Playing with food on a Monday morning.
Playing with food on a Monday morning.

There was an impressive turnout this morning for Open Coffee considering daylight saving time meant waking up in the pitch dark for many of us. Several new faces and several people who hadn’t been to Open Coffee in a while, including moderator Campbell Boyer, were in attendance.

The topic this morning was hardware startups, specifically the monthly Hardware Startup Meetup that LVL1’s president Brad Luyster and others have been hosting since August.

Hardware startups, explained Luyster, make their products with “atoms not bits.” We tend to think of hardware as involving nuts and bolts, but anything from “microprocessors to coffee mugs” can be considered hardware.

Louisville’s home for hardware enthusiasts is LVL1, our local maker/hackerspace.

LVL1 is a member-driven organization with 10,000 square feet of workspace where you can build and tinker. In order to become a member you need three members to endorse you. It’s $50 a month for a membership and that gets you a key to use the space 24 hours a day. Currently there are 75 members. Every Tuesdays at 8 p.m. the public is welcome and can get a guided tour of the space.

The next Hardware Startup Meetup is on March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the iHub, 204 S. Floyd Street.

And because “having fun is a great way to start a Monday,” according to Boyer, we spent ten minutes or so building the tallest structure we could using only spaghetti and marshmallows.

Ty Adams's winning structure.
Ty Adams’s winning structure.

Events and announcements:

Vogt Awards applications on May 1.  The Vogt Award program is similar to an accelerator except that the program takes no equity. Four or five hardware startups are granted $20,000 upon acceptance. At the program’s demo day, one company receives a $100,000 grant.

Startup Weekend Next applications close March 15 — SW Next is a program that helps early-stage startup companies prepare to enter accelerators.

Venture Sharks applications close March 25 — think “Shark Tank” but local.

March 22-23 is a Suicidal Robot Hackathon at LVL1 — which is exactly what you’d imagine it is. More on this later this week. The public is welcome to come at noon on March 23 to see the destruction.

FacetimeLou is a Tweetup for active Twitter users in Louisville. The event debuted a couple of years ago but disappeared when the co-ordinator moved to Cincinnati. The hosts of the Louisville, Not Kentucky podcast (Linda Golden and I) have resurrected it. Come and meet your Twitter “friends” in real life at El Camino on Thursday, march 13 at 6:30 p.m. RSVP on Eventbrite.

The next Network of Entrepreneurial Women event is Wednesday, March 12 from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at Canoe, 216 S. Shelby Street.

“Lean In” Circles is having a kick-off event at the Clifton Center on Wednesday, March 12 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Tuesday, March 11 is the monthly WordPress meetup at Mirazon, 1640 Lyndon Farm Court #102, at 6:15 p.m. RSVP on the site.

Open Coffee Louisville
8 a.m. Mondays
iHub, 204 S. Floyd Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Free parking: in the Nucleus lot between Preston & Floyd.
Twitter: @startupLou #opencoffeelou

Thank you as always to Heine Brothers for providing the coffee.

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