Morning jolt: Open Coffee Club ignites creativity and collaboration

Meetings for meetings’ sake drive everyone crazy. But we promise you, this is one meeting you won’t regret putting – and keeping – on your calendar.

The Downtown Arlington Open Coffee Club, which meets for an hour at 8:00 a.m. every other Thursday, is all about value-add. Steeped in the movement that reaches around the world, the Downtown Arlington Open Coffee Club (#DTAOCC) provides attendees a guided conversation on topics that drive today’s innovators: entrepreneurship, technology trends, and the global digital lifestyle in which we live.

At the last #DTAOCC, for example, co-organizer and moderator Matt Taylor guided the discussion on an array of topics including the latest news and rumors regarding Apple and Tesla’s autonomous vehicle programs, first reactions to recently launched Google Allo, upgrades to AT&T technology, super apps, ride share technology connecting DFW to Austin, web browser Opera’s VPN capabilities, collapsible drones, and SanDisk’s prototype of a one terabyte SD card.

If this sounds tech-heavy, it is, but the conversation is also completely accessible, even to a technology novice. Not to mention this is just one particular day in the life of the open coffee club, and agendas are developed based on the feedback of attendees.

Open to all

At this recent meeting of #DTAOCC, attendees’ backgrounds ranged from programmers and developers to artists, entrepreneurs and one retiree (who represented a hip group of Arlington seniors called Ambassadors for Aging Well). The rules of the open coffee club are simple: one person talks at a time, and if you interrupt before that person is finished, someone will lob a sugar packet at you.

#DTAOCC meetings are hosted by Startup Arlington, which is a Meetup of like-minded people interested in business, start-ups, entrepreneurship and technology. Attendance ebbs and flows but averages between eight and eighteen, and we (DAMC) pick up the tab for coffee and tea.

Following every #DTAOCC is a Downtown Arlington Jelly, which is an open, casual event where attendees can bring a laptop, tap into the free Wi-Fi, and get some work done alongside other creative people. Full disclosure: this story was written during a Downtown Arlington Jelly.

Building community

These days it’s less about becoming a member of something and more about connecting with other people. So while networking can be the result of attending #DTAOCC, those who attend regularly and fully engage say that they’re developing a true community. Members talk, help, mentor and support each other – all in pursuit of achieving individual aspirations and mutually beneficial goals.

“In the past, people have gone to Dallas and Ft. Worth to find groups of like-minded entrepreneurs,” said Matt Taylor. “We started this group because we know there is so much potential and unmet demand to build a similar community here in Arlington. With all the new development here in Downtown, we wanted to lay the foundation here for what we know is to come.”

See you next time

Downtown Arlington Open Coffee Club

followed by a Downtown Arlington Jelly

Thursday, October 6, 2016

(and every other Thursday thereafter)

Open Coffee Club: 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Jelly: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

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About Downtown Arlington

Recently designated an official Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Downtown Arlington, Texas blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. Downtown Arlington brings together a plethora of cultures and inspirations with a character all its own. Get social using hashtags #authenticallyArlington and @dtArlington.