Every other Thursday at 8am, Potager's Other Stuff fills with the buzz of knowledge. People from all over Arlington gather to discuss everything from the impact of Artificial Intelligence to the latest and greatest i-device. The crowd may seem diverse, with students and older professionals alike, but they share a common dream--starting their own business. Open Coffee Club Meetups invite anyone to join the conversation about start-ups and the tech industry. The newly formed group is still finding the moderation and topical style it likes best, but the meetings so far have been anything but boring. Come support your local start-ups by giving your two cents, or be inspired to start your own. Open Coffee Club provides much needed community to an overlooked population, especially considering the uphill battle start-ups can be. In case you aren't convinced, here's five reasons to support this meetup and your local start-up community:
1. Support an exciting opportunity for employees.
Everyone loves the "Be your own boss" line. There is something attractive about calling the shots, making your own schedule, and taking a risk. The individuals who put their resources into a new venture are jumping into the deep end of a pool, but with that comes opportunities they could never get elsewhere. Entering a business and industry for which you are passionate instills a sense of purpose. The management aspect may be new for you, but the absolute control over all company assets and strategies is probably a strange, but empowering beast. You also decide the environment and ambiance of your new venture. Unfortunately, the transition between desk job and entrepreneur is not an easy swap. Fear stops a lot of innovations from ever seeing the light of day. Open Coffee Club is a community that can support, if not advise, any start-up and its nervous new CEO.
2. There's a whole lot of people looking for a community.
Recently, it seems like all anyone can talk about is start-ups. Cities are exploding with corporate growth from small businesses that turn into big businesses almost overnight. Twenty eight million small businesses exist in America right now, with more piling on every day. Twenty-two million of those companies only have one employee, who is self-employed. That's a lot of lonely people, working by themselves, without the benefit of a company hierarchy that offers peer support. Enter: Open Coffee Club. Though the Club may not be able to literally hold your hand through the process of opening a business or expanding your store, the people there know what you're going through. They have their own ideas they hope will soar into mainstream America. They are attending Open Coffee Club because they want to share their experiences and learn from what others did differently. Expanding that community of new and old Arlington start-ups only makes our community stronger.
3. The more you know...
It's not a cheery statistic, but more businesses shut down than start up every month. Out of the 543,000 new start-ups, only a small fraction will make it past three years. About 75% of start-ups will fail eventually. Here's the good news: those statistics don't have to be permanent. In any situation, a supportive community raises the chances for success by offering knowledge, advise, and hope. Start-ups, whether in Austin, Seattle or San Francisco, gather there because of their like-minded neighbors. Forming a group focused on providing experience and information to those without any creates a similar dynamic, and reduces the risk of starting a new business on your own. Open Coffee Club may not single-handedly reduce the rate of failed start-ups, but it will pave the way for more learning experiences and more knowledge to share in the future.
4. Teamwork fuels creativity.
After hearing that lonely "22 million self-employed businesses" number, it's hard to visualize a place where that could also mean collaboration. If you have no one else working for you, there's no one with whom to collaborate which is a major disadvantage for many new businesses. Seventy-five percent of employers think collaboration and team work are "very important" to workplace efficiency and productivity. Even more astonishingly, 86% of employees and executives thought a lack of collaboration or inefficient communication lead directly to failed projects. Start-ups can seek their collaboration in several ways, from coworking to attending Open Coffee Club. For coworking, 71% of respondents in one of the largest surveys done said their creativity went up when they were placed in a collaborative environment. Discussing ideas, trading insights and finding like-minded coworkers all improve your chances at success in such a boom-and-bust industry, and just so happen to be qualities of Open Coffee Club Meetups.
Whether you're prepared to invest money now, or are looking to support your next-door entrepreneur, your presence will be appreciated at Open Coffee Club. That's not to say you won't benefit from attending, either. The discussion topics, although moderated, range wildly to incorporate everyone's unique specialty. Plus, it's at Potager's Other Stuff, so you can pick up some organic produce, fun drinks, or grab a cup of coffee while you're there. For more information on the event, or to RSVP, follow this link. Don't forget to follow Downtown Arlington on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!