Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Buffalo OpenCoffee - 7/13/2010

We had a good OpenCoffee meetup today. Discussion highlights (things that I remembered) include:

  • Shift of game development from giant $60 games requiring lots of time to play, to cheap mobile games that can be played in leisure.
  • This lead us into talking about Siftables (http://sifteo.com) as a new form of table top computer gaming
  • Discussions on co-working space. Discussed people currently trying to put things together. Jeff Ross was wondering how InfoTech Niagara can help. How we can leverage the 40+% of unused space in Erie County. We would need someone to actually run a co-working facility - currently no volunteers.
  • LISC of Buffalo is currently looking to get a co-working space in Buffalo and they are probably the farthest along (that we know of) with planning.
  • Short discussion on freelancing websites such as http://pick.im
  • General discussions on how InfoTech Niagara can help the tech community. Suggestions were made that they need to get the local tech community and companies to do a better job at engaging students at UB, Canisius, Buffalo State, etc. Need to teach them the skills they'll need to graduate and how to be better entrepreneurs. Let them know that they don't need to work at a bank, and can work at local tech companies or start their own. ITN can also help by finding sponsors for grassroots events - let events/groups happen organically, but help when needed.
  • ITN needs to focus more on the developers, designers (people doing the actual work), in addition to their usual target of IT Managers.
  • Discussion of creating a single site with information on all the local technology user groups (Perl Mongers, WNYLUG, Graphic Designer groups, Ruby User Group, Drupal Users Group, PHP Meetups, Hackerspace Events, etc).
  • Weekend collaborative events/competitions should take place. An example being to create a product or game over a 48 hour period and launch it, or gain further funding/award prizes.
  • GiveCamp was discussed as a weekend idea. We also discussed companies donating resources during work week hours as well.
  • More OpenData discussions on datasets to go after. Fending shared a discussion he had with a Canadian opengov person. Discussed ways to have OpenData that is user created/crowdsourced through physical devices, etc.
  • Fending and I will be at the next iPhone developers meetup at Hackerspaces to discuss our WNY OpenData initiative.
  • Fending made some comments about Drupal being cool and how he will be holding the next meeting at the Rochester co-working facility.
Here are a few links to some things that were discussed:

LISC of Buffalo (planning co-working space in down town on Chippewa)

Siftables (Table top gaming console)

Early stage, mini startup funding. We should have something like this in Buffalo:

Here's an example of weekend startup competition:

How to Be Silicon Valley, by Paul Graham

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Buffalo Tech Consolidation - The OpenCoffee Club

Steve Poland sent an email out to Buffalo BarCamp members today which is directly inline with my goals and a startup consolidation initiative that I've been planning since attending Boulder Startup Week. Seeing as this was just posted to a Facebook group, I'm posting it here so that it can referenced by people outside of Facebook.

I think that there's a strong tech community in Buffalo, but everyone is spread out and separated into niche groups. We need more community interaction. Let's start to have our local startups share ideas, problems, and solutions. We need to create a forum for entreprenuers to interact with each other. This cross polination will help out our community as a whole, while strengthening each startup along the way.

It's all about "co-opertition" (cooperative competition).

The OpenCoffee Club was started to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to organise real-world informal meetups to chat, network and grow. This is the online complement to that offline network. Meet people, find out what's going on nearby you and then go and take part.

I really want to see the tech scene in Buffalo talking. I'd like to see start-ups start to blossom from this area. I'd like to see experienced techies in Buffalo lend their knowledge to UB students. I'd like to see Buffalo techies *stay* in Buffalo. We need to network -- we need to help each other. It's Buffalo vs the world. Let's do what we can to help start-ups and area business grow, to create more jobs, and ultimately more opportunity for everyone.

Come join us weekly at Panaro's at 571 Delaware Avenue (corner of Delaware and Allen St). They aren't typically open, but will be for us between 7:30am - 9:00am on Tuesdays. We'll meet, network, discuss stuff in tech, talk geek, learn about we're all interested in and working on, etc.

There's no wifi, so bring your tethered connections and mifi hubs. I know people will want to reference some stuff online, but the idea is to just get us talking offline. Meeting new people in our area with tech passions.

And then hopefully we can get some BarCamps lined up.

Spread the word -- please email/forward this to all your geek friends in Buffalo!

Steve Poland