The cafe was packed last night in what proved to be a cohesive mingling of the worlds of life science, journalism, new media and civic engagement and venture capital. Meetings such as this, which due to the wide breadth of entrepreneurial and innovative activity in Kendall Square, could be few and far between, opened the doors to a comfortable mingling of minds and ideas that stretched beyond the walls of one’s normal professional network. As we continue to make plans for our permanent cafe space, preserving these cross-professional connections is something we are trying to creatively pursue. (In the life sciences area, we hosted a relatively new gathering of people studying and working with microfluidic technologies, dubbed FluidicMEMS, organized by @LilyyKim, John Mills and Joost Bonsen, in journalism new Xconomy Boston Editor, Greg Huang, @GTHuang, in new media and civic engagement the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, @C4FCM, and in venture capital Deepak Sindwani and Kim Poy of Bain Capital Ventures new Innovation Center.)
As the cafe continues to get more popular, we’d like to note the value of our virtual nametag system (always under development). I’m sure you’ve all walked into the Venture Cafe at one point or another with your sights set on a cold craft beer, only to be pointed to the computer kiosk next to the bar. Have Did you know that you can return to the Venture Cafe site afterwards to review faces and names from the previous Thursday? (Hint: click on the big ‘Log In’ nametag!) As a way to pique your interest in our sign-in system, I’ve chosen a couple of name-tags with particularly interesting project description:
Audubon Dougherty is working on an “intergenerational media project using mobile video with a Kenyan community.” Greg Kellogg is working on “microfluidics, diagnostic cartridge development, life sciences management.” Marcy Murninghan is working on “reforming capital markets and economic systems to be more sustainable and just.” Don’t you wish you met them?
Link your profile to your LinkedIn account to get your picture and details automatically included on your nametag and remember to go back to the cafe website to see who you missed! (Hint: Click on the History tab.)
One of the questions that has come up a couple of times in open hours with VC’s is the idea that the Venture Capital model is going somewhere, be it up in the world, or out the door. The thought is that should VC funds be threatened in further economic hardship, innovative ideas will prove to sustain the ones that survive. Enter Bain Capital Ventures with their new Virtual Innovation Center. This outreach effort expands Bain Capital Ventures’ services from being limited to certain locations; while it will undoubtedly expand Bain’s index of successful ventures, it also extends a hand to start-ups who may not be candidates for deals from a VC, but are part of what makes the innovation ecosystem thrive and grow. That being said, we’re also so excited to be partnering with Bain to give their virtual services a real outlet for local New York and New England entrepreneurs.
In addition, FluidicMEMS brought approximately 30 scientists and engineers on the forefront of microfluidic technology to the cafe to refresh their connections as well as mingle with this week’s other participants. We look forward to continuing partnerships with them – many thanks to everyone who came out and explained microfluidic technology to the rest of us! Check out their blog post about their night in the Cafe here.
In beer news, in the wake of the now kicked Harpoon IPA, the era of two IPA’s is finished for now. Along with a fresh keg of the popular Nantucket brew Cisco Indie Pale Ale, Kona Wailua Wheat, and Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Brown is now rounding out the last of our four taps. Come give one a try!