Where is this ‘Venture Café’?

During its “alpha” or prototyping phase, The Venture Café is located in the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) on the 5th Floor. CIC is at One Broadway in Cambridge’s Kendall Square and a short walk from the Kendall/MIT T-stop on the Red Line.

Why are you open now? Why only for a few hours a week?

We’re using this ‘alpha testing’ opportunity both to work on technology to enhance the cafe experience and to develop or partner with organizations to provide programming of interest to the community. For instance, the New England Venture Capital Association is conducting office hours within the café, and prominent speakers, such as angel investor Bill Warner, have used it as a venue for talks.  We are approaching building The Venture Café much as one would a software development project: with a fair amount of real-life usability testing even early in the concept development.

Why are you in Kendall Square?

Cambridge is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurial energy, and Kendall Square is at the heart of that. We are convenient to the Red Line and the Greater Boston innovation community, while being steps away from MIT, MIT Sloan, the Cambridge Innovation Center, and many other surrounding start-up, angel and venture capital investors. We find this a good, central location from which to collaborate with other area schools, including Harvard and Babson.

Is Venture Café just for entrepreneurs seeking venture capital?

We’re not sure what are all the things the the Venture Café is for.  We hope you will help us answer that question.  In a nutshell, however, Venture Café is for entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors who want to meet other like-minded people, with an eye toward making things happen, engaging in meaningful work, and getting involved in new, exciting projects.  ”Venture” is meant in the broadest sense – as a potentially risky endeavor – like an “adventure”.

What is Venture Café’s connection with Cambridge Innovation Center?

One of Venture Café’s founders is Tim Rowe, who is also CEO and founder of CIC.  CIC has provided many resources to help The Venture Café get off the ground, however The Venture Cafe is not owned by, nor part of, CIC.

How do I create an account for this ‘Connect to the Cafe’ feature?

Newcomers to the cafe have the opportunity to sign in and create a profile on our ‘virtual nametag system’ which also allows you to view your history in the cafe and connect your LinkedIn profile. Since our focus is on the physical location and in-person interactions, the creation of a visitor profile is restricted to cafe prototyping days, i.e., Thursdays, at the cafe kiosk. After you create an account there, you will be able to later access it remotely.