Frisco Open Coffee Club

Here is my recap from the awesome gathering at Nerdvana Coffee in Frisco on December 1st, 2016:

Intros

-Chirag, Dallas, Jeff, Eric, Bob, Michael, Pete, Venny

Startup Events Coming Up
– LaunchDFW Dallas New Tech 12/6/16
– IoT Forum 2/6/17

Startup Community Needs
– Startup Weekend Organizers
– House of Genius volunteers
– Tech Titans

Anyone Hiring/Looking?
– Bob looking for iOS gig

Tech News
-computer vision, robotics, analytics, iOS, databases, revenue growth, product dev, tech consultancy, accelerator, enterprise tech sales, cyber security, IoT, sensors, digital health, AI, Machine Learning, computational linguistics, materials science, self driving cars.

– LaunchDFW
– NoD Coworking
– Bridge Alliance NTX
– NCT COG
– WavCatcher
– MacSure
– MindVR
– RoboKind
– Booster Fuels
– North Dallas Angels

Also published on Medium

Lower Greenville Open Coffee Club June 2016

June 22, 2016

Here are my recap notes from tonight’s #LowerGOCC meetup at Mudsmith sponsored by NoD Coworking.

We had a few new faces this time and we skipped the Open Coffee Club 101 stuff and moved straight into various discussion topics. In addition to tech startup founders, we also had a flight attendant and a technology consultant join in the fun. I tried to tag everyone in this tweet.

LowerGOCC
LowerGOCC

Events:

Open Coffee Clubs

North Dallas Startup Weekend

Minimalism Discussion

Book Recommendation: Do Less by Rachel Jonat

We discussed several aspects of minimalism and found that minimalism has different meanings to different people. We talked about the parallels between clutter in real life and clutter in the internet. We also discussed various methods that we have developed for maintaining our relationships online, such as when to friend (or de-friend) people, when to accept or reject a LinkedIn request, etc.

Growth Hacking Discussion

We threw around names of some new cool tools for growth hacking online:

Hello List: http://HelloList.com

Maitre App: https://maitreapp.co/

Vincent Dignan’s Guide: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/secret-sauce-a-step-by-step-growth-hacking-guide–2#/

Book Recommendation: Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

Local startup that helps with e-mail list verification: https://kickbox.io/

Coding Discussion

We had a similar discussion last month about whether or not technology startup founders need to know how to code in order to be successful. This time it seemed like the conclusion was generally that “You don’t need to code everything yourself, but you do need to know how to code.”

Tools that were discussed:

Active Admin for Ruby on Rails: http://activeadmin.info/

phpMyAdmin: https://www.phpmyadmin.net/

Cross platform dev tools – xamarin, Phone Gap

Video chat API’s https://tokbox.com/webRTC

Investment Funds Discussion

We talked a little bit about local investment funds, angel networks, and private investors that are looking to invest in startups:

Hooligan Ventures

Naya Ventures

Sumo Ventures

Dating Apps Discussion

Video Chat Dating App: InstAmour 

Startup Weekend Winner: Take Us Out

Startup Discussion

My 23 Failed Startups

How startups are creeping in to mainstream media: Shark Tank, Silicon Valley

“Digital Employees” http://www.ipsoft.com/amelia/

Conversable is a new startup making AI chatbots to replace customer service agents.

Translation Discussion – we talked for a while about different scenarios where it might be useful to have artificial intelligence assisting us with translations in real time. In airports, for example, it would be nice for the basic safety and gate information to instantly be translated into the listener’s native tongue. Figuring out what language a patient speaks in ER is a big pain point for doctors and could mean the difference between life and death. Also, in the service industry, it might help a server/waiter build rapport with their customer if the customer can speak in his/her native tongue. This might also get really weird. A universal truth is that people want to feel understood. Communicating to people in their mother tongue leaves a distinct impression, builds trust, and (in theory) would them feel understood.

Travel Tech Discussion

We had a flight attendant in our group, so we asked her about new technologies she is required to use on board these days. Mainly she mentioned the electronic hand held tablets that they use now to process payments for food and drinks. We also agreed that there are generally more screens showing up in planes to enable passengers to interact with content and receive flight communications.

There might be an opportunity to innovate and come up with new customs forms for international travel. Currently it is a pain to deal with the paper forms when traveling international because it is still an old school paper process and each country has their own way of handling the information. 

Regarding operational systems for airlines and airports, one startup in Seattle called Aerostrat is attempting to streamline the airplane maintenance process with a niche project management tool.

