#OpenCoffeeLou 59: What’s on your ‘List’?


Blaise Pascal said, “Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.”

So, we suppose, do the folks who make the decision to call off school for JCPS.

Last week, #OpenCoffeeLou declared: “As JCPS goes, so go we.” But this morning after a flurry (pun intended) of “will we?/won’t we?” tweets, texts and phone calls, we decided to go forth. And around 25 people joined us, including a few new faces.

Charles Buddeke of Forge led a very open and casual discussion on what stirs entrepreneurial thinking and where startup ideas come from.

Turns out, lots of Open Coffee-ers have “The List” — a list of startup ideas they keep adding to. Some have lists that date back years. Some have old lists that they revisit after years have passed to discover some wild old ideas have become logical new ideas. Some keep their list on Evernote or in a Google doc. Others have notebooks.

Richard Meadows of Hacker Hostel Louisville says he used to worry about sharing ideas without a nondisclosure agreement; now he’s so over that fear he’s not afraid to “steal ideas” himself. Other communities have hacker hostels. With the growth of the Louisville accelerator movement, last year seemed the right time to open a hacker hostel in town. 

Several people said they set up Google alerts or use Flipboard to stay on top of what’s going on in the general industry of their startup idea. Helps you to gauge when it’s the right time to pull the trigger.  

Many of the next big great ideas are going to come from solving some of the big problems we have right now. The West Coast drought, for example. Whoever comes up with a cost-effective desalinization method could be the next Bill Gates. Likewise whoever can build a better Google or create a way to individualize teaching and testing.

And, of course, when you come up with the next Big Idea, you’re going to want to patent it. Ben Keeton, entrepreneur and publisher of Medical News, came to Open Coffee this morning for the first time to remind us that current legislation is not very friendly for entrepreneurs. We should be telling Sen. Mitch McConnell to do patent reform correctly. Keeton says, “I’m not saying to kill the legislation, we’re just trying to get them to listen to the entrepreneurial community.” Right now lawmakers are just listening to larger companies. Keeton said for a good primer on what patent law reform means to entrepreneurs, read Alex Frommeyer’s Dec. 31, 2013, Insider Louisville article.  Contact McConnell here.


Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m.: I.D.E.A. 40203 and IdeaFestival University present Mix & Pivot at Velocity. From the invite:

Our Mix + Pivot events are dynamic, productive and innovative mixers with a mission. A networking event that begins with 2 artist and 2 entrepreneurs each giving 5 minute pitches on their projects and start-ups.
Presenting Artists: Sara PittShohei Katayama
Presenting Startups: LocalViewShart
The mixer brings together the creators and innovators for conversation+libation as they describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot Louisville’s future together. Admission: Free But Registration Required

Feb. 13, 3 p.m. Open Office Hours at Velocity: Search beyond Google. From the invite:

Quick Intel from Open Source Search Engines – For many users, Google delivers the cat videos or football scores that they’re seeking. So do other popular services like Yahoo! and Bing. But how can researchers and investigators find obscure or sensitive information that might be buried deeper in the Web? To find out, join Constance Ard and Ric Manning for a presentation, along with a Q & A session.

Feb. 14-15: Cardinal Challenge business plan competition at the Marriott. Applications have closed. More as we know more.

Feb. 14, 5 p.m.: #OpenBeer at  Sway in the Hyatt on Fourth Street

Scott Horan from Fern Creek High School said that if you have PCs that you’re getting rid of, he’d be happy to take them off your hands. If you do email him: [email protected]