Open Coffee 28
Open Coffee 28

Once again, it was exciting to see many new faces at this morning’s #OpenCoffeeLou.

The final tally for the morning was approximately 29 attendees. Our five new faces included Anthony Smith, Mayor Fischer’s fairly newly-appointed Director of Safe Neighborhoods.

Lately, we’ve had more organized conversations at our Monday morning meetings, and today was no exception.

Daniel Johnsen moderated a brainstorming session about where we would like to see our Louisville entrepreneur ecosystem in the future and where it stands today.

Attendees were asked to put their visions for the startup and entrepreneurial community in Louisville on Post-it notes and share them with the meeting.

While not an exhaustive list, here are the perceived needs and desires of the people attending the meeting:

Brainstorming board
  • More national recognition
  • People turning lifestyle business into “real” businesses
  • Neighborhood that’s a geographic epicenter of startup activity
  • More iHubs in more parts of the city
  • Small manufacturing startups
  • Employ local labor
  • Startups stay and become role models
  • Job options in tech
  • Other university entrepreneurs besides U of L
  • Outside funds invest here
  • Homegrown PR departments
  • Fiber to the door
  • 5 more accelerators
  • Free meeting space with wifi and whiteboards
  • Access to key non-local players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Local freelance marketplace
  • City incentives
  • More technology events
  • Startup credit union
  • Louisville as a magnet for creatives
  • Collaboration between state and city and GLI etc.
  • Invite professors to come and speak
  • Market iHub more
  • Monthly workshops for entrepreneurs
  • Social group with smaller action committees
  • Mayor’s office to chat us up
  • Large companies fostering small startups
  • One source for local startup news
  • Support for transitioning entrepreneurs
  • Diversity in startup
  • Statewide pipeline

After we brainstormed our needs and visions, we listed current assets to our community.

Current Assets:

  • Some local startups already in the news: Beam Technologies and Aaron Marshall’s Over App.
  • Enterprise Corp
  • Startup Weekend/Startup Next
  • Hackathons
  • Regular meetings of Open Hack, OpenCoffeeLou, WordPress and other meetups
  • Four accelerators or accelerator-like programs
  • University programs in entrepreneurship.

Ideas that really got traction included the startup credit union, more affordable co-working facilities and a centralized space for disseminating information about the startup and entrepreneurship community.


OpenLunchLou will be this Wednesday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. at That Place on Goss inside the Goss Avenue Antique store.

The Village Capital/VentureWell Application deadline is today. This is an accelerator for agriculture and cleantech companies and includes 3-day workshops in June, July and September and with the chance to win a $50,000 investment.

The TALK Tech Series kicks off tonight at the iHub (204 S. Floyd) at 5:30 p.m. Session 1: Developing Louisville. This is the first in a 5 part series that will tackle the issue of developing, attracting and sustaining a technology talent ecosystem in Louisville. This event co-sponsored by YPAL.

The Louisville Digital Association sponsors “Let’s Hear Your Voice” on Wednesday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m. also at the iHub. Jason Falls moderates a discussion of Louisville’s digital future. Guests include: Ted Smith, Chief, Economic Growth and Innovation at Louisville Metro Government and Tendai Charasika, newly-appointed Executive Director at Enterprise Corp, and some of the leadership of other service groups around town – like LDA and Forge.

Friday is Open Hours at Chrysalis Ventures. It begins at 4:00 p.m., and you must sign up on their website to participate.

There will be NO #OpenCoffee next Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday. We will reconvene on June 3 at 8:00 a.m. at iHub for our next meeting. As always, everyone who is interested in the startup/entrepreneurial community in Louisville is welcome.

Thank you again to Heine Brothers Coffee for providing the coffee for our event.

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