Creating an Entrepreneur's Clubhouse in Kendall Square
But one thing Kendall Square lacks is a hang-out geared expressly to entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. (I've been harping on this topic for eight years now.) Yes, if you work in the Cambridge Innovation Center, the kitchen areas there are nice gathering spots. Yes, if you go to MIT or know how to find it, the Muddy Charles Pub is a fine place to have a pint. Sure, during a busy lunch hour, you're likely to see plenty of people you know at Legal's or Emma's or Black Sheep or the Starbucks in the Marriott or the Au Bon Pain, or maybe standing in line at one of the square's many lunch trucks.
But if you want to hang with other people starting companies, swap ideas, meet some new folks, do a laptop demo, or work for a few hours, there's no place specifically built for that. Where's the clubhouse for entrepreneurs?
Tim Rowe, founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center and a partner at New Atlantic Ventures, is working to create one. The working name is "The Venture Café," and he has just set up a Facebook group to solicit your ideas for a name, location, and the features that would make it a success.
Tim's definition of the project: "This project seeks to create a large-format, fun 'hangout' place in Kendall Square, open early til very late, where the innovation and entrepreneurship community can come together." See this discussion page for more info, or to contribute your ideas.
"In terms of financing it," Rowe writes, "we're hoping to have this jointly owned by a broad cross section of entrepreneurs and others active in the innovation community. Hopefully, this can be 'owned by all' rather than becoming the province of a select few." Rowe has already been having some productive talks with a few initial investors.
Count me as a supporter.
(Note: The Venture Café is also the title of a great book about entrepreneurship by ex-Bostonian Teresa Esser, presently in exile in Milwaukee.)