Lastly we talked about IoT sensors coming into play on trains and planes. We had a little debate about which is more technologically advanced: Planes or Trains? Interestingly there are solid cases for both. Trains have been using sensors and smart technology for years to track locations and to communicate ahead of time and automatically reroute when train tracks are damaged. Planes perform the incredibly awesome task of transporting hundreds of humans at 30,000 ft. See Louis CK’s bit about planes. The plane’s “brain” has to make an insane amount of calculations in real time in order to function on auto-pilot. All in all, we think the two industries may be able to learn a lot from each other and fuel innovation by adapting proven technology solutions from each side.

 

 

Lower Greenville Open Coffee Club May 2016

May 25, 2016

Here are my recap notes from tonight’s #LowerGOCC meetup at Mudsmith:

LowerGOCC
LowerGOCC

Sponsored by: NoD Coworking

LowerGOCC Sign
LowerGOCC Sign

First we went over what exactly Open Coffee Clubs are and what they are designed to achieve. The concept of an open coffee club was started in 2007 by Saul Klein (Skype Co-Founder) in London. “The goal was to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to become acquainted with each other in informal gatherings so that the investment industry become more transparent and thus to encourage entrepreneurship. [Wikipedia]

As the organizer/facilitator, I had people sign in and answer “What are you in to?” before we jumped in to discussions – collectively, here’s what the four of us are in to: travel, tech, outdoors, stuff, startup news, healthcare, video games, comedy, UX, UI, cars, bikes, beer, and drums. (And probably lots of other cool things,)

We got to know about each other’s background and different types of startups/products we’ve worked on, and then dove into the following topics: Fitness Tech, Coding, Traction, Gifting, Liquor Tech, Events, Books, and Coffee Shops. Tweet me at @ChicagoGupta if you would like to join us at the next Lower Greenville Open Coffee Club!

Here are the links and highlights I noted down from our discussions:

Fitness Tech

Startup Weekend Fitness Edition!

Peloton Bikes – Stationary Bike for home use that allows you to take “interactive” cycling classes with live instructors and remote participants.

Peloton Bike
Peloton Bike (Source: Peloton Website. Retrieved May 25, 2016. https://www.pelotoncycle.com/bike)

Google/Android Fit – Android’s built-in fitness tracker app and dev tools

Fit Bit – Wearable tech + app that allows you to engage in friendly fitness contests with your friends

Nike Plus Patent – Nike has a patent on a “smart” shoe that tracks your running activity

Active Networks (based in Dallas) sells software solutions for marathons, races, etc.

Coding

We discussed new product development workflows and better ways that designers and developers can communicate. We all have had experiences where critical information gets lost in translation when going from wireframes and sketches into functional prototypes or apps.

We then talked about the difference between product managers and full stack developers, I asked everyone if they thought all startup founders needed to know how to code. The consensus was that all founders should, at the very least, have SOME basic knowledge of HTML/CSS and SQL. This can help them streamline the back and forth with their dev team and also help them hold their developers accountable. We also shared stories of how we have created “duct tape” solutions

Code Upstart –  http://www.codeupstart.com/

Udemy – https://www.udemy.com/coding-for-entrepreneurs-basic/

OneMonth – https://onemonth.com/

Traction

“Traction” by Gabriel Weinberg

Growth Hacking Live + a new book by Vincent Dignan

Product Hunt, Hacker News, Medium, and Reddit can be good websites to get your product listed on to increase traction and awareness during a new product launch campaign.

LaunchKit.io can help you make clean previews of your mobile apps.

RevBoss is a new startup with a new twist on sales automation software.

Gifting

Local startups working on improving the gift-giving process:

GiftSing: https://www.giftsing.com/

Giftry: https://giftry.com/login

Liquor Tech…

Discussed apps that have been attempting to track inventory of liquor at bars in real time to help bars optimize their supply chain and marketing strategies.

Barometer Inventory is coming soon in Mumbai, India.

Community Events 

Tech Wildcatters Pitch Day

North Dallas Startup Weekend

Startup Marketing Hacks

Techweek Dallas

Dallas New Tech

Dallas Startup Week

Independent Coffee Shops in Dallas

We brainstormed some good places to work in Dallas if you are a freelancer or startup/tech person where you’ll get good wifi and a high chance of running into other startup/tech community people:

Mudsmith (Lower Greenville)

Weekend Coffee / Joule (Downtown)

Houndstooth (Knox Henderson)

Mokah (Deep Ellum)

Method Coffee (Uptown / Deep Ellum)

Tower Club (Downtown)

Bolsa Mercado (Oak Cliff)

Corner Market (Lower Greenville)

Cultivar (Lakewood)

White Rock Coffee (Lakewood)

Coffee House Cafe (North Dallas)