TechCafe: Free Lunches and Startup Launches

The growing Seattle technology community is an amazing place. There are giants like Amazon and Microsoft, there are incubators like Techstars, Eastside Incubator, and Founders Institute, there a number of Angels, a number of Venture Capitalists, a wealth of students from some great institutions, and of course no shortage of startups with raw willpower to succeed. The glue holding all of these together are the events where connections of all shapes and sizes happen. From the occasional networking meetup at a bar with no agenda, to Poker 2.0, to the more formal events put on by WTIA, NWEN, or MIT Forum. Without a healthy dose of events for developers to meet business counterparts, founders to find a designer looking for work, or a room full of people to launch or practice launching to the community lacks the acceleration and energy that makes for a meaningful force.

TechCafe has been at the heart of the effort to drive this force in the Seattle community for five years. A pioneer in the community when nothing like it existed, TechCafe shaped the community and enabled countless connections resulting in new businesses, game changing partnerships, investments, and long lasting friendships. TechCafe started life as Seattle Lunch 2.0 and has its roots in the Lunch 2.0 movement that started in Silicon Valley in 2006 by a few folks looking for a free lunch. They quickly found that there were lots of free lunches to be had, cool people to have them with, and cool companies to check out in the process.

Founded by Josh Maher, TechCafe was an attempt to string together the community that was waiting to burst open at the countless tech companies and startups in Seattle – well that and get a free lunch for all the hard working techies. Lunch turned into food and drinks and spilled over into two separate events – Lunch time events and early Happy Hour events. The events started gaining steam and offering a needed connection point for tech companies to meet, show off their goods, and talk about the business of technology companies and products. Over time, the community has grown and the much needed void has begun to fill in – nPost events have come and gone, Seattle 2.0 events have rolled into the new GeekWire, and countless others such as Hackers and Founders, and the endless number of events hosted at SURF.

TechCafe has remained, a staple on the Seattle scene and inspiring founders, technologists, and companies to participate in the community with food, technology conversations, and launches of great ideas. Now into its sixth year, TechCafe is still going strong and focusing as much if not more on making great ideas in Seattle shine. As you look to show off your product or are curious what some of the great things your peers in the community are doing swing by the next event.

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