Open Coffee MeetUp: New Location

Nic Butterworth's Open Coffee MeetUp

I was there when Nic launched the Open Coffee MeetUp. The dude is a minor tech celebrity locally. And the turnout was good. More than 20 people showed. I kept coming a few times. It is not like investors did not show, and plenty of entrepreneurs. But the investors were institutional ones who would be good for round 2, round 3, round 4, kind of. They did not click with my seed money needs. And then I dropped out, kind of. Then I got slightly distracted with things Obama.

Now I am back. I went two weeks back. Noone showed up. So I left at 9:15. I met someone - Hilary Rowland - who I knew had RSVPd and who I met again at the NY Tech MeetUp - that 800 pound gorilla of MeetUps - and she said she did go. I did not see Nic, I did not see her, what was going on?

"We were in the corner in the left," she said.


Ends up I was in the wrong location. Nic started at the Astor Place Starbucks. Now it is a different location, better for me since now I don't have to change trains.

I set my alarm for seven. How about tomatoes for breakfast? Makes you feel cutting edge, healthy eating and all that.

I show up at nine. Only one other person was there before me, someone I had emailed before on the MeetUp system, but did not have a face for.

Facebook Group: New York Open Coffee MeetUp
Prospect Park Pick-Up Soccer
NY Tech Meetup

Nic set it up for a Thursday morning on purpose. Jobholders and entrepreneurs are two different species. He wanted to weed out the former.

Slowly people gathered. Nic did not show, but someone from his vertical video search company did. It was a good size crowd,more than a dozen. You get the intimate talk at the Open Coffee MeetUp that you don't get at the NY Tech MeetUp. That second usually has 500 people in the audience and presentations. Afterwards you interact for a few minutes with the celebrity presenters, like last time I did with the DoubleClick guy who sold it to Google for $1.6 billion. Now, that is some big fish.

Scott had also sold Fotolog for $90 million only a week before. So I needed to congratulate him.

I introduced myself saying I used to come here looking for investors, but I am here now primarily because I consider it a great learning experience to interact with entrepreneurs at various stages of growth.

Someone took the initiative to break the group into two. One for current affairs. I chose to stick with the second.

Lefty said his name was Lefty.

"Is that really your name?"

"When people say Lefty, I respond."

The actual name on his card was even more exotic. Leftonred Atanycorner. Dean is a consultant who helps early stage companies. He told me I had emailed him. Have I?

He said he was not interested but he came to sit near me twice. That is a lead to follow through.

Arnaud recently moved here from France. I could hardly pronounce his name.

This was my third or fourth time meeting Mark. The first two times I met him at Drinking Liberally, Rudy's, near Times Square. He was with The Huffington Post. Then I also saw him last week at the NY Tech MeetUp and waved him hello from a distance. Another person I was surprised to see there was Carlos, one of the top Obama volunteers in the city. His CEO ended up the guy who had sold his company to Google. I am impressed, Carlos.

Mark personally knows Arianna Huffington, of course. Yahoo, Salon ("Slate," he corrected me fast) and The Huffington Post had just hosted the first ever online only presidential debate, mashup, to be specific. We talked about that a little. By the way, Arianna Huffington is a Facebook friend of mine, as is Howard Dean, and Matt Damon, and Hilary Rowland, and Andrew Rasiej, and Greta Van Sustern at Fox News who has written a few times on my Facebook wall.

Yahoo: The First Online Only Debate

After everyone had left, Mark and I kept talking. Ends up he also lives in Brooklyn, "the most residential of the four boroughs," I said. I have been meaning to go to the Drinking Liberally in Brooklyn.

We talked. He gave me some very good advice on my startup. Then we talked soap. Then we walked to Union Square where I took the train to Astoria where I was meeting a former Nepali ambassador to Qatar for lunch. He is flying back to Nepal on Monday. We talked for hours.

The past two years I have met most of the top Nepali politicians here in the city including two former Prime Ministers one of whom said to me, "Thanks for saving me."

Lance I had seen once before. He was back. He was sitting next to me, but he ended up in the Current Affairs group.

Vlad, now that is a Slavic name.

JP has a real interesting startup. It is a social networking site. But it looks like a desktop application. There is the free part, and there is the premium version, so no ads. "Distraction." He is half Chinese, half Hispanic. He speaks Spanish.

Troy is in the mobile space. That is exciting. So much going on in that space.

I got engaged in a mini conversation with him. I could propose Christmas be celebrated in January but that is not going to happen, it is ingrained in the culture; do you think America's lagging behind in the mobile domain is partly cultural, I asked. He said it was more to do with the regulatory framework. The tiger had not been unleashed.

Not my space, though. I empathize with the Homo Sapien that needs the screen and the keyboard to be a certain size.


An Asian young woman who did not have her card with her, but who had a startup "that I can't tell you much about."

Hmm. I should use that line. If I tell you more, I will have to kill you.

Facebook Group: NY Open Coffee MeetUp.

"The IC is going to be like a frying pan, like a rice cooker. It is not the technology of it. It is the business part that is going to be amazing."

The Open Coffee MeetUp is a great Thursday morning thing to do. And the monthly NY Tech MeetUp is where you start the month.

Soccer on Sundays. And you got it all made.

"I live in Little Bangladesh. Prospect Park is the best part of where I live."

Scott 2.0, 2.0

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Matt said…
I'm a devout ny open coffee goer (missed today though) and co-founded Convos with JP.

Glad you dug the Convos interface. Exciting times coming up for us.

We're going to be out of the country next week so we'll catch you later.

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