That was a great first OpenCoffee meeting! 24 people came for the first event. We’ve posted the list of attendees & links to people’s sites so you can get back in touch with them in case you missed exchanging details.
There was a great buzz of chatter, and we were all amazed at the variety of people. There were people from businesses selling products, there were people offering services, there were people in the arts, there were people in education and training. While the original OpenCoffees in larger cities may focus on tech-startups, we had more diversity because- on the scale we have in Sligo- we can’t afford to be so specific.
We’ve gathered a group which can pool resources, share experience and (if this isn’t hyperbole), I think together we can make Sligo a better place to live and work.
We arrived in the venue: The Clarion Hotel in Sligo to a gorgeous sunny day, and a secluded part of their cafe, surrounded by windows. Absolutely great venue! ** Casual, salubrious, no problem parking- and not at all like a lecture or meeting.
After we milled around and chatted standing up for a while, we sat down in a circle and listened as Johnny Beirne set the stage for the event and this group. He spoke about his company, and told stories of pivotal events which arose from seemingly happen-stance opportunities. But they all required participating in online and offline networking activities. He explained his theory that “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you”, and his argument of the advantages of watching out for others not just yourself.
His stories really illustrated the good things that can come from reciprocating generosity and good-will.
Johnny’s talk led to an open question & answer and discussion. I took some notes here. What things stood out for you?
- A bit about the CEIM programme
- Broadband reality and woes in the Northwest
- Hot-desks in Sligo? Co-working? Need something like the Odessa Club
- The Model Arts under redevelopment, and is considering providing space to bring public in with free wifi to accommodate creative/casual networking Please contact them! See their blog, and find out how you can encourage this.
- Getting investment?
- How much investment do you need? Pros/cons? Dumb money/smart money.
- Mentors & operational expertise in addition to money. Need for mentors with a stake in the company.
- Where’d all the money go?
- What is a ‘venture capitalist’, what is a Business angel?
- The Investment Club in Sligo
Anything I missed?
Quotes of the day
My Quotes of the Day were:
“Applying for funding has made me into Homo Applicans.” – Tommy Weir
“All the free money floating around Ireland over the last 10 years went into the property market. You can’t go to your rich uncle for some investment money.” – Paul O’Dwyer
What were your quotes of the day?
** I just wanted to add: The Clarion were very accommodating, opening their doors to us before their normal opening hours and surprising us by sponsoring this first event with free tea and coffee! They were very welcoming. I just wanted to give a shout out to The Clarion for being so helpful. I can tell you, that I heard from some attendees that this was their first time there. It’s an excellent venue for their board room meetings and they have a lovely menu for lunch with Malaysian and Thai food.