OpenCoffee London success…

The gig that I mentioned yesterday went extremely well today. Somewhere between 40 and 120 people, depending upon which report you read (I’d say about 50 at any instant but people came and went).

Lots of people with keen interests and skills in web-centric technologies: entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, hackers, and enthusiasts of various flavours, and plenty of positive energy.

What I liked particularly was the overwhelmingly positive can-do atmosphere, and the very high signal-to-noise ratio. 99% of the conversations were concrete – only 1 tiny ‘meta conversation’ (about ‘Is this London-entpreneurial-hub stuff hype or is there really some potential here?’… you can imagine my reaction: look around!)

The special blend that you could smell in the air was a nice mix: these people were talented and saw only opportunities, not obstacles. For every discussion, it was a case of “Ah, you ought to meet X”, or “Did you know about Y”, or “I think that if Q and P could talk to W then some cool stuff could happen” or “Hey Z, get over here and see this” or “Come back next week with 4 of your team and let’s talk some more” or “OK, let’s do it”. Even better from my perspective, there was none of the ‘attitude’ that you see on the Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice. I saw just as much self-effacing help-the-next-guy attitude here in the Centre of Capitalism as I did last week in Havana!

I hope Stowe picks up on this crowd next time he’s over in the UK, as I know he’s been shmoozing around serveral European projects lately.

A more detailed rundown of who was there can be found at the following locations:

Saul Klein – locaglo.be

It was so cool to see such an diverse mix of entrepreneurs, developers, marketers, investors (VC and angel) and media all in the same informal space – not pitching, just sharing ideas.


Mike Butcher – Vecosys

So what’s the idea? It’s basically to do what a lot of other networking events do in the Web 2.0 and technology space these days – get people together, and if possible, get the ‘money’ to meet the ‘talent’. The one difference – and a crucial one before anyone starts making dumb comparison to First Tuesday – is that this is a free event and it’s done over coffee not drinks. (In fact, this makes a lot of sense – many people in the startup tech world have kids now, so a morning coffee is a LOT more convenient, believe me).

(Mike then goes on to provide a very nice summary of a dozen or so people he spoke to during the morning)

Robin Klein – The Accelerator Group (TAG)

If entrepreneurship in London is not alive in London today, it never will be.
There were VCs, entrepreneurs, angels and press all networking and enjoying.

Jemima Kiss – OrganGrinder

Another great meet-up for London’s media/tech community, this time hosted by Saul Klein who is now full-time venture partner at Index. ….So many interesting people turned up – too many to write about in detail now. But I’m planning calls with these people so let me know if you want more detail on anyone specifically.

(Several details provided, so check it out).

Mbites/Flickr: Some photos from the gig.

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