Venture masterminds recap of August 26th, 2018, Open Coffee meetup #203 in Santa Monica
By Robin Rowe
Santa Monica, CA (Venture Hollywood) 2018/8/26 – At this week’s startups meetup I enjoyed a stimulating conversation with founders, investors, developers, managers and recent college graduates. Before the start of the meetup, I brainstormed with long-time members Ralf and JT about creating open source software for the group. More on that below.
For anyone who doesn’t already know, for fun I lead the weekly New Tech Open Coffee venture masterminds meetup, a great place to meet people active in startups. Every Sunday at 10am. Special thanks to Panera Bread for hosting us.
Each week we go around the table stating our name, company name, what we can give and what we hope to get from the group. It’s a knights of the round table type of event with the first hour introductions, the second hour networking.
This article is based on my handwritten notes of what was said, which may not be entirely accurate. It would be nice to have an app that collected the member comments at the meetup from each person directly, not depend upon my notes. Ralf and JT both have social apps already developed for other purposes. Easily adapted, I think, if open sourced so developers in the group can work on it. Ralf and JT said they are open to that if I will manage the codebase on github. Exciting to see what will happen next.
During the introductions it can be confusing what members are offering or want. When a member says he or she is looking to join a startup, that may mean as an investor, as a founder working for equity, as a paid employee or as an unpaid learner. When asking for help or wanting to help, each member is asked to specify the type of relationship is desired: learn, earn, found or invest.
Learners may be experimenting with a career change, a student, recently retired or anyone who thinks startups are fun but not feeling ready to make it a job. Some are looking for a project to get their feet wet, to figure out what they would enjoy doing by trying it. For example, a way to gain exposure to a new programming language or experience using tools like git without paying to take a class in it.
In a way, we’re all learners at the meetup. None of us are getting paid for being there. We’re here to have fun.
Below are highlights of the introductions from this week’s participants…
- Robin (that’s me): Director of Venture Hollywood with a dozen startups under management, preparing to launch AI digital assistant cc:later.
- Charisse: Recent UCLA grad looking for a bio/healthcare project to learn on, she connected with a healthcare startup at the event
- Matt: SQL software developer with a day job at Cornerstone
- John: Linux engineering manager looking for a project to learn on
- Kyla: Experience in women’s pro sports and filmmaking, looking for a paying job as Final Cut Pro editor
- Shockey: Startup trust-building app, looking for UX help for equity
- Elon: Software developer with IoT startup, looking for investors
- Amy: 31 years in real estate, startup Double Door for foreign real estate investors is making good progress, has 6 full-time and 4 part-time developers, seeking tech lead, marketer and security expert
- Melissa: Marketing/PR/sales, worked for Solar City
- Michael: Investor, seeking offshore WordPress and PHP developers
- Mark: iOS developer building a game app
- Ralf: NextPitch, Cyberfolio and cannabis startups
- Yohan: Real estate and clean energy apps, seeking sales reps
- Scott: TCA investor, healthcare startup in organ donation
- Damien: Project manager launching a startup, seeking sales and pitch advice
- Matt: Founding a consulting company with Damien
- Kristy: Co-living/co-working space, Kindred app is PMS (Property Management System) for co-living spaces worldwide
- Davey: Advertising experience, can give sales and marketing advice
- Douglas: Data scientist building a social net to compete with Facebook
- Mr. Anonymous: A lifestyle coach and personal manager, he launched into an elaborate “story” pitch, and when told that today is not the pitchfest, that at the Sunday meetup we just introduce ourselves, he pushed back against that advice, continued his pitch and never mentioned his name, product or company
- Andrew: Day job at a well known EDU company, has a jewelry company based in Peru with 15k website uniques/month, needs sales and marketing help
- Nina: PE fund manager and TV producer, seeking paid composer, editor, PPT writer, VR/AR programmer and a crew to shoot a sports game show network pilot in Whittier, California
- Issac: Attorney recently moved to Los Angeles from New York, passed bar in both states, works in M&A, VC B/C rounds
- JT: One of the New Tech organizers. Leads generation company Global Residency, was frustrated as an EY management consultant who wrote 100-page reports that may have not even have been read
With 31,000 members across three active chapters in Santa Monica, London and Paris, New Tech is one of the largest associations on Meetup.com. Our Open Coffee event focuses on networking, is more accessible for meeting new people than the larger New Tech event that’s a monthly pitchfest.
To contact Robin Rowe, that’s me, the easiest way is to connect with me on LinkedIn. My background… Startups studio Venture Hollywood, innovation provider to Fortune 500 companies, C++ expert, Fortune 500 innovation lab director, DARPA PI, navy research scientist, NBC-TV technical director of broadcast news, and taught computer science at two universities.