Wow that was some morning in Luigi Malone’s! I’d never been there before and the venue was just perfect. I arrived in to find a few of the guys along with Don the owner who stayed for the entire session. A huge thanks to Don for covering the cost of the refreshments today and for getting Wifi installed with almost no notice.

We had 20+ people turn up with the exact mix I was hoping for:

  • Start-ups like Pixenate, Roam4Free and LouderVoice
  • consultants like Aonach
  • some pure techies
  • a bunch of budding entrepreneurs
  • a development advisor from Enterprise Ireland
  • Eileen from CorkBIC (Business Innovation Centre)
  • Peter from CorkBIC Business Angel Partnership
  • an industrial liaison officer from UCC
  • two ex-Motorola people
  • and several people who (rightly) came along to see what it was all about

Given that it was the inaugural meeting, I said a few words, got everyone to introduce themselves and mentioned the ShareIT initiative, some thoughts on Coworking and a desire to get more people from the investment community involved over time.

Of course OpenCoffee here is being driven by the opposite group to the original one in the UK. Over there it is the VCs and Angels pushing it forward, over here it is the guys in start-ups. I did invite one VC but he prefers to wait and see that OpenCoffee has some legs first, which I do understand. It’ll take time for the community to grow and for the reputation to spread. I’d love it (or whatever it becomes) to be a place where opportunities are found, networks are built and people have a social outlet in a business context.

Richard (who is building something in a similar space to ourselves) made the very interesting point that his community has always been a virtual one with his peers in the US, he simply wasn’t aware so much was happening in Cork. I hope more and more local entrepreneurs hear about us and turn up for a great cup of coffee and some start-up banter on Friday March 30th. And if you are just curious about the whole thing, head on down, we’re a friendly bunch and we won’t talk about Twitter too much :-)

Several people requested a separate info page for OpenCoffee Cork so I’ll set something up next week and announce it here.

UPDATE 1: Saul has a list of all the recent OpenCoffee Clubs around the world. Damned impressive!