Rejon, had to say regarding OpenCoffee and Station:
“This is my first time at Station, and I think it’s really great. It’s beautiful in here, and again, there are so many great views of the city; I like the people and the space. I’m looking forward to networking, meeting new people, and getting advice from those who have been doing it longer than I have, who can point me in the right direction, telling me what to and what not to do; I think that’s the most important aspect I want to get out of it.”
As the hub for tech entrepreneurs and the broader startup community, Station offers our space to technology focused meetups and groups. Interested in hosting an event at Station? We’d love to hear from you!