Coffee & Concepts
Innovation is often seen as the realm of the elite, the brilliant, or the privileged. Yet some of the most incredible ideas have come from ordinary people who were given both the encouragement and opportunity to become extraordinary.
Coffee & Concepts fosters that same spirit by gathering people in a relaxed social setting and encouraging them to brainstorm about the market opportunities and challenges they see in their communities. Participants don't need a tech background or even a formal education to contribute. We only require a hunger to learn more about the world and a spirit that encourages people to chase their entrepreneurial dreams.
Our meetings start with a focus on the latest global, national, and local tech news that may impact the future of their industries. This often leads to a group discussion of possible new products or services.
In the second half of the meeting, participants take turns presenting a business concept and ask for input on next steps, such as advice or a need for partners. Meanwhile, supportive attendees offer up industry knowledge or connections to other professionals who might be helpful in advancing the idea.
No matter the outcome, this process encourages dreamers to share their most nonsensical of ideas and explore whether or how these concepts might become a market success. Some of these ideas lead to actual companies and technology of value. When they do not, however, the brainstorming process -- often called "ideation" -- still helps participants unlock the muscle memory needed to determine how one builds a profitable company.
Examples of successful enterprises launched by Coffee & Concepts are noted below.
During a C&C in Idaho, a local roofer -- who wishes to remain anonymous -- attended a C&C session to see if it might help him in his business. During the concepts portion of the meetup, he told the group that he thought he could 3D print fiberglass and carbon fiber; it was an idea that many in his industry thought unlikely or impossible. Participants and IC staffers brainstormed his ideas and helped him go through the process of forming an LLC. After much hard work and a few failures, he successfully applied for patents in the field of 3D printing that are now regarded as the future of the industry. The roofer remains passionate about 3D printing and continues to create new technology in his field.
Starving Artist app
Brothers Andrew and Caleb grew up in a small Idaho town, frustrated by a lack of belonging and community outside their immediate family. They were also eager to be innovators and blaze their own entrepreneurial path. After attending IC programs, especially Coffee & Concepts, they formed new friendships, mentorships, and began building their app, Starving Artist.