Last week I was invited to sit in with some amazing pioneers at the first OpenCoffee in the City of Appleton. I call them pioneers, because they are all high-tech startup entrepreneurs in a land where no high-tech startup infrastructure exists. LIke “those who went into unexplored territory in search of a new life, looking to establish permanent settlement.” except Appleton Pioneers are “those who are exploring financial territories, in search of resources to establish profitable exit-strategies”.
One of the OpenCoffee guests from the City of Appleton is looking for ways that the city can help these startups be successfull. It basically comes down to cold-hard cash, but of course this is a delicate, multi-phase, interdependent process
I agree with Bob Waldron who quoted from Brad Feld’s book (and I paraphrase) that we won’t have a successful technology startup community until successful tech-startup owners from this area put time into building said community. Education is needed, and so is experience.
The way I see it, every tech startup owner that has been funded, or boot-strapped themselves to get to year 2+, should be at this open-coffee, every time. And every owner that has successfully exited, or taken their profits and started a new venture, should invite a wealthy friend on a ride-share to these meetings. Then they can discuss and argue the finer points during the car-ride home.
Related to all of this, is the future high-tech planning on what Appleton is becoming. During my personal tech-search this weekend, I came across a number of reputable online courses (think MIT, Stanfard, etc) and discovered one of particular significance to our pioneering: https://www.coursera.org/course/techcity. It’s an online, 4 week class from Ohio State University. I’m very interested in exploring this class for the Appleton Makerspace powered by DHMN, especially week four on Entrepreneurial Urbanism: “You’ll explore how open data initiatives, hack-a-thons, and urban prototyping festivals are creatively innovating our cities.”
My thanks to Matt Straub of http://TheAvenueHQ.com/ for the invite, and Chris Schmitz of http://DigitalFertilizer.org/ for bringing OpenCoffee to Appleton!