About

The Venture Café Foundation (VCF) provides resources for the entrepreneurial and innovation communities that enable conversations and collaborations. The Venture Café Foundation presently runs four resource programs:

  • Venture Café – A weekly conversation forum held at the 5th Floor café of the Cambridge Innovation Center on Thursday evenings (see more details below)
  • District Hall – A hub for the innovation community to meet and exchange ideas in Boston Seaport Innovation District, including a range of meetings rooms and open lounge space
  • Mass Bay Innovation Alliance (MBIA) – Connects innovation players worldwide to the Massachusetts ecosystem by organizing visits to innovation-related institutions
  • Captains of Innovation Program – Helps companies envision the future of your industry and connect with Greater Boston’s startups to achieve that vision.

The Venture Café Foundation is a not-for-profit, public-purpose sister organization of the Cambridge Innovation Center.  VCF is incorporated as a Massachusetts Not-for-Profit Corporation.

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Venture Café 

The weekly Venture Café serves as a physical nexus for helping innovators and entrepreneurs find one another and collaborate to bring their dreams to reality.   These Thursday evening gatherings provide a space for conversations and scheduled programs to inspire a wide range of attendees from around the world to connect.

Even in this digital world, it’s important to have a physical space. Shared physical spaces provide common meeting ground and a forum for semi-serendipitous encounters that often foster brainstorming and drive creativity. Meeting in person establishes the trust that’s so crucial to working together, particularly on risky, underfunded projects. The Venture Café can provide the framework upon which numerous experimental “applications” can be nurtured and launched.

Learn more about our new contributor model, and review the application criteria here.

Guests: Open to all members of the innovation community for up to three visits.
Affiliates: Visiting privileges will be extended to members of select innovation-focused partner organizations while they remain in good standing with their respective organization (Boston World Partnerships (connectors), C3, CIC, CommonAngels, Critical Mass, Dogpatch Labs, Greentown Labs, Mass Challenge (finalists and mentors), TechStars etc). Affiliate codes are available at the sign-in kiosk.
Contributors: After three visits, individuals must be approved as Contributors in order to attend the Café. Note: Applicants must also provide up to three references (these may be Venture Café Volunteers or well-known members of the innovation community).

The Venture Café is held every Thursday on the 5th floor of the Cambridge Innovation Center at One Broadway in Kendall Square.  The Venture Café is also open for special events. Please see our calendar for opening times.  Entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, developers, designers and other members of the Boston startup community drop in to chat about what they’re working on.

Venture Café from its very beginnings has welcomed participants without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, military service, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or disability. Venture Café reserves the right to refuse admission at our discretion.

8 Responses to About

  1. Pete Kistler says:

    Hi,

    I’m the CEO of BrandYourself.com, a venture-backed web startup. I just heard about Venture Cafe from Boston Tweetup and was wondering if there’s a way to get email notifications about Venture Cafe events?

    Thanks,
    - Pete Kistler

    • Carrie Stalder says:

      Pete,
      We don’t yet have an email newsletter as we are a lean volunteer-driven organization, but we do publish a weekly blog with details and have a Google calendar, in addition to Facebook and Twitter feeds. If you like, you can set up an RSS to email service (like http://www.feedmailer.net/) to drive our blog posts to your inbox in the meantime. (We’ll take this as a ‘feature request’!)
      Best,
      Carrie Stalder
      Manager

  2. Paul Joyal says:

    I am exploring opening a cupcake business in a suburb of Boston. Would consultation services be available to me for this type of venture? Thanks in advance.

    • Carrie Stalder says:

      Paul,
      The cafe is a gathering place and watering hole for entrepreneurs and innovators. We don’t offer consulting services per se, but sometimes have venture capitalists holding office hours in the cafe. Please check the calendar for details.
      I would suggest that you investigate SCORE (http://www.score.org/index.html) as a source of advice for your business idea.
      Best,
      Carrie Stalder
      Manager

  3. Lev Raslin says:

    Are any such cafe events held in NYC? And are NYC based startups welcome at the Boston events?

    Thanks,
    Lev

    • Carrie Stalder says:

      Lev,

      NYC-based startups are welcome, certainly. Our hope is to build the web of connections and help entrepreneurs/startup folks help each other by creating a warm and welcoming space to meet and truly connect with people.

      I’m not sure if anything like this exists in NYC, though the initial indications from people I met at SXSW is that there is not.

      Thanks for your interest!
      Carrie

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