We meet in the food cafe area farthest from cash registers and closest to the side door near the rest rooms on the side of the parking lot shared with Panera Bread. If you are looking at the whole foods from the parking lot we meet on the left side of the building closest to Six Forks Road. On days with nice weather, we meet outside at the tables near the side door closest to the rest rooms (Six Forks Road side) We try to start close to 7:30 but we sometimes run a little late. Many of the team organizers are involved with consulting gigs /dayjobs. Please be patient if you get there first. Meetup usually runs from 60 to 90. We close at 9:00 pm at the latest. Our group size runs from a small as three people to as many as 10. Most of our starties bring a laptop or tablet to the meetup.
This group is for people interested in running their own gig, particularly with a focus on business startups that have a web or internet focus.. The organizers are coders, angel investors, and product managers who are trying to "pay it forward", help others. Some of our regulars acts are participants with Angel Investors / Private Equity organizations.
Usually our bull pen sessions help starties build a focused business plan, refine a product, prototype software, and sketch out reasonable revenue targets. This is not a "bait and consult", type of meetup. There are no fees or requested donations. Most of the people involved are in the pre-startup or in 18 month launch phase.
We are a pretty casual group. All age ranges are welcome and all phases of the startup cycle are covered and discussed, with a focus on getting going and avoiding fatal startup mistakes. We are also pretty direct and plain spoken. Sometimes, we dish it out pretty heavy and hard. If you want an honest opinion about your product or design and have the skin thickness for it, we are glad to oblige! :) If you need help with a product pitch, twisting a failed idea into a workable one, or a push to move things forward, we can help. Having your contact information saved and ready to go on your phone/tablet/watch or other thingamajig is appreciated. Whole foods does have Wi-fi. If you need help with a demo or product, having a 4G/Wifi card to use while working on your issue would be a good idea. Wi-fi gets rather busy at times.
For students in the area colleges that have been referred to the group by your CS or business studies professor or academic advisor / professor please drop Matthew Harttree [ mharttree at g-mail ] a note at least three days in advance to let him know you will be attending -- we can sign off on course work depending on the class ---this is not our primary goal but we are glad to help. We sign off on paperwork at the end of the meetup as we are preparing to leave.
A word about confidentiality: Recently the issue of NDAs and confidentiality have come up. Some of our first time attendees were confused when other participants declined to sign their NDA prior to discussing their "super secret idea". With recent NC case law regarding trade secrets, please understand there are no assurances of confidentiality at this or most other meetups, and most of the folks in our group don't sign NDAs. While we will try to provide guidance about your project, we need enough details to understand where we can help (referral to a product person / coder / investor etc). Providing any business details to other participants is done at your own risk.
The management team from Whole Foods has been extremely supportive of our efforts, we thank them every chance we get. To enjoy continued use of the venue, we try to keep the group size below 12 people. We encourage you to grab some scrumptious and healthy dinner from Whole Foods as a way to feed your soul while we stretch our brains. Many of our regulars enjoy a meal during the Meetup time. Please show your support by patronizing Whole Foods during your visit.
Look forward to meeting up and helping you get rolling.