OpenCoffee Leeds {Sette}

So the seventh and final OpenCoffee of 2007 rolled around this last Tuesday morning with around 25 attendees throughout the morning, traveling from as far as Durham and Manchester.

The attendance levels are averaging out at 25-30 people and we’re still getting to meet someone new each month, so the formula’s just about working…though I really wanna shake things up a little. So what was of interest this time around…

  • Dave Hudson, Jennifer O’Grady and digital strategist Ross Brown were loitering outside Flannels just as I arrived and later we shared coffee and cake. It turns out that the three of them met for the first time at BarCamp Leeds, found they had complimentary and overlapping skills and plan to collaborate where they can. That’s exactly the kinda OpenCoffee romance that we’d like to see more of Cupid’s Pointer has indeed struck 🙂 Coincidentally, Dave is the brother of one of the more interesting people I met at BarCamp and has been busily hooking up with the North East geek community as well as mulling a BarCamp of his own… Jennifer’s just left Manchester’s Brazen PR and is currently on garden leave before going freelance; strangely we get a lot of Manchester people coming to OpenCoffee Leeds unaware of our sister events over the Pennines. Hmmm?
  • Matt Edgar and Richard Lucker from Orange were along; we talked a little about how we could get Orange more deeply involved in the emerging regional community…one, because they have deep pockets and two because large companies such as Orange have an important contribution to make in the ecosphere, particularly as they turn to startups to help kickstart their stagnating R&D teams and innovation agenda. I hypnotised them both with Nokia’s Moving Ball demo for the N95 and now expect they’ll sponsor the next BarCamp Leeds 😉
  • I was really stoked to see Geekup’s Deb Bassett come out for her first OpenCoffee. Deb’s been deeply involved in helping surface the local geek community through both GeekUp and BarCamp. Now that she’s coworking outta Old Broadcasting House, a few minutes away, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of her.
  • Nigel Spowage was tinkering with his Asus Eee PC over in a corner. Though compact and Linux-ready, it’s sorta, um, dull…lacking the design flair of Sony’s old TR series and the innovation of OLPC’s XO, though I’m sure you could run XO’s Sugar on the Eee.

Most importantly, I got my fix of freshly-baked custard-filled danish pastry (thanks again Justin!) and had a relaxed, enjoyable morning with some smart people.

The next OpenCoffee Leeds will take place on Tuesday 8th January…I think we might try some new ideas in 2008, in the meantime thanks you everyone for making our first seven months a huge pleasure.

Oh wow, I just realised the date for OpenCoffee {January} is palindromic – see you on 08.01.08 😉

UPDATE: We made the home page of the global OpenCoffee site!


  1. Chaotic to say the least! At the end, I step out and did not present edocr. Planning a completely new site for 2008 series. Trying to work out how to run Mashup Manchester within NW StartUp 2.0 brand – bit of a nightmare as this involves two websites with two registrations, etc etc.
    Any thoughts?


